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Sunday 4 November 2012

Battle of the eyeliner pens! Clarins, Mac, No.7, Bourjois and Max Factor.

Following on from my battle to the death for King of the hand creams (a win by L'Occitane), I decided to look a little more closely at the black eyeliner pens I've been using and try and come up with a victor. In the past I've used gels, liquids and kohls but have finally settled on the pen format due to the ease of use more than anything. So below, top to bottom we have Clarins 3 Dot Liner, Mac Penultimate eyeliner (ha, I see what they did there!), No.7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Liner, Bourjois Liner Feutre and Max Factor Masterpiece Glide and Define.

Of all of them, Clarins has the most unusual nib, given that it's divided into 3 parts- hence the '3 Dot Liner". The idea with this is that you can either fill in your lash line with a series of dots (if you're a fan of a more natural look) to make your lashes look fuller but without going down a full on liner route or you can also, eh, go down the full on liner route. The beauty blogging world went a bit mad for this one and while I like it, I haven't found it to be the messiah of eyeliners..if such a thing were to exist.

Moving on to Mac, I do really like the nib on this, which is quite fine so affords a more precise line while the liquid itself is ok too, I just think there are cheaper, better options available so will keep searching..
Speaking of which, I'm currently using the No.7 one which I got for only a few euro thanks to a Boots No.7 voucher. To be honest, if I'd spent any more than that on this I'd have been sorely disappointed. The smell from this is horrible- like a really strong permanent marker (which I hadn't realised 'til I got it home as they were all sealed with no tester. Curse you Boots). Ugh. I loathe having to use this but feel I should use it up before I can buy a new one, as crazy as that sounds! This doesn't create the finest line either so in my opinion, it's really not worth it at the full price.
This one from Bourjois is probably my favourite of all, it tends to be quite long lasting (both in the pen and on the eye) and easy to use, plus it's a good strong black. Think it's around the 7 or 8 euro mark and to be honest I only bought the No.7 one over this because there was only the tester of this on the shelf at the time. Grr.
Finally (yes, we made it. You can reward yourself with tea and a biscuit now..or possibly a G and T), Max Factor. This was useless. A really thick nib means it's next to impossible to draw a fine line and it dried up within a couple of weeks, which I was really annoyed over. Don't bother with this one.

Here they are swatched, again from top to bottom- Clarins, Mac, No.7, Bourjois, Max Factor.:

I should point out that the Clarins and the No.7 look the best in this photo but to be fair the other three were used up pretty much completely when I decided to take may just have to trust me.
So in conclusion, the Clarins and Mac ones are good but personally I'd go with the Bourjois for the difference in price.


  1. I have the same weird obsession as you with pen liners. For cheap as chips the Rimmel flashliner is pretty damn good but it does dry up quite quickly. On the highend side of things the (old) Shisheido brush tip liner with the cartridge is brilliant and very long lasting, pilus the packaging is stunning. But I do believe that they've discontinued it. :( Thanks for the tip about the bourjois one though!
    Best black kohl or pencil liner is next for you methinks :)

    1. I use a Chanel kohl pencil that is just AMAZING (capital are definitely necessary) but I like to have a liquid liner for a more precise line, you know? I'll have a look at the Rimmel one, thanks for that!x