Sunday, 8 September 2013
Review & Swatches: L'Oreal Super Liner* Range
One of the questions I'm most often asked, is how I get my eyeliner flicks so perfect. I always claim it's down to my choice of liner (either L'Oreal Super Liner or Lancome Art Liner, they are very similar) rather than any fancy technique. I've used both all my (makeup wearing) life and they're the best I've ever tried. The slightly flexi but not brush-like applicator makes the process so simple. So I've been a huge advocate of the Super Liner brand. L'Oreal have expanded their Super Liner range (but thankfully not discontinued the original liquid liner) and I've been trialling several of the new items for the past month or so. You'll have already seen some of them in action during my Monster High Monday FOTD posts, but I'll go into that in more detail later in the post.
The items I was sent to review are (from top) Super Liner Blackbuster in Black, Super Liner Brow Artist in 03 Brunette, Super Liner Perfect Slim in Intense Black and Super Liner GelMatic in Ultra Black. Blackbuster £6.99, could easily be mistaken for a marker pen with it's chunky appearance. It's the first graphic eye marker from L'Oreal with a smooth glide and black ink formula to produce a bold look which claims to last for up to 8 hours. I was pleasantly surprised to find the thick line actually very wearable. If you've seen the print ads for this, the liner goes from lashline almost to eyebrow, so I was expecting something super thick and to be honest quite difficult to work with. It's not, you can still apply a precise line, I've used it along the upper lashline and I've even managed some flicks with it. The flicks weren't shaped as perfectly or as precise as I'd achieve with the original Super Liner, but it's still achievable and they certainly didn't look wonky or bleed at all. It's a really easy product to use and of course if lashline to eyebrow is your thing, you could probably achieve that with this too!
Brow Artist £5.49, is available in three shades; Blonde, Brunette and Dark Brunette. It's the first brow product in the L'Oreal range combining three tools in one with a colour on one end and clear fixing wax gel on the other and a brush on the lid. So what did I think? Well L'Oreal are clearly seeing the power the likes of Cara Delevingne command with bold brows and now everyone can get the look with this product! I've been trying to grow a section of my brows back for over two years now and fear 20 years of previous plucking has taken it's toll! I'm not confident at filling my brows as I feel like they look really overdone or fake when I do. Perhaps it just takes some getting used to. I love that this pencil offers a complete kit in one slim product. The Brunette shade was quite a good match for my brows, although leaned a little more red than I'd have liked. It was easy to use the colour to define as little or much as I wanted and I liked that. I just used feathery, light strokes. The gel side of the pencil was a great tool to hold not only brow hairs in place all day, but to stop the colour bleeding. The soft brush was also excellent at taming and keeping hairs in place. Overall, I think this is a handy product to have in your makeup bag and simple to use.
Perfect Slim £6.99, features a 0.4mm tip for a precise and intense sweeping line. The grip zone hold offers the user optimum control during application. Now I suppose this is most similar to the original Super Liner although there are many differences. The tip is very elongated and I found it was easiest to use in a sweeping motion. At first I made the mistake of thinking because of it's small tip it could be used to create tiny and really precise flicks and the like. However it doesn't 'draw' well because of that long tip, it's best just winging it and letting it do it's thing creating a narrow but lengthy flick. In saying that I have managed to use it to tidy up flicks I made using the Blackbuster some days (which I've pointed out below). Another thing to mention is the curved or dipped section in the pen where you hold it, it definitely aids application.
GelMatic £5.99 is the first gel liner in pen form from L'Oreal, combining the intensity of a gel with the precision of a pen. The pigmented formula promises 24 hour wear. Wow, this is most definitely budge proof! To the point that I struggled a little to remove it. I'm confident my discontinued Lancome Baume Eclat would have kicked it's ass, but I ran out and I'm still getting used to my new cleansers. It was removed easily with an eye makeup remover (Lancome BiFacil) anyway, so it's not too troublesome. As most of you know I've favoured a more natural, smudgy look on my eyes recently, so it was strange to go back to a precise, bold line. I didn't get off to a good start with this, when I first swatched it. I twisted a little up and began to draw a line on my hand when the end snapped clean off. I've never had it happen since and thankfully there's a nifty little sharpener contained in the opposite end of this, so no harm was done. I've ended up really loving this though. I've gone back to applying a bold line on my upper lashline and it looks so striking. I don't think it's quite as black and glossy as YSL Waterproof Eye pencil which I've mentioned previously on this blog, but I like that about it. You can actually create a really thin and precise line if desired and it works equally well on something thicker. It lasts all day and won't budge a bit. It worked well for me in my waterline on the lower lashline and although I tried applying it on the lower lashline then smudging it out, it works best on the upper in my opinion. I was able to smudge it a little, if I did so really quickly, but that's not the intention of this product and I have others that would smudge more easily, so don't require it for that. I love the fact it doesn't need a fiddly brush as this is the one thing that puts me off using a standard gel liner. If you like your eyeliner budge-proof then this is for you.
I've swatched them all below (Blackbuster, Perfect Slim, GelMatic, Brow Artist) from top to bottom or left to right. There are two swatches of each as I angled the pen/pencil sideways first, then used the tip for the second swatch. This way you get to see how thick and precise the product can be depending on how you use it (Brow Artist aside).
I've also compared the three liner tips here, so you can see the difference between each one.
Now I've collected together lots of FOTD photos I've taken over the past few weeks using these products. Below was my first time using the products and I'm wearing GelMatic from inner to outer corner with Blackbuster for a flick with nothing on my lower lashline. I was surprised I could create a little chunky flick with this, it's not a lengthy one, but still noticeable.
This was my Monster High Monday look as Toralei and I needed a really bold liner for this. I wore GelMatic on the lower lashline and applied Blackbuster from inner to outer corner on the top lashline. Again I managed a decent flick and made it a little more precise using the Perfect Slim.
For the two days below, I wore the GelMatic on it's own with no flicks. Both days I was wearing dark and bold eyeshadow (green and purple) and the liner had no problem showing up over that. I'm also wearing it on the lower lashline too.
Below, I wore the GelMatic and this time used Perfect Slim for the flicks. I'm not sure it looked as intense in the flesh as it does in the close-ups, maybe it's just the photo editing that's done that, but hopefully you can see a slightly different shape to the flick than when I used Blackbuster. It's longer and more sweeping.
For the close-up in the top left image (below), I wore GelMatic and Perfect Slim to create that long sweeping point at the outer and inner corners for my Monster High Monday look like Ghoulia. The other images are from Monster High Monday Lagoona last week where I wore GelMatic and created a thin flick with Perfect Slim.
I'm just wearing Perfect Slim for the flicks in these images. I found the technique of starting at the end of the flick and then tapering that into my lashline gave me the best shape. Sometimes it helps to just turn things on it's head a little!
In this, I wore GelMatic creating quite a thick line and used Perfect Slim for the long flicks.
Finally, I wore GelMatic as a base along the top lashline and then used Blackbuster for a cute l'il flick. I think this looks really striking. Again I tried the 'starting at the end of the flick' process. I don't think any of these products could replace my beloved Super Liner but they are certainly all worthwhile additions and I've managed to create many looks with them. I wanted to try and use them for as wearable looks as I could, to show that they aren't purely for those 60's, theatrical or catwalk looks (although I'd like to try some Twiggy-esque stuff with them). I think GelMatic was my favourite followed closely by Blackbuster. All of these products are out on L'Oreal stands now. What do you think, do you have a favourite look from these?