Our Eye and Eye Makeup Correspondent, Gemma Summons, recently received a batch of 17 eyeliners to test. Let's see what she thought...
As you know I'm a complete eyeliner fiend - wear it every single day (probably more than I should), and I've tried a fair few over the years. I'm pretty made up (HAHAHA geddit) about these eyeliners as I'm used to paying the same amount of money (~£5) or even more for what are, frankly, inferior products to these.
I'll be commenting on these in order of preference (lowest to highest).
High Drama Intense Liquid Eyeliner
The press release says: "17 High Drama Intense Liquid Eyeliner is a smooth and intense liquid eyeliner with a precise and easy to use applicator. Perfect for creating a 'high drama' effect!" £3.99
I'd say this is a solid 'entry level' eyeliner. It's very, very similar to the Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner (to which I was a devotee for years) in pretty much all respects - the packaging, the shape of the bottle, the price, even the brush (very sturdy - more like a felt-pen tip than a brush) and the look you get - a matte finish, with the claim that it lasts up to 25 hours. However, I reckon if you got it wet - rain, tears, sweat after a gig/rave/club, any other liquid (don't really want to know, to be honest), it wouldn't live up to this claim. It is a lot more watery than the other two eyeliners. This does mean that it's so much easier to remove, which is crucial if you're just getting the hang of liquid eyeliner. The tip makes it easier to get the shape you want if you're unpractised, and because it's easier to remove, it's easier to touch up any mistakes. Especially if you sneeze just after applying it, which, by the way, happens to me on at least a twice weekly basis and is infuriating. But, for me, it's a bit too... meek. If you can call liquid eyeliner meek.
Wet Look Lacquer Eyeliner
The press release says: "17 Wet Look Lacquer Eye Liner gives a wet look shine once dry, giving a lacquered edge to any eye look." £3.99
I really like this one. It's got a thinner 'handle' which makes it look that bit more slinky than the High Drama eyeliner, and sits in your hand more like a pen. This has an actual brush - not too thick and not too thin, meaning that you can go for the sleek, classy 'barely there' eyeliner flicks, or you can build it up if you want to. Because it's a brush it's more flexible, so it's better if you're a bit more confident with eyeliner in the first place. This is also because it is pretty sturdy - you will need a decent eye make-up remover for this one. It will stick around all day and all evening, providing you're not, I don't know, swimming or something. And even then I reckon it would stand a good chance. One really good thing about this eyeliner is the look - like it says, it does have a wet finish. It looks shinier than the High Drama eyeliner, and is much thicker when you put it on. I reckon this would be best for a glam, glossy look, whereas the High Drama eyeliner might be better if you want a smudgier, smokier look.
The press release says: "New 17 Semi Permanent Liquid Eyeliner, for up to 48 hours' wear." £4.99
I am speaking as a hardened addict of eyeliner. I LOVE THIS. It is so flipping resilient. AND CHEAP. The packaging is a lot chunkier than the others - it is effectively a normal tube (so in that respect I think I'd prefer it if the lid was more pen like and a little longer, to help you when applying it). The look of it is similar to the Wet Look eyeliner, which I like, but the brush is slightly longer and the eyeliner itself is thick and slightly sticky looking, but don't let this put you off. They aren't lying when they say it lasts 48 hours. It does. It IS semi-permanent. They tell you to use an oil-based eye makeup remover to budge it, and you will need to. I wore this and had run out of make-up remover, and despite washing my face several times with cleanser, it was still there. And the morning after. And for the rest of the next day. Given that it's taken me years to find an eyeliner that would actually stay where it is supposed to without having to fork out about £15 for the privilege, this is a revelation. This is perfect for if you can't bear to be seen without eyeliner - not that I'm advocating this, but it will survive the gym, gigs, clubbing, rain, kneading dough (see below... not that you'll be doing this with your face on a regular basis but you never know), FESTIVALS (an actual godsend) and, y'know, the morning after (wink). What a glory to wake up with your eyeliner still in place and not smeared halfway across your face like you've taken part in some bizarre tribal ink ritual rather than a night of passion. I think you could go swimming in this, if you really wanted to. Actually brilliant.
I tested each out on my finger (top left: Wet Look Lacquer Liner, top right: High Drama Intense Liquid Eyeliner, bottom: Tattoo Me semi permanent liquid eyeliner) and wore them all day - doing day to day activities. Washing my hands, rubbing my hands, even KNEADING DOUGH (yeah that's right, bread baking) to compare them and to see how much wear and tear they would realistically withstand.
Wet Look Lacquer Liner: a pretty tough cookie, surviving repeated hand washings. Didn't survive the baking session, as it flaked off (but that's fair enough).
High Drama: is really for 'light users' as opposed to the 'hardened addicts' of eyeliner. It washes off fairly easily - which is good if you're a no-fuss girl and just want your make-up to wipe off easily - maybe less so if you want staying power. Or indeed, live in Wales, like I do, where it feels like it rains 98% of the time.
Tattoo Me: oh my god, THE COCKROACH of the eyeliner world. It is bulletproof. It survived everything, including the dough kneading (I gave it a fairly good bashing too - was unleashing female wrath on the bread that day) and was still on my finger 48 hours later. It really, really does what it says on the tin.