Battle of the Black Liquid Eyeliners

When it comes to eyeliner, I'm one finicky customer thanks to oily lids and a crease-grazing lashline. Pencil and gel don't stand a chance, and even the most hard-wearing liquid liners start fading around the two-hour mark. It's a shame because I do love a good cat-eye.

Until recently, I stuck to Geisha Ink ($30 at BeautyMark) because it was the only precise-tip eyeliner I've found that truly lasts all day. And while I still love it, I've also been experimenting with new ones. So how do they stack up to the golden Geisha standard? Here's the lowdown.

The liner: Cargo TexasLiner in black ($20; available this fall at London Drugs)

Packaging: Riffing on the saying "Everything is bigger in Texas," this short, chubby liner earns extra points for being so adorable. The fat marker tip draws fine and thick lines with the greatest of ease.

Performance: I wanted to like this liner because it was so cute, but the formula just wasn't working for me. I wore it the night we saw Les Mis; by the time the final curtain call and standing ovation ended, most of my cat-eye had transferred upward on my lids and faded to a bleary mess.

The liner: NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker in carbon black ($10.99 at London Drugs)

Packaging: Like Geisha Ink, this is a skinny marker with a superfine tip.

Performance: Unlike Geisha Ink, NYX's formula started disappearing after 1-2 hours of wear. I put it on in the morning before going to the office. By mid-morning, it required a touch-up. By the afternoon, my cat-eye was no more and I had to wipe off any traces of liner with a wet paper towel.

The liner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in intense black ($26 at Kiss & Makeup)

Packaging: Another precision-tip skinny marker. Although the tip is fine, it dispenses liquid considerably quicker than Geisha Ink's, making a tightline slightly more difficult.

Performance: I am in love with this formula. Not only does it last all day like Geisha Ink, the black is more vivid and intense and dries to a glossy finish. I wore it all of Canada Day long weekend—through hot and humid days, sweaty afternoons spent salsa dancing outdoors, evenings spent outside—and my liner was just as polished and perfect at night as it was when I first applied it. It's safe to say I have a new favourite!

What's your go-to black liner?

P.S. Only one week left to win a John Frieda basket of blonde haircare products worth $150! Enter my giveaway now.


  1. I've been using the Stila liner for about a year now and I love it, I'm glad it's the best out of the one's you tried! I have been eyeing up some of the Kat Von D liners lately though, I'll have to try them and see how they compare.


    1. A good eyeliner speaks for itself, doesn't it? Let me know if you end up trying the Kat Von D liners—I'd love to know what you think of them.

  2. I alternate between Physicians Formula Lash Booster eyeliner and Kiss Me Heroine Make smooth liquid eyeliner. I find that Japanese formulated liquid eyeliners tend to be fine-tipped and waterproof enough to last a whole day.

  3. Give this product a try: Perfect Automatic Liner made by a Japanese brand called Majolica Majorca works really well for staying power. The product can be found in most Asian boutiques at Crystal/Aberdeen Mall.

    1. The second recommendation for Japanese eyeliners. Duly noted!


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