I can count on one hand the number of black liquid and gel eyeliners that have achieved Holy Grail status in my books. That is, they deliver all-day wear and stay put without transfer or fading. MAKE UP FOR EVER Ink Liner Matte Liquid Eyeliner ($27) falls just shy of that mark, but there are many things to love about this liner.
First, there's the calligraphy tip, which is just fancy marketingspeak for the super-tapered, flexible, spongy tip on the applicator. Unlike brushes, there are no errant bristles to ruin a perfect cat line. Press lightly to draw a thin line, press harder for a thicker line, and refine as necessary with the ultimate precision. I usually fare better with felt tip pen liners, but MUFE's applicator gave me lots of control to achieve the perfect cat eye.
And then there's the formula: jet black, ultra-pigmented, dries to a matte finish before you can blink. I really appreciated the latter during testing, as it's usually premature blinking that ruins my liner.
My one quibble with MUFE Ink Liner is that it might be a little too pigmented. The vivid black cat eye I wore on Sunday never faded, but some colour pigment did transfer from my lashline to my crease and lower lashline, resulting in some dark smudges. With most liners, I can usually avoid this by applying primer and a matte nude eyeshadow on my eyelids to absorb any oil. But then again, this is a step I don't have to take with my HG liners, so why compromise? And once it was time to take off my makeup, boy did the eyeliner make a mess; it took several wipes and Q-Tips dabbed in eye makeup remover before I stopped resembling a panda.
If you don't have oily eyelids like I do and you don't mind a high-maintenance removal process, MUFE's Ink Liner could very well work for you; the tip and formula are stellar. For my own needs though, I think I'll stick to my HG liners.