Eyeliners: the best and longest lasting for hot, humid summers like those in Hong Kong
Liquid eyeliner takes skill to apply but goes on smoothly and is sweatproof. We’ve found the one that best stands up to the summer heat – and we’ve three additional tips to make sure your eyeliner lasts all day
Eyeliner is the key to completing your make-up look and make your eyes pop. Yet finding a sweat-proof eyeliner that works in the humidity and heat of Hong Kong’s summers is almost impossible. Eyeliner applied to Asian women’s hooded eyes and single eyelids is all the more likely to melt.
But fear not, your desperate search for answers ends here. We’ve tried the newest, most highly rated eyeliners to see which one can truly stand up to the heat.
For the most long-lasting eyeliner, go for a liquid one, even if you are a beginner. Applying it is a skill you can easily master with practice, and one that will serve you well for life.
Hongkongers used to have to travel abroad to get their hands on Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner (HK$180), hailed as the holy grail of eyeliners, but the product has been available through online beauty retailer Sephora’s local website since last summer.
A glowing review of the product went viral in April after a woman spent hours in a hospital emergency room after a car accident and her eyeliner didn’t budge.
Still, it is no match for the humidity of Hong Kong, especially if you are caught in the occasional shower, and it stains the lower lids after a couple of hours of wearing it outdoors.
Despite its cumbersome name, we love the Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner by Marc Jacobs Beauty (HK$220), which has a beautiful glossy finish.
Its jet black formula means you can define your eyes with just a single swoosh and there is no need to go over it again to make it more opaque. It is for those who want a sharp and clean liner.
Make sure you have steady hands, as the dark formula has zero tolerance for mistakes – so even the slightest wavering would look very obvious. It does not smudge, but it does occasionally flake off.
Our favourite of all is Revlon’s Colorstay Eye Liner Calligraphy Brush (HK$98), which is solid proof that the best product isn’t always the one you pay the most for. It is one of three new eyeliners the brand has recently released.
While the innovative Exactify Liquid Liner (HK$98), which has a roller wheel, can be used for creative looks, it is not the most practical eyeliner, and we found the tip of the Eye Liner Calligraphy – Slim & Sharp (HK$98) too stiff. So stick with the original, which has all the qualities we are looking for in an eyeliner – it goes on smoothly, it is sweatproof and strongly pigmented.
Liquid liners are great for drawing the wing, but to tightline your eye – filling in the blanks between the lash roots and the upper waterline – go for a kohl liner.
Giorgio Armani’s Waterproof Silk Eye Pencil (HK$290) is richly pigmented and extremely creamy, so it goes on the waterline very smoothly. The downside, however, is that it stains the bottom lid almost immediately.
This could help balance out your top eyeliner, but set it with plenty of powder to make sure it does not smudge any further.
We have always also quite liked Make Up Forever’s Aqua XL Eye Pencil (HK$190), whose waterproof formula comes in 20 colours and is great for summer pool parties. But the two black shades are slightly disappointing. Diamond black comes with silver sparkles, which can easily get into your eyes, irritating them, whereas the matte black is not smudge-proof like other colours.
Here are also some extra tips to make your eyeliner stay all day
1. Use an eye primer on top and bottom lids. Make Up Forever’s Eye and Lip Primer (HK$220) or VDL’s Expert Color Primer for Eyes (HK$170/13g) have a nice consistency that is easy to blend and helps prevent your make-up smearing.
One of the reasons eyeliner runs is our lashes, which can transfer it to our bottom lids. So curl them upwards and hold them with a waterproof mascara.
2. Powder up. Set your liner with a translucent powder and dust your bottom lids with fine powder. Another alternative is to set the eyeliner with a coordinating eye shadow.
Set it with a make-up spray such as YSL’s Top Secrets Makeup Setting Spray (HK$310/100ml). It comes out as a mist and the pump makes sure it sprays evenly.
3. What do you do when eyeliner does smear? The skin around the eyes is very delicate, so do not rub it repeatedly. Instead, lightly remove the unwanted pigmented with a cotton bud.
Then cover the area with Hourglass’ Veil Retouching Fluid (HK$310) instead of your regular concealer.
It has a moisturising formula so the powder will not settle into the fine lines and appear cakey.