13 February 2015

A Definitive Look at Natural Eye Liner Pencils

In the process of weeding through and decluttering my makeup, I realized I've accumulated a fair few eyeliner pencils these last couple of years and - aside from a few brief mentions - I've never written about them.  I rarely used to wear eyeliner, but these days, it's pretty standard for days that I wear makeup.  Pencil is by far the quickest and easiest liner for me to use and it's what I reach for most often.  

Here's my opinions - good and bad - on the eight brands currently in my collection.  I've included some swatches at the end too, for anyone that might be interested in seeing how some of these colors stack up against one another.



The Top Picks

Pacifica Natural Eye Pencils
If I had to pick a number one favorite, this would be it.  The formula glides on effortlessly, both on the lid and in the waterline, and the three colors I've tried all have great color payoff.  Despite the marketing, I wouldn't consider these to be waterproof, but they do last all day on the lashline.  They also don't smear or bleed out of the waterline, although I usually only get 3-4 hours wear there before they start to fade.  Currently there are four neutral shades available, but I'm hoping for more fun colors in the future!  

Honeybee Gardens JobaColors Eye Liner
The JobaColor liners fall in the middle in terms of creamyness, but their gorgeous shades bump them up to my top two.  My two favorites are Blue Jeans, a bright teal blue and Smoking Gun, a beautiful silvered brown/shimmery taupe.  The one exception to the awesomeness of these pencils is Jet Set - the black - which I'm not crazy about.  I definitely think there are better black eyeliners, but I'd recommend the rest of the colors wholeheartedly. 

Middle of the Road

Benecos Natural Kajal Eyeliner
The formula on these is excellent.  They're creamy and apply very smoothly, but the actual colors - at least the two I have - tend to leave me feeling a bit let down.  Brown is a really warm brown with some almost orange tones, and Night Blue - which swatches as an amazing metallic navy - always ends up as more of a muddy grey/charcoal on my eyes.  There are a couple more colors I'm cautiously curious about, so I'll be sure to update this if/when I try more.

Earthlab Vegan Mineral Pencils
If you're looking for a liner that's easy to smudge out, Earthlab is a good choice.  I don't find Black to be the best true, deep black for lining the eyes, but it's excellent for smoking out as it still hangs onto a good amount of colour once blended.  

Gabriel Color
I only have one liner from Gabriel Color, in Black, which is another that I find to be more of a grey/charcoal than a true black.  The actual pencil is a little on the firmer side, but as long as you warm it up on your hand, it's fine to work with.  

Failed to Impress

ELF Mineral Eye Liner
As a retractable pencil sold for a mere $3, I was really excited to give the Mineral Eye Liners a try.  Unfortunately, the pencil is just way too hard and needs a lot of pressure to get any color payoff.  Metallic Purple was disappointing color-wise as well.  It's a plummy brown shade with a purple sheen, but the purple wears off super quickly, leaving you with just a rather ordinary brown.  

Beauty Without Cruelty Eye Defining Pencil*
I love how cool-toned Soft Brown is, but, again, the formula is just way too hard and leaves me feeling as though I'm scraping my eyelid raw whenever I use it. I will say, swatching this again today, the ashy tones and firmer texture reminded me more of a brow pencil than a liner, so if the color happens to be a match for you, it might work great for that purpose.

LUVU Beauty Eye Liner Pencils
The same qualities that I love so much about LUVU's lip pencils make their eye pencils some of my least favorites.  They're very solid and almost waxy, which results in very little color payoff on the eye, unless you're using a good amount of pressure.  I do like the shimmery White for highlighting the inner corner, but it's basically useless for lining the waterline or as a regular eyeliner.  


Blacks: (L to R) Luvu Beauty Black, Gabriel Color Black, Earthlab Black, Honeybee Gardens Jet Set, Pacifica Jet


Neutrals: (L to R) LUVU Beauty White, Pacifica Bare, Honeybee Gardens Brown Sugar, Benecos Brown, Honeybee Gardens Belgian Chocolate, Beauty Without Cruelty Soft Brown, Honeybee Gardens Smoking Gun


The Colors: (L to R) Honeybee Gardens Blue Jeans, Benecos Night Blue, ELF Metallic Purple

Have you used any of these?  What are your favorite eye liners?

* Press sample
Contains affiliate links


18 comments:

  1. This was a very informative post! It's too bad that the Benecos Night Blue one didn't work out, it's such a swatch color. I definitely have to take a look at the eyeliners by Pacifica and Honeybee Gardens though!

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    1. I keep trying to work with Night Blue, but it just never comes out as pretty on the eye! I don't think you'll be disappointed with either Pacifica or Honeybee Gardens :)

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  2. I'm with you on the BWC eye pencil. It is too hard for me to even use and I'm ready to toss mine in the trash.

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    1. I know, right?! I don't get how anyone could use a liner this hard. I'm going to try it in my brows, but if that's a fail also, it will be heading for the trash here too!

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  3. This is a great article Caitie, i don't see eyeliner post very often :) I like pacifica, but fave fave fave is alima pure coffee and patina :)
    xx

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    1. Thanks Julie! I really want to try the Alima Pure ones, and Patina in particular after the photo you posted on instagram :D

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  4. Awesome round up! I don't have a huge collection of eyeliners (yet) but have mostly the ones from Benecos because they're cheaper and cheerful. Would totally agree with you about everything you mentioned...I think to get more into my colour game I'm going to try Inika next because theirs look amazing!

    Mayah x

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    1. Thanks Mayah! I found a Josie Maran set on super sale this weekend and couldn't resist ordering (her liner ingredients are surprisingly clean!), so I'm hoping it'll have some good colors :) I've heard great things about Inika as well!

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  5. definitely going to give Pacifica and Honey Been Naturals a go now! Thanks for this comprehensive post! Good eye liner is something hard to find even within non natural brands let alone natural/organic lines!

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    1. My pleasure! Liners make me feel a bit like Goldilocks - too hard/too soft, too smudgy/not smudgy enough, juuuust right - but Pacifica and Honeybee Gardens are both fantastic! I don't think you'll be disappointed :)

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  6. ooh I'm always looking for something close to teal I think I will have to pick up Blue Jeans!

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  7. I only have one natural but I'm quite impressed by Inika.

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    1. I like Inika, but I haven't tried their liners. Will have to check them out in the future :)

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  8. Great post and nice collection! I really enjoy crayons, because I struggle with liquid eyeliners. So far I've mostly been using Benecos and Inika, but I'm super tempted by Alima Pure :) xx

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    1. Thanks Liz! I am terrible with liquid eyeliners too, although I love a cat eye SO much, so I really want to get better. Alima Pure has been tempting me as well :)

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  9. I totally agree with you on the BWC one. I typically only use black liners and the Antonym one has been really great so far!

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  10. Have you tried Logona? it's become my one and only. I've even warmed it up with a lighter and it goes on like a gel. Really happy to see the pacifica. I like a light one for my lower waterline to make my already big eyes go anime big :P

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