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.
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
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