Cheap and Good Eyeliner Brushes

What do I look for in a good eyeliner brush?

  1. Good bristles that allow product to glide
  2. The right shape and size to save time and minimise mess
  3. Preferably low in cost


Here I have 5 brushes which I use / have used for eyeliner application.

Left to Right 

  1. Angled brush made of synthetic bristles (from an art store)
  2. Gel liner brush from Kate, Kanebo
  3. Small angled eyebrow brush
  4. Small flat top eyeliner brush
  5. Fine brush (from an art store)

You can see from the second photo that all these brushes are very thin, and for eyeliner brushes to create precise lines, this is a must.

My favourite is No. 1 – the angled brush from the art store.  The reasons are as follows:

  1. Its synthetic brushes allow product to glide more easily and does not soak up product.
  2. Its slant makes it easier for me to apply my liner.  It’s just more natural to use.  See the picture below compared with Kate’s liner.
  3. Its width makes application easy.  I ‘press’ the brush on my lashline only 3-4 times at most to create a line that’s consistent in fineness. No dragging and broken-up lines. (Read this post to find out how I use this with my eyeliner product. )
  4. It is thin – I can create a thin precise line with this easily.
  5. IT’S CHEAP! (Less than RM5)

Left: A more natural angle for applying product.
Right: Simply “press” the product near your lashline….foolproof.

I didn’t choose the angled eyebrow brush as my favourite because it’s too small and I find it increasingly harder to work with tiny brushes like these as I get older.  It requires a very steady hand, good eyesight and lots of PATIENCE!

Another thought:

I personally don’t think we need to spend lots of money on eyeliner brushes, particularly if you’re aiming for a clean precise line.  Experiment with art store synthetic brushes and you might just be pleasantly surprised.  I will however, be tempted to try out FLAT EYELINER BRUSHES offered by many other brands out there (Google ‘Flat Eyeliner Brush’). These brushes have FLAT TOPS, not angled ones.  They are great too, and work pretty much the same way, ‘press’ and you’re done with a clean line.   It gets the product right between the lashes. I haven’t got round to getting one yet because I haven’t quite wrapped my head round paying lots of money for an eyeliner brush….. :p

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In Search of the Perfect Eyeliner

I’ve no fewer than 20 eyeliners, and most of them have done very little work.  I have all types – pencil, gel, liquid, powder – and I do have my favourites among them.  Unfortunately, my favourites aren’t always perfect, but anyway….

What I look for in a perfect eyeliner:

  • long-wear
  • smudge-proof
  • pigmented.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but because I expect all 3 to be present in 1 eyeliner, the search has been difficult and costly, still few eyeliners have delivered.

Before I make these liners sound bad, I’d like to clarify that a lot has to do with my eyes.  I have ‘fat’ lower lids that push up when I laugh or smile, so my eyeliners migrate to my eye-bags. For a product to stay, it’d need to beat my oily lids (upper lids) and stay dry. Yeah….so when an eyeliner doesn’t measure up, half the fault is mine really.

I’m doing a quick review below on a few products I have used:

1.  MAC Fluidline (Average)

MAC Fluidline

A very popular gel liner which hasn’t done much for me.  It smudges in the humid environment I live in.

2.  Dejavu Lasting-Fine Pencil Gel Liner (Average)

One of the more lasting ones for me, but still smudges after a few hours.

3.  Kanebo T’estimo Liquid Eyeliner – discontinued  (Good)

A good liquid liner that lasts longer than the two mentioned above, but it takes a while to dry, and it tends to flake off at the end of the day.  Plus the fact that it has a shiny finish, it isn’t good for ‘wrinkly’ eyelids.

4.  OFFICE Water Soluble Eyeliner Powder (Excellent)

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

My search for the perfect liner ended with this one for now at least.

This is a powder liner that needs to be mixed with water before use.  If it sounds inconvenient to you, all I can say is that the result is worth all the effort.  Learn to do it quick (with the right tools!) and you’ll be done in no time.  No mess.  The product dries fast and lasts all day.

  • Tools I use with this product?  A spray bottle and a thin angled brush about half-an-index-finger’s width.  3 “presses” of the brush on my eyelid and I’m done (I have small eyes…. :p)
  • Application tip:  After loading an angled brush with product, ‘press’ the brush onto the lashline (it’s not necessary to drag it unless you prefer).  You can get the product very close to the lashline using this method.

Spray water on the lid of the case, and wet brush. After that, mix product with it. (Don’t spray water directly into the product.)

I will not recommend this product for tightlining (lining the inner rim of the eyes) though.  Pencil liners are preferred for tightlining because of hygiene reasons.  (Pencils should be sharpened and sanitized with alcohol before tightlining.)

Result of Liners mentioned above:

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 4 Texture of the Tape

Textures of eyetape vary, and eyeshadow primers may be required to help eyeshadows stay on eyetape

How important is texture of the eyetape in selecting the right type??

Which eyetape is better for eyeshadows to stick to? Left (smooth) or Right (textured)?

Truth be told, eyeshadows stick better on the tape on your right. There is much texture (grooves) for eyeshadows to adhere to, but unfortunately, I find that these tapes come in colours that are too pale for yellow or darker skin-tones.  For a more ‘natural’ look, the one on the left is better, BUT an eyeshadow primer (or eyeshadow base) is definitely required for the shadows to stick.

Frankly, the textured tape that I have on the right falls short of expectations as an eyetape.  My main problem with it is the colour these tapes often come in.

With a wide variety of good eye-primers we have today, eyeshadow application and adherence on eyetape are no longer issues.  Most definitely, I’d advise everyone to choose the right COLOUR and SHAPE over texture. (If you’re yellow-toned, go for a light yellow tape instead of a transparent or white tape.)

To conclude the eyetape series, I’d select my single-sided eyetape with consideration of the factors in the following order:

  1. Colour
  2. Shape
  3. Texture

These 3 factors are irrelevant if you’ve decided on getting double-sided eyelid tape which is invisible after application.  If you’re unsure about what double-sided eyelid tape is check out Part 1 of this series.

 

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 2 Choosing the Right Colour

This is Part 2 of a series on how to choose the right double eyelid tape.  Part 1 talked about the different types of eyelid tape, and in this part, I’ll talk about the right colour for the tape.  (In Parts 3 and 4 will be about the right shape and texture of the tape.)

Part 2 – How to Choose the Right Colour

The most natural foundation colour is the colour that ‘disappears’ into our skin after application. Odd that that may sound, but it’s true.  When I do makeup for a client, I will usually apply a few stripes of foundation in different tones near her jawline to see which colour blends into her skin most.  The reason for doing this is obvious: we don’t want people to see our foundation, we just want them to see that our skin tone is even.

The same holds true when we choose an eye tape.  The tape whose colour disappears into our skin is the most natural for us.  If you look at the picture below, you’ll notice that Left 2 and Middle are the closest to my skin tone, they are the ones I would use.  In fact, these 2 pieces of tape are pale yellow, not ‘transparent’ or ‘white’.

The next time you look for an eyetape, choose a yellow one (over a white or transparent one) if you’re warm toned.  It gives the most natural effect.

Avoid:

  • white / transparent tapes: they tend to reflect light, making the tape look more obvious than necessary.
  • shiny tapes – pick ‘matte‘ ones to avoid drawing attention to the tape.

Taken without flash but with slight reflection from the light overhead.

How To Choose the Right Double Eyelid Tape – Part 1 Types of Double Eyelid Tape

This is a 4-part series on some information about eyelid tapes.

——————————-

Double eyelid tapes are commonly found in Asian cosmetic stores with more varieties than ever before.

Let me share some tips with you so that the next time you go shopping for eyelid tape, you can think about these pointers before you make your selection.

The main factors to consider are these 4: ‘Type, Color, Shape and Texture.  This post covers the first one: Type.

TYPES OF DOUBLE EYELID TAPE

There are single-sided and double-sided eyelid tapes in the market.

A. Single-sided tape is like regular cellophane tape (one sided). When you stick it on your eyelid, it sits flat on the surface, thus pushing and supporting your lid, creating a fold at the top of the tape.

One type of single-sided eyelid tape - you cut the tape into your desired shape and length.

There are 2 types of single-sided eyelid tape.

  • One comes in a roll (like cellophane tape – picture above) and you need to cut them into shape yourself.
  • The other type has been cut out for you. You just need to detach them from the backing and stick them onto your lids.

B. Double-sided tape, like double-sided tape, is sticky on both sides. If applied correctly, it is hidden – sandwiched between the skin folds of your eyelid. Correctly used, you won’t be able to see the tape at all, therefore faking the most ‘natural’ looking double-eyelid for you.  The best quality double-sided eyelid tape is produced by Japan, called ‘D-Up Wonder Eyelid Tape’.

Which one to use?

1.  For newbies / those who hate fuss :  the single-sided cut-out tape
You just need to get the right shape and size for your desired double eyelid effect and tape it on. With practice you’ll get it right.

A variety of shapes are available.

2.  For the adventurous / those who are conscious about displaying their eye tape:   double-sided eyelid tape

But be warned, this is tricky to use. An applicator comes with the tape when you purchase them, but getting the tape out and sticking them correctly on your eyelids without using fingers takes practice. (But truthfully, single-sided eyelid tape is just as tricky to use!)

Who uses the eyelid tape in rolls?

This is usually used by makeup artists who encounter a variety of eye shapes in their line of work.  They also have the expertise in cutting the tape into the shape, size and length that is required.

My Verdict:

Tools for Applying False Eyelashes

1. Eyelash Applicators

Shu Uemura’s False Eyelash Applicator costs a whopping RM138 and claims to ‘enable foolproof false eyelash application. The handmade, stainless-steel applicator has a unique curved tip to hold lashes in the desired position for easy application.’

I admit I was tempted to try it out but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay this amount of money to buy something that I hardly use.

Shu Uemura's False Eyelash Applicator

I’m always on the lookout for cosmetics ‘gadgets’, so I was quite happy to see something similar at a fraction of the price. At RM5.00 I decided to give it a go.

How to use this tool:

  1. Apply glue to the base of the false lashes.  Then wait for the glue to get ‘tacky’  (ie. not wet, but not completely dry either).
  2. Hold the lashes with this tool and place the lashes at the lashline of your original lashes. The key is to apply the false lashes as close to the lashline as possible.
  3. Next,  use the fingers of  your free hand to hold the lashes in place at one corner of the eye while the applicator holds down the other end. Only let go after the lashes are in place.
  • My verdict after trying this out:  slightly helpful but not necessary.
  • Having this tool or any other tools for that matter isn’t the main issue when it comes to eyelash application.  Ultimately it boils down to practise – and practise makes perfect whether you use your fingers or  tools.

 

2.  Eyelash Adhesives

Koji eyelash adhesive - black glue; DUO eyelash adhesive - white but dries clear

DUO eyelash adhesives are truly excellent.  Application of lashes is easy, and so is their removal.  I say this because some adhesives are so sticky that it is painful to remove them.  I must say that in terms of quality of adhesion, DUO and KOJI are both good but I’ll pick DUO any day.

My verdict:

  • KOJI black eyelash adhesive:  (Pros) I have read that black adhesives are good because they make it unnecessary to apply eyeliner over the lashline.   (Cons)  However, I found that black adhesives are tricky to handle, and any slip leaves a black mark that is not easily removed.  This is only for pros.
  • DUO eyelash adhesive:  (Pros) This glue is white but dries clear.  There isn’t a problem if you happen to slip and gets the glue glue your eyeshadow.  (Cons) An extra step in applying the eyeliner is required to ensure there is a neat line at the lashline (but that’s a small issue).

DUO (left), KOJI (right) when wet

Once dry, DUO (left) is clear, KOJI (right) remains black

Truly, all you need to apply your false eyelashes well are the falsies, adhesive, trained fingers, a mirror and good eyesight.

How To Choose Natural-Looking False Lashes

If you ask me what makeup traits dominate these last few years, I’ll have to say “natural makeup” and “the use of false lashes”.

In the previous post, I blogged about what natural makeup means to me.  In this one, I’d like to talk about the use of false lashes and how to find natural-looking ones that suit you.

The use of false lashes is no longer restricted to stage shows and evening events.  In fact many people I know wear false lashes daily – even to work.  In the past, false lashes were considered acceptable only for glamorous evening events, photography and stage performances by most people.  However, with more and more ‘natural-looking’ options available, I find that people are more open to experimenting with them.

If you’re thinking of experimenting with false lashes, but you don’t want to look ‘weird’, read on to find out more about choosing false lashes that look ‘natural’.

My fav lashes - clear strip and sparse 'lashes'

Let’s consider some of the factors that affect our choices.

  •  Lighting – Day Light:

Day time makeup should be subtle.  In daylight, makeup colours show up very clearly. You will also notice that dark colours like black look harsher and heavier for in day light, and as a result, they do not flatter the wearer if too much is applied.  So, in the same way, if your false lashes are thick and long, they look exaggerated and heavy, therefore, they don’t look ‘natural’.  They also tend to cast a shadow under your eyes.

  • Lighting – Incandescent (yellow) lighting

Yellow lighting is much more forgiving than daylight.  In fact it casts a flattering glow.  For your false lashes to look ‘natural’ for an evening out, you can afford to wear lashes that are slightly longer and thicker.  And your makeup colours can be darker and slightly thicker even for a ‘natural’ look.

  • Views:

Views refer to how others see your eyes.  People look at us from various angles – up, down, left and right.   Thick, dark, false lashes just don’t look good from the side and top if you’re in day light.  They’re flattering seen in incandescent (yellow) lighting which softens your made-up look.

Avoid having lashes that darken your eyes if you’re going to spend most of your time in an office environment or an environment with bright lighting.

  •  Makeup or No Makeup:

Sparse and ‘thin’ false lashes are appropriate for a barely there makeup look (note:  not ‘no makeup’).  Even ‘natural’ makeup is makeup.  In any case, you should have some makeup on if you’re wearing false lashes.

Thick false lashes are for heavy smoky eyes and evening looks.

How should you choose your false lashes?  Bear in mind the following:

  1. Your personal style
  2. The occasion and / or the look you wish to achieve
  3. Your eye features
  4. Your own lashes

For the purpose of discussing false lashes for day makeup, let’s take a look at our own lashes.

  • What are your own lashes like?  How would you describe your lashes?  Long, thick, sparse, short, point downwards, always curled…..
  • For false lashes to look nice for a day look, you should select those that are similar to your own lashes. 

My nephew's long lashes!

My case study:

  • My natural lashes are of average length and average volume (thickness).  So, the lashes that look best on me are those that are of similar length and volume.  That is because they help to volumise my existing lashes.  If applied close enough to the lashline, they don’t even look like they are false.
  • I also notice that the falsies that look good are those that are crisscrossed at the strip.   That’s because my lashes grow that way themselves.  Falsies that have straight too-neat ‘lashes’ look odd on me because they don’t blend in well with my own.
  • I also prefer falsies that do not have a black strip.  Clear strips are better. You just need to fill in with eyeliner.

    Good lashes. Pros - fine and natural. Cons : the thick strip. They must be applied very near to the lashline.

 

Hope the notes above help with your selection of false lashes!