Does functionality play a major part in the decision to purchase/use a certain piece of makeup? To me, it is a huge factor in determining which products land in my everyday makeup kit. So while I love a good pot of gel eyeliner, the handy twist-up version is what I’m more likely to reach for when I’m in a hurry (which is most of the time). So let’s see if the new Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons in (Earth)quake and (Brown)ie (USD 25) can roll with the punches.
Quick Specs: 0.5 g / 0.01 oz ; made in Korea
As far as good first impressions go, I was thrilled to find that these luxe liners are so compact! As mentioned above, I often do not have the time to fuss with separate applicators and sharpeners. The retractable pen with built-in sharpener makes the experience fuss-free. Bonus points: Swatches of the shades are on the pencil’s body, making it easy to choose the right color from the vanity.
Seeing as these are gel crayons, you can expect a creamy, smudgy application, making it suitable to blend together with other smudgy liner colors or to use as a base for intensifying eyeshadows and helping them adhere. That being said, it is a bit tricky to draw thin lines for tightlining. A lot of the liner just tends to get on the lashes, and you have to stretch your lid taut to create precision lines. It can also be challenging to achieve pointy lines like with the ever-popular winged liner look, unless you want to keep sharpening the tip to oblivion. (Basically, you end up wasting a lot of product!) If you like your regular thick lines, then this will work for you.
Another unique quality of the Highliner Gel Eye Crayons is how they set quickly but somehow stay creamy. I tried smudging over a wide area of eyelid to see if I could use these like cream stick shadows, but no dice. They smudge just a little in the eyeliner sense, but ultimately set too quickly to be able to spread evenly over a larger area. At the same time, there remains to be a slight tackiness to the fully set liners, similar to what you’d find in long-wear cream shadows. Because of this, I find that longevity on un-primed lids is at 4 hours before the liner starts to show up on the oily creases of my lids. With primer, longevity extends by 2-3 hours before creasing begins. Tip: Add an extra layer of setting powder or eyeshadow near the creases to help dry up remaining creaminess.
(Earth)quake is a black brown, while (Brown)ie is a warm-ish chocolate brown. I like to use (Earth)quake on the upper lashline for bold definition and (Brown)ie smudged on the lower lash line for a softer look. The high pigmentation and matte finish make the colors pop, though it takes 2 passes for a more opaque look.
Verdict: For speedy bold lines and pronounced color on a high-end scale, Marc Jacobs Highliners are tempting to play with. There are a total of 12 shades, and they progressively get edgier from baby blue (Deja Blue) to hot pink (Popular) to red (FineWine). I’m using mine for more traditional color palettes, and they look just as pretty.
*I received this product free-of-charge as part of campaign by Marc Jacobs Beauty and Influenster. I was not otherwise compensated for this review. Opinions expressed here are entirely my own.*