Happy Monday! As we begin the working week, I want to talk about the liquid eyeliners I’ve been using lately. These are the two shades of the NYX Epic Liner, which are in the shades ‘Brown‘ and ‘Black‘, respectively. I initially picked up just the brown shade, which is the one I have the most experience with, but after one of my backup black liquid liners was an immediate dud, I went out of my way to pick up the black shade as well, so for once I’m testing the full shade range.
If you’re in the UK and looking to purchase from NYX or these specific liners, they can be found in both Boots and Superdrug, with Superdrug recently stocking the brand in-stores. They retail for £9.00 each, which is a little on the pricey side for me, but if you can get these as part of a sale or offer, this is something to bear in mind. NYX is considered a cruelty-free brand by much of the beauty community, so if you’re a fellow cruelty-free consumer, this is something to take notice of.
As far as the packaging goes, the box you buy it in is a simple and realistic size: the shade is obvious on the box including on its side, which makes the shade easy to identify in-store. I don’t keep my liners in their box on my makeup storage, but if you are inclined to do so, they will be easy to pick out from among other liners.
The liners themselves are simple pen-style liners, with slender tubes that fit nicely in my makeup storage. The cap is quite rigid and tricky to pull off at times, which as much of a nuisance as it can be after my skincare routine (excess skincare on my hands makes for butter-fingers), it’s reassuring that the cap won’t just pop off if it falls on the floor. Whether this is a pro or con is down to personal preference, but for me this is a pro while being a minor inconvenience.
As far as the liner itself goes, they’re a really flexible brush tip which is great for me as I find rigid brush tips really difficult to control. However, it’s not too flexible that it’s difficult to maintain a smooth line either. As someone with shaky hands (yay, GAD…) it’s very easy for me to make mistakes when applying makeup, especially when those mistakes are as obvious as liner can be, I find this is fairly easy to use. I do make mistakes often, mostly because I’m so shaky, but it’s also easy to clean off with a cotton bud and some moisturiser.
The formula itself is very liquid-y, and requires between 30 seconds to a minute to dry down. However, once it dries down, it doesn’t budge. My experience typically is to make sure I don’t let my lids touch my crease or fully close my eyes until it dries, as the liner does have the tendency to transfer to my crease or from my lashes if it’s not completely dried down.
Speaking of lashes, because of how liquid-y the formula is, it does have a tendency to coat individual lashes, which can transfer to my lower lashes or under eyes when not given enough time to dry down. It also becomes a bit of an inconvenience when washing the liner off because it presents the same dilemma as when I try to remove mascara. I often wake up with panda eyes because micellar water doesn’t do a good enough job washing it off my eyelashes. So if you are going to use this liner, I suggest using a cleansing oil instead, which I find is much more successful.
In terms of pigmentation, this is where it really impresses me. My swatches above are intentionally thick so you can differentiate the two shades more easily, but you can definitely apply a super thin line if you want to. I’m going to get the nit-picking out the way quickly, but if you’re looking at the brown shade in-store and feeling put off by the shade on the box, I suggest swatching it yourself. It’s a dark brown instead of the medium-brown it suggests on the box, which I think NYX unfortunately overlooked.
The brown shade is my go-to liner at the moment, as I find brown is more flattering on my pale skin for everyday. I wear this both on bare eyes and on eyeshadow looks that are more on the subtle side. The black shade is also extremely pigmented and consistently so, which is not only impressive in itself, but also looks good on the eyes. I typically wear black eyeliner on more dramatic and pigmented eyeshadow looks so the line stands out, so I don’t use this shade as much.
One of the major pet peeves I’ve noticed after around two months of using the brown shade is that the packaging has recently started to leak on my hands while using it, which means I need to clean up my hands after most applications. I tested the leaking during my trip home over the weekend by securing it inside a plastic bag during travel, and it didn’t leak. For some reason the liner leaks product only during use for me, and I’ve resulted to storing my liners with the tips pointed vertically upwards, just in case it might help. I typically store my liners vertically facing down so gravity helps keep the liquid flowing to the nib, but this seems to be a liner that benefits too much from it. I haven’t used my black shade enough to find out if it also leaks, so please bear this in mind.
On the eyes, I’ve created some really simple yet pretty winged liner looks, including the one above. I used this photo originally for my review of the GOSH 3in1 Hybrid Eyes eyeshadow pot, but I also want to use it as an example for this liner as well, where I use the brown shade for my eye look. I’ve created thin lines and very thick liner looks, and enjoy both.
Against my dark lashes, the brown shade is very subtle and approachable for me. The black shade however is very pigmented and can look a bit stark on my bare eyelids. However, if you really like black liners and want one that doesn’t budge once set, this is definitely one to consider. I love both shades for their dedicated purposes in my makeup routine, although I do have a bias towards the brown shade for reasons I feel like I’ve gone over quite thoroughly.
Even on days when my eyelids are particularly hooded (this is usually when I’m particularly tired), this liner doesn’t transfer once it’s dried down. So if you have mono-lids or hooded eyelids that often struggle with liner transferring, this is a great option for you.
Overall I really like these liners, but I do have some irks with it. For the most part, I think they’re worth tolerating because the performance is so impressive, but I don’t plan to repurchase these for the time being because there are other liners on the market I’m looking forward to eventually trying. However, if I don’t find a better liquid liner, I would repurchase these, as I do think they’re reliable albeit a bit messy after a couple months of use. The price tag does give me pause, however for their performance, I think they’re worth trying at least once and then decide if your experience is more positive or negative. For me the ratio is more on the positive side.
That concludes my review of the NYX Epic Ink Liners. Have you tried these before or considering picking them up? I’d love to hear about your experiences, and they’d definitely be helpful to other readers, if you wish to share them. Regardless, thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope your weekend was restful and that your week is as stress-free as possible.