I'm a self-confessed makeupaholic and am positively obsessive-compulsive about eyeliners. Considering the fact that I'm teetering on the edge of turning 54, I can assure you that I have many, many years of experience with every kind of eyeliner in existence.
Apparently this eyeliner is an 'upgrade' from their now discontinued 'Code B Strong Eyes Cream Liner'. I dread to think how bad that was!
PRICE & QUANTITY:
It seemed worth a go as it was AU$18 (before shipping costs) for 4 grams. MAC fluidline costs AU$32 for 3 grams. Bobbi Brown costs AU$35 for 3 grams (it used to cost up to AU$55!)... & I don't particularly like Bobbi Brown cosmetics (although I'm tempted to try Violet Ink). I really wasn't impressed with her Black Ink, eye primer, powder, or any of the products I've bought from her range.
I bought the Drawing Show eyeliner after having had a think about trying unknown brands online & seeing a few Asian bloggers extolling the virtues of this cream eyeliner. Lesson learned - be wary of overenthusiastic, inexperienced young girls reviewing cosmetics. Ladies of all ages, please don't write reviews on the first day you use a product! I wait until I've used up the product or have had to bin it. First impressions are seldom the final impression. I suspect we all want to know products hold up in the long-term, not just when you're on a new product high!
I wanted to try a couple of BB creams so thought I'd try this in #BK801 Black One Shot, as well as Dejavu Fiberwig Lash Knockout mascara (which I LOVE & will review soon).
WHY CREAMS/GELS OVER PENCILS:
I've been using Blacktrack for a while as I can't find a replacement for my all-time favourite opaque, matte cream/gel eyeliner by Gorgeous. They only ever made the one liner in the one colour/shade (black) & excelled at it. The jar was discontinued & they now sell it in pencil form only. It's still my HG formula (I carry one around in my bag), but pencils are only for touch-ups or doing an evening eye when you're going somewhere straight from work. Keeping them sharpened well enough for the full monty on a daily basis is not only wasteful but a nightmare: I can't count how many times I've had a sharpener open up in my makeup bag & had to make time to clean everything up with rubbing alcohol!... and applying eyeliner with a stub? Grrr!
I want to apply my eyeliner in the morning without any dramas & have it stay in place until I remove it before going to bed, not drag a suitcase of brushes & products around with me all day.
WHAT THE HYPE PROMISED & WHAT IT ACTUALLY DELIVERED:
Bloggers were raving about how creamy it was; how it applied like an opaque, one swipe dream; how it stayed in place without smudging, budging, fading & was water resistant. Various swatches with rubbing & water resistance tests looked promising.
Okay, on the first day it truly went on like that. It even came with a nifty portable brush which came out of its airtight holder & clicked into the end to form a reasonable length brush you can work with then clean with a tissue & pop back into your bag without having to carry a brush around in a separate container to keep it clean. I prefer an angled brush to work with these kinds of formulas, but it's quite adequate.
HOWEVER, the moment I dipped the brush in I broke out into a sweat over the formula. It felt like on of those creams/gels that are going to dry out to a hard, waxy block very, very quickly. Sadly, I was correct. After less than a week of daily use it progressively glugged up on trying to distribute it over the brush & started drying on contact with my eyelid in a waxy glob (& I do work quickly, close the lid quickly & tightly, plus store cream eye products bottoms up in a cool, dark drawer).
Drawing in the line would take dip after dip leaving bumps of flaky liner in its wake. I tried at quick blast in the microwave - next day it was even waxier. I tried a half-dose resuscitation a la Koren Zander (EnKore). Still waxy. I ended up giving it a triple or quadruple dose of the glycerine & silicone revival technique in order to turn it into a liquid-like liner. Nope. It turned into a watery version of the weird, uneven, waxy solution that goes on unevenly. After letting it sit like that for a month, I gave it a stir this morning & tried to do a small wing tip with my finest brush. It peeled off, so I've binned it. I don't even want to save the plastic jar it came in, although it's quite sturdy & seals well.
WAS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRODUCT I LIKED?
The first two applications... oh, okay, you've twisted my arm: I could stretch that to the first three. The brush, however, is a keeper & lives in my makeup bag as a method of applying my Gorgeous eyeliner pencil without having to sharpen it every time I use it. That's a little pricy for a cheap, portable eyeliner brush that will only probably survive a couple of months of spot cleaning before it needs to be tossed. Without it, the actual product doesn't even merit even one lippie. The lippie is for the brush only.