Average Rating 4.3/5
Review by proximitythe53rd
I just love this eyeliner. It's a little more complicated to use than the average pencil eyeliner, but the results are worth learning the technique, and once you've figured out how to make it work for you, it actually takes less time than a pencil eyeliner (unless you make a big mistake that has to be cleaned up).
One thing I have noticed that may have something to do with the 'learning curve' on this product I only found out after re-purchasing (I lost my first Guerlain Kohl and had to replace it). I think that when this is brand new and completely full, it's actually a bit harder to use than once you've used up some of the product. So that's something to keep in mind .. it's like too much of the powder comes out on the wand or something. I will include some application tips later on in this review.
Anyhow. I love the Guerlain Loose Kohl for its rich, dark color, and for its lasting power on the waterline. I won't lie to you, nothing I've ever tried has stayed on my waterline all day long, it just isn't possible. And actually, I have tried something that lasts longer than this - Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes. But I still don't like it as much as the Guerlain Kohl for the waterline for a couple reasons: 1.) you don't get the same depth of black, 2.) you have to put more pressure and pull more on your delicate eyelid and waterline to use the pencil, 3.) pencil doesn't blend into the lash line with the same ease and effortless beauty as the powder, 4.) Aqua Eyes is much harder to wash off, 5.) the Guerlain Kohl wears off the waterline in a more attractive way than any pencil I've used, and 5.) the main reason I don't use the Aqua Eyes on my waterline: it stings like hell for me. I know that particular point won't be the same for everyone. I am not a contact lens wearer, but I do apparently have very sensitive eyes, or at least sensitive waterlines. Chanel's le Crayon Yeux, at least in black, also does not irritate my waterline, but it's not a true dark black, it appears more like a gray/black color. It's a great liner, but doesn't produce the dark black waterline that everyone seems to be after. Urban Decay 24/7 liners sting on my waterline (though I adore them). I can use Laura Mercier's caviar cake liner on my waterline with only minimal stinging, but similar to the Chanel liner it doesn't give the true black that I'm after. LM Kohl also unfortunately stings, but not as much as the MUFE. The color pay-off and the way it wears (though not the length of wear) are more similar to the Guerlain Kohl. I know that information about what stings and what doesn't on the waterline will not be the same for everyone, but hopefully the above will help someone. The point of all of this is that despite the fact that I often get this product on my actual eyeball (no kidding!) it doesn't sting AT ALL. You blink it away, and the excess will accumulate by your tear-duct, and then you can dab it away with a cotton bud. When you apply this kohl, it doesn't just cover your waterline, it also sort of meshes into the lash-line, simply achieving the same lash-line darkness that is the target of tight-lining, but a smokier, softer more blended version of it. However, unlike some pencil liners, it does not continue to migrate beyond this point, and give you raccoon eyes. At least not in my experience, even of wearing it on hot days or when I was sweating. People with very oily lids may have a different experience. I also find that when this inevitably does come off of my waterline, instead of migrating down my face, or looking uneven or weirdly clumped, it just all ends up in my lashline. To be honest, it's still a beautiful look, and so even though my waterline won't be covered, I don't mind wearing a product that will 'wear off' half-way through the day as at least it does so in an attractive way. There is a chance of black 'eye boogers' but that's always a risk when you put color on your waterline, and can be fixed easily with a little tissue or toilet paper. As for lasting power, most eyeliners will give me about an hour. Guerlain Kohl will give me something like 3-4 hours wear if I'm careful not to wipe my eyes. MUFE Aqua Eyes can give me 5-6 hours wear (on the waterline; it lasts forever on the eyelid), but at the price of stinging eyes for the first 2 or so hours. The Guerlain Kohl will give me beautifully lined eyes all day long, but after about 4 hours there's not really any liner left on the waterline, it's all in the lashline.
Application tips. This isn't the easiest product to learn to use, and if you want to use it correctly (the 'eastern method') you can't be too squeamish about touching your eyes. If you get fall-out when you apply this, then do your foundation/concealer after your eye makeup. If you've perfected your skills applying this, you won't get fallout anymore (or at least I don't). Pull out the wand, and tap firmly to shake loose excess powder. With my eye shape, it's easier to do each eye in two parts. First I point the tip of the wand to the outside corner of my eye, resting the wand parallel to my waterline, and gently close my eye and draw the wand toward the inner corner, lining more or less 1/2 my eye (the outer half). Then I open my eye, and re-position the wand pointing toward the inner corner of my eye with the wand again parallel to my waterline. Again I gently close my eye and draw the wand toward the outer corner. I line the whole eye this second time, but if I do this alone, I often have a tiny gap or a sparse patch toward the outer corner which is why I now do it in two swipes. When you close your eye on the wand, you can't be afraid to let the wand touch your eye. It might feel weird, but it won't hurt. If you don't get the wand close enough in, then basically your eye-lashes brush all the powder off the wand, and that ends up all over your cheeks. I think this accounts for many problems with fall-out and the messiness that people complai