But Smashbox has eliminated this game of "Would You Rather..." with their new Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liners.
These innovative liners boast a "sharpener" built into the cap. As you screw the cap back on, the liner inside the casing pushes up a bit, while the tip is reshaped by the interior of the cap. When you take the cap off again the next time you use it, you have a precise point once again.
That sounds brilliant, doesn't it? And in many ways it is. It eliminates the mess and fuss of using a separate sharpener, and since it's not actually sharpening anything, you're not wasting any product that would otherwise be sliced off by the blade. It doesn't come to quite enough of a fine point to replace a gel or liquid liner, as the copy claims, but it's more than adequate for general eyelining needs.
It's also quite waterproof and budge-proof. Once it dries down - which it does in about 30 seconds, so move quickly if you need to smudge - it's quite resolved to stay exactly where you put it. On my notoriously demanding eyelids, it lasted 9 hours with only slight fading on the inner top lid.
It also comes in a nice assortment of colours, from the basic black and nude to very vibrant teals, and the pigmentation is intense, and the application super smooth.
|Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner|
Top to bottom: Raven, Bare, Violetta, Cabana
So what's the downside? Well, the thing that makes it work as well as it does is also what makes it impossible for me to use on my waterline. For a pencil to be remain soft enough to be molded into a point, it's likely to be too creamy to last when applied to the waterline. That's what I found to be true here, with barely an hour going by before the liner disappeared entirely. This was especially problematic with Bare, as I bought it for the sole purpose of lining the bottom waterline.
Their softness also makes lining the lower lashline a little difficult, as the tip can get caught up in the lashes and crumble around them, leaving a messy line behind. I had to take care to really get in under my lashes.
If you generally have good luck with liners staying in your waterline, you might get longer wear out of these than I did. In which case, you might unequivocally love them.
Availability: At Sephora stores and www.sephora.com, as well as certain Pharmaprix/SDM and Murale locations. Also at www.smashbox.com, which does ship to Canada. Price is 23$ CAD and 20$ USD.
Pros: Great shade range, self "sharpening", excellent pigmentation, generally budge-proof and waterproof.
Cons: Doesn't last in my waterline at all, but YMWV. Very soft texture can lead to crumbling during application when worked against the lashline.
(I purchased these items.)