Quite a few months ago, a giant box popped up on my door step all the way from the USA. No sender details, just like my mystery package from Bite last year. It was truly a mystery. But when I opened it, I let it a squeal of delight – and you know I don’t squeal.
Inside, was every single one of the (then) brand new Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon pencils! I was stoked and stumped all at once.
The Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon is the matte version of their bestselling Highliner Gel Eye Crayon, which contains shimmer. While I had been very impressed by the Marc Jacobs liquid eyeliner, I had yet to try their pencil liners. This came at an opportune time, for I’ve been using colourful eyeliners in place of eyeshadow for a while – call it laziness or just a bit of apathy.
Oh and this is going to sound really trite, but these liners are AMAZING! I swear, they don’t transfer at all, not one bit! That is what impressed me the most. Let me show you how they hold up to water in my little experiment.
The Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte eyeliners come in silver bodied pencils, but are retractable. I like that, and it’s easy to twist up and twist back down. If you prefer a sharper tip, a sharpener is included, at the back of each pencil. You just have to pull it out, and it sharpens the liner.
This isn’t terribly innovative, as we’ve seen this before in many brands now. But it’s clever as it means you won’t lose it, and you can take it everywhere you go. However, I will warn you that you won’t get a nice sharp tip as you will when it arrives. If you see that cobalt blue pencil at the bottom left, it has been manually sharpened by me, and the tip is a little off, as compared to the others which are brand new from the box.
The other thing I will note is that the texture of the pencil is quite soft. In our tropical heat, it is liable to break, especially if you put too sharp a tip on it. I was quite careful while doing the swatches, but even then, as you will see below, I managed to break one of the tips.
These are presently all the colours available in the Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte eyeliner series, and I can’t deny that it bugged me that there was no basic matte black included. The deepest shade is (Iron)y, which is a deep grey-brown that is dark, but not exactly black. In the regular line, there is a shade Blacquer, which is a nice black, but has some shine in it. It would be nice if MJ Beauty came up with a matte black, because, these eyeliners are the bomb!
If you live in fear of your eyeliner transferring (as I do), then have no more fear, for these Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte eyeliners do not transfer. Not. One. Bit. I was surprised, as often, even with the most tenacious of liners, I will find a shadow on my under eye area. Not this time. Gone are the days when I have to surreptitiously wipe away at my under-eye area, hoping against hope that I’m not presenting a panda face to the person I’m talking to LOL! 😀
They are also incredibly waterproof once they set, and transfer proof.
In the top photo, I ran water down my swatches, after I’d scrubbed at them first, with a piece of tissue paper – no transfer at all. I was already impressed. On the photo below, is after I’d patted my arm dry, and while there is some fading of colour, the eyeliner is still pretty much intact.
“Ok, so this is on your arm, how about on lids – I don’t wear eyeliner on my arms!”
You are absolutely right. I don’t have photos to show you what it looks like on my lids, but I have worn some of the brighter colours as an eyeliner on the top lid, and some of the deeper shades to tightline. As I noted above, either way, there was no transfer onto my lower lid. It made me more comfortable and more confident to wear these bright colours (I’ve been lazy!)
However, and there is always a fly in the ointment, there are 2 things that do not endear these liners to me.
- These liners do smudge and fade – They are tenacious and stick onto your lid without transferring, but they do smudge and fade after a few hours. I don’t have oily lids and I don’t have a general problem with eye colours fading on me or creasing, but these do. After a few hours, the colour is still there, but it has creased and faded. Not unsightly, as it doesn’t transfer, but it does look less polished. This is true even when I use for tightlining. There is no transfer to my lower lid, but the colour fades.
- These liners can’t get a precise line – I can’t get a very precise line with these eyeliners, which is a common problem when using pencil liners instead of liquid liners. So, these liners are good for use as definition, but not if you are a fan of the cat-eye flick or winged eyeliner.
The colours are however, very intense and pigmented, and a very interesting array of shades. Here are all the swatches of the Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte eyeliners for your viewing pleasure 🙂
Each swatch was done by drawing just 1 line down my arm so the colour is pretty much what you see is what you get. As I noted above, the texture is a little soft, and you can see how the nib for (Pop)ular (red) has broken (and caused an unholy mess!)
Of all the shades, my favourites that I would recommend you check out are (Earth)quake (dark brown), (Brown)ie (Medium brown), (Iron)y (Dark Grey-brown) and (Over)night (Dark blue). These are the most versatile shades that you can use on their own, or to define your eyes. If you want a pop of colour in place of regular eyeshadow, then one of the more pop colours will work. I’m still wondering how to work in (Fine)wine (burgundy) and (Pop)ular (red), so if you have ideas I am all ears! 😀
I did also find that the texture of the 2 purple shades – (Grape)Vine (Dark Purple) and Mist Me? (Light purple), less satisfactory. The colour was not as pigmented as I expected it to be, after the others I’d swatched, and I had to go over to get the intensity of colour I wanted. I do however note that this is a common issue I face in most purple eyeliners, not only from Marc Jacobs, but from most brands.
Out of the Blue (cobalt blue) and Whirl(Pool) (turquoise green) are very bright pops of colour that I wear alone, and they do look quite interesting. I had a friend I met for coffee ask me what I was wearing, when I wore Whirl(Pool) because it’s quite an unusual turquoise green that you don’t get elsewhere. This is a shade you often see in eyeshadow palettes, but you rarely get the intensity of colour that you do in an eyeliner like this one.
As for Deja Blue (pastel blue) and Pink of Me (pastel pink), two strange pastel shades, I use them to line my under eye waterline to brighten the eye area. Useful when your eyes look red and irritated, or if you’ve had lack of sleep.
All in all, I love these purely for the reason they do not transfer to my lower lid and under-eye area, and although they will smudge, crease and fade, they do not travel. But for the price, I have to say, I did expect them to stay put a little better.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon eyeliners are retractable pencil eyeliners that come with an in-built sharpener. The gel crayon is very intense, and the colours are pigmented, strong and matte. I love these because they stay put and do not transfer at all. Not one tiny bit! However, I do find that on me, they will fade, crease and smudge (albeit not travel) which can bug me. If I use them on their own, it is less impressive. If I use it with a powder eyeshadow, or as an eyeshadow base, or just to lightly define the eyes, or tightline, then it is impressive. They don’t transfer! I haven’t come across an eyeliner so resistant in a very long time! You will need an oil based eye makeup remover to remove, or a cleansing oil.
PROS: Water resistant, Does not transfer (not even onto tissue paper!), Very pigmented and intense colours, In-built sharpener is practical if you carry the pencil around, Pencil is easy to retract and extend
CONS: Will smudge and crease even on non-oily lids, Hard to get a defined flick for winged eyeliner, Crayon is a little soft and liable to break especially if it is hot, No matte black colour
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants an eyeliner that does not transfer and stays put
PRICE: RM100 | US$25 each
Have you tried the Marc Jacobs Highliner eyeliners? What’s your favourite colour?
I know quite a few people have tried these before, as I’ve had them recommended to me. Do you too experience the smudging and creasing? I’m rather curious as I don’t see it mentioned much, as the lasting power and non-transfer properties impresses most people. I’d love to know your experience with these, and suggestions on how to use red or burgundy eyeliner! 🙂