13 Feb 2012

Battle of the Cheap Eyeliner Pens: Rimmel Flash v Avon Extra Lasting

Some cheap pen liners.  Well, when they're on sale...
It seems that most of my posts of late are straying into budget makeup.  That's fine, it's information I'm asked for on a regular basis, anyhow.  This post is no different.

While away of a weekend, and realising I'd neglected my usual gel eyeliner (Clinique cream liner, for reference), although recalling exactly where on my dresser I'd left it was precious little use to me, I decided to buy a cheap eyeliner.  Rimmel were having a special offer; their Flash Eyeliner pen was at half price (around €4 instead of the usual €8).  I'm not a huge fan of this kind of magic-marker-pen type of eyeliner, it reminds me far too much of using one to fill-in my eyebrow in my early 20's when for some bizarre (probably drunken) reason I'd cut interesting shapes into my brows "for fun" (cue much mirth and then some lamenting at 7am en route to work the next day).  But it was cheap and I figured it'd do the trick.

And that it certainly did.  This is an ok liner, certainly for €4.  It is reasonably black, but not black-as-the-ace-of-spades black.  It dries reasonably quickly.  It didn't budge during the day.  Its nib is flexible enough, long enough, pointed enough, to create a decent thin line or a flick.  But fast-forward a couple of weeks and, despite the lid being firmly closed (with a click) shut, it's already starting to dry out.  Hmmmm.  Unless you're going to use it to death for a few weeks and are then happy to dump it, this isn't a great endorsement (that said, the MAC version I have of this also dries out reasonably quickly too).

On a recent Avon purchase binge, I decided in a fit of whimsy, to pop Avon's offering into my shopping cart.  Theirs, called an Extra Lasting eyeliner pen, is a slightly better product.  It was more or less the same cost, €9 I think, but also on half price when I purchased*.

* I'm a sucker for half-price purchases.  I have a fabulous D&G beige silk trench coat that I never ever ever wear, because trench coats don't suit me, and neither does beige.  I bought it because it was half price in BT.  Daft, I know.  I am a marketer's dream.

Blurry Goodness:
Avon on the left, Rimmel on the right
This one is a bit blacker.  As you can see from the comparative and rather blurry swatches, it's a more true black than the (by now, starting to dry out somewhat) Rimmel pen liner.  The nib isn't as long as the Rimmel one, but it's easy to work with, flexible enough but soft enough that it almost seems like a really really fine pointed liner brush.  It's also a much wetter formula, and if you're in a hurry, as I was this morning when I used it, I needed to set it with some matte black shadow to dry it off, so I wouldn't wind up transferring it (in a doubtless interesting looking but unwanted makeup statement) to my socket line.  It made creating a cat-eye effortless, and in two minutes flat, whereas I know if I'm going to be faffing around with liquid or gel eyeliner, I'll allow myself more time than that in the morning.  It lasted all day and didn't budge.  The only thing I will say is that if you have very dry or crêpe-y lids, this one might not be a runner; as I have one stubborn central-heating-caused dry patch on my inner tearduct area, and the liner bled slightly into some of the dry cracks (nothing a Q-tip couldn't fix as soon as it was dry, but worth remembering).

I have been using it for a few weeks now, on and off, when I'm in a hurry, and it hasn't shown any sign of drying up yet.  At €4 I definitely recommend.  For a quick-fix product, it's a good one.  Would I spend €9 on it?  Probably not...

Recommended?  The Avon one, if it's half price.  Don't bother with the Rimmel one.


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