Following the steps of The Great Mascara Hunt, Blogger Jilbean has started a similar quest for eyeliner and has invited me to participate. This should be fun and produce many reviwes. I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only one around here who finds the liner to be the most essential item in her arsenal (and has about 20 different ones at any given point).
Eyeliner was the first makeup product that I ever wore. Even before lip color. Probably because my mother never liked lipstick and had none, while a black pencil liner was always present. For some reason. the girls in my class belonged to the school of thought that promoted using said black liner on the inside of the lower lashes. The eighties for us were, apparently, all about scary raccoon eyes.
Liquid liner, the kind you apply with a thin brush was very "out" and remained so until around 1988 where the first precise eyeliners that came in the form of a felt-tip pen took the market by storm (and are still here with us. Who doesn't own at least one Lancome Artliner?). My first one was a black Helena Rubenstein (I hear that you can stil buy them in Europe and Asia, sadly the brand is no longer available here in the US). While I've never (to this day) managed to gain the skill of applying a regular liquid liner, those pen-like applicators were easy to use, and even I learned to draw a nice, even line. I was no longer defining my lower lashes, but black was still the only color I used.
Then came 1990 and I discovered colors and subtlety. My first ever trip to the Clinique counter has resulted in discovering brown. I got the Charcoal Brown eyeshading pencil, that despite its name was much more of an eyeliner than a shadowing pencil, being thin, not very smudgy, it stayed put for hours, never bled and was suitable for drawing thin lines. This was my staple and no-effort liner for years. Still is, actually, but to my dismay, the whole line (not just the color) has been discontinued. You can still find it on ebay here and there, and for a hefty price. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks that this was a perfect color.
It was brown, but a cool one, not warm, because of the charcoal element. It was perfect with my skin tone. Dark or deep and rich browns are good on me, as are greys- charcoal, silver, smoke and slate. But this color that combined the best of both groups looked perfect and blended well with almost any other eye makeup I used.
Part of my Great Hunt will be about finding a suitable replacement.