I was ready to dislike the new Shu Uemura Calligraph Ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen based on the annoyance of the several tries it took me to insert the cartridge the pen. The instructions were printed in the tiniest imaginable font (yes, I was wearing my glasses), and I really wanted to avoid an explosion of black liquid liner all over me, so I was probably a bit too careful. It took a few minutes to get it right and hear the satisfying little click, and then there was the issue of ink flow, but even at that first attempt I could tell that annoying or not, this Shu Uemura product was interesting.
The pen arrived a few hours before I boarded a flight, so it was a very last minute addition to my travel baggie. I first applied it on the plane, and kept using the Shu Uemura pen throughout my trip even though I packed a couple of other eyeliners. The ease of drawing a fine line with the unique brush (my hand is not the most stable) won me over, as did the true black color. But it's the formula itself that sealed my opinion: I was on the go for nearly two weeks with little time for touchups or dealing with messes. Shu Uemura Calligraph Ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen held from morning to night through thick, thin, beach weather and rain.
I actually like the idea of a refillable pen that you keep using with new cartridges. I don't know how long the brush applicator can hold with frequent use or how far each cartridge will last, but so far the ink flows as beautifully and as black as it did three weeks ago, so I'm a fan.
Bottom Line: More colors, please!
Shu Uemura Calligraph Ink Liquid Eyeliner Pen ($20 for the applicator, additional $15 for every cartridge) is available from shuuemura-usa.com and in other countries also at Shu counters.
* Book in the background of the photos is Style Eyes by Taylor Chang-Babaian.