When it comes to eyeliner, I'm usually a creature of habit.
I tend to stick with the waterproof formulas from just three brands—Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner—because I've had the best luck with their application, longevity and lack of smearing.
But recently, I've added some new Clinique liners into the rotation. They're not a brand I considered for eyeliners before, so I'm impressed!
They're called Skinny Sticks, and they look like this:
They are indeed much skinnier than your usual liner, at 2/3 the diameter of traditional pencils, and are intended for detail-oriented line work right close to the lash lines.
Clinique doesn't come right out and say to use them in your waterlines, but that's my preference with these. But of course, they're also good for creating very skinny lines just outside the inner rims.
Here, you can appreciate how tiny they are:
They are also self-sharpening; just twist the liner up!
Skinny Stick Shades and Swatches
Clinique sent me three Skinny Sticks to try: 01 Slimming Black, 05 Skinny Jeans (royal blue) and 06 Demi Grape (purple). As you can see by the tips in the photo above, I've been wearing the blue and the black the most!
Here's a swatch of my three:
The colours glide on really easily and comfortably, without dragging on your delicate eye-area skin at all.
I've been using them to create looks like this, with the 05 Skinny Jeans in my waterlines all the way around.
The effect isn't too harsh, which I love. And unlike some eyeliners (I'm looking at you, Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner and Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl!), they don't irritate my eyes or make me tear up. Thank you, Clinique ophthalmologist testing!
Now, all of these things would be pointless if they didn't also last a long time. But they do! Even though the Skinny Sticks don't claim to be waterproof—just long-wearing—they've held up surprisingly well on me without smearing and smudging. In fact, in my experience they just tend to fade instead of transferring unattractively underneath your eyes or on your upper lids.
If you love a soft liner look and want something that's very easy to use in the waterlines, I would definitely check out the Skinny Sticks! They glide on smoothly and shouldn't give sensitive eyes any problems. Plus, I think you'll be very happy with how well they wear.
Skip them if you prefer your lines to be more sharp, dark and graphic. I think these liners are better for softer, slightly smudgier/more faded, natural looks.
Where to Buy
Have you checked out the Skinny Sticks yet?
What did you think?