Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Julep Ink Gel Eyeliner & Angled Liner Brush

Julep Ink gel eyeliner, Julep angled liner brush, review, @girlythingsby_e

Those Julep Eye Sheen liquid eye shadows weren't the only products Julep wanted me to test out. They also sent over their Ink gel eyeliner and angled liner brush too. In case you didn't know, I have a soft spot for winged eyeliner. I love a good waterproof, ink black eyeliner product. I'm surprised I haven't talked about this more since I'm essentially always rocking a wing. 

Well, now it's out there. And here's a confession, I love a good winged liner more than a smokey eye. I know. Shut the front door. But it's true. Even though I have lots of love for a smoked out eye (me-ow!), there's something about a winged liner that's just perfection to me. And it doesn't hurt that it helps give the eyes a little lift. 

With all that in mind, can we just take a moment of excitement over here? I was practically bouncing off the walls when this little number arrived in my mailbox. I'm always down to try out a new gel or liquid liner. 

Before we delve into how this testing session worked out for me, let's take a look at what Julep says about their product and what we should expect (taken directly from their site):
This creamy jet-black eyeliner is packed with encapsulated pigments that deliver intense lines with a silky-smooth, smudge-proof finish 
A Julep-exclusive blend of age-defying ingredients, Power Cell Complex™ provides rapid hydration without leaving an oily residue on skin. Discover our complete line of Power Cell Complex™ products. 
Key Ingredients:
Rosehip seed oil – delivers essential fatty acids to the skin, locking in moisture
Malvaceae Lipid Extract™ - provides immediate and long-lasting hydration
Green coffee bean oil – invigorates skin and promotes cell turnover
To use:
Create thick or thin lines with Angled Liner Brush. Cap tightly between uses.
Sound promising, right? Let's see how it stacks up.

Julep Ink gel eye liner, review, @girlythingsby_e


As I've come to expect with gel liners, this one is packaged in a little glass pot. It has 0.15 oz of product. The package seems pretty small, but the contents should last. The container is sturdy and the clear glass lets you see the product's color. 

Nothing earth shattering here, folks. This packaging works well for this type of product, so it's no surprise Julep used it. 

Performance and consistency:

Again, pretty standard (in a good way). The formula is creamy and smooth and feels smooth going on the lid. It's got a lot of pigment and delivers inky black lines. While it looks shiny when it goes on, it dries down to more of a matte finish. I'm happy to report the formula glides on pretty easily and the angled brush they provided allowed me to draw on thin and thick lines with ease.

Julep Ink gel eyeliner swatch, review, @girlythingsby_e

When swatched on the back of my hand, and allowed to dry, it stayed put, not matter how much I rubbed on it. Needless to say, this set my expectations high. 

Sadly, that kind of smudge-proof performance (a must-have in my book when it comes to gel liner) didn't translate when I wore it on my eyes. I experienced product transfer from my lash line to my eye lid as I wore it throughout the day, even when I waited for it to dry. I'd check out my makeup in the mirror to find a faint grey line along my crease - not exactly what I was shooting for. I also experienced smudging along the outer corner of my eyes. And when I wore it along my lower waterline, it traveled to my lash line - giving me an unintended smoked out look. 

It seems that as long as the gel liner doesn't come into contact with water, it stays in place. But once you introduce a bit of moisture, it smudges.I decided to test this theory. I swatched the liner on the back of my hand (again). Let it dry. And then tried smudging it with a dry finger (I wasn't gentle either). It stayed put. Then I dampened my finger and tried again. Smudge city. (Cue major sadness)

As you can imagine, this creates a problem. Eyes are naturally wet. When you add in sweat caused by heat and humidity and pollen-induced wateriness, it ups the anti. I need a gel liner that won't break down in the face of a bit of moisture (after all, I wasn't trying to wear it while standing in the shower). I can't say the smudging was terrible -- I didn't have crazy raccoon eyes. But it was noticeable, especially when trying for a clean look. Sad to report, this just didn't work out for me. 

About the angled brush:

Like the shader brush I recently tried out, Julep's angled liner brush retails for $18. It's bristles are soft, but stiff enough to do the job. It washes well (no shedding or shape loss) and I love the sleek shiny black design. I love that the bristles aren't thick, because it makes it possible to be precise and draw on a thin line. 

I think $18 is a bit pricey, especially since it's pretty easy to find angled brushes just about anywhere. But at least it's good quality. And if you're in the market for a mid- to higher- cost brush, I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Plus, it's also cruelty free. 

Overall thoughts:

I think Julep has a little tweaking left to do on this formula. The the color and consistency are there. It's super dark and glides on easily. However, when it comes in contact with moisture (as it will around the eyes), it's not smudge-proof. Considering this retails for $22, I consider smudging a problem -- especially since other gel liners out there stay put. If we can fix that one thing, it will make a world of difference.

Once they have the smudging issue resolved, I'd love to see a few more colors. Perhaps a brown and a navy blue for when you want a softer line (or even for when you just want some variety). 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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