Makeup Wars: Liquid vs Kohl Eyeliner

by Charlene Flanagan

I found myself in need of an eyeliner, and two days ago, I headed to the beauty store to buy one. As always, I was keen to see what's new, revisit the tried and tested, and check what the other women were buying from my side-eye view. After drawing up the battle lines on my hand using the testers to gauge the finish of the product, I found myself conflicted between a liquid and kohl eyeliner, both of which were priced about the same.

I bought them both because, hey, they can't go bad before I'm done using them, plus, it saves me a trip back to the store in a few months. Unable to decide which one to start off with, I used them on consecutive days and here's what I found:

Application: Now, most liquid liners come with an applicator brush that one must sweep across the eyelid in as few strokes as possible. Perfect for the evening look, I found it easier to execute a clean cat eye owing to its narrow tip. Application: The kohl liner is more like a crayon. This one's easy to execute even in the backseat of the car (perhaps at a traffic light). However, the tip of the kohl liner lays it on thick, so don’t go poking the inner corners of your lids; chances are, you'll end up with racoon eyes.
Skill Level: Truth be told, it takes a lot of skill to nail the liquid eyeliner, and if you’re a novice, we recommend you stick to the kohl one. You need practice sessions, a steady hand, a Q-tip to clean out the mess you may make, and serious grit if you draw out of the lines with the waterproof or long-lasting versions. If you must, start off with a liquid pen eyeliner until you've mastered the art. Skill Level: There’s no denying the ease of use when it comes to the kohl pencil. The thick casing makes it easier to grip, and the softer tone allows you to correct mistakes as you fill in the canvas that is your eye line. If anything, one might find themselves taking too many risks with the kohl eyeliner and laying it on a tad too thick, because, when things come easy, we tend to go rogue.
Hygiene: With liquid makeup, the chance for bacteria to form and thrive is higher. This, along with the fact that the solution dries up over time, makes liquid liner have a shorter shelf life (as little as three months). Hygiene: Kohl pencils require the use of a sharpener to freshen the tip. This means this product is hygienic, and will give you a lot more uses than that of the liquid variety (for as long as two years)
Finish: Want a smooth, glossy finish? Go with liquid liner. There’s no denying the appeal of the product, particularly if you want to create graphic lines and get artistic. Also, the waterproof variety won't bleed or smudge and you could look just as well-put-together, even after 5-7 hours of partying in a club. Finish: A kohl pencil will give you a more matte finish, plain and simple. Kohl is better for everyday use, but even then, one must always carry wet wipes because kohl tends to smudge and get diffused, particularly if you have deep-set eyes.

The Verdict
Now I, personally, have decided to use them both simultaneously; the liquid liner will sit in my makeup kit till the next cocktail party while the kohl liner will find its place in my handbag for everyday use.

Also, I'm a big fan of lining my lower lid when I have the extra time, and this one works well because it's easy to maneuver, and leaves you with a smokey unfinished finish (get what I'm saying?).

If I absolutely had to pick just one, it would be the kohl because it tends to be cheaper, is more hygienic with a longer shelf life, and is super easy to use. Now, pardon my exit as I head to the makeup mirror with all my lovely little beauty buys.

Join The Conversation



What's On Now & Next


Channel Finder

Find Z Living in your area