Monday, 8 July 2013

Yves Saint Laurent The Black Eyeliner

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached and asked if I would like to try out a beauty product courtesy of the Debenhams website. I don't accept many offers for products these days, however, how could I possibly refuse this one? And ultimately, this is what I chose:

Why did I pick Yves Saint Laurent's The Black Eyeliner?

Choosing was an incredibly tough decision, but I decided quite quickly that I wanted a liquid eyeliner, and it pretty much stemmed from there.

I've had a rocky love affair with liquid liners since my late teens, when I first tried them out. As I don't have a very steady hand, I've struggled to apply them, and I found that thicker brushed liners were a complete nightmare for me. So, for years, I avoided liquid ones all together. That was until I discovered my now usual go-to liquid liner: Rimmel's Glam'Eyes Liner. I've only managed to master applying liquid liner over the past 12 months, and from using the Glam Eyes one, I've definitely come to the conclusion that finer brush liners are the best option for me.

There were several reasons why I decided to finally choose the YSL option:

  1. I've never tried anything by YSL before
  2. It had a fine brush
  3. It was one of very few eyeliners, that had a score of 5 out 5, and ratings are incredibly important to me, because it's nice to be able to gauge how other people have found a product.

First Impressions and Expectations

Well, you know that you're buying a product that is a little bit more upmarket, when it not only comes in a box, but it also comes with instructions! I honestly don't think I ever imagined to get an instruction leaflet with an eyeliner!

I actually got a little bit excited when I picked it up and opened it, because this is a brand that I consider to be a "luxury" type of item, especially compared to my usual brand, which is of course Rimmel. Price-wise this is totally the opposite end of the spectrum, which meant that I had high expectations that this would not only beat but wipe the floor with the product it would hopefully replace.


Packaging-wise it's pretty much what I expected. It keeps strong the tradition of gold that I know YSL is famous for, and I love that the wand is relatively long:

I love long wands for eyeliners, because I find that they offer a little bit more control in order to get the look that you're after. For example, if you are after a simple, light line then holding the wand loosely creates that, allowing you to create something precise and neat. The neatness of the line is also helped by the fine brush. On the other hand, if you want something more dramatic, the length allows you to easily flip it around in your hand so that you can easily transfer from drawing the line across the inner lid, to creating the all-important flick.


When put side-by-side, it's easy to see that the Rimmel liner has a longer handle, but this isn't really that much of a big deal, because whilst the handle/lid of the Rimmel one is longer, the YSL one makes up for it, by having a lengthier "stick":

Personally, I prefer the longer handle of Rimmel, purely because it allows me better grip. However, that is just a matter of taste, and I don't really feel that it effects the ease of application in any way.

The most important difference, for me, between the two, is actually the fineness of the brushes:

As you can see (or maybe I'm just being too pedantic), the YSL one does have a brush that is a little bit fatter. It doesn't look a lot, but I think that it can make a difference when you are looking to create a softer, thinner line, especially when - like me - you are a little heavy-handed. For heavier looks, it obviously doesn't matter at all.

So, the real question is how they compare - colour-wise - to each other.

Both of these were applied in the same way, initially with little pressure (how I would apply for a thin line) and then with added pressure (to simulate a thicker line). The first thing I noticed is that it's not quite as easier to create a finer line with the YSL liner. However, for dramatic looks, it's pretty much perfection.

The second thing I noticed is that the Rimmel liner seems to have a much brighter and glossier finish, which I do prefer, but it's not something that I'd probably argue about, because before I put them together, I was perfectly happy with the look of the YSL one.


Before I took any of the pictures featured in this blog, I actually lined both of my eyes and found the application to be nice and smooth. It wasn't quite as easy to create the finer-type line, but I think that it was really something that I'd need more time to practice.

Straight after applying the YSL liner, I didn't give them any time to dry and went straight to photographing the product. All the while, I could feel the heavy wet feeling of the liner on my lids (does liquid eyeliner make anyone else's lids feel heavier??) and I was absolutely convinced that I had totally ruined the look that I had only minutes before created.

The interesting thing was that ten minutes later, I went to see what damage had been done and amazingly the liner hadn't smudged at all. It wasn't dotted on the top of my lid or anything. For me, this is a huge plus!

As of writing, I have now been wearing the eyeliner for around four hours and having just checked - I'm not very impressed with the longevity of the product, and I've not even been anywhere, so it's not come off due to sweat or the weather.


I have to say that I am a little disappointed in a product that was considerably more expensive than my current liner, and one that had received such good ratings. For me, it hasn't created good fine lines - so far, at least - and it hasn't stood the test of time either.

It is a shame, and I'll definitely give it another try, because I never fully judge a product until I've been using it for a while.

If you fancy giving this eyeliner a try, it is £24 from the Debenhams website!

Have you tried Yves Saint Laurent's The Black Eyeliner?
Do you love it or hate it?
I would love to hear all about your personal experiences :)

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