Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: Smashbox Jet Set Gel Eyeliner in Vamp

Ever since I got the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink last summer, I have been using gel liner almost every day. I recently made an online purchase from Sephora to buy Secret Santa gifts, and thought I would give Smashbox's gel eyeliner a try. This particular shade was only $10.

I think it is now out of stock, but you can get other shades at Sephora or at the Smashbox website. The colors from the permanent line retail for $22. You likely can still find the shade Vamp on Amazon.

When I first received the pot of gel liner in the mail, I was surprised by how small it is. I thought it was a mini size, which would explain the discounted price. But this one actually contains a little more product compared to the Bobbi Brown gel liner. Smashbox contains .12oz/3.4g while Bobbi Brown contains .1oz/3g.

This particular shade is extremely unique. (I generally like more "complex" colors in my eyeliners, so I was happy with this one.) I have swatched it below. Vamp is basically a medium/dark brown base with a purple sheen/shimmer. In brighter lights, the light will reflects more purple. In dimmer lighting, it looks almost completely brown.

The brown was rather difficult to capture in the swatches. Perhaps you can see a little of the brown tinge on the second picture, on the right side where there was more of a shadow. The color on the side of the pot is very pretty when you hold it to the light. The duality of the brown and purple seems more obviously in this last picture.

As for the wear of the product, I am not disappointed but not impressed either. In the swatches, the top line is one swipe across. The opacity didn't carry through, and that is exactly what happens when I apply it to my eyes. When I wear it, I have to constantly re-dip my brush and go over the line several times to reach opacity.

The staying power is acceptable. I have very oily skin so I have a perpetual problem with eyeliners smudging and transferring to the lower corners of my eyes. I only wear eyeliner on the top line. After 14 hours of Jet Set, I do see some transferring to the lower corners, but the transfer is very light. The shimmer is very fine so it does not transfer nor end up somewhere else. There is also noticeable fading. Fading begins at about the 8 hour point and becomes substantial enough to warrant reapplication at about 11 or 12 hours. This eyeliner does not flake.

Moving on to packaging, like I said the pot is small as far as gel eyeliners go. It's compact if you like to carry makeup in your purse. The pot is made of glass and has a plastic top. The plastic top doesn't seem like it seals, but the liner has not dried out. I have had it for only a month, but I have seen little to no change in texture. Email me if you want an update on that. I always store my eyeliner upside down, which really helps. Also be aware that texture changes with the temperature. I try to keep my eyeliners at room temperature (as opposed to besides a window ledge in the winter).

I was a little miffed that part of the lettering on the top was rubbed off when I received it brand new. The testers in stores all have parts of the lettering rubbed off, so my jar is not an anomaly. Otherwise, I have no complaints about the packaging. The product is easy to reach with a brush, and not too deep into the jar. (You'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen Clinique Brush-On Liner.)

I use the brush below to apply it, and it works like a charm. I always start with a clean brush, because application is very difficult and uneven when there is product leftover on the brush.

This brush is from Crown. It's the C217 Bent Liner brush and I paid no more than $3 for it, probably less.

Overall, I like the unique color, but I would not pay full price for this. I am dissuaded from buying other shades from the Jet Set line, because it bothers me that I have to go over the line several times to reach opacity with this formulation. However, I will use Vamp often because compared to the smudging that I have experienced with pencil liners, the staying power is more than reasonable.

Packaging: 3.5/5
Longevity: 4/5
Product: 3.5/5

Overall: 7.5/10 Acceptable