Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner in Deep Teal

For someone who’s one and only requirement for eyeliner is that it stays in place, this cake liner would be an awfully unusual choice.

And yet, the color is so phenomenal  that it might be even be worth leaving around to look at, regardless of whether I ever use it.

I exaggerate. It looks much better on the eyes than as room décor.

Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Liner is completely dry and needs water or special solution to apply. LM sells solution that makes the liner waterproof, but this liner was already ridiculously expensive for the piece of watercolor that it essentially is. I didn’t bother doubling the charge to get the “Activator”, so I suppose if I complain about staying power, I only have myself to blame. There are comparable solutions by other brands that may be less expensive and equally efficacious but I cannot testify to that. (The last time I checked, these kinds of “eyeliner sealants” or “eyeliner transformers” are almost exclusively high end.) All I know is that if you put droplets of LM solution onto your cake liner, you can no longer use water to pick up the pigment from that point on. It seals the cake liner from water, which is a pretty logical consequence if you think about it.

I personally use water, and with a little work, my end result can look just as polished as those of other liners. The finish reminds me slightly of chalk, but it stays much better than that. In fact its performance is pretty solid until the 5th or 6th hour mark when my lids start to get oily enough to interact with the product. After that, it can go pretty downhill. Do not wear this on those 12 to 16 hour days, because touch ups will do nothing. The color will migrate and move around the whole eye area, the clean, sharp edge will disintegrate, and so on.

Above: This is the chalk-looking finish. The color in this picture is not too accurate. It should be greener and darker.

As I mentioned, the application process is slightly more involved than normal. I have a mini spray bottle of water for this (I use drinking water, lest traces of fluoride, chlorine, and everything else in tap water build up on my precious product). Alternatively, you could use your fingers to drop a few droplets of water onto the surface. Mix with eyeliner brush. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough, but here is how I do it: I spray a little water and mix until the water starts to evaporate away, mainly working in one section only – no need to swirl through the whole pan and make a mess. Then I spray a little more and mix again, trying to gather a little pool of concentrated color. By this second time, the pigmentation should be sufficiently high that you won’t get a watery line. Apply carefully. The consistency will be on the watery side, but the pigmentation should be good enough that you have pretty good control of how the line lays down.

Conclusion: Will You Reach for It? I wear this product comparatively rarely if only because of the staying power. If I’m smart about it, I would wear it on days I know will be short. What ends up happening is that I wear it when I have time to spare in the morning and when I feel like teal is the color of the day. But in fact the shade of teal is really on point. It’s nice and dark, very obviously teal, and green-leaning which just seals the deal. I won’t dwell on the color, because I think it was limited edition. However, it’s a testament to the brand’s good taste. Here is someone else’s blog picture of the other nice colors in the line

A square of this liner is $23 in most places like Laura Mercier online and Sephora, though Sephora's color selection is limited. This is also the case with a few department stores. Bloomingdales notably has the full line of 8 colors and also peculiarly prices them a dollar cheaper at $22.