Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Product Review: L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Silkissime Silky Pencil Eyeliner (shade: Plum #220)

By Randi Reed

Disclosure: I purchased this product myself. Links in this post are not affiliate links and do not earn commission.

If someone asked what my Desert Island eye makeup product would be, it would be pencil eyeliner because of its versatility. (Not that it’s practical wear for castaways…although, in a pinch, it might come in handy for drawing football player-style smudges to keep the sun out of one’s eyes. See what I mean? Versatility.) Whether kohl, automatic, or gel, I’m always up for adding a new liner to my collection.

Recently, I bought L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Silkissime Silky Pencil Eyeliner to see how it compared to similarly-textured pencils by Smashbox (Limitless Eye Liner pencil) and Urban Decay (24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil). Having had good luck with many other drugstore liners, I was optimistic about the L’Oreal and looked forward to trying it.

Shot after one application. (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul.)

The shade I tried, Plum #220, is a blue-based dark purple. Had I named this shade, I would have called it “Dark Violet,” because it reads unquestionably purple, albeit a dark shade. There’s very little red in it, so there’s no veering toward eggplant. Nor is there much black in it, so it doesn’t read as purple-tinged black.

As with Smashbox and Urban Decay, upon application L’Oreal Silkissime feels creamy and seems to glide well. Unfortunately, unlike Smashbox or Urban Decay, the result wasn’t consistently even. The pigmentation seemed dark enough, but the finish had a matte, fuzzy, almost chalky looking texture that revealed the skin texture underneath, rather than the smooth, inky lines I’ve come to expect from other brands. Also, the L’Oreal Silkissime dried faster, leaving very little time for blending, so working at lightning speed was a must.

This pencil is extremely soft and doesn’t hold a point very well, so a good sharpener is in order. While I do prefer a blunt point for smudgy lines, I had to sharpen the L’Oreal after the first use. Smashbox and Urban Decay are better at holding their points while maintaining their creamy texture, requiring far less sharpening--and making for less wasted product.

s for wear, I applied L’Oreal Silkissime at 9:00AM, blending with a Q-tip to smudge it a bit. I also applied some to the back of my left hand (which I left unsmudged), making sure to splash it with a lot of water every time I washed my hands. By 2:00 P.M., there was a smudge under my left eye, making it look like I had a dark circle under one eye, and the liner on my hand was partly smeared. (Good thing I test these things when I'm at home, alone...) By 3:30, the smudges under my eyes were full-on smears, and the liner on my hand was smeared, too…Not pretty, and definitely neither “Never Fail” nor “Infallible.”

Bottom line: I really wanted to like L’Oreal Silkissime, because shade Plum #220 is a lovely color. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. While it might work for a quick evening out, I don’t recommend it for all-day wear. I also wouldn’t trust it for wearing onstage, especially if you sweat a lot. In comparison, I find Smashbox Limitless and Urban Decay 24/7 much more durable.

Would I buy it again? No. I may try to salvage the purchase by layering it with my favorite black Smashbox liner because I love the color, but I wouldn’t buy it again.

As for value for the price? I’d skip the L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Silkissime Silky Pencil Eyeliner and save up for Smashbox or Urban Decay. If you're on a budget and in need of a "glidey" pencil quickly, I'd try Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner, which is a favorite of mine (although I've not yet tried the new version of it).

Score: 3 out of 10, only because of the beautiful plum color.

On my monitor this reads a little too blue, but close. (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul)
Here you can see how dull the point was after just one application. (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul)
At least the packaging is pretty... (Photo: Randi Reed/Cosme-Haul.)

Edited to Add: 6/27/14: We're getting a lot of queries for how to sharpen the L'Oreal Silkissime Pencil Eyeliner, as it's very soft and difficult to sharpen. Freeze the Silkissime pencil first for at least half an hour (I do mine overnight). Then use a very sharp, clean eyeliner pencil sharpener that fits the size of the pencil perfectly and go slowly. This product is not easy to work with and even harder to sharpen, so I wish you luck! Also, cosmetic pencil sharpeners do dull over time, so if you've had yours a while, a new one might help. Sometimes (not always) you have better luck with a sharpener by the same brand as the maekup pencil. Hope that helps!

©2014 Cosme-Haul and Randi Reed.