Good news and bad news. Bad news? My beloved Chanel Écriture de Chanel Eyeliner Pen already dried out! After a couple of months and probably less than 20 uses, it decided to just die on me. :( This drives me a little mad because I paid so much for it! But the good news, it led me to find something cheaper that I now love even more (much more in fact)! Blacker, richer with a finer tip. Enter Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper!
If you know Kat Von D, you know her signature eyeliner look. And if anyone could create the best black liquid eyeliner, it would probably be her. The brand makes 2 versions of their liquid eyeliner: Tattoo Liner and Ink Liner. And the confusing thing is both have Trooper as their black shade name. The Tattoo one has a brush tip, though, whereas the Ink one has a felt tip. Reviewing today is the Ink Liner version. :D
The pen is a shake-and-apply, felt-tip style with a cap that snaps shut with a loud click! I have had this pen for a couple of months now and with almost daily use, everything still feels like new. The tip still maintains its super fine shape (no fray in sight!), the ink still flows smoothly, and the black is still jet black just like when it first came out. So yes, I have high hope for this pen to outlast the Chanel one by a long shot!
The formula is waterproof, budge proof, and flake-free. I have worn it with and without eye primer and eyeshadow and I'm happy to report that it performs well in all conditions tested. The line always looks fresh and maintains its slightly glossy finish at the end of day/night until you remove it (and you will need one of those dual-phase eye makeup removers to take it off completely).
The black ink flows smoothly to the tip so you don't need to shake it again in the midst of application. The fine tip is super precise and deposits smooth and even pigment in one stroke. Achieving a crisp line is always effortless with this pen. The tip is rather firm but is still flexible enough that you can flick easily to create a winged-out look without tugging the skin. Going back and forth over the line does not move the existing layer so you can keep building the intensity as much as you need. The tricky part, just like with most liquid eyeliners, is that it sets very quickly so there's not much room for mistakes. A steady hand is always a must! :)
For those who prefer a natural look, this pen is perfect for you as well because it can really get between the lashes. On minimal makeup days, I just wiggle the tip between the lash roots to give an illusion of thicker, denser lashes without looking obvious like I just apply a black liner. And if you wear falsies, you can also use it to cover up the lash band for a more polished look (like I did in the close-up photo at the end of this post).
There are 4 liners currently in my rotation right now: Kat Von D Ink Liner, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Etude House Drawing Show Brush Liner, and Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen.
As you can see in the swatch comparison below, the Kat Von D is almost as black as the Marc Jacobs one! Compared to the Stila one (which has a finer tip), it doesn't go on as ultra fine but the difference is very minute, 1 mm apart in thickness perhaps. The Etude House one doesn't really fit in with the group because it has a brush tip but I thought I'd throw it in anyway. :D Also note how opaque the finish of the Kat Von D is! These lines were drawn in one pass. No layering. No going back and forth! :)
And here's how it looks on me. Notice the subtle shine? I like that it's not too shiny or too matte! :) I also used the pen to tight line to create an illusion of thicker and denser lashes!
To sum up, I am absolutely in love with the Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper! It is everything a great black liquid liner should be — smooth, jet black, precise, and long-lasting. Not to mention it is very reasonably priced, too! I'm just hoping that the tip won't fray and becomes too soft over time, at least not before the ink dries out! :)