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Pencil liners are pretty much the only ones I use. While I don’t like having to sharpen them, the Sephora ones are my favourites on several counts – quality, price, wear and variety of shades available. I like the Marc Jacobs HighLiners but find them pricey and they dry up really quickly, particularly in light of the price. Whatever the price range, I like a smooth, even application and decent wear-time without transferring or smudging/smearing.

1) Irritates my sensitive eyes
2) Poor color payoff
3) Dryness, dries out quickly, or tugs during application.
4) Doesn’t set and transfers onto my crease. I have deep-set, hooded eyes.
5) Chunks of glitter (microglitter is OK as long as it doesn’t travel).
6) Poor longevity. I don’t mind a little touching up, but it should last at least a few hours.
7) Cheap wooden casings that shred when sharpened.
8) Overly soft leads that constantly break during use or when sharpening.
9) Lids that don’t stay on. If a brand’s lids always come off (usually cheaper brands), I won’t buy them again. I have a few Urban Decay pencils with this issue, but since they last all day, I don’t need to carry them in my purse, and it’s only a few. So I still buy UD pencils.

Thank you for such a comprehensive list, Rachel. I am just going to say, “Ditto” for me!!
Every time I hear, say or read the word “ditto” I think about the movie, Ghost!

Eyeliners that melt on my oily eye area. A relatively new dealbreaker for me are eyeliners that swivel up because they tend to dry out, so I’m sticking with the kind that need to be sharpened.

I like my eyeliner pencils very true to color and not sheer, no smudging. And my black eyeliners I like them pitch black and not glossy

If a pencil liner transfers onto my contacts (a la UD 24/7 reformulation which is so sad since I used to love them) then it is a no go for my waterline. I can sometimes use no-go in the waterline liners for under my lash or above… but I’ve had ones that will create a film regardless. That is the one thing I can’t stand. If I have to tug on my eye to get the liner to go on that is a deal breaker too. I’d rather have too creamy than too rough for my delicate eye area.

1.) Stiff, hard consistency that hurts to apply and the point breaks off easily.
2.) Patchiness that doesn’t get resolved by applying a 2nd coat.
3.) Begins to smear and look faded before the 8 HR mark.
4.) Too creamy isn’t necessarily a good thing either, as it causes the pencil to get used up too quickly.

The biggest deal breaker that comes to mind is a pencil than doesn’t sharpen well or a self-shapening pencil that simply pops out of the tube. 😆

Formula wise, I actually prefer drier/firmer formulas, but not to the point that I need to put a lot of pressure to get minimal pigmentation. For me a very creamy and emollient formula that bleeds, smudges easily and doesn’t allow precise thin lines is the deal breaker.
And staying power; especially on my waterline. Although I rarely put eyeliner now in my waterline, since an optometrist showed me on an eye scan how dirty my eyes really get from make-up transferring to my eye balls.

I have a couple of pencil liners and what’s a deal breaker for me is if they are hard to apply, flake or crease on me and dry up too soon.
I like the Sephora and the UD 24/7 pencil eyeliners the best.

Generally if a pencil is dry, hard or leaves a patchy line I won’t use it. I don’t have the steadiest hand as it is and trying to work with something that drags or pulls on my skin or doesn’t provide a color payoff when I finally get it to is a fast track to frustration.

Eyeliners are a dealbreaker if they break easily, don’t last long, smudge or bleed, and if they feel like they’re tugging when you apply them. I don’t expect them to last in my waterline all day because I’ve never found one that has. Any suggestions? Also my eyes can be sensitive and just kick out things they don’t want in there that day, cute I know.

Biggest dealbreaker is if the eyeliner travels onto my contact lens and obscures my vision. No eyeliner should ever take away my sight (looking at you Urban Decay)!!!!

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