We Try Before You Buy: 6 Colourful Eyeliners That Actually Look Good IRL

From Ashley Graham's green feline flicks at this year's Met Gala to Gigi Hadid's graphic yellow eyeliner on the runway, 2019 has definitely been the year of the colourful eyeliner. However, since I'm something of an eyeliner novice (read: I'm absolutely terrible at applying it precisely or evenly), it's a beauty trend that has very much passed me by. Until now that is.

When Lila Moss—yep, as in daughter of Kate Moss—took to Instagram recently to show off a particularly gorgeous colourful eyeliner look, I finally sat up and took notice. The gradient gold to copper eye looked grown-up, elegant and, more importantly, something that would look just as beautiful IRL as it did on Instagram. When I discovered that Moss's look had been created by makeup artist Nikkie Tutorials using the brand-new Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Liquid-Gel Eyeliner (£24), I knew that I had to get my hands on them.

Photo:

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY/ZOEY GROSSMAN

"For Lila's look, I first started with [the shade] Blacquer to create a fierce cat eye," explained Nikkie Tutorials. Since I’m addicted to all the colours, we piled them all on to create a gradient with Gold Getter in the inner corner, Star Magic in the centre and winging it out using Blitz Coin.”

So what makes this eyeliner different from other formulas on the market? First up, it's a liquid-gel texture, meaning that it provides more colour payoff than traditional liquid eyeliner formulas. But even more interestingly, the eyeliners come in two finishes—glossy and metallic—inspired by Marc Jacob's personal love of shine. Basically, this is all about making the classic cat eye appeal to fashion girls—and I for one think it's working as the Who What Wear editors were just as eager as me to road test these eyeliners.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm a totally unskilled when it comes to eyeliners—and liquid formulas, for me, are particularly terrifying. Thankfully, the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner uses gel technology for a smooth, glide-on texture, meaning a more even line. Plus, the custom-flocked applicator has a felt tip-style end, which makes it simple to create a precise, super-fine line. 

All sounds good in theory but how did they actually stand up to real-life application and wear? Keep scrolling to see how the team fared with colourful eyeliner in real life and to get the lowdown from eyeliner fanatics and novices alike.

Mica Ricketts, Deputy Beauty Editor, wearing Glamaroon

Photo:

@MICARICKETTS

"Applying liquid eyeliner definitely makes me feel nervous, so you might be surprised to learn that I decided to start my eyeliner journey with a rather out-there shade that Marc Jacobs Beauty describe as a 'metallic cranberry.' Yes, it might seem like a bold place to start, but I'm so glad I did. First up—the formula. I'm not going to lie and say that I applied this seamlessly, but the texture was smooth, creamy and definitely slid onto my eyelids with ease.

"I have to say that there's something about wearing a metallic colour that is surprisingly forgiving if you're feline flicks are a little uneven like mine. The berry-coloured hue is beautifully light-reflective, so I think any mishaps are harder to spot. (Win.) I wore this to a work dinner recently and got so many compliments—and, trust me, beauty editors don't give out makeup-related praise easily. So pink eyeliner and I might just have a long, happy relationship ahead of us. Who would have guessed it?"

Nell Block, Assistant Editor, wearing Steel the Show

Photo:

@NELLBLOCK

"I’m not a boastful person. In fact, I tend to be fairly quiet when it comes to my accomplishments. But when it comes to applying liquid eyeliner, I’ll eagerly shed my humble veneer because I can honestly say I’m an expert—there is no eyeliner pen I can’t create a flick with. I’ve tried some of the most expensive and the cheapest and know by now which ones will give you a thick line or a thin line, which ones will make your eyes look bigger, and which ones will make you look sassy for a night out.

"While I’m usually all about the classic black flick, I loved trying out the Marc Jacobs liquid eyeliner brushes. The first I tried was a sort of metallic teal shade, and I opted to go for a full flick with this one. It was a great alternative to a black eyeliner pen and made the overall look seem much softer—ideal for the day, actually."

Alyss Bowen, Social Media Editor, wearing Blitz Coin

Photo:

@ALYSSBOWEN

"I'm normally a black liquid eyeliner kind of girl, but this colour caught my fancy. I'm coining it 'liquid bronze' because that's exactly how it looks, and I'm into it. Apparently all my friends are too as I wore it out last night and got a ton of compliments!"

Mica Ricketts, Deputy Beauty Editor, wearing Silver Lining

Photo:

@MICARICKETTS

"I really didn't think that I would like this icy silver shade, but it turns out I was totally wrong. There's something about the colour that gives me '60s-inspired mod vibes, but it actually didn't feel too out-there for the office. In fact, the silver was surprisingly brightening on the eyes and actually helped to disguise a particularly tired morning that I was having. Plus, I have to say, I'm feeling particularly proud of my flicks with this one. Beginner hack: I found that pressing the side of the brush out from my eyelids helped to give me a more even line."

Nell Block, Assistant Editor wearing Star Magic

Photo:

@NELLBLOCK

"The second colour I tried was a nude metallic—almost a rose gold. This was a seriously gorgeous and flattering shade for my skin tone, however, it didn’t show up when drawn across the whole eye so I decided to layer it over my usual black flick. While it worked more as a highlighter (it looked best in the corner of my eye), it was still great to switch up my usual all-black look. Pro tip: You’ll need more practice with these eyeliners as they come as a small brush so make sure you have a steady hand and probably best apply at home rather than on the commute."

Mica Ricketts, Deputy Beauty Editor, wearing Gold Getter

Photo:

@MICARICKETTS

"My final foray into coloured eyeliner was with this yellow-gold shade. My eyelids are quite hooded so eyeliner often ends up looking like an all-over colour on me rather than a hint of definition but I'm kind of into these sunshine-soaked eyelids. I'm not sure that I'd be brave enough to wear this every day, but I think there's something cute about wearing a bright colour like this one with a relaxed jeans-and-tee combo on a weekend. Marc Jacobs Beauty—you've definitely converted me to coloured eyeliner."