Monday, 26 October 2009

Review - Urban Decay Ink eyeliner

Once in a while, Urban Decay break with their tradition of excellence and put out a massive howler of a mistake of a product. Loyal fans like me are lulled into a false sense of security by seemingly endless runs of awesome releases, and then get caught out when they blithely put money on the counter for something that, to put it bluntly, sucks.

I'm remembering the time I bought Urban Decay's Smoke Out eyeliner. A pencil with the consistency of charcoal, which was meant to impart a smudgy chiaroscuro smoky eye. Only there was one glaring error in the design - people's eyelids, unlike paper or canvas, produce oil, and oil turns the tip of the Smoke Out pencil into a shiny hard unusable point. Hopeless.

Anyway, I digress. Back to now. The Ink liners were released a couple of months ago, and there are six in the set - Binge (midnight blue), Empire (royal purple), Loaded (green), Zero (black) Pyrotechnics (sheer glitter) and Demolition (brown).

The format is quite adorable - a long thin coffin-like box hinged at the short end, with a mirror set in the lid. Inside is a long thin strip of colour and a well beside it in which a double ended angle brush/smudger lies. The cover is faux-metallic with an engraving-effect peacock design and swirling script.

But think about the logistics for a moment - this is a cream liner, and it's poured in such a way that the surface area exposed to the drying air is maximised. It's also in a box with no airtight seal. Think about your little MAC Fluidline inkwell with its airtight screw lid. That's well-designed packaging right there. Ink liner, on the other hand - well, it's going to dry up, isn't it.

That's my worry for the future. But it's not my only qualm. Application reveals a new set of problems - with the formula. It is incredibly sheer, it's slippy, it drags and pills and smears off again when you try to layer it. It doesn't dry down properly. It gives less coverage than a cling-film bikini. You have to work your clumsy little angle brush right into the strip to pick up any product, which means you're going to use it up rather quickly (and as detailed above, that's probably a good thing because it's going to dry out pronto), and once you have it's far too draggy and cloggy to draw a nice thin line. After painstaking labours, I ended up with two panda eyes that smudged all over the place within about half an hour.

With a product called "Ink" I was expecting intense, opaque, creamy one-application liner that dries down and lasts. They would have done better to call this "cheap primary school poster paint", or better yet "damp wax crayon".

I bought "Binge" and "Loaded", and sorry Urban Decay, but my verdict is: Give them both a swerve.

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