Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Problem with Eyeliner ... Until Chantecaille Le Stylo Liquid Eyeliner Pen

I have always struggled with eyeliner, and until recently, I had never found a method that suited me enough to use every day. I do not, for example, care for eye pencil; I don't see the point. If I am going to apply anything that close to my lashes, I want it to match the color of  my eyelash hair--or at least match my mascara. I don't like the appearance of a thick  line of color at my lash line because it looks so contrived on me. I do like how it looks on other women, just not on me.

More often any other method, I'd take an angled eyeliner brush, dip it into a powder pan (sometimes with a little help from Paula Dorf Transformer), and push the pigment into the roots of my upper lashes only. I'd almost always choose a sooty grey brown (like Laura Mercier Coffee Ground) or a true charcoal with no blue undertones (like MAC Typographic). If I ever went for color, it would be a deep navy, but I don't much care for how greens or purples look on me as eyeliners. If my eyes were brown, perhaps I would feel more comfortable enhancing my lashes with more colorful color.

Through beauty forums and blogs I learned about tightlining, which was an absolute miracle for me, the best beauty tip I had learned about in decades. I found out that I could add a shot of deep color directly at the lash line--from underneath the lashes--and all I'd see was an intensity to my eyelashes that looked incredibly thick and lush at the roots. Since I'd see no obvious color there, it was a perfect day look for me when I wanted to fake a no-makeup look ... except that my eyes would often become irritated and red, even if I carefully avoided the water line.

So what else was there? I have always liked the precision of liquid eyeliner, but sometimes it can look a bit harsh.

One day, I was trying to fill my cart at to get one of their full-sized gifts with purchase when I came across the Le Stylo Eyeliner Pen ($30). I looked for reviews, liked what I read, particularly Gaia's review and swatches at The Non-Blonde, and ordered both the brown and black pens.
Le Stylo is, without question, one of the best eyeliners I have ever used. Color is delivered by a long felt-tipped nib that comes to a fine point that is both firm and flexible, allowing for the utmost control and precision. I push the color into my lash roots, from above, and I can almost make it appear as though I am not wearing eyeliner at all. If I turn the tip on its side, I can widen the line as I pull it along my eyelashes, especially if I apply more pressure. I end up with one long, continuous line that does not drag or skip. The cap closes with a tight, satisfying click, so I am not worried about it drying out.

The brown is a mid-toned color, somewhat sheer, with no obvious red or bronze, and zero shimmer. On my fair, pink skin it has charcoal undertones, which is perfect, exactly what makes the brown Le Stylo a great choice for daytime. The color dries to a semi-matte finish, not so matte that it closes up the eye, and not that shiny-plastic look that some liquid liners provide.

The black is more deeply pigmented, an obvious choice for evening looks. It's too dramatic for my daytime getup, but I have experimented with tightlining, being very careful to apply right into the roots (and not anywhere on the water line), and it lasts all day without much fading and without collecting black gunk in my tear ducts, the way Revlon ColorStay can do. Chantecaille's formula does not seem to bother my eyes, so far, but I suspect if my eyes became very watery, the color would fade and eventually run, as this eyeliner is water resistant, not waterproof.

I love this eyeliner so much, I have been using it every day, even on weekends when I am not leaving the house. One thin application lasts all day, even on a hot and humid summer day on my oily lids. Totally backup worthy. I have even been considering throwing away all of my gel eyeliners, which I do like but never appreciated the nuisance of having to wash a brush every every use.

I realize this review is lacking in photos. I took several, comparing Le Stylo in brown with my other brown or brownish eyeliners, but unfortunately the photos are stuck on my camera with no way to transfer them to my Mac, which goes to the Apple doctor this morning. If I remember, I will update this post as soon as my Mac is back, but in the meantime, I thought I would share the best tutorial on tightlining I have ever seen, by Beau Nelson of Beauté Cosmetics (who I think goes by the alias Ghost on Makeup Alley.)

Bottom line: One of the best eyeliners ever. I just wish it came in charcoal.

Photo credit: Chantecaille
Video credit: via YouTube


  1. I have to check this liner out it sounds fantastic!

  2. This sounds wonderful! Thanks for the fantastic review xx

  3. Crystal, I hope you like it! I originally compared it to Le Metier de Beaute's liquid liner of the same style, which is smaller and costs $12 more. To be fair, it is an outstanding product, but I don't give two hoots if the tip is made the same people who design Mount Blanc pens. Plus LMDB comes only in black or (currently?) two completely unwearable colors for me--I think aqua and bright blue.

  4. Jeanie, thanks. Now don't go getting all upset because I sort of slammed LMdB's eyeliner. :)

  5. I may just try this. The video on tightlining is terrific. Thanks.

  6. Wow, I really like the sound of this! One of these days I'll brave the Chantecaille counter and try not to go absolutely nuts. This will be on the list of items to test.

  7. This does sound great! I've never tried a felt tip liner because I've always thought they'd be difficult to apply. From what you've said, I think I'd be fine with this. Have added it to the Chantecaille lemming list, which is already ridiculously long :)

  8. I am SO trying this liner. And I have bookmarked this page for that tutorial! Thank you for posting! Love it.

  9. I understand now why you love this eyeliner so much. It ticks all the right boxes! I'd love to try this one day. Thanks for sharing the tightlining video. I didn't realise how much of a difference tightlining does to the eyes till just under two years ago. This video demonstrates just how easy AND effective it is. I feel so 'cheated' that I never learnt this earlier, when I was much much younger.


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