Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cake Eyeliner: More than just flour and sugar

A while ago I did a post about my eyeliner brushes and I mentioned that lining my eyes with a brush is probably the only makeup skill I have somewhat gotten a grip of. While I can handle gel and liquid liner (and glitter!) , my favorite type of eyeliner is definitely the "cake" and if you have weird skin on which every gel/liquid cakes, pencil smudges. You might want to give these cake liner a go.

What is cake eyeliner?
Cake eyeliner is simply eyeliner in a pressed powder form, the color is usually brought out (activated) by adding a drop of water, glycerin, saline solution. Since I am a bit lazy and picky, my definition of cake eyeliner is anything in a pressed powder form that's fine textured, pigmented and silky enough to form a crisp and distinct line on the eyes and stays there. (And I want it silky enough to glide without any water.)

As you can see, most of my "cake liners" are actually eyeshadow that I use as a liner. I have tried several brands of eyeshadow, not many brands makes shadow with a liner quality. Certain Nars are extraordinarily good candidate so are many Stila shimmering dark shadow as they give smooth and fine line when used dry(Urban decay eyeshadow is know for their silkiness but when picked up with a very find brush, I get nothing but crumbles.)

Why cake eyeliner?
-A little goes a long way (My ex-favorite liner was Stila smudge pot but they became a pain to use after both shades dried out) and you don't need to take special care to avoid dry-out since they are already dry!
-They don't smudge like wax based pencils or smear like liquid liner.
-With a push liner brush, they are the best for tight line without tugging and pulling.
-(Again, with the right brush) You get very neat lines.
-More control over the intensity of the line with different brushes
-Since it can be applied very close to lashline, I can use colors like deep green/blue and still maintain the neutral look.
-Like powder shadow, they are usually very easy to remove
-Many of these are eyeshadow with beautiful shades.
(Stila Jade, Laural Geller Key Lime/Deep Green Apple and Nars eyeshadow single Fuji)

How I apply cake eyeliner
Most of the time people use a fine tip brush or a slanted one and damp the shadow with it then glide on the lid. I personally like the line to be very neat, I just dab the shadow with a flat/stiff/synthetic brush and dot the color back to my lash line session by session.

Usually synthetic brush performs better than animal hair ones because they don't hold on the color when you try to dispense it. Some of my favorite brushes are Stila #13, Tarte flat eyeliner brush. Sonia Kashuk has a flat brush that's soft enough to glide but it's quite expensive (1o bucks plus tax while my Stila was 13 bucks without tax during sale) and it has the typical drugstore quality control (or should I say, lack of such.).

Keep in mind that
-Sometime waterproof and long lasting doesn't come together. For example, a waterproof liquid liner can smudge with a tiniest bit of oil and while cake liner are usually long lasting (0n me), it probably wouldn't last you a Notebook sob fest...(No,I never watched that and never plan to, I don't watch/read chick flick)
-They are indeed powder so if you use them on your waterline, it will get wash off and you get (insert eyeshadow color here) eye-wax.
-It might get washed away if you use a water based glitter liner on top.
-Not all Nars eyeshadow are created equal (for example you clearly can't use Tokyo as a liner)
-Most deep shimmery eyeshadow are nice for eye-lining.
-A tiny dab of eyeshadow base would help it last loner.

Anyway, have you tried any cake liner? Do you like it? If you haven't, just dig your (high-end, sorry, none of my drugstore shadow actually made the cut) eyeshadow stash and you will sure to find something!


  1. yes, i used to cake liners all the time. one of my favorites was the old MAC one (I forget what they call it now, as they no longer make it), and found it the other day in an old travel bag. It was as dry as anything...but had clearly seen a lot of use. Good to know that the Sonia brush isn't great for this--I've been contemplating picking it up. I do share your like of Stila brushes!

    Btw, great title :)

  2. thanks for all the info. I never know so much about cake liners.

    And Im a new follower and love your blog.

  3. fantastic:
    I do have a rotten luck with drugstore brushes...The flat tip sonia kashuk just felt very flimsy (the handle is very light which makes the brush top heavy)and after one wash, the handle cracked then the top just fell off...I haven't tried the white slanted tip one but I think I will waste less money buying a more expensive one that works.

    Thanks for visiting. (And you know you really don't need to go "I love your blog" in every comment you make...I usually click through to see whether if the commenter has a blog anyway and if I like what I see, I would leave comment. I don't courtesy link/follow some blog unless it's worth going back to. )

  4. Great review. I suck at applying eyeliner, so never used cake liner before :-) I have an award for you on my blog, btw


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