I'm a fan of products that can pull double-duty and be used in more ways than one, which is why it may seem odd that this one trick pony is a must-have in my makeup routine. You see, ever since I changed contact lens types about a year ago, all of my usual go-to tightlining pencils (Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Pencil in Perversion and Milani Liquif'Eye Pencil in Black) ceased to impress, i.e. they left horrendous oil smear marks all over my lenses that impaired my vision and could not be removed. And since switching contact lenses was not an option, I embarked on a journey of sorts to find a replacement product that could draw on my waterline with ease, stay put all day and leave my contact lenses alone in the process. I finally found what I was looking for in the Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner.
The Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner is waterproof and available in one shade, Obsidian, a rich, inky black. It's available as a single pencil ($16) or in packs of three ($45). It has an incredibly thin nib that fits perfectly on the waterline without smearing onto your eye or elsewhere during application. It's important to only have a tiny amount dispensed during use, because in addition to not being retractable, the pencil is so thin that it's prone to breaking if too much is exposed.
The liner applies and looks like a gel - it's smooth and extremely pigmented. On my waterline, it also wears like a gel. It stays on much longer than either of my previous tightlining pencils did, and I was elated to discover that it doesn't transfer on my contact lenses at all, nor does it transfer onto my lower waterline when I've only applied it to the top. The jet black pencil enhances your lashline and finishes off a smokey eye like nobody's business. One pass is all you need, as there is never a struggle to get the product to show up on the waterline. It's been my go-to tightlining product for the past several months, and I don't ever plan to be without it in my makeup bag.
As you might have guessed based on the title of this post, yes, this product does have a downfall. As fantastic as it is on my waterline, when used on the lashline (I tried drawing a cat eye with it), I felt it didn't apply as smoothly as a typical pot gel liner with a brush, as the liner has a somewhat thicker consistency and seemed to skip a bit when drawing a line across the skin, and it started to disappear and smear quite badly after a couple hours, which never happens with my other gel or liquid liners.
L to R: Bare tightline // Liner used to tightline upper waterline // Finished product with mascara
Each pencil contains enough product for only 17-20 uses, according to Hourglass, however, I believe this is based on using it for more substantial lining on the lashline, as my pencil is still going strong after more than 20 uses, likely because I only use it to tightline. It's become such a staple for me that I already have a back-up.
I normally wouldn't rave about a product that can only do one part of what it claims to be capable of, however, when no other product can do what it does, I think that warrants considerable praise. If you've been looking for a pencil that can draw on the waterline with blacker than black pigment and stay put, give the Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner a try. For all other eyelining purposes, stick to your usual pot gel liner instead.