As a beauty editor, I've tried my fair share of liquid eyeliners and have a pretty rigorous testing process for any newbies that come across my desk. First, I'll test it on the back of my hand to see how the color payoff is; if it's not pigmented enough, you better believe that it won't be going anywhere near my eye. If it looks nice and appears not to feather or smudge, I put it to the real test and get swiping on my peepers. If the applicator isn't up to snuff (meaning I can't get the line I want with a few strokes), it's out. For the few products that make it past the testing phase and into the "I'm going to wear this out in public" phase, you know it has to be good. Well, Nudestix Rock n Roller Easy Eyeliner Ink ($24; sephora.com) passed all those tests—and then some.
I usually prefer a black liner, so when Nudestix sent me a rose gold one, it threw me for a loop, but I was intrigued and had to give it a go. Even stranger to me than the color choice, though, was the applicator—the only way to describe it was that it resembled a miniature pizza cutter. How was a wheel going to deposit the kind of liner I wanted?! I had seen a similar applicator from a few other brands this year, but was too intimidated to try until I saw how pretty the metallic hue of Nudestix's version was.
So right at my desk, I went for it. I didn't even start it on the inner or outer corner, I placed the roller right in the middle of my eyelid at the lash line and it started rolling outwards as if it was on a track. I couldn't believe it! Without even really trying, this little pizza cutter made the perfect line, and I couldn't get enough.
I love that it's so easy to place wherever you want and then simply roll back and forth without messing anything up. Traditional liners give you more freedom to lift and mess with the placement, and—although that's helpful in some cases, depending on the look you're going for—I find that this product is perfect for those mornings where I would go without makeup unless I had something easy to use, which now I do. The other nice thing about this tool: When you remove the easy-to-maneuver handle from where the actual liquid formula is, the wheel is loaded with just enough liner so that you don't have to double dip to get more (or worse, you don't have to wipe any excess product off).
I have been sticking to a thin liner style, but you can also flick it out and create a sexy winged eye just as easily. Instead of lifting the roller when it reaches the outside corner of your eye, angle it outwards about 45 degrees and roll until you've reached the point where you want the flick to stop. Rotate the wheel again to be more horizontal and then roll it back to connect your wing to your lined eye.
I've since traded in the rose gold (Golden Rose) for the Bronze Patina, a rich, shimmery cocoa shade that's perfect for daytime. I have yet to try Black Moon, their black matte version, but am sure I would love it, especially for a more dramatic nighttime look.
If you've been on the hunt for a reliable liquid eyeliner, I highly recommend giving this one a try. Though I judged the weird applicator on first impression, I'm so happy that I actually went ahead and used it. This is a new makeup bag staple for me. I'll still use other products in my arsenal when I want a super bold (albeit more difficult to achieve) cat eye, but this guy right here is what I'll be reaching for on the reg from now on.