I love Tura Satana. She is the reason for my haircut. She is one of my favorite style icons. She is one lovely bad-ass, the queen of the 60s B-films. One thing that Tura rocked other than ass kicking moves, the perfect body, blunt bangs, and an amazing attitude, was the heavy black liner. Every time I use a heavy hand with black liner, I think of Miss Satana’s oh so delicious evil look.

There are a ton of black liner formulas on the market. They all have a time and a place. I love khol and pencils for smudging and gel and liquid for that harsh unmovable cat eye.

Swivel Sticks/Retractable: Swivel type liners are so easy to use. You don’t even have to sharpen these babies. They usually wear longer than most pencil liners and they come in unmovable waterproof formulas. It produces a precise line. My favorite budget one is Avon Glimmerstick in Blackest Black. This one goes for $6 and usually is on sale for much less. My more expensive choice is Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof in Noir. This one sells for $23.50. Other notable pencils include: mark Eyemarker Color On Line in Jet for $5.50 and MAC makes a very nice one for about $14.

Wooden Kind/Sharpen: These are a much softer formula that can be smudged for a khol rimmed effect. These need sharpened and can create either a paper thin line or a fatter line that looks wonderful with shadow layered over it. My favorite budget one is Jordana Eyeliner in Black. It sells for .69¢. I was seriously surprised by this product. The quality is actually really good. The more expensive one that I prefer is the MAC Eye Pencil in Ebony which retails for $13. The other note worthy liners in this category include: Estee Lauder’s Artist Pencil in Softsmudge Black for  $18.50, L’Oreal Le Kohl Pencil for $8,and NYX Long Pencil in Black for $2.

Long Wearing Sharpening Kind: These are usually budge proof and set within 30 seconds. They are easy to use like the retractable liner but these have the benefit of creating a thin or thick line just like the softer wooden types. The budget one that I prefer is Sephora Flashy Liner in Black for $8 . I really love the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide Eye Pencil in Zero. It is very long wearing. It retails for $16. Other notable ones include: Dior Waterproof Crayon Liner in Trinidad Black for $25, Prescriptives Moonbeam Eyeliner in Reflective Black for $17.50,

Cake Eyeliner: These are solid powders that when mixed with water create a matte (typically) long wearing, crisp line. Just wet a liner brush of your choice and swipe of the powder. I love this stuff because it is really classic. Plus I love my art store liner brush so much. It just works for me. I love Clinique Water-Resistant Eyeliner in Natural Black and it is the cheaper option at $14.50. My more expensive fave is Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeliner in Midnight Caviar which goes for $22. Others that are nice: NVY ECO Organic Cake Liner in Black which is $24, Elizabeth Arden Dual Perfection Brow Shaper & Eye Liner in Black for $18, or wet NYX Single Eyeshadow in Black for $5

Liquid Liner: Liquid liners are long wearing and create a very crisp line. It is that classic cateye look. These come with fine brush tip applicators and pointed sponge tip applicators. The handles vary so this is a matter of preference for what works best for you. Personally I like the sponge tip kind. I can create a more even line, either fatter or thinner. My favorite budget sponge tip liner is L’Oreal Telescopic Precision Eyeliner in Carbon Black which goes for about $9. My more expensive favorite sponge tip applicator is Lancome Artliner in Noir which retails for $28. (L’Oreal’s is almost identical to Lancome’s for much less.) The budget brush type that I like is NYX Liquid Liner in Black for $5.  The brush type I like is Clinique Eye Defining Liquid Liner in Black for $14.50.  Honorable mentions: Almay Liquid Line in Black for $7.50, MAC Liquid Liner in Boot Black for $16.50, Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Liner for $19.50, Covergirl Line Exact Liquid Liner Pen in Black for $6.50, and Manic Panic Dreamliner in Raven for $9.50.

Gel Liners: Gel liners are pretty fool proof and look more natural than liquid liners. They are long wearing and don’t take too long to dry so you don’t have to worry about smudging. However, these can be smudged right after application for a soft look. I like these too because you can choose which brush you like. Some people like stiff slanted brushes and others like softer, narrow brushes. L’Oreal HIP Cream Eyeshadow  Color Truth in Black for $12 is nice but for $3 more I really love  MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack for $15. Other nice ones include: Cat Cosmetics Gel Liner in Tomcat for $18, Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Liner in Midnight Black for $22, and Bobbi Brown Long Wearing Gel Liner in Black Ink for $21

Cream Eyeshadow used as liner: These aren’t as smudge resistant or long lasting but they do define the top and bottom lashes nicely. You can smudge with a smudger brush or line with a brush. You can use your fingertips too for a messy look. These are nice for beginners because you have more control and it is easier to remove mistakes. A nice cheap option are the darkest shades in Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Precious Metals or Twilight for $6.50.My more espensive choice is Dior Diorshow Eyeshadow in Glam & Glitz Black for $30. Other nice ones: NARS Cream Eyeshadow in Zardoz for $21,

I also love Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner for $33. It is a loose, OK, a messy powder I admit, with a pointed plastic stick for an applicator. It looks very raw an wild and has such a seductive dagger as packaging. I’m sold. Rimmel has the Smokin’ Kohl Eye Shadow in Black for $7 in way less glamorous packaging if that matters to you. I also noticed that L’Oreal HIP has launched a khol dagger also, but I am unsure of the price.

It’s difficult to discuss all the black liners out there but these are a few that I have used and really liked. Each have their own persoality and look. So try your each formula so you can find your own unique black liner look.

For some reason I fall for all of Benefit’s gimmicks. I know that I can get the same result from a different product (AKA cheaper product). I love a highlighted brow bone. You know that drag queen lifted high to the sky brow bone? Love it. This pencil claims to add an instant brow lift. It does highlight nicely and is easy to use. It does what alot of slightly pearly powder eyeshadows do. This pencil is a super pale pink. It looks nice on my light skintone but I really don’t think the color is for everyone. I really don’t think it is for alot of people. With my experience as a makeup artist I wouldn’t use this on like 80% of my clients. My darker clients would benefit more from a pearly golden champagne powder. Anyways, you take this pencil and line under your brows and blend and it is supposed to lift. The lady at the counter tried to tell me that it helps cover up stray, unruly brows between waxing. Yeah, whatever. If your philosophy is to cake your hair follicles with tons of pigment to disguise a stray hair rather than pluck it, then that would work. It doesn’t do that. In fact the lighter shade makes strays more noticeable if you have dark hair like I do. It’s an OK product and the color works for me but it is something to definitely try before buying. It retails for $20 and I’ve used loose face powders that created the same results as this when swept and blended right under the brow bone.

I’m so not in love with this product. Personally, I think it is crap with an $18 price tag. I’m a sucker for packaging and unfortunately the packaging is cute but it is a tiny, flimsy, cardboard box. The “purse friendly” packaging is just a box that you’d recycle with any other product. Inside are three of the smallest eyeliners on the planet. Now, they are about as long as two of the included sharpener, like two inches long in total length. I’ve seen larger, so I know. I don’t know where they found these pygmy things or why they are so flipping small. They seem like some kind of mean thing an occupational therapist would use with a stroke victim. I don’t know but they are super tiny and won’t take too many sharpening. If for some strange reason I did want a short liner pencil I would buy a cheap NYX or Wet N Wild long pencil and break it into fourths and sharpen each one, all for a total of .99 ¢. The colors are boring but they are the type that one would use daily, once again why are they so small? These aren’t fun, maybe once in a while shades, why would you make necessities so small? It comes in Romeo which is a gray, Don Juan which is a black, and Cassanova which is a brown. They are a soft formula that I find too smudgy for under eye wear unless you want to look like a battered wife or the homecoming queen when homecoming king broke up with her on prom night. They “travel” around. They aren’t even a killer formula. Maybe I am spoiled by no budge gels or liquid liners. What kills me is it appears like TheBalm is making fun of itself and this crummy product. Just like a pick-up line or a skanky bar whore named Romeo, this little guys (um…) will leave you disappointed and asking “where did I find these things again”. They can be purchased on beauty.com.