I use a variety of eyeliners, both in shade selection and texture. Typically, I stick with liquid, gel, or cake liners for my top lid and if I use anything below my eye, it's pencil. However, my very favorite liners are cake liners, due to their precise and long-lasting application. They're easy to work with (you can adjust the thickness of the line based on your brush size) and they usually pack a good punch of pigment. Furthermore, they can be more discreet than many other mediums. For some reason, when I use a cake liner I never feel like I went over the top...unlike with the gel and pencil liners I've used. And liquid liners are iffy, depending entirely on the pen you use. I've tried many, many liner pens that are too thick, too thin, too hard or too soft, making them impossible to work with. Not so with cake liner.
Since I'm feeling the love for Laura Mercier today, I'm going to tell you about her most basic cake liner, Black Ebony. It's the perfect black...highly pigmented and deeply opaque, and the perfect shade of matte jet black. It doesn't get dull or dusty on the lid, but stays truly ebony with no shimmer at all. However, it never looks chalky or harsh, and it doesn't have that "lacquer" effect that many pens leave.
Black Ebony is housed in the same compact that her eyeshadows come in and weighs in at 1.4 grams, roughly half the size of an eyeshadow. This means it's big enough to last pretty much forever. I've used mine for several months and it hardly shows any wear at all. The liner pops out of its original compact and can be popped right into one of Mercier's 6-pan palettes, which is what I do. This is great for me since all of the compacts are identical and that can become a huge pain when I'm rooting through my eye drawer for the right color. With a $10 6-pan palette, all of my favorite combinations can be housed in one compact and my hunting woes are over.
As for color and performance, both are amazing. The liner applies in a single, totally opaque line without the need for retracing. The texture of the liner can be controlled by how much water is used...I like to get the brush quite wet, then swirl it in the color until it begins to thicken a bit. This gives me a consistency that's fluid enough to apply precisely, yet heavy enough to get that nice dark line I'm looking for.
Bottom Line: All Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliners are fantastic, but my favorite is the Black Ebony. It's smooth, dark, opaque, and easy to work with, and it goes with every color combination you can throw at it. These cake liners come in a variety of colors, including Orchid Shimmer, Bleu Marine, Charcoal Grey, Forest Green, Plum Riche, and Mahogany Brown, all of which give dramatic yet natural effects to the eye. Lasting power is fantastic. After collecting several of these, I think I've found my go-to line for eyeliners.