Not all black eyeliner pencils are made equal, however I’ve rooted out my darkest favourites and new discoveries to share.
When I pick up a black pencil it’s because I want stark intensity, some pencils are simply masquerading as ‘black’ when they’re actually a shade or two lighter, if I wanted anything less intense I’d use a dark grey or deep brown. Illamasqua had a pencil (sadly it seems to be discontinued so I’m holding on to my last one for dear life) it was literally blacker than black and very effective on models with rich dark brown complexions so perfect on model Alec Wek. Before discovering Illamasqua’s I used to layer liner with black eyeshadow or with a liquid liner for intensity. I’ve also discovered waterproof/long-lasting pencils tend to be deeper, maybe it’s due to their slight gloss finish? These types of pencils tend to be very soft which can be deceive you into thinking you can take your time to blend, NO… you have a twenty second window to smudge before the colour set.
MAC Chromagraphic Pencil, Black Black. The Chromagraphic collect consist of vivid; strong and true-to-colour including this black.
NARS Via Veneto High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner, Gran Via. Just to prove my point NARS has two blacks, Gran Via is the intense shade of the two.
Sisley Phyto-Eye Twist, 08 Black Diamond. Chunky eyeliners/shadows are my ‘thing’ right now and have been for a while, they’re easy to apply and blend. Sisley Phyto Twists are the best out of all I’ve used and I’ve used a lot. To have the whole colour range is an ambition of mine.
Mavala Crayon Khol – SOFT, 01 Noir. A true Kohl that you don’t have to rush to smudge…forget the twenty-second time limit.
Photographs by Jason Yates