I have a tumultuous relationship with makeup. I've gone through periods where I had to get fully made up to leave my apartment (hello Goth, 2001) as well as spent several years not even wearing it (corporate living, 18 hour days!). However, I've struggled with what actually looked good on me and tended to try to wear whatever and however my friends were.
Nowadays, of course, my on-again/off-again with makeup is in the honeymoon period. I like creating new looks even when I'm sitting in pajamas at home (like yesterday with teal and black eyeliners with a long corner rather than turned up cat-eye that made me feel like a 1960's Barbie - minus the flawless beauty and unrealistically small waist while hanging out on the couch all day with my husband). My biggest beauty vice, of course, is eye makeup - specifically, eye liner. In fact, there are days where that's all the make-up I have on and I feel perfectly made up.
I love a good liner, and they just seem to have gotten better through the years.
When I was a little girl, I'd watch my mother put her makeup on. She'd start with her eyes - blue shadow to match her blue eyes, black liner, mascara, blush, and lipstick. She used a powder liner and licked the brush between dabs in the pot. I thought it was the most disgusting thing ever.
However, unlike my own initial forays into the world of makeup, her liner was smooth, unsmeared, and bold.
Fast forward several years, and several incarnations of eyeliner trials - pencil, twist-up pencil, liquid, marker/pen, cream, and finally (my new favorite) gel.
Just like my mother, I get to sit in front of the mirror and dab my brush in a little pot (me, sans spittle) and feel like a fancy lady with my little glass jar.
Currently, I'm using L'Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer - 24 Hours. I'm using Blackest Black and Espresso - depending on my color scheme. It's super creamy and smooth. It goes on like a dream. The brush that comes with it, unlike most complimentary brushes, doesn't feel cheap (but, you know, I have better brushes).
And this stuff - it completely lives up to its promise. I slept in it (don't ever sleep in your makeup!!!), and it was still sitting there, right above my eyelashes where it was supposed to be. I'm greasy, and it still didn't migrate or disappear.
The only drawback seems to be it's promise; it doesn't move. If you want to smudge it, you better catch it within a minute (if you don't catch it, use a fine brush and top it with some matching eyeshadow).
While I'm sure higher-end products may have better results (although, I'm not really sure how), and may end up lasting longer in the jar (cream eyeliners tend to dry up in the pot within a few months with lots of product left over - which is what I'm expecting here), but drugstore doesn't always mean crap product, and L'Oreal has a strong record of quality. I feel like it's what my mom used, even though I have no idea why I feel that way - must be their marketing.
Anyway! I haven't completely rebuked other forms. I use a pencil for my blue liner, use liquid when I need bold precision, pens are always easier to handle (though seem to dry quickly), and cream gives you nice smokey eye (and I'm using the dried up brown cream on my brows when I feel like filling them in - my desire for fat brows is a story for another day). However, this gel sort of feels like the culmination of my own eyeliner evolution and what will become part of my makeup routine.
Who knows, maybe someday I'll have a kid who will remember me sitting at my vanity putting my eyeliner on out of a little pot.