A few weeks ago, a new liquid eyeliner popped up on Sephora. The packaging was minimalist, the product listing said that it was “limited edition,” and the name was simple and mysterious: “Liner X.” Although it sounds sort of like a new Tesla edition, Liner X is Kat Von D’s newest liquid liner.
Kat Von D has already come very, very close to achieving undisputed eyeliner perfection. Her Tattoo Liner is one of the brand’s most well-reviewed products on Sephora. With Liner X, Kat Von D is taking a sort of Six Sigma approach to liner excellence. Liner X is a liner prototype — customers are invited to try it out and leave reviews and feedback for improvement. Here’s what six Cut staff members thought.
Diana Tsui, Senior Market Editor
I wear eyeliner every single day of my life, so I am extremely picky about it. There have been plenty of liners that have promised me a strong, black line that will last all day, only to fail me by noon. I usually recommend Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner to anyone who asks, so when I heard she came out with a new, improved formula, I was dying to try it. Could it be as good as the one product you’d have to pry out of my cold, dead hands? Yes — and in fact, it’s better.
As with the Tattoo Liner, the brush is stiff enough to create a strong line, but also flexible enough to create elegant wings. The product is fairly pigmented, though you’ll still have to go over it a few times if you prefer a really deep, dark black. Best of all, it lasts even longer than Tattoo Liner. It’s pretty much bomb-proof, even on monolids. I wore this before a very sweaty workout at Barry’s Bootcamp and then walked through a Nor’Easter without an umbrella, and it remained perfectly intact. Buy it; you won’t regret it.
Erica Smith, Beauty Writer
I’m still using Flyliner because I still love it. But before Fenty Beauty was a thing, Kat Von D’s tattoo liner was my thing, so I was excited to try Liner X. This liner is impressively dark. It is very, very black. But my favorite thing about it is the tip. I’m not sure mathematically what it is about the point’s shape and angle, but it was so easy to create the “flick” portion of my winged liner and re-create it on the other side.
Before trying the liner on my face, I drew a swipe on my hand just to see the formula. Hours later at an event, I used a makeup remover to remove more recent product swatches from my hand, but the little Liner X line didn’t budge. Either those wipes suck or this liner is really waterproof, and I think it’s the latter.
I only wish this pen had the weight of Flyliner for more control (and that the cap fit more easily on the back of the pen so I don’t lose it). If I could put this in Flyliner packaging it’d be perfect — but it’s already pretty close.
Katie Heaney, Senior Health Writer
Black liquid liner is usually the only eye makeup I wear (besides mascara), so I’ve done a fair amount of product testing in this area. I like a semi-flexible applicator and a non-streaky formula, and my current fave (Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner) gives me both those things, though it can get a little smeary in my corners.
This new one is even blacker, which is great, and it’s a little harder to get off, which to me means it’s more durable. I think the applicator is a bit weird and hard to be precise with, though. It’s a little too … floppy. Someone who is better at eye makeup than me might not care, but you probably can’t throw a cat eye together with this one very quickly and cleanly.
Amanda Arnold, Staff Writer
I don’t often wear eyeliner. But when I do and have to choose between liquid and pencil, I typically opt for the latter. When I’m running late, which is often, pencil tends to be more forgiving — especially toward my left eye, which shakes every time I raise a liquid eyeliner pen to it.
I was really excited to try Kat Von D’s eyeliner, and it didn’t disappoint! Unlike with a lot of liquid eyeliners, I didn’t feel like I was scraping off my eyelids when applying it. And because the tip is very fine, this eyeliner is perfect for a more natural look or a thin line. I’m not sure if I’d use it to create a dramatic cat eye, but when paired with NARS Climax mascara, I wound up with a look that I’d wear to work. The liner on my left eye is still shakier than that on the right, but you can’t even really tell!
Callie Beusman, News Editor
I have recently gotten into attempting cat-eye makeup on a regular basis, and I am not yet good at it. I would say I’m passable but committed. I have one brand of liquid eyeliner I’ve been using forever — I don’t even know the name, but I can recognize it by sight and they sell it in drugstores for like $2 — but I’ve always preferred it to other alternatives because it goes on really smoothly. Without fail, I wipe off my eyeliner wings every day, sometimes before I even get to work, because I have a habit of rubbing my eyes when I’m stressed. I apply it nonetheless because engaging in futile activities helps me confront my own mortality.
The first thing I noticed about the Kat Von D liner was that the applicator was way thinner than I’m used to, which I think would be beneficial for someone proficient at eyeliner but had the effect of simply exposing how much of an amateur I am! I found it harder to use such a delicate brush. It came out really dark, which was chill, and lasted all day, which was even chiller. I think I will probably switch to this brand, but will have to also concentrate on improving my technique. It will be edifying for me, though, so that’s good.
Kathleen Hou, Beauty Director
Trying out eyeliners that claim to be smudge-proof reminds me of doing those Magic Eye puzzles a kid. Everyone else is like, It totally worked for me! They all see the magical 3-D shark or whatever hidden in the image, while I see blurry spots. Everyone else’s cat eyes have sharp flicks from morning to night, while mine also looks, well, like a blurry spot a few hours later.
Even well-meaning Rihanna’s liner didn’t work on me. But Kat Von D, your Liner X really held up. I wore this while walking ten blocks with rain dripping down my face, and my eyeliner remained pretty much perfect (there was a tiny, tiny smudge under my right eye which easily wiped away). I’ve since worn it to workout classes (the really sweaty kind, not Pilates), to fancy black-tie dinners, weekend nights, and just normal work days and it’s remained indelible.
One thing to note is that the tip on this liner is a little softer and feels more like a fine calligraphy pen, rather than having the firmness of a Sharpie marker. If you’re not drawing eyeliner on a few times a week, its flexibility might take some getting used to because you’ll need a little more of a steady hand. But the ink flows easily, without interruption or watery gaps, and you can build on your strokes. I like that this pen gives you more variety over Kat’s Tattoo Liner, so you can draw thin or thick lines with ease.
If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.