Review: Maybelline Master Duo Glossy Liquid Liner

(My pics for this review came out blurry so I left them out, I’ll take new ones later and update it)

I’ve been looking for a new eyeliner for quite a while lately. I was using Eyeko skinny liner that has a nice felt tip, and I loved it. The problem is that it’s $16 a tube and mine kept drying out too quickly.  So I’ve just been using Nuance eyeliner from my little 3-in-1 wand. It works fine but it’s a twist up liner and it’s too soft for a nice wing, so I have to blend it out with a brush. I have some Mally eyeliners that I have the same problem with, so I decided to try to find a new liquid liner.

Which brings us to… Maybelline Master Duo Glossy Liquid Liner. This has sort of an odd style of a long handle in a little ink type bottle. Apparently making it look like a calligraphy set inspires confidence that it will make pretty lines. Fancy! When I first read the packaging I assumed there were two different tips inside the handle. NOPE. The idea here is that it’s a little plastic stick, and the end of it has a knobby edge. For a thick line, you hold it normally and for a thick line, you turn it slightly and draw with the edge. I am not even kidding. The entire concept here is to turn the brush a little. As if people couldn’t figure that out unless the entire product was named after it.

Actually, the concept doesn’t bother me THAT much. I suppose it’s a decent idea, a brush that works two different ways for different effects. The problem is, this isn’t a brush. It’s a freakin piece of plastic. The whole two in one idea feels like it was an afterthought and they decided to run with it in marketing. This reminds me of those toys that come with alot of tiny parts, and all the parts are laid out and connected by plastic so you don’t lose them. It’s as if they broke off one of those little plastic sticks and expect you to put on eyeliner with it. It literally seems like they went the cheapest route possible.

When you start actually using this plastic stick, it works okay at first. I’m not sold on the whole thick line/thin line thing but you can make it work. Since the whole stick is covered in eyeliner rather than just the tip, as you apply it the stick makes you get liner in your lashes and they end up crunchy, even if you try to wipe off the excess (Think of it like checking the oil in your car; the whole dipstick is covered in oil, not just the very end). If you’re in a hurry, this is the wrong liner to use. I’m not a super expert eyeliner applier but I’ve been using liner for many, many years and I do a decent job of it. But poking at your lashline with a little plasic edge tends to make mistakes happen, since it’s not flexible at all. I have yet to be able to do one continuous line because I have to keep dipping it in the jar and going over and over the same area. And if you are an older lady or your eyelids have wrinkles? Just stop reading this review right now and scratch this one off of your list, because I can imagine that being a nightmare.

The wear of this product is actually pretty good. Obviously it has a glossy finish, hence the name, but it lasts fairly well. I had no problems with it smudging but it did flake a bit. It’s possible that I would’ve had less flaking if I didn’t have to go over the line repeatedly. It looks nice while it’s on if you can get it applied right. It doesn’t say anything about being waterproof but it stayed well enough for me. The color I got was Black Lacquer but they have a few other shades as well.

Removal was the part where I really got frustrated with this liner. I used my regular Maybelline Expert Eyes remover (it’s an oily remover) and that resulted in… eyeliner disintegration. And not in a good way. Instead of just dissolving and wiping away, the liner broke apart into gummy little black globs all over my eyes. So I followed up with my facial cleanser and went over my eyes with that too. That removed the rest of it, except I still ended up with tiny black bits and dots all over my face. Even after thoroughly washing my face, the next morning I still found a few black dots of liner. The whole thing was just more hassle than I want to deal with when I’m tired and getting ready for bed.

On the videos and commercials for this eyeliner, they keep trying to show off its versatility by using it to draw a big black line in the crease of some poor girls eye. What?? Who wears eyeliner like that? They do it at the end of this video on the Ulta site, if you’re not sure what I’m referring to. Those commercials really should’ve tipped me off… if they’re trying that hard to think of things you can do with this product it’s probably because it’s not that great at its intended purpose.

Despite the issues with application and removal, the wear was pretty good and I liked the overall look, so I kept trying to make it work. The real dealbreaker with the Master Duo liner was when I wore it two days in a row and ended up with a sty in my lashline. I can’t say for sure that it was the liner, but I can’t even remember the last time I had a sty before that. I really don’t like writing negative reviews about products, and this one is only about $8 so I understand that it’s not going to compete with higher end eyeliners. It’s possible that there are people out there who love it and have great results, this is just my opinion but this product isn’t right for me. Maybe with more practice I could figure out a way to make it work, but after three uses I’m ready to give up on it.

Pros: Long lasting, glossy finish, bold color    Cons: Difficult application, frustrating removal, and a cheap ‘brush’

Verdict: Skip the gimmick and find a liner that put more than 2 cents into their brush.


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