Product Review: MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy

MAC Teddy
This right here is good people.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you know I have been on the hunt for the perfect brown eyeliner ever since Topshop discontinued my beloved Saddle. I’ve tried some liners that were too dark, some that were hard to blend and some that didn’t have enough red undertones to bring out the green in my eyes. I haven’t Goldilocks-ed myself out of this one yet, but I have found a liner that’s almost “just right”.

The weird thing is, I’ve had this eyeliner in my pro kit for several years. It’s been my go-to brown waterline eyeliner from the beginning. (I’m pretty sure it was a recommendation from the Pixiwoo sisters.) It’s MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy. MAC describes it as an “intense bronze,” but on me, it comes out more as a chocolate brown with red and bronze undertones.

Teddy is easy to blend, as any kohl eyeliner pencil should be. Because it’s a kohl, I usually set it with some eyeshadow in a similar shade so it doesn’t transfer on my crease or smudge under my eyes. But I’ve applied it to the lower lashline sans shadow before and it barely moved. (I did get some transfer on the upper lashline though, which I always get when I don’t set a kohl liner with shadow. That’s partly due to my eye shape, and partly because of my oily lids.) If you want an eyeliner pencil that does not move, don’t go with a kohl. That’s a general makeup rule.

If you want a good waterline liner though, Teddy will not disappoint. This liner goes on smoothly and is pigmented so you can actually see it on the waterline, unlike some liners. (I won’t give names.) It’s moderately long-lasting on the waterline, which is normal. If your eyes have moisture–and for your sake, I hope they do–eventually that will break down any waterline liner.

Because it’s a kohl, Teddy is easy to smudge out. I like to apply a thin line then smudge it with an angled brush or a pencil brush. This is big for me because I don’t usually like a defined liner on my peepers.

Teddy lasts all day for me without any touchups (at the lashlines, anyway). Longevity is also essential for me, because I don’t always have time for touchups. Some kohl liners I have known go on smoothly and are nicely pigmented, but they don’t hold up. Teddy won’t back out on you by mid-afternoon, and that’s an important quality in a liner.

Teddy is my makeup equivalent of that guy I grew up with who I never thought too much about then started to see in a different light. (For the record, I have no such guy.) Is this eyeliner the one I end up? Or am I settling? It’s hard to tell, but Teddy is a solid choice who I’ve grown to love. I’ll keep passively searching (aka swatching every brown eyeliner in Sephora on my hand when I’m there), but I’m happy for now.

If you want to give Teddy a try, you can get it at MAC stores, counters and online.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

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Product Review: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil

Bobbi Brown eyeliner

Topshop Kohl Eyeliner in Saddle was the one that got away. Or at least the one that got discontinued. That was my favorite eyeliner to wear and I used my last one until it was a tiny nub. It was the perfect brown for my hazel eyes. Saddle did a standup job of enhancing the green I desperately try to bring out thanks to its reddish gold glitter flecks. Those tiny particles didn’t look like glitter or worse, act like it (no glitter fallout with Saddle).

I’ve been on the hunt for a new brown pencil eyeliner ever since I laid Saddle to rest. I was open to trying different browns and thought I would go in the dark brown direction. When I saw the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear in Pencil in Mahogany, my broken heart felt hopeful. Could this be the one?

Mahogany is a deep, dark matte brown. No glitter here, Mariah. It’s a standard eyeliner pencil with a solid plastic cap that stays on. The cap of an eyeliner pencil is important because if it is flimsy and cracks open or slides off easily, it exposes the pencil to air, which can dry it out. Even the best eyeliner pencil can’t survive the elements.

My favorite thing about this eyeliner is the color. It is a rich, saturated dark brown with great color payoff. It’s different from my beloved Saddle but I love this color just as much.

Unfortunately, it feels waxy and hard when lining the eye. It definitely drags on the skin, which I think is a universal makeup hate. I try to be so gentle on the eye area since that skin is very thin but it’s hard to be gentle and get the liner to draw on with this pencil.

The tip of the pencil is on the thicker side, even when sharpened, so it’s impossible to get a thin line. Even though it feels hard and pulls on the skin, the tip of it somehow also falls off easily. Usually that happens if a pencil feels soft (like most kohl pencils) but this one does not. It may be because it is on the drier side so the tip eventually dries out and cracks off.

I haven’t experienced any smudging or fading with this eyeliner so I think it lives up to its Long-Wear name. I realize this is a huge plus because many people have issues with eyeliner staying on.

I should have known this going into it, since most long-lasting products don’t blend well, but this eyeliner is impossible to blend. Once it’s on, it sets immediately. If you like a medium thick defined line, you’ll probably love it. I personally prefer a smudged out, blurry line so I don’t like that it sets so damn fast.

The liner is decent on the waterline. It doesn’t stay for hours, but it also doesn’t disappear right away. Some pencil liners– specifically the waxy longwear or waterproof ones–don’t even show up on the waterline so I was surprised that this one did. I didn’t experience any problems with it flaking off, which is important when you are lining the waterline.

The Long-Wear Eye Pencil did not quite do it for me. If Saddle taught me anything it was not to settle. I believe I’ll find my match someday, and I won’t stop looking until I do.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

In The Name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Eyeliner: Topshop Eyeliner Review

If you are Catholic, a history buff, or an excellent Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy player, you may have heard of Saint Maria Goretti. I also have a cousin named Maria Goretti, who I consider to be the Patron Saint of Makeup Gifts. She mails me surprise makeup packages, like Lipstick Queen glosses, Sonia Kashuk eyeshadows and Kevyn Aucoin books. She also emails me links to great makeup articles and blogs.

My Saint Maria Goretti and I both share a love for beautiful makeup, quality skincare products, Sephora and YouTube tutorials done by Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoos. A few years ago, Saint Maria told me that having a makeup artist in the family was better than having a doctor in the family. Hence her nickname for me, Dr. Allison Barbera.

Saint Maria recently sent me a brown kohl pencil eyeliner from Topshop. It is in a color called Saddle, and we had both heard about it from a Pixiwooos review. It was on my mile long list of products to try, but before I had the chance to order it, it came to my mailbox one happy day.

I use brown eyeliner on some clients, but very rarely on my own eyes. I tend to go for black, because my eyes are brown and my lashes and eyebrows are black, so most browns just don’t do anything for me. But this Topshop eyeliner in Saddle is something special. The color is a deep bronze brown with red metallic undertones, and it is spectacular. It draws on easily, without pulling on the skin and is easy to smudge, if that’s the look you are going for. But I found that when I drew a more defined line, it still stayed in place. It works on the waterline too and although it is not waterproof, it holds up well. This eyeliner really changed my mind about wearing brown eyeliner.

Topshop products are available at Topshop stores (in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas), some Nordstrom stores, and us.topshop.com. Or, you could try praying to the Patron Saint of Makeup Gifts, the modern day Saint Maria Goretti, and maybe something wonderful will end up in your mailbox…

Have a beautiful day 🙂