A (brutally honest) review of the brand’s latest makeup drop.
A few weeks ago, a group of several other beauty editors and I were invited to Glossier HQ in New York to find out about several of the buzzy beauty brand’s launches (including Futuredew) and chat with its product development and marketing teams. It was during this meeting that I first encountered Pro-Tip, Glossier’s first ever liquid eyeliner, which makes its debut on Monday. It’s not the company’s first foray into eyeliner; true fans will remember that Glossier’s Black Tie set, which launched for holiday 2016, included a black pencil, while a standout from its spinoff brand Glossier Play is the multi-hued Colorslide gel eyeliner.
Pro-Tip is, however, Glossier’s debut liquid eye formula, an inky brush-tip pen available in one shade — black — with a retail price tag of $16. As Glossier’s reps presented the product to press, I was interested to hear them make claims that it was “different from any other liquid eyeliner on the market,” specifically pointing to the formula’s super-intense, opaque pigment, ease of use and long-wearing formula that, like the brand’s mascara, Lash Slick (which I personally love), can be removed easily without much tugging. Expectations were high!
…And then I tested it on my hand. Yes, the brush-like tip made it easy to draw a thin, precise line. But was it really that different from any of the many, many marker-like liquid eyeliners already out there? No, not particularly. What was different, though, was the formula: It was streaky and somewhat sheer, almost like a black watercolor effect. I was a little taken aback, but assumed maybe the sample I’d picked up to test was a little faulty. It happens! Then I looked around the room at the other editors who had also scribbled test lines on their hands, and noticed that theirs, too, were unevenly pigmented and less opaque than would be ideal. Hm.
Now for a bit more context: The claims for Pro-Tip, according to press materials from Glossier, note that “the pen’s brush tip was designed with flexible fibers that hug the curve of the lash line.” (It’s worth noting that the brand also offers a liquid eyebrow filler, Brow Flick, in a decidedly similar brush-tip component.) The release goes on to promise a “densely-pigmented, buildable formula dries quickly so it’s smudge-resistant, and stays put for up to 12 hours.” It’s also hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty free, safe for contact lens wearers and ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested.
It wasn’t until a few days before the product’s launch that I got to try out Pro-Tip on my eyes, and I was more than ready to give it a second chance. I love plenty of Glossier’s products so much that they’re part of my permanent makeup and skin-care routines — maybe that first run-in with the new liner was just an off day, I figured.
I tested it right at my desk (yes, my co-workers put up with a lot!), giving myself a slight cat-eye flick at about 2:00 p.m. I did find the brush tip to be a good one that yielded a smooth line, and it wasn’t too tough to get my liner straight in a couple of swipes. But what it was tough to do was to get it to be opaque. It took about four or five strokes to build up the formula to the pigment intensity I’d like in a liquid eyeliner. Glossier does note that it’s important to shake the pen before you use it, as it contains an internal ball mixer, just like a nail polish bottle, to keep the ink smooth. I made sure to do this and it seemed to help make the pigment a little less streaky than it had been when I’d tested it on my hand previously, but still, it was definitely not as intense as I’d expect from a liquid eyeliner.
Here is a gratuitous selfie from my Pro-Tip Testing in which I’m wearing the liquid liner, a thing I admittedly don’t do more than, like, once a month. Yes, it was taken in the office and yes, once again, my co-workers put up with a lot.
While I wasn’t able to test the product’s 12-hour wear claims — sorry, I wasn’t gonna stay up until 2:00 a.m. on a school night! — I did wear it through the rest of the day until about 10:30, when it was still intact, save for a tiny bit of upper-lid transfer (which was notably less egregious than I’ve had with many other formulas) and stray flakes that had migrated down my face a bit. True to the brand’s promises, it did remove easily with minimal tugging and gentle makeup wipes.
Other pros? At $16, Pro-Tip is pretty accessibly priced. I also noticed that it didn’t make my sensitive eyes feel itchy or dry, as so many other formulas have tended to do in the past. And once I did layer enough product on to get an opaque line, the not-too-matte, not-too-shiny finish was a nice Goldilocks compromise as far as liquid liners go.
So, yeah, all things considered, this one ranks as… fine for me.
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