Friday, March 18, 2011

Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner New Colors

I've mentioned how much I love Laura Mercier's Cake Eyeliners and there are three new colors out in the single pans. I was going to get them one at a time but decided to back out of the new baked eyeshadows and get all three colors of the eyeliner instead.

I originally had my eye set on Plum Riche. This is the color I've been waiting for! It's timely too since violet seems to be one of the colors of spring. I know that this is going to be a very useful shade for me.

Plum Riche Tightline Cake Eyeliner

I was also interested in Charcoal Grey although when I initially tried it on, I wished it was darker. I feel like it's more of a full-on grey shade as opposed to charcoal. The Gunmetal Smoke in the Tightline Trio palette feels more like charcoal to me.

Charcoal Grey Tightline Cake Eyeliner

I was initially not going to pick up Forest Green because I wasn't sure that I was actually going to use it but since I skipped on the new eyeshadows, I thought I'd get it anyway and complete the entire set. Looking at it now, I think I might have some fun with it later on. It's not a vibrant green and again, I feel like it could have been a touch darker but I'll take what I can get as long as the formula remains the same.

Forest Green Tightline Cake Eyeliner

I like these cake eyeliners because you can build the color to intensity and they don't move once they set. Talk about long lasting. Once dry, they don't fade or smudge. Just what you need for extra long days. This isn't eyeshadow used wet as liner. As a matter of fact, you can't use these as eyeshadow. You need to use a wet brush to activate the color. You don't need the "tightline activator" to make it work. With plain water, these develop into full color with a matte finish. Used with a flat eyeliner brush, you can apply it to your lashline and get an immediate lash-thickening effect. With rich color, you not only add definition to your eyes but some life as well. And you don't need to look like you're wearing a ton of eyeliner in the process.

Swatches from left: Charcoal Grey, Forest Green, Plum Riche

Personally, I like to tightline with Black Ebony (swatched in this post) and I got these to use as regular eyeliner, to line with above the lashes. I've been experimenting with tightlining with color and it's a fresh change although I think the darker colors look better. Plum Riche is actually working out very nicely. I haven't ever tried lining the bottom lashes with it but I'm certain that it can be done.

Working with these is like working with watercolors. The amount of water you use affects the richness of the pigment. That said, I think these are a cinch to work with. Squishing the flat brush between your lashes is probably the more challenging part. Once you've gotten used to it though, you might find yourself tightlining more and more.

With this acquisition, I've probably given myself a 20 year supply of eyeliner. But I love these colors! And they all fit in the customizable palette so you can take all three with you wherever you plan to go or mix and match them with your favorite eyeshadow and cheek colors.

Colors from left: Charcoal Grey, Forest Green, Plum Riche

UPDATE 3/22/11: I've had a chance to play with these more and I do notice a slight change in formulation. It wasn't my imagination that they applied slightly differently from the old cake eyeliners I had (Black Ebony and Mahogany Brown). These actually thicken up more easily and are very rich in pigment. I never use it with anything but plain water and I really haven't had any problems with them.

I need to stress that if you ever use the "Tightline Activator" that is sold by the brand, you can no longer use the product with water. I advise against the activator. I've been able to achieve rich pigment without it and although they are not as budgeproof as they used to be, I think that they still last a long time without needing to be retouched.

My swatches above and in this post were all done with just water. If you compare the swatches of the new colors with the older colors in this post, you will see how much richer in pigment the new formula seems to be. The tightline activator will give you an even more vibrant color that will not move (and also creates something of a sheen) but personally, I think they're just fine with water. The old cake liners used to absorb water so fast, it was nuts. The new formula isn't like that. It thickens to a paste a lot easier. I also use eyedrops with them and never had a problem. It works just like water.

If I compare Laura Mercier cake eyeliners to the only other cake eyeliner that I use, La Ligne de Chanel Professional Eyeliner Duo which I own in Noir-Lame, I find that Chanel is very rich in pigment from the get go, so it's easier to create a dark, bold line. However, Chanel's cake eyeliner smudges throughout the day every single time that I use them. I never had that issue with Laura Mercier, not even with the new colors. (5/6/2011) I've been experimenting some more and realized two things. I may have been using too much water with my Chanel liner and that's why I used to get smudges. When you mix in the proper amount of water, in Chanel's case you need so little, you get the consistency of a liquid liner and it creates a perfect line. If you use less water, it dries really quickly and once it's set, it won't smudge. I've also learned to run a dry swab through my lashes after I tightline, to make sure that any pigment that got on the lashes doesn't transfer to my skin. Once I started this practice, I didn't have any issues with Chanel's cake liner anymore. I can't say that I like one brand over the other. They're just different. If Chanel came out with new colors and I like them, I imagine that I would get those too (even if it means that I have enough cake eyeliner in my stash to last me 5 lifetimes).


  1. I have the old Chanel cake eyeliner duo in La Ligne Chanel Professional Eyeliner Noir et Marine. It is no longer made. That product is exceptional, it does not move or budge and stays put all day. I just found, as of todays date (April 4, 2011) an overseas shop that had two. I bought just one as I think it will probably last me the rest of my life (I am sixty). The black can be mixed with the blue for a more intense black or dark navy, but I never used the blue. One is available at You can see an image of it on Google images if you type in Chanel Professional Eyeliner. I have my original one from the early to mid-ninties. There is, in my opinion, nothing to compare with the staying power and quality. Oh yes! I almost forgot to mention, I sometimes use a black eyeshadow, with a fine point, over the eyeliner line, to produce a stippling effect, it sort of softens the line.

  2. Regarding the Chanel Professional Eyliner in Noir et Marine. I did not mention in my previous post but you use just plain water. Some people said that they use eye drops. If you would like more consumer feedback on this discontinued product go to

  3. Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the info on Noir et Marine. It is unfortunate how quickly they discontinue these things, isn't it? I have only ever seen 3 versions of Chanel's cake eyeliner and I have never come across Noir et Marine. I sometimes wonder if the quality changes over time or if newer products are just a little different from the older ones. Either way, you've certainly stoked my curiosity!

  4. I have to say the Chanel Noir et Marine is absolutely superb.
    I use the blue on its own. It's a true very deep blue, much bluer than the very dark almost black Bleu Marine from Laura Mercier.
    The Noir is blacker than LM's black ebony and stays on without budging all day.
    I do love the LM cake liners as they are brilliant too but that Chanel one is outstandling good.