Thursday, 15 January 2015

Review | Smashbox 'Always Sharp' Kohl Liner

That old hollywood glam liquid liner look, will never go out of style. My patience with it, will, so an alternative?
Brown pencil. More forgiving to mishaps, less harsh on us paler skined lasses, and a way of switching out from glam to sultry, simply with a switch of shade.

My search began when I found this Smashbox 'Always Sharp Liner' in the clearance section of a Boots - who knew they sold Smashbox? Colour 'Sumatra', cost me £4 instead of the original £16. Though £12.99 in Amazon? Hmm. Interesting.
Intreged by the 'Always Sharp' claim? Makes 2.

With the risk of making your mouth water, it's more of a Milk Chocolate Brown, than the Dark Brown colour I was hoping for from the tube. Very soft texture to match, smooth to sqiggle ( easy to manipulate to any shape) ^, which does almost dull the colour slightly? Even straight after applying, it seems smudged already - and although the product is creamy and soft, it can look a little dry and that you have missed areas with the one swipe. I was starting to wonder whether the colour intenisty is sheer, but it's simply a product that doesn't create ink-like results.
They have a mirage of shades/tones on offer; neutrals, and wearable muted colours - like deep plums and emerald greens - but obviously, I can only vouch for this option.

I've found the 'Always Sharp' aspect, an attribute, not just a gimick - it allows the finest of lines at any point - before, after, even during application. By the routine of screwing the lid on/off, you inadvertently shave the tip. You don't even need to think about it, does it automatically. Seriously clever, & useful, original liner invention.
As someone who would rather struggle through than risk sharpening and ruining my liners, I love it - but the thrifter in me worries about any sharpening's containing wasted product. You also have no choice whether it sharpens or not; they disappear into the lid like magic.
Like loosing a note in a magic show - at £16 for 0.28g, wasted sharpening are no laughing matter.

Review Swatches
More often than not, I wear this liner as an accent to my lashline - to thicken it, and add some smudgy shadow - but I wanted to show it's cat eye capabilities to anyone who has more daily patience in this area than me.
No touch ups today - does my brow give the game away?
Initial Application / 1hr / 4hr / 10+ hr
Longevity matches any positive reviews I've read - I found the colour to be just as saturated as when I first applied, throughout the day - though bare in mind the original is softer than some. I noticed light transfer to my outer eye and lower lashline, but for someone with very oily skin, I was impressed (I do believe it's the oil that made it transfer).
Despite that, I hesitate to adhere to waterproof suggestion. Waterline (not pictured yet) for halfish of the day, with miner bleeding - but not pool party, against facewash, or the match of a cotton pad and eyemakeup remover. It has the advantage of being long lasting, without the issues of removing more industrial strength makeup - such as the No.7 Stay Precise liner formula I look to for hardcore 'waterproof'.

As far as liners are concerned, I think you do get what you pay for - longevity, colour intensity, texture, all improve majorly when the price goes up. In my experience, I don't think this is the best. I like the effect, and applaud the staying power, but it doesn't have much OMPH.
It may be marketed as a 'Kohl'- kudos on the smudgeble, yet set after so-long, qualities - but that doesn't mean it can fall short on richness. Even after trying layering it up, different techniques/different days, for what it's marketed as? I think it falls short. Waterproof promises not quite met, and I am also a little concerned as to how long before it runs out - a theme that's propped up in store reviews.
On the plus side, It's simply a different take on liner. For anyone looking for a more subtle, softer look: more natural days, or for faking freckles? This would be a product I would consider.
For £4, I'm not disappointed, but have a feeling these are being fazed out; there seems to be a new '3D' version. Hopefully they've upped the pigment game, though if the old formula seems more down your street, grab a bargain whilst you can.

All in all, 'Always Sharp' is an applaudable new concept for the world of liners; but I don't think this one will be promoted to crisp cat eye, in my collection anytime soon.


  1. Beautiful pictures :)

    1. Thankyou - it's a wonder what flowers can do to a blog photo

  2. This looks like a fab liner! Love the cat eye looks you created :)



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