Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense — Turn up the Drama
Gone are the days of eye pencils being used to punctuate poetic makeup sentences relying on poignant eye shadow adjectives and dynamic mascara adverbs. Nowadays, we don’t want out eyeliners to blend in — we want them to stand out. If they punctuate a makeup look, they do so as an exclamation point, not a comma or period.
Whether your goal is to create a dramatic cat eye, rim the eye with color for a halo-like effect, layer your liner underneath a powder eye shadow to create a more nuanced effect, or smudge the color onto the lids, chances are you want your handy tool to be as richly pigmented and long-lasting as possible. Following in the footsteps of Estée Lauder, Make Up For Ever, NARS, and Lancôme (to name but a few), Clinique ventured to improve the long-wearing formula of its Quickliner for Eyes automatic eye pencils so as to make these beloved liners more saturated with color, smoother in texture, easier to apply with precision, and more resistant to fading.
The result: the new Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense ($15 at Clinique.com), which features the same automatic pencil construction of its predecessor but relies on a more sophisticated formula that glides onto eyes smoothly, without any scraping, tugging, or scratching, and which delivers the richness in pigment that we associate with liquid liners (as opposed to eye pencils). Thanks to a fine, pointed tip, you can trace very thin lines with utmost precision while getting the depth of color you tend to get solely from liquid liners. Since most women lack surgeon-ready steady hands, it’s a relief when we can rely on an eye pencil in lieu of attempting to pull off straight and even lines with a tiny brush loaded with liquid liner.
Other convenient factors: these pencils don’t require any sharpening. Instead, whenever the pencil tip looks too short and stubby, you simply need to twist the plastic tube encasing the solid pigment, thereby propelling more pigment toward the tip. Interestingly enough, however, the point will only “grow” but so much — even if you twist the tube tirelessly, the pencil is designed so that it won’t allow all of the liner to emerge out of the opening (good news for those of us with young children since they tend to twirl automatic eye pencils until they can see the entire stick of color and then, inevitably, this thin stick snaps right off). Another handy element: the opposite end of the pencil includes a sponge tip so that you can blend and smudge your liner as desired.
The new Clinique Quickliner Intense for Eyes is available in six shades: Intense Plum, Intense Ivy, Intense Charcoal, Intense Black, Intense Chocolate, and Intense Midnight. After the jump, you’ll find swatches of four of these shades, along with a sample look created using the Intense Ivy Quickliner Intense.
I’ve been really delighted with how long the Clinique Quickliner Intense for Eyes lasts on lids (a solid 8-10 hours for me) and how vibrant the color looks even after hours of wear. I wore the Clinique Quickliner Intense for Eyes in Intense Ivy all over my lids and the color looked as refined as any top-notch cream shadow, plus it didn’t flake, crease, run, or smudge. I do wish more shades were available but, of course, it’s only because I like the product so much that I even desire more options.
I do, however, have a couple of critiques, but they’re minor in scope. First, though the pointed tip is ideal for looks that involve clean, angular lines or swooping, swirly designs, it does make the prospect of applying the liner to the entire lid rather time-consuming. Ideally, Clinique will follow up this release with a jumbo quickliner formulated with the same technology but boasting a chubbier tip that will cover more surface area. Second, the sponge tip applicator actually feels rather harsh on the lids, so I’d advise using a separate tool if you wish to smudge or blend the liner color along the lid.
Still, this is inarguably the best eye pencil Clinique has ever offered so, if you’re a fan of the brand, do check these out!
Below, you’ll find swatches of the Intense Black, Intense Charcoal, Intense Ivy, and Intense Plum shades. I’m particularly smitten with the Intense Ivy, a deep olive green with warm golden specks, and the Intense Plum, a mysterious purple with violet undertones and a hint of shimmer.
Next, here’s a look I created with the Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Intense Ivy. All I did to create the look was to line my eyes with the color, winging the shade out at the outer corners and then, from that point, working my way back toward the inner corner, through the crease. Once I had blocked out the perimeter of the look, I filled the lid in with color, gliding the pencil over the entire area and then smudging and blending the shade a bit using a sponge tip (as previously noted, I did find the pencil’s built-in sponge tip a bit too abrasive, so I actually relied on the sponge tip from a different eye pencil).
To set the color, I swept a thin veil of the NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder atop the liner color. Next, I applied two coats of Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Flawless Definition in Mascara.
I finished off the makeup look by applying the new Givenchy Gloss Interdit 32 to my lips.