This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The future of beauty is here — and you’re invited. Check out the rest of our 2018 Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards winners for a full look at the products, brands, and people that are breaking the rules and redefining beauty standards, one lipstick at a time.
Between the cat eye -challenged and those who can finesse a sharp flick in the back of an Uber, in the dark, or with their eyes closed, I’m one of the latter. Not to brag, but since I was first allowed to wear makeup as a teenager, a thick black stripe along my upper lash line has always been my “thing.”
But I wasn’t born eyeliner-savvy: My lids are slightly hooded and greasy as they come, so it’s taken plenty of raccoon eyes, gallons of makeup remover, and countless return trips to the beauty aisle before I earned my wings. Since then, I’ve tried nearly every top-rated liner under the sun, and I’ve fallen in love with fewer than I can count on both hands. Maybe I’m picky, but just because it deposits black pigment doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Some liners are deceiving and will impress you with a dramatic opaque line before smudging as soon as you blink; others dry out quickly and can barely last through a few strokes.
So, despite my love for Rihanna and her Fenty Beauty empire, I looked at her Flyliner marker in Cuz I’m Black with a critical lens when it was time to test for our 2018 Beauty Innovator Awards. Its name, an ode to both Rihanna’s most epic Twitter clapback and the color of the marker, was enough to make me a believer. But the real test was seeing if it could survive a ten-hour workday, accidental eye-rubbing, excessive yawning, and my buttery lids — without making me look like a panda.
My standards were high, but Fenty delivered on the first try. When the felt tip glided across my lash line, a vibrant, jet-black stripe followed in one clean stroke. The fine-pointed marker also gave me the sharpest wing ever, without having to clean up with concealer. It felt slightly tacky as it dried, so I dusted on some setting powder to lock in the glossy formula. The result was a flawless, extra-sharp wing that could cut someone if they stared too closely — and it stayed vivid and jet black all day. Despite its longevity, the liner was surprisingly easy to remove, no lid-scrubbing or tugging required.
Regardless of whether you can’t keep a steady hand to save your life or can wing it at your desk without a mirror, this liner won’t fail you. Just tell your Uber driver to take it slow — no matter how perfect the formula, one bump in the road, and the whole liner-on-the-go operation is a bust.
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