Find the Right Eyeliner for You; Reviews of Urban Decay, Pur Minerals, & Tarte

About my absence:  I’ve been fighting the flu and even spent Thanksgiving in bed.  Below you’ll see some pictures of me wearing Urban Decay eyeliner while I was sick–dressing up made me feel better about spending the holiday by myself.  For many of us, applying eyeliner can be a mystery.  What’s best—pencil, lead, liquid, or clay? I will de-mystify eyeliners and review three products from Urban Decay, Pür Minerals, and Tarte.  I’ll also address solutions to the application difficulties chronically ill women (lupus, Myasthenia Gravis, MS, fibromyalgia, cancer, etc.) face due to impaired coordination and pain.

Urban Decay (UD)

Urban Decay

Greatest Feature: Intense color.  UD has true “WOW Factor!”

Who benefits most?

  • Women who like variety—UD comes in myriad of striking colors from black (“zero”) to a regal purple (“Empire) to green (“Mainline”).

    Urban Decay “Zero” vs. “Mainline”
  • Women who have a hard time applying makeup—UD glides on smoothly.
  • Women who don’t like lead-twist-up eyeliners—I used an expensive lead twist-up eyeliner before.  While it glided on smoothly, it broke and I couldn’t get the lead out.  I was stuck with an entire eyeliner I couldn’t use. While you do have to sharpen pencil liners, one advantage is that you don’t have to worry about lead breaking.
  • Women who don’t want to reapply—The color lasts all day.

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5/5 stars)

Price: $19.00 at Sephora

NOTE: Check out UD’s Smoked 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set—six pencils for $38.00.  Good deal!

Pür Minerals Eye Defining Pencil with Smudger

Greatest Feature: Easy & Fast Application—This eyeliner is great for women who are in a hurry and don’t have time for brushes or sharpeners.

Pür Minerals

Who benefits most?

  • Women who want a natural look—If you don’t want WOW Factor, you’ll enjoy the soft look of this eyeliner, especially in Chocolate Mica.
  • Women who want all natural products—My skin has been at its clearest ever since I started using Pür Minerals  4-in-1 Foundation everyday.
  • Women who hurt when applying pencil eyeliners—I’ve tried $5.00 pencil eyeliners only to have my lids feel like they were being pinched. Pur minerals tip is soft and round—in contrast to the sharp edges of most pencils.  It’s great for women with cancer, fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and of course Myasthenia Gravis.
  • Women who like to smudge their eyeliner—The double-ended pencil has one end for smudging.

    Pür Minerals AM vs. PM

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4/5 stars)

I wanted to give this eyeliner a perfect ranking.  However, at the end of the day, it smears a little and I can see it under my eyes.  Compared to other similarly priced brands, the pigmentation is lacking.

Price: $17.00 here at Pur Minerals

Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Eyeliner

Best Feature:  Lasting Power—Like the other products in Tarte’s Amazonian Clay line (mascara, blush, bronzer), this eyeliner lives up to its promise and lasts 12 hours.  Really!  It doesn’t smudge.  I never reapply.  As you can see in these pictures taken at 8 am (before work) and 8 pm (after coming home tired), Tarte’s eyeliner is still there!

Tarte 8 am VS. 8 pm

Who benefits most?

  • Women who like precise lines—Tarte’s double-ended brush has a fine point on one end and a wider brush on the other end.  You can do natural lines or cat-eyes using the box’s instructions.
  • Women who want color—Tarte’s eyeliner is highly pigmented and comes in a variety of memorable colors.

  • Women who are on a budget—The pot of clay lasts.  I bought two eyeliners eight months ago (shades: black and indigo) and I still have 30% left!
  • Women who want all natural products.

Price: $22.00 at Tarte Cosmetics

My Ranking: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5/5 stars)

How to Avoid Eyeliner Smudging

When I talk about smudging, I’m not referring to the coveted “smokey eye” look.  No, I’m referring to smudging that happens when you have eyeliner under your eyes, “raccoon eyes.”  In the current issue of InStyle magazine, they have a great tip that works for pencil eyeliners!  Apply eyeshadow closest to the shade of your eyeliner near the lash line after you’ve applied eyeliner.  The powder absorbs the grease.  As you can see in my pictures wearing UB’s zero, I applied a dark shadow and blended the two.

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno


Hi there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

2 thoughts on “Find the Right Eyeliner for You; Reviews of Urban Decay, Pur Minerals, & Tarte

  • November 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I just clicked on this link from your recent Thanksgiving post. I love that you put on makeup regardless to make yourself feel better. Even though my struggles are not exactly the same I fail to do that and I love makeup but let it sit in the drawer too many times. I actually like watching makeup shows (well TV shopping channels presentations, my husband is baffled as to why I sometimes tape those!) to help cheer me up when things are tougher. And eyeliner, oh my… my eyesight has gotten progressively worse and not currently able to wear contacts. Me trying to apply it without my glasses is a comical sight (refractive humor, ha). My old Smashbox creme eyeliners in sets have all dried up, the drug store stuff tugs (I have older eyes, lol) and I don’t know what to try. Have heard good things about UD and saw the new gift set at Ulta last week but with other recent expenses thought I’d better not. I had ordered a Tarte set that just came today but I’m already feeling buyer’s remorse and was thinking of sending it right back. It has the smolder eyes (?) liners in it. I’ve never tried this brand but liked that it was more natural and no silicones. Not sure if those would be good for me or not. Suggestions? Yes, I did finally get a magnified vanity mirror so I don’t poke the stuff into my eyeball.

    • November 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Hey Tami,
      Great question. I also have some coordination issues. Drug store brands do tug at my eyes too! Tarte’s a great natural brand; I haven’t used their Smolder Eyes eyeliner–just the clay ones above. I recently became a consultant for Arbonne and I give mini makeovers to people when they host facial parties. Arbonne’s eyeliner (pencil one) is really easy to use if you have coordination issues. It’s just big enough to make it easy and skinny enough to draw a precise line if that makes sense. The colors are really natural if you don’t like bold, metallics. Let me know if you’re interested in it. Plus it comes with a built-in sharpener, which makes it a great value. That’s one less thing you don’t have to keep track of. Let me know if you’re interested in this:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *