As a beauty editor, I’m pretty comfortable with applying most skin care and makeup products — but I firmly believe that eyeliner is the most difficult to work with. Who can really stick that close to the lash line, not smudge the product as you apply it, and draw an even shape on both eyes? Not me. That’s why I try any and every eyeliner product and hack that purports easier usage or application — and that’s how I came across Guide Beauty’s Eyeliner Duo.
Guide Beauty is a line of makeup products that were created with accessibility and ease in mind. After makeup artist Terri Bryant was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she began experiencing shakiness, tremors, and a loss of balance, which changed the way she interacted with beauty tools. To make application easier, she launched the ergonomically designed makeup essentials.
The brand’s Eyeliner Duo is a two-piece set that includes an eyeliner pot and an applicator, the latter of which looks like a sort of Harry Potter-esque wand. And it’s the applicator that’s the selling point of the product: It’s designed in a way that makes eyeliner application easy regardless of your skill level or physical ability. While holding the wand, which you’ve dipped into the pot of pigment, you rest one side against your cheek with the plastic tip aligned with where you want to apply the eyeliner. Keeping the wand in place, you then slide the plastic tip across your lid in one fell swoop.
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I don’t experience tremors, but the side effects of my polycystic ovarian syndrome-related medications combined with blood-sugar dips make me prone to somewhat regular bouts of shakiness — so I figured the eyeliner tool could be a game-changer for times when my hands aren’t as steady as they need to be for a clean swoop across my lash line.
The first time I used the Eyeliner Duo, I began by coating the end of the curved plastic tip into the black eyeliner. It took scratching through the top layer of the cream before the product really adhered to the tool. My first attempt at application was not that great: My eyelids are both hooded and moist from the humidity, so the liner immediately creased. I tried to achieve a wingtip, which was almost perfect, but I smudged the liner while trying to clean it up.
I gave it a second go. This time, I knew more of what to expect and was more comfortable with the pen-like tool. I first did the flick of my cat eye, which was an easy two strokes. Then I went onto the lash line: The instructions say you can rest the tool against your face and extend across the lash line without being moved from the cheek. I didn’t have enough product left on the tool so this was a patchy job, but I’d imagine the application would be smoother otherwise.
Overall, the eyeliner itself was creamy and a very deep, rich black. It creased quickly on my lids, but that’s a problem that might not exist with the help of an eye primer (and maybe more practice). Although the tool was difficult to use at first, that’s simply because of how foreign it was to me — I got used to the application technique after playing around with it for a bit.
Guide Beauty is an important step towards inclusivity and accessibility in the beauty industry, so the Eyeliner Duo definitely stands out as an innovative makeup product. Ultimately, I don’t see myself wearing eyeliner every day — but when I do, this will be one of two products I’ll use for the job.