What a Nib Head


Lauren Oakey eyes up Benefit’s ingenious new liner

I have a very strong and unshakeable relationship with gel eyeliner, preferably half a centimetre thick and blacker than pitch. But I do not have the same love for getting on the tube after applying my make-up on the train – where decanting a brush end’s amount onto the back of my hand, smoothing it out and then trying to get it along my lashline without it jumping into my brows is like trying to defuse a bomb whilst standing on an upturned milk crate on a skateboard – then grabbing the rail and invariably seeing a dirty great smudge on the back of one hand that no amount of wiping on the back of my dress or standing awkwardly with my hands turned inwards can fix.
So I was excited to try Benefit’s new They’re Real Push Up Liner, which comes with a revolutionary rubber nib at the end instead of a brush, complete with a tiny stopper to prevent the gel escaping when you’re done with it. I lost the stopper immediately, of course, but it didn’t matter because of my saviour – the twist-to-close outer lid. Lids that fall off liners and into the bottom of my make-up bag, leaving the product to smear itself over everything I own and create a sort of eyeliner soup in my bag, make me want to grab my things and organise them into separate wipe-clean pouches, Anna Wintour-style.
Anyway. The Benefit gel itself, the correct amount of which is dispensed through the nib when you turn and click the end, is thick but smooth and densely pigmented, dries matte and does the job in a couple of minutes. The best way to master a perfect line here is by first drawing in the initial line, ideally looking down into a small mirror so that your eyelid is more taut and allows the liner to go on more smoothly. If you’ve ever tried and failed at the flick, don’t draw upwards. Instead, place the nib at the point you like it to stop and bring the liner back down into the line you’ve already drawn. Trust me, this works everytime. Give this pen two clicks maximum though, as I found out to my cost. The slanted nib for extra sharp, flicky ends is so foolproof that I reckon you could chuck this on whilst driving a cab, never mind sat in the back of one. Ace.


Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner, £18.50

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