Reviews-Day Tuesday ft. Essence Cosmetics: 2-in-1 Eyeliner Pen + Possible High-End Dupe?

Happy Reviews-Day Tuesday, friends!  When I attended the Essence event a few weeks ago (read about it HERE) I was given a very generous goodie bag, with a bunch of the newest releases.  So today is the first of a couple Essence reviews that I will be doing.

Click through, to hear my thoughts, and see swatches of the Essence 2-in-1 eyeliner pen.

“One Eyeliner – two styles!  Whether you’re trying to achieve a fine line for an elegant, classic look or a bold line for a dramatic look – with the essence 2 in 1 eyeliner pen, both are as easy as ABC.”

The pen has 2 sides, one with a thick applicator, and one with a thin one.  I’ll start with the thick end.  The thick end is very firm and has a flat angled edge, which is a great shape to create a cat eye.

Personally, I didn’t like the thick end.  The formula was extremely murky and water-y, and this eye swatch took about 4 layers to try to get close to opacity, which was never actually achieved.  I don’t think that there was anything to rave about, staying-power-wise.  About 2 hours later, the product had really faded – this is how it looked:

Next up is the thin end.  I definitely preferred the thin end, not just due to process of elimination, but because it seemed to have a completely different formula (I don’t know if that’s because it has 2 eyeliners in it, or whether one applicator handles the formula better).  The applicator came down to a very fine tip, and the felt-tip applicator was slightly firm, which I really appreciate – because an uneasy hand, mixed with a flimsy brush applicator can be a dangerous combination.

Now that’s more like it!  There was a consistent black colour throughout the entire swipe, and it was easy to use.  You can use the thin end as a very thin liner, and if you prefer a thick line, I’d suggest to use the thin end, and just build it up.

Essence 2-in-1 eyeliner pen swatched on the back of my hand.

In the hand swatch, pictured above, the thick end is on top, and the thin is on the bottom – huuuge difference.  See how the thick end’s water-y formula poured out into the creases of my skin?  Meanwhile, the thin end stayed put.


– the thin end has great pigmentation

– the thin end has a firm and easy to use applicator (good for beginners)

– for $4.00 – you can’t beat the price


– the thick end’s formula is very water-y

– the thick end does not have lasting staying-power

And just for fun, I compared the thin end of the Essence 2-in-1 eyeliner pen, to my Stila liquid liner.  Can you guess which one is which? ….do I hear “dupe”?

Top:  Essence 2-in-1 eyeliner pen (thin end)
Bottom:  Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner “Intense Black”

In the end, while the thick end didn’t work for me, I was immediately won over by the thin end.  Especially, since other drugstore brands have eyeliners that retail anywhere from $10-$20, and this one only costs a fraction of that price at $4.00, I’d probably collect my loose change and buy this eyeliner in-store, just for the thin end.

Do you have a favourite Essence item?  Do any of their wallet-friendly choices beat out their higher-end counterparts in your beauty regime?  Let me know in the comments below.  Until next time. – Shawna    


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