Maybelline New York

Master Kajal Cream Kohl Liner

for $ 7.99
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Brand Overview

The first thing we have to address with Master Kajal Cream Kohl Liner is its name. Kajal and kohl are both terms for a style of cosmetics associated with India. Specifically, deep black eyeliner with an ultra-soft, crayon-like texture. Maybelline is trying to mimic that, but ultimately the performance left us disappointed.

First off, the pencil is neither retractable nor does it have a built-in sharpener. Instead, it has a tapered conical shape that leaves the entire liner exposed when you remove the cap. There are two major issues with this: One, it makes the product more susceptible to breaking, and two, it’s only tapered at the top so once you get through that, the rest of the stick is far too wide to use as an eyeliner (and again, there’s no sharpener to remedy this, unless you happen to have one on hand that will work with this type of liner).

Sadly, the inadequacies don’t stop there. Master Kajal Cream Kohl Liner has a solid yet creamy texture that glides smoothly across skin and is blendable for a smoky eye look in typical kohl style. On the flipside, its wax and oil-based formula also lends itself to unwanted smudging and fading throughout the day.

We also found it weird that the shades don’t match what is advertised. For instance, Maybelline ads show the Navy Night and Midnight Brown as having a metallic finish but in reality they’re matte. The brown and black shades go on richly pigmented, but Navy Night is a less intense blue hue than how it is portrayed.

All in all, despite its smoothness, flake-proof wear and fragrance-free formula, we were disappointed by the performance and design of this liner. Given there are tons of better formulated eyeliners out there, why settle for less?


  • Solid cream stick glides smoothly across skin.
  • Blendable for a smoky eye look.
  • Flake-proof and fragrance-free formula.


  • Packaging isn’t user-friendly (not retractable, no sharpener included).
  • Design makes the product more susceptible to breaking off.
  • Smudges and fades as the day wears on.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Maybelline New York At-A-Glance

Strengths: At least one excellent product (if not several) in almost every category; many excellent foundations; superior mascaras; inexpensive makeup brushes; some terrific concealers, powders, blush, and lip color options.

Weaknesses: Lips balms tend to be a letdown; a few of the Great Lash mascaras are surprisingly average compared to other Maybelline formulas.

Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the worldit's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996, and that's when things really started coming together for the Maybelline brand.

Specializing in a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, there is a lot to love from this drugstore brand. Many of their foundations are exceptional, and their powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor collection impressed us by offering a high degree of quality for their inexpensive price point.

Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Smart shoppers will note the similarities of a few of Maybellines formulas to products from high-end brands that are also owned by parent company LOreal. That just goes to show conscientious shopping can really save you moneywithout sacrificing quality or performance.

For more information about Maybelline New York, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.

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The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

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