L'Oreal usually comes off quite well with their eyeliners, but Voluminous Superstar Liquid Eyeliner isn't quite the superstar its name suggests it is. The unique tip makes application a breeze, it deposits vivid color, and is a beauty bargain. Unfortunately, its propensity for smudging makes it one that we can't recommend wholeheartedly.
Voluminous Superstar Liquid Eyeliner looks like a traditional black liquid eyeliner pen, but its applicator makes it stand out from the rest. The long, flexible felt-tip is its best asset because it allows easy application, hugging the lash line, and avoiding the "eye gap" common with many other liners, where you can see skin between the line drawn and your lash line. The tip's flexibility lends to easy cat-eye application, imparting intense black pigment as it glides across your eyelids.
We've heard that some people have had an issue with the product drying up quickly, but after a month of daily testing, we have not had this issue. If you've experienced this product drying out, perhaps try again—but this also assumes you're OK with this liner's more universal shortcomings.
After initial application is when things start to go downhill. This eyeliner has a strong tendency to travel, smudging all the way up to the brow bone within just a few hours. This happened amongst several of our staffers, regardless of skin type, but was more obvious on those with oily skin. If you're wearing it alone or with a light eyeshadow base it is very noticeable but we noticed wearing it over a darker eyeshadow color makes it little less apparent.
Ultimately, although its rich color and unique applicator provide an affordable way to create a precise cat-eye, Voluminous Superstar Liquid Eyeliner doesn't earn our enthusiastic recommendation. There are many others (including from L'Oreal) on our list of best eyeliners that do this just as well without the unfortunate smudging that accompanies this one.
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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