So this isn't groundbreaking, but on the off chance it's helpful to someone else I thought I'd share it anyway. I've been wanting a flesh-toned or white eyeliner for a while now, having ditched my faithful (and old - very old) Nat Robbins shimmery ivory one a long while back. Once I got rid of it, I forgot how easily white (or just light-colored) liner on my lower waterline makes my eyes look a little brighter, a little more awake.
(BTW, I'm going for something like this, not so much this.)
I've never found anything I liked as much as the Nat Robbins, though I've been getting by using lighter colored shadows applied with a damp liner brush. Mostly I've been using Chase or Vanilla from my UD 15th anniversary palette and sometimes the gold from my Topkapi quad.
I really wanted a liner, though, mostly because I am lazy and also because I tend to poke myself in the eye with a liner brush. Of course the one I have earmarked is from Chanel and costs $28, which is just stupid. So I bought a Wet 'n' Wild eyeliner on Friday for a whopping $.69. I thought oh boy this is going to be great!
When I first tried it on the back of my hand, however, I was a little bummed out. There was the familiar greasepaint smell. The application was uneven and patchy. It took me straight back to the old, bad days of Wet 'n' Wild , when I would ride my bike up to Gray Drug and spend my babysitting money on chalky eyeshadow and dry, pasty lipstick. It's shocking how strong my associations with that smell are - it was like I was right back in the girls' restroom in middle school, shakily putting on blue eyeliner before school.
In the last year or so I've purchased some really nice WnW eyeshadows and nail polishes, so I just assumed the eyeliner had changed as well. Sadly it seems about the same.
However, after working with it for a little while - rubbing in on the back of my hand, sharpening it - the liner has mellowed a bit and I've been using it over the weekend. I'm actually pretty happy with it - it creates enough of a brightening effect for casual looks and I'll probably continue to use shadows as liners if I want a little more TA DAAAA.