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Review: Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen Liquid Eyeliner

If you’ve looked through my beauty reviews, you’ll see that I rarely (maybe never) have rated a product negatively. Not to say that I haven’t come across terrible products, but with limited time, I’d rather focus on the positive. SPOILER ALERT – Unfortunately, today that isn’t the case.

So why do a negative review? I’m probably shooting myself in the foot and getting blacklisted by Tom Ford’s Beauty PR and potentially other brands from the Estee Lauder group. There are three main reasons. First, this eyeliner doesn’t come cheap at USD 55 and I know how disappointing it is to splurge and have regret. Second, I bought this since I read many positive reviews including those on The RAEviewer and Temptalia. Both happen to favorites of mine and since the positive opinion exists, I wanted to share another perspective. Blogs are supposed to be your shopping enablers and perhaps this may sway you to purchase something else. Finally, I absolutely LOVE Tom Ford beauty. Their lipsticks are easily my favorites and I can’t resist their eyeshadows either. But a part of me has hope that perhaps someone from their team will read this review and take the feedback constructively.

Review Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen

The Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen Liquid Eyeliner is a relatively new addition to the Tom Ford Beauty collection and released in September of 2013. I picked it up from Bloomingdales Dubai and have used it on and off since then but more consistently over the past month.

The Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen Eyeliner consists of two tips – an extra-fine calligraphy brush on one end and a thicker felt tip on the other end. The product flows easily from the tips and the brushes are stiff but smooth enough for an easy application. I’m average at eyeliner application but the brushes are absolutely flawless and make application easy. Even with the thicker end, you can get a nice fine application and can get extra close to the lash line for the perfect look. As for the finish itself, you get a strong black color with a matte finish that dries quickly.

Unfortunately, post-application is where the problems start for me. If you happen to make a mistake, clean-up with makeup remover causes all sorts of smudging and no amount of concealer can hide it. This is partly due to the strong pigmentation in the product. I generally do a small cat-eye at the corners and draw the line close from the inner edges of the eye. After a few hours, I notice some leakage in the inner eye tear ducts and the outer tip smudging. It’s not hard to clean up but clearly the product is no match for Dubai’s weather (and we’re not even in full summer yet – I can’t imagine what would happen in the humidity).

Removal is another story. I use my trusty Bioderma Cleansing Water, which quickly breaks down the product. But instead of breaking into pieces, it disolves the ink leading to super-smudging all across my eyes. I finish off with shu uemura’s cleansing oil to get rid of all the residue, which helps but I still can’t get rid of the staining around the lash line. What was a perk on application, proves to be an issue while applying. The next morning’s steamy shower dislodges all product and I need another swipe of Bioderma to be completely eyeliner free.

Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen reminds me of applying eyeliner in high school. I used to use Bourjois and line my eyes like a racoon and would have to deal with smudging and black tear ducts all the time. I just assumed that came with the territory of liquid eyeliner. However, as I grew up, I realized the right product makes all the difference. Black liquid eyeliner isn’t really hard to do with some lovely options from Marc Jacobs, MAC and Chanel out there. So it really bugs me that Tom Ford’s retails for a few hundred dirhams yet works this way on me.

That being said, I’ll play devil’s advocate and say I could potentially have a bad production batch or my eyes prefer different products (I do have fairly oil lids). But I have to say I’m disappointed Mr. Ford and I need to think of creative ways to use this up.

Have you used this product? Share your feedback with us. And don’t let this scare you away from the Tom Ford lipsticks!

What: Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen Eyeliner in “Deeper”
Why: Two tips is better than one
Where: Tom Ford Beauty Counters – Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales
How much: USD 55 for 0.04 oz
Pros: Application is flawless thanks to both tips
Cons: Smudgey and a pain to remove
Rating: 2 stars

Disclaimer: Item featured here was purchased by me.

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