When Lady Gaga announced her Haus Laboratories makeup line earlier this year, my first question was, Where the fuck is the eyeliner? Thankfully for me and all the other little, goth-adjacent Monsters out there, Gaga unveiled her Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner at Monday night's Haus Laboratories launch event.
A matte, felt-tipped pen that promises a "signature Lady Gaga dramatic cat eye wing," the product — like the rest of the line — was crafted by her longtime makeup artist, Sarah Tanno. And though it only comes in one matte black shade ("Punk") for now, as Gaga herself has proved, even amidst all the glitter and appliques, you always need a little bit of matte black liner to tie it all together.
So as PAPER's resident eyeliner aficionado, I decided to put it to the test. All exaggerations aside, it's a big deal for me, especially seeing as how I've written entire essays about my staunch allegiance to Almay's 16-Hour Liquid Liner for the past 13 years. So how does Gaga's Lie-Ner stack up to my holy grail?
To my snobby surprise, pretty fucking well.
For one, it's able to deliver my desired opaque, jet-black matte line from the get-go. Initial dispensation of product is a dream, and I had no trouble creating the oversized wing-tips (clump and flake-free!) I like to wear every day. In fact, it may be the smoothest liner I've ever had the pleasure of applying — something that also didn't go unnoticed when I was testing it out amidst all the jostling and pushing at the launch. And, in the interest of "research," I even did a couple applications tipsy, all to similar results — so you know it's good stuff.
And that's this product's biggest strength: It's incredibly easy to use. That said, as an old hand who's mastered the art of a five-minute subway cat eye, I decided to have my roommate weigh in.
"What the fuck," she exclaimed as she applied the Lie-Ner in our warped bathroom mirror. "This bitch killed it."
When asked to elaborate, my roommate explained that while she usually "just has to pray" when using her go-to L'Oreal liquid, the Lie-Ner was so easy-to-control that she was able to produce exactly what she wanted on the first shot — no stray bumps, no mysterious blank portions, no need to Q-tip anything in the aftermath. "What the fuck," she reemphasized, marveling at her own cat eye. "How did that even happen?"
After all, an underrated component of what makes a great eyeliner is the applicator and, it's safe to say that Tanno nailed it. Straight out of the box, the felt-tip brush is freakishly pliable — a welcome change from my beloved Almay, which typically requires several eye-watering, lid-tugging uses to soften up and create that perfectly opaque line. And that immediately garnered the Lie-Ner big points in my book.
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🎉 OUR HAUS IS OFFICIALLY OPEN 🎉 Our black-as-night LIQUID EYE-LIE-NER in shade PUNK is waterproof with a flexible felt-tip that makes versatile looks easy. Create precise fine lines or bold dramatic looks like @ladygaga's🤘 Anyone catch her look last night at our #HAUSPARTY? Swipe to see 👉 Find our EYE-LIE-NER at hauslabs.com or @amazon now ⚡️
The size of the brush likely has something to do with its ease of use because, usually, the wispier and longer the brush, the more unwieldy and unpredictable the final result. However, Gaga's brush is a slightly shorter, solid pen tip-style applicator, which means you can achieve that perfect line with minimal effort. And an added plus is the porosity of the material itself, which equals a silky-smooth application.
That said, there is a downside to the Lie-Ner. In an attempt to gauge the consistency, I reapplied, dried, and wiped off the Lie-Ner several times to see if it thinned out at all from that initial jet-black vavoom. Come the fourth use, even dispensation became a little bit of a problem, as it appeared that the Lie-Ner was starting to run a little thinner than before.
Which brings me to another potential pitfall: The fact that there isn't a built-in shaking mechanism to evenly redistribute product.
Inevitably, you'll reach a point where the liner starts to dry or thin out and, without a component to help recoat the brush uniformly, it's not hard to see how application could become an issue. To triple check though, I placed it upside down for a couple of hours before trying it out again — thankfully, to much better results. Granted, this may also be a problem exclusive to me, as an excess queen who uses a literal truckload of liner to create my daily look. So, again, take this particular criticism with a grain of salt, especially if you tend to opt for a more austere wing-tip.
But that's also the beauty of this liner; a little bit goes a long way. So unless you're also looking to join me and Gaga's eyeliner showdown, it's probably not a huge concern. As for the longevity of the wear? I'm currently on hour 20, and it still hasn't smudged, so I'm going to call that one a success.
plz...plz allow me this smol flex... pic.twitter.com/uRIJ4S1c8e— sandra song (@sndrsng) September 17, 2019
In short, Gaga's Lie-Ner is the perfect addition to any beginner's makeup arsenal. And even if you're still unsure about your ability to create that perfect line on the first try, she's also thoughtfully created some easy-to-use wing-tip stickers, which come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But wherever you may be on your journey toward cat eyed bliss, just know that Mother's got you covered, and we're happy to give the Lie-Ner our stamp of approval.
Photo courtesy of Haus Laboratories