current eyesperiments

The Egg-Speriment Gone Wrong Easter Egg: click image for instructions to replicate this result. For Ginger O’Rama’s eyesperiments, just click “continue reading”…


Been experimenting with this in alternation with Old Faithful, a.k.a. Silk Naturals Cream Liner (a brush-on one). Both in a warm slightly glimmery brown: Sephora’s liner in brown (there’s also a matte version, and a beautiful reddish Glitter Copper), SN’s one in Mahogany.

What I like about the Sephora pencil: it’s the same principle as the Clinique Quickliners and Origins Automagically. There’s a stick of eyeliner inside a plastic outer shell, and you twist it up. There’s also a smudging tool on the end (meh: I’m just tightlining, so irrelevant), which can be popped off and lo! at the other end (usually inside the pencil-outside) is a teeny mini sharpener. On the other hand, you can also just twist the operating end on a bit of paper or the back of your hand to get a nice point.

Thing is, I have an irrational aversion to the kind of eyeliner that requires sharpening: the pencil / crayon kind. I share the gripe that most eyeliner pencils don’t fit most pencil-sharpeners. I did once possess a magic amazing sharpener that did actually fit the eyeliner pencils I had, and it was truly a thing of splendour and marvellousness, but even so, I still dislike sharpening pencils.

I think it’s because I prefer to sharpen actual pencils with a very very very sharp knife. Either the whittling kind or a Stanley knife. For Americans: I think that’s a retractable-blade utility knife. For why? Well, from using pencils for drawing, which is what I’ve mostly used them for over the years.

Back to the lovely artistic eyeliner pencil.

INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Synthetic Beeswax, Microcrystalline Wax, Mica, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Myristyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Lecithin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Magnesium Silicate,Glyceryl Oleate, Citric Acid.

Here’s what it looks like:

It’s hardcore seriously well-solid-waterproof. And cruelty-free. Unlike the abovementioned other retractable waterproof eyeliners.

In a bunch of lovely colours.


Just got it. Have tested enought to check the following:

  • brush is the kind I like
  • formula seems OK, not too wet, not too dry
  • no irritation on skin
  • formula has some fibrous bits: not usually my cup of tea, but I’ve had no issues on the preliminary test, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m not wearing contact lenses, just glasses.

Testing proper starts tomorrow; been using it occasionally for the last few days.

INGREDIENTS: Isododecane, Polyethlene, Dextrin Palmitate, Microcrystalline Wax, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Dimethicone, Rayon, Nylon-66, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Aqua (Water), Tocopherol. May contain: CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides).

Will report back fully later…

The mascara looks like this (click image for link to UD’s product info page):

OK, here’s an interrim additonal report:

It’s definitely very waterproof indeed, and smudgeproof too (the two don’t always go together). I did the 24-hour+ test: applied mascara 0700, left it on all day and all night, removed and reapplied the next morning. Impeccable.

Fibres do flake off through the day. Not many: I’ve counted 2-3 per eye maximum, and they’re tiny, you’ve got to look up close to see them. If they’ve gone into my eyes, they haven’t irritated them; I found one in a corner of one eye when gently removing “sleep” in the morning. I very rarely rub my eyes. Two reasons: (1) they’re dry and sensitive, easily irritated and inflamed, so I was trained out of it when a small child; (2) non-rubbing habit reinforced by wearing glasses all day every day for most of my life (with occasional bouts of contact-wearing).

Those fibres can be a slight annoyance as they complicate the pre-application brush-wiping stage, but no more so than the excess mascara that always gloops out with Reviva Labs’s mascara, which is otherwise my main favourite and great love, for quite some time now.

This is a YBB mascara, no grand drama, but no monolash spider-spikes either.

The formula dries in a curious way. Fairly fast: not so fast that you don’t have time to comb through and reapply for a second layer. When it’s first dry, lashes will feel slightly dry and stiff. First reaction: oh no, shit, doom and gloom: not that kind of old-fashioned kind of waterproof mascara… But panic not, as a short time later, lashes feel soft. Still fixed in place, though: it’s not like the really feathery-lash mascaras: when lashes sweep glasses, are blown by the wind, etc. they’ll splay out in all directions…


Removal: I’m using oil (currently: meadowfoam seed), applied using a dampened reusable cotton pad. I made my own, but not terribly well, so they fell apart after a few uses and a few spins in the washing-machine. So off I went to the home of all such things, Etsy, and searched for reusable cotton rounds. I bought a few different kinds (all very properly stitched round the edges: this is the key thing to look out for), and the current main ones are these guys here (image links to their source):


… and onto another one: returning to my fury (continuing unabated, since I think the 17th) re. EL and testing. Guys, here’s how it’s done by people who actually give a shit:

Beauty with an edge

Urban Decay is, and always has been, a cruelty-free company. You’ll notice that every box bears our cruelty-free credo: “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” We insist on producing beautiful, irreverent, high-end cosmetics without conducting animal testing. Some of our animal rights allies provide symbols to companies they trust to make cruelty-free products easy to identify, purchase, and support. You can read about each symbol below, including a new one of our own! Urban Decay now has a “Marley Approved” symbol to identify vegan products on our website! Have fun shopping!

The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) consists of seven national animal protection groups banded together to help make shopping for animal-friendly cosmetics easier and more trustworthy. If a customer sees the internationally recognized “leaping bunny” logo on a cosmetic or a website, they know that the company has committed to The Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, a voluntary pledge that companies make not to test on animals during any stage of product development. The company’s ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a cosmetic guaranteed to be 100% free of animal testing. Urban Decay has made this commitment. To find out more about our friends at the CCIC, visit

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than one million members and supporters, is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. Companies that have joined PETA’s Caring Consumer Project have pledged—in writing—that they and their suppliers do not conduct or commission animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products, and that they will not do so in the future. Urban Decay displays PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo to assure our customers that we do not use or condone animal tests. We believe that you can have a killer look without killing or harming animals. For more information, please visit

If you see Marley’s purple paw print next to a cosmetic, Urban Decay certifies that it is a vegan cosmetic, and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Although we are a cruelty-free company, and not a vegan company, we love vegans and want to make your shopping experience as pleasurable and informative as possible! Our first step in making vegan-friendly was to identify these cosmetics and make it easy to shop. Currently, we are working with our laboratories to find out which of our non-vegan cosmetics can be converted. In many situations, there is a plant-derived or synthetic alternative to an animal-derived ingredient. For cosmetics where we do not feel our quality will be compromised, and we can deliver the same rich color and texture you desire, we will convert the cosmetic to 100% vegan ingredients. Be on the lookout for new additions to our vegan cosmetics, and thank you for supporting Urban Decay!

They’ve done well: I’m aged and decrepit enough to remember when UD first launched. They’re still very indie, in spirit (OK, and image/bran-identity) and as “the largest independently-owned color cosmetic company in the United States.” They’re doing well for themselves outside; I first saw their stuff in the UK in the mid-’90s, and now

Our ever-expanding global presence proves what Wende and Sandy always knew – makeup wearers everywhere crave alternatives, hence our longevity well past the death of 90s grunge. In the US, hundreds of UD products now fill purple shelves at Sephora, Ulta and Macy’s, as well as the virtual pages of Growing numbers of retailers in Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Singapore and the Middle East stock our line, too. And although UD fans around the world might approach our products in wildly different ways, we’ve noticed they share an independent spirit that unites them.

I do worry, of course, that they might get too big and risk losing all their indie aspects: if they were to be bought by someone bigger and/or expand to markets insistent on animal testing and accepting no susbtitutes and alternatives (e.g. China). It does sound like UD are well aware of that indie-ness as a USP, though: see the rest of “Our History” (where the quote and passage above appear).

CCIC, by the way, is connected to the campaign for a Fixed Cut-Off Date policy, i.e. a promise that no product or ingredients has been tested on animals since a certain date. The campaign started in the UK, c/o the anti-vivsection movement, many a decade ago. This is a sane and sensible thing to do: after all, even if a company’s been cruelty-free since its start, and none of its products have been tested on any unconsenting sentient test-subjects, there’s absolutely no way that all their ingredients are cruelty-free.

No way in hell / practical reality.

See, all the basic cosmetic ingredients were tested (to ascertain lethal dose) in two major waves in the last century, the last one being in the 1950s. By “basic,” I mean the likes of water (“see how much is needed before drowning ensues” was the method used here), mineral oil, petrolatum, coconut oil, beeswax, the common clays (kaolin, bentonite, etc.) and the commonly-used colourings. Yes, including those used for sunscreens too. All those really minimal, sensitive-friendly, and green-beloved ones: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide.

Tested on animals.

Way back when.

Sorry if that’s news, and indeed bad news…but there’s no avoiding the fact. This is why the FCOD is a good thing: used properly, the way it’s meant to be, means no new ingredients are tested on animals, nor currently-existing and newly-formulated finished products, nor future new ingredients and new formulae. Which means, de facto, no more animal testing. The policy is open to abuse, if adapted into company policy (and in some civilised parts of the world, the law) but with the added proviso of this being a “rolling” COD, with loopholes enabling a company to move on say a five-year time-scale and still testing on animals. But: avoided by being firm about insisting on the F-word. Or, as I like to think of it, referring to this as a FFCOD policy, FFS.


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