The Sample: Milani Liquif’Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Automatic Propel Pencil in #07 Purple (Review, Swatches & Photos)

7 May

There are some events which occur in our lives, dear readers, that undeniably change us forever. Like the day you graduate college, the day you get married, the birth of a child…but the day you finally find an eyeliner that, by the end of the day, doesn’t leave people wondering if your long-lost relative is part raccoon? Priceless. At least it is if you’re like me and have spent half your life trying to find said eyeliner. For me, that eyeliner happened to be Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes liner. It’s smooth, creamy, pigmented, and most importantly: doesn’t smudge or run!!! I’ve been so happy with this eyeliner that I haven’t felt the need to stray since discovering it a few years ago…that is, until now.

Many of you have probably read all about the Milani Liquif’eye liners. They’ve often been called dupes for liners like MUFE’s Aqua Eyes and Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners*. For a long time, I would read posts like that and roll my eyes. I figured I had been there, tried that–and I always came crawling back to my Aqua Eyes with my tail between my legs. But eventually I crumbled and decided to give in and try one. I purchased #07 Purple in the Liquid-Like Eye Liner Automatic Propel Pencil formula because a.) the CVS closest to me was completely sold out of the Metallic Eyeliner Pencils, and b.) in the Liquid Eye Liner formula, they were sold out of green…and blue (this particular formula only comes in 3 shades). I guess it’s a testament as to how much people love these (that, or my CVS really, really sucks at restocking…)!

*please note: I’ve never tried UD’s 24/7 liners (I know, I know…), so I can’t attest to those particular dupe claims

I’m actually really glad I got the purple one though. I had been wanting to get Urban Decay’s 24/7 liner in Rockstar for a while but never got around to it, so I was really hoping Milani’s Purple would be a good substitute (or at least give me my purple fix). Purple is super pretty! Milani describes it as “deep purple” but I’d like to embellish on that. It has a very deep, so-blackened-it’s-pretty-much-black violet base with a brilliant blue-violet metallic sheen due to the blue-violet micro-shimmer laced throughout it. In certain lighting, it even appears to be a red-violet color at times. It’s a very interesting effect and the results are gorgeous, as proved in the swatch photos below. Because it does contain glitter, I’m not sure I would suggest using it on the waterline–but that’s totally fine with me. Even when I wear colored liner, I always tightline and line my waterline with black and reserve the color for my upper or lower lash line.

The liner is housed in Milani’s “automatic propel” packaging–which is just like any other automatic eyeliner pencil. You just twist the body of the pencil while holding the top (or vice versa) and voilà! No sharpening necessary. The tip comes nicely sharpened to a fine point, but once you have used it a while (or use it to draw large swatches on your arm), the tip becomes rounded and stays that way for the rest of its life…which, incidentally, isn’t quite long–considering that there’s only 0.01 oz. of product in this automatic pencil. Kinda a bummer, but such is the case with most mechanical/automatic eyeliner pencils.

Direct sunlight

Taken in the shade

Taken in late afternoon sunlight


Milani describes this formula as being “extremely smooth…with the application and feel of a liquid liner that delivers true color payoff in a metallic finish with a long-lasting wear.” I don’t know if I would really confuse this for a liquid liner (in both application and look), but damn these things are smooth! It glides like butter onto my lids with nary a pull or snag, distributing a precise, opaque line of vibrant, purple color. I was so impressed, I had to pull out my beloved MUFE Aqua Eyes liner in 0L (a rich, matte black) for comparison.

MUFE’s, while creamy and super-pigmented, isn’t quite as fluid and smooth as Milani’s. The difference is especially noticeable when you’re covering a larger area than, say, your eyelid. I decided to put the two to the test and do my requisite “rub test”. When applying both swatches to my arm, Milani’s easily slid back and forth over my skin, quickly filling in the thin rectangular shape I had outlined in no time at all. MUFE’s formula was a little less opaque in a single pass due to its slightly drier consistency, therefore taking a bit longer to fill in its own rectangular outline.

Before the rub-test. In case you couldn’t tell, the Milani Purple swatches are on the left, MUFE Aqua Eyes on the right. The photo is a little blurry, but I really wanted to capture the full effect of the glitter


The photo below was taken after a vigorous rubbing using one finger. I rubbed each swatch back and forth about 10 times using medium pressure. You can see that neither liner moved an inch. I had a tiny bit of violet glitter and black transfer on to the finger that was doing the rubbing, but that was about it for both swatches.

The next photo shows the swatches after a second round of rubbing. I used two fingers this time, rubbing back and forth about 10 times using hard pressure. You’ll notice some patchiness in the swatches–especially the Aqua Eyes one. Milani’s Purple held up surprisingly well–better than the Aqua Eyes, which I definitely wasn’t expecting. You must keep in mind though that, normally, no one rubs their eyes as hard as I rubbed these swatches, especially if they’re wearing makeup. Despite the tiny bit of unevenness and pigment transfer, you’ll notice that neither liner really budged. So both of these liners should hold up all day on all eye shapes/lid types under normal conditions.

With my small eyes/oily lid combo, this liner lasted on my upper lash line (without primer) for about 6 hours before there was very obvious fading (the purple glitter, by this time, had also transferred to other areas of my lid). Not bad by any standards, but especially good for my eyes! I imagine that for those with larger lid space and less oily lids, this will last all day and into the night, no problem. On my lower lash line, Purple lasted about 3 1/2 to 4 hours before it started to smudge a little at the outer corners of my eyes. But 90% of the liner (the parts nowhere near my outer corner) stayed intact for 6 hours as well. Over a primer, the liner lasted a good 10 hours with zero smudging and minor fading of the purple.

Overall, I am super impressed with this Milani liner. The liner is so very smooth and creamy, easily blendable for a small amount of time, sets fairly quickly, is very pigmented, and really lasts–no matter how oily your lids are!! It’s a fun, flashy purple color that is suitable for both day and night. The base is so dark that you can wear this to the office and everyone will just think you’re wearing a black/blackened plum liner–but once the light hits it (like sunshine or, say, the lighting in a nightclub), it shines brilliantly and really makes the eyes pop. Because the hue can reflect both warm and cool, depending on the lighting, this color will suit any and all skin tones–especially since the base is basically black, which everyone can wear. This product is a definitely winner in my book, and I can’t wait to go try out all the colors and the Metallic Pencils asap!!

Pros: extremely creamy and smooth; pigmented; easy to blend; sets quickly; beautiful color that suits a variety of skin tones; affordable and easily accessible

Cons: I definitely wish you got more product in the pencil; the tip quickly wears down to a rounded nub

»»Pricing: $6.49/0.01 oz. (o.28 g.) *please note: prices may vary from store to store

»»Availability:,, Walmart, CVS, and other drugstores

»»Recommended for: anyone looking for a fun, long-lasting metallic eyeliner that won’t break the bank!

»»Overall Rating: A-

22 Responses to “The Sample: Milani Liquif’Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Automatic Propel Pencil in #07 Purple (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. Emi at Project Swatch May 8, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    I haven’t tried the automatic type liquif’eye liners, but I do like the pencil type ones. The best drugstore liners (in my opinion, of course) are actually the Prestige Total Intensity liners though – I think they last better than the Milani ones.

    • becca May 8, 2012 at 5:41 am #

      Ooh, I haven’t tried the Prestige Total Intensity ones! Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t heard about Prestige products in a LONG time. Are they still sold at CVS, Emi? I will have to make a drugstore run tomorrow and investigate. Thanks for the suggestion!!

  2. dani@callitbeauty May 9, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    That’s so pretty! <3

    I have oily lids as well, and finding pencils that work for me has been pretty hard. Have you tried the NYX retractable eye pencils? Those stay put wonderfully for me!

    • becca May 9, 2012 at 6:59 am #

      No, I actually haven’t tried that pencil!! To be honest, I haven’t tried many NYX products–just one or 2 things a long, long time ago. I think it’s because the only place I can purchase NYX in-stores (that I know of) is Ulta and I don’t really shop there for some reason (I much prefer Sephora or Nordstrom). But I know NYX is a really popular brand for their amazing, high-quality products at truly affordable prices, so I think I should remedy this and start making more stops at Ulta :) Thanks for the suggestion, Dani!

  3. Tracy@Beauty Reflections May 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Oh lordy, that purple is AMAZING. I need to look for it NOW!!

    • becca May 10, 2012 at 1:01 am #

      Isn’t it gorgeous? The purple is actually very complex and interesting–sometimes more blue, sometimes more red, sometimes more black, sometimes super-metallic. I think it’s SO much fun–and at such an affordable price, you can really get all the colors and go to town! Love this!

  4. Shivani May 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    That purple, OMGEEE, gorgeous <3

    • becca May 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      LOL yes it’s glorious!!! Do check it out if you are able to! :)

  5. Larie May 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    That is one crazy purple! I have the black pencil type Liquif’Eye liner and it’s very, very black. I think it still smudges though, and it’s soooo creamy. I kind of want to try this twist-up version.

    • becca May 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

      Oh no, does it really? I was planning on picking up the pencil (or “metallic”) ones this weekend. I was so sure they would perform wonderfully since I had such a good experience with the Auto Propel one. Maybe I’ll just pick up one or 2 first (instead of getting the whole line like I was going to)

  6. jeacee May 15, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Love the purple colour! Thanks for the review :)

    • becca May 16, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      of course, I’m glad you found it helpful! If you end up purchasing it, let me know how you like it–and thanks for stopping by!

  7. svetlana May 15, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    nice purple! very fun! for my lids i have an awful time finding one to actually stay put on my eye NO matter WHAT i do since i almost have no eyelids. maybe i’ll give this a whirl!

    • becca May 16, 2012 at 7:01 am #

      You should! I haven’t tried the Metallic ones yet, but the automatic pencil formula is really great and the colors are super fun for summer too!

  8. Rads June 3, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    NEEEED this in my life…RIGHT NOW :D

    • becca June 3, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      YES you do!!! And because they’re so affordable, you won’t feel so guilty if you decide to pick up all 3 colors :D

  9. Yessie July 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    I’m buying this! I’ve heard the same but thought eh,! The swatch and review is greatly appreciated!

    I’ve seen prestige at Rite Aid- small selection at the ones I’ve been to

    • becca July 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Yessie!

      And no wonder I don’t ever see Prestige anymore–I can’t even remember the last time I was in a Rite Aid! :P

  10. deenie January 3, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    thanks for the review! went out to get one after much research since i am getting my FIRST eyeliner in my life. unfortunately though, the twist thing broke (I believe) or maybe i am not doing it right. could you clarify on how it works? if it is really broken, is there no way of salvaging it?

    • becca January 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi Deenie! Could you please clarify? Are you twisting it and it’s not coming up or is the actual stick of eyeliner broken?

  11. sigh February 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Great to hear that it doesn’t budge…etc…but I just bought this, was twisting it and it wasn’t budging to come out…then when it did, I was afraid too much of it came out, so I was trying to find the way to twist it to get it to go back inside. This ended up in more product coming out. Apparently you can’t twist the liner back inside, it just keeps coming out and twisting the opposite way won’t make it go back in. Now I have all this liner sticking out of the end of my pencil and can’t put the cap back on or do anything with it…fml…all the other pencils I tried like this let me twist it back in as well, so I didn’t know I couldn’t do that with this. Guess I wasted money without even getting a chance to use the product

    • becca February 15, 2013 at 1:57 am #

      LOL oh no I’m sorry that that happened to you–I never realized you couldn’t twist it back in? That’s a big oversight on Milani’s part :/ Maybe you can just tuck it away somewhere and use it till it’s short enough that you can put the cap back on?? :P Inconvenient, I know but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. lol! You really should give it a chance before tossing it though–the color is quite pretty and the formula, though not the most long-wearing I’ve ever tried, is quite good for a drugstore brand. They’re also very smooth. I keep meaning to try Milani’s Liquif’eye pencils (not the mechanical ones) because those are the ones i hear the most good things about by my nearest CVS is ALWAYS sold out :/

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