Wet ‘N’ Wild’s decision to name this tenacious liquid eyeliner “H2O-Proof” is an understatement along the lines of calling Angelina Jolie okay-looking. If you’re an expert with liquid eyeliner and you’re looking for a precisely defined line that will not budge while swimming, sweating, or watching “Steel Magnolias,” this may be your perfect product.
H2O-Proof eyeliner comes in ultra-black, black-brown, smoky (a dark gray), and espresso (a warm reddish-brown that’s more of a dark cappuccino than true espresso). I chose the ultra-black. When I opened the bottle, I wasn’t disappointed. The product is about the color and texture of artists’ India ink: pure black, heavily pigmented, and slightly thicker than water.
Unlike other liquid eyeliners I’ve tried, Wet ‘N’ Wild’s H2O-Proof liner has a felt-tip applicator rather than a conventional bristled brush. The tip is tapered and stiff enough to use as a pen. On the plus side, the rigid applicator makes drawing fine unbroken lines as easy as signing your name. However, if your eyes are sensitive or if you’re using the eyeliner on the inner margin of your eyelid, you may find the tip uncomfortably rough.
This product is not for neophytes to liquid eyeliner application. H2O-Proof liner dries quickly and will neither blend nor smudge. You will get a sharply defined streak of color as shiny as patent leather and as indelible as a marker; there is no room for mistakes. I tried the eyeliner on the back of my hand first to get a feel for the unusual tip. Not even washing my hands with soap affected that brushstroke; only a few seconds of dedicated effort with makeup remover and a cotton swab erased it.
Holding my breath and bracing my arm, I applied the liner to my eyes, bearing in mind the lesson I learned from the streak it left on my hand. One cough or hiccup could ruin this delicate job. Makeup doesn’t usually make me nervous, but this did; I felt a little like a surgeon performing a delicate operation. Fortunately, the firm felt-tip brush and the flow of the eyeliner made it easy to get right the first time, even down to the mid-’60s winged flip at the corners of my eyes.
I wore the eyeliner all day and all night. I toiled in the garden, splashed cold water on my face when I got inside, watched the Saints win the Super Bowl again which always makes me tear up, went out to dinner with family members who can make me laugh until I cry, and finished my evening at Cafe du Monde wiping powdered sugar from my face. If I’d been test-driving a car, this would be the equivalent of driving ninety miles per hour from New Orleans to Dallas.
The H2O-Proof eyeliner didn’t move a millimeter through any of it and looked freshly applied. That’s terrific, but I became a little concerned about getting the stuff off my eyes; would my generic makeup remover be up to the task? It almost wasn’t. I went through multiple cotton swabs and repeated dousings with makeup remover. The liner first broke up into leathery flakes, then peeled away; it never did dissolve the way other liners do. Soap wouldn’t touch this product at all; you could probably shower with it and step out still looking made up.
Make no mistake, you will look made up with this eyeliner. Its sharp, color-saturated, precise line won’t work with a subtle nature-girl face; trying to blend it in will be about as effective as placing a doily on a chrome bumper to soften its look. However, it’s a perfect choice for more dramatic eyes, great for a night of dancing or clubbing or anything else that’s likely to make you sweat.
Try Wet ‘N’ Wild’s H2O-Proof liner if you’re an expert with liquid eyeliners who wants an intensely pigmented product that will last through almost anything. If you’re new to liquid liners, give Wet ‘N’ Wild’s non-waterproof formulas a try first; they contain a similar felt tipped brush, but are more forgiving of a little mistake.