Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eyeliners: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever has released a set of 20 colourful new eyeliners.

Make Up For Ever packages always make my heart skip a beat. Their stuff is just SO GOOD. So when I opened the box and discovered pretty much a lifetime supply of eyeliner, I just about squealed. I couldn't resist the urge to swatch a few right away (yes, at work!).

This new release of 20 coloured liners is a collaboration between Make Up For Ever and a celebrity named Charli XCX. They're meant to be "stage-proof"—essentially marketing speak for waterproof. ;) I tested these liners alongside an Aqua Liner and an Artist Liner, and I find these to be on par with Artist Liner for smudge-ability, and less smudgy than Aqua Eyes. (This is either good or bad depending on how you like to wear it!) After a couple of minutes, all three types of liner seem budge-proof. Observe my highly scientific test:

I applied one swipe of each liner, then swiped over all three with my finger immediately afterward. After waiting a minute or two, nothing moved when I tried rubbing them. All three liners removed with Bioderma, albeit with some scrubbing. Artist Liner and Aqua XL took slightly longer to remove than Aqua Eyes.

  • Top: Aqua XL
  • Middle: Artist Liner
  • Bottom: Aqua Eyes

The best thing about the Aqua XL line is definitely the colour selection, if that's your thing. I occasionally use a bit of bright colour here and there, but I'm mostly a neutrals girl. I don't see myself ever using the yellow, and probably not the mint green (any takers?), but the rest are serious contenders. I've used many of them so far, and they're phenomenal for a few reasons:

  1. I can keep them sharp, which makes it easier to get right in between my lashes. Yes, you waste product with sharpening, but in my view it's much better than the permanently rounded tip of a "self-sharpening" pencil (like you get with Make Up For Ever's Artist Liner, but not with Aqua Eyes).
  2. It lasts ALL DAY. You need more than your standard wipe with an eye makeup remover at the end of the day.
  3. You have maybe a minute of playtime to blend, which I like to do with pencils. I can never get quite as precise a line as I do with gel liners and a brush, so I just embrace the imperfection, and I quite like the soft look.
  4. You can just do so much with them—the coloured ones are much like a longwearing cream eyeshadow. With this variety (did I mention 20 shades?), you can do neutral, dramatic or subtle.

Here are a few of the looks I came up with:


For this look, I patted Charlotte Tilbury's Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Marie Antoinette over a primed eyelid, then warmed up the crease with Make Up For Ever's Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer in 10M. I lined my upper lash line with Aqua XL Liner in I-32, a pretty bluish green colour. I didn't like how dramatic it looked, so I smudged it with a smudger brush and added a bit more cream eyeshadow, resulting in this gradient, which I quite like. I added a very little bit of Aqua XL liner in D-62, a chocolate brown, in between the upper lashes for a bit more definition, and finished off the look with lots of black mascara. I used Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Lashes Mascara and MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash.


For this look, I tried a pinky-peach spotlight eye with the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette. It looked a little boring, and I was going to the movies that night, so I added MUCH more drama than I usually do by lining most of my lower lash line and waterlines with Aqua XL I-24, a beautiful aqua, and bringing it into a little wing. I tight-lined my upper lash line with a bit of Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Brown, and finished with the same mascara combo as above. Fun, right?


For this look, probably my favourite of the three I've shared here, I was going for GLOW. Can you tell? ;) I created a shimmery gold look with the Becca Champagne Glow Eye Palette (I got one of the good ones!) and lined my upper lash line (and made a little wing!) with Aqua XL ME-42, a gorgeous antique gold. The mascara combo is the same as above.

Overall, I really like these liners—I have trouble with most creamy pencil liners smudging terribly around my tear duct, and these don't do that, which rocks. Also, thanks to Make Up For Ever sending me the ENTIRE SET, I'll probably be using them for the rest of my life. I'm good with that.

Want to get your paws on a few of these? They retail for $25 each at Sephora.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever's latest eyeliners? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: All Make Up For Ever eyeliners and bronzer provided by Make Up For Ever PR for my consideration. All other products mentioned were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.