Causing hype on the beauty scene since being unveiled at last year’s New York Fashion Week, the roller-wheel liquid liner has finally made its way onto shelves. An eyeliner innovation, roller liners are designed to glide over the lid, making achieving a feline flick totally fool-proof. But are they really that easy to use? We found out…
So, where have they come from?
It all started in 2017, when MAC released their limited edition RollerWheel Liquid Eyeliner, showcasing it at New York Fashion Week. Now discontinued, other brands have since followed suit, with the likes of Guerlain, Revlon and up-and-coming brand Nudestix all launching similar offerings.
The concept? The clever spinning disk applicator absorbs the perfect amount of product to provide a continuous stroke of colour, with the rolling wheel in theory doing the work for you, whether you’re after a defined wing effect or bold, geometric look.
How do you use it?
The idea is that you no longer need to draw your eyeliner on bit by bit – you simply roll the wheel along your lash line to create an instantly smooth, seamless line. In theory, and quite literally on paper, the liners are game-changing – just a mere glance at Instagram and vlogs confirms this – but when it comes to your eyelid, it isn’t exactly plain sailing.
It took us a few goes to get it right but the bottom line is that the eyelid isn’t straight, and drawing one fluid line is near impossible. However, once we got there, the result was impressive – noticeably cleaner than our usual eyeliner (we use Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ‘n’ Kohl in Bedroom Black).
What else makes them different?
Unlike a pencil or gel liner, the lines created by a roller-wheel are super thin and the pigment is significantly more intense, meaning there’s no need to go over it twice. The long-wearing formulas are also completely smudge-proof and virtually waterproof, meaning they’ll last at least five or six hours looking razor sharp.
Who’s it for?
Despite marketing itself as a liner for beginners or those who’ve previously struggled with liquid formulas, a roller liner actually requires a very steady hand as well as a lot of practice. If you’re a dab hand when it comes to make-up, then by all means give it a go but if you’re a beginner, steer clear.
And while the roller-wheel makes it easy to get a clean, sharp winged look – easier than with a felt or brush tip – those with hooded lids or crow’s feet may struggle to perfect it.
What are people saying?
Reviews are a mixed bag. Refinery 29 claim “it’s better than we could’ve imagined” with countless beauty bloggers saying it’s the “beauty innovation” they’ve been waiting for, but others say it’s time-consuming and clumsy.
Allure also aren’t convinced, saying “it all comes down to personal preference” but do wax lyrical about the “crisp, clean, perfectly straight line”.
The bottom line?
Yes, the roller liner may be ingenious but it certainly takes some patience to master it. If you’re a stickler for a beauty gimmick, then it’s absolutely worth a shot.