Sunday, 1 July 2012

Review: SANA Maiko-Han Liquid Eyeliner Pens in Red & Black

Okay, so I'm kind of on a blogging roll at the moment so I thought I'd do yet another review, this time for some quite sought after products from SANA. A while back SANA released a line of cosmetics called Maiko Han, inspired by the cosmetics geisha use to look so beautiful and flawless. They also enlisted the help of (now retired) then-maiko Ichimame, the world's first geisha to blog about her lifestyle! Some products in the line included a pressed powder compact, loose powder compact, mascara, eyeshadow and the items I will be reviewing today - eyeliner pens!

All of these products are very hard to find outside of Japan but an eBay shop called Hannari-ya sell them worldwide, albeit at extremely marked-up prices. I was extremely lucky to find a girl selling a chestnut brown eyeshadow palette and both red and black eyeliner pens, all from Maiko Han. I contacted her to inquire about buying just the eyeliners and thankfully she agreed!

These eyeliners come in two colours, red and black, following the geisha theme of the cosmetics lines. They retail at around £10 each in Japan or you can buy them both for about £30 from Hannari-ya. At first when I bought them I thought the brush was going to be kind of hard, like a felt tip pen nib but it's really soft and flowing, as in a proper bristles brush. XD I wanted it to be a hard nib as I was a bit of a newbie at applying liquid eyeliner and thought a hard nib would make it easier. It was actually really easy to apply the eyeliner using the soft brush though, it swept exactly where you wanted it! Now, onto pictures.

This is the packaging for each one, isn't it gorgeous?! So elegant and traditional, they really hit it right on the spot when they knew their look and image of the line.

This is what each pen and nib looks like:

This is what it looks like on my (corned beef complexion) hand. Each line is one stroke of the brush, two strokes, three stroke and four. Black on the top and red on the bottom obviously. :P

As you can see, it's a little transparent on the first stroke, which isn't very useful if you're super perfect, professional and do your eyeliner in one sweep. But, if you're anything like me, I reapply along the line two, three, maybe four times so it's not a problem for me. Looking at the swatch now, I now realise the red is flowing a lot smoother and brighter than the black, which means my black one is running out! T_T My friend Emma is going to Japan at the end of this month though and I've asked her to bring back another black one if she sees it around her travels.

So, what happens when it dries properly and you try to take it off? Will it come off easily, hard, etc? I used a normal make-up wipe to remove it from my hand even though I usually use a cleanser and toner on my skin to remove make-up.

It is super hard to remove! The one stroke line came off right away but two, three and four are still visible, especially three and four! I've slept in this before (I know, bad me!) and it was like a tattoo trying to remove in the morning! Sometimes when I've accidentally slept in it and it won't come off, I've just applied more on top and then had a bath that night. I know, it sounds gross but that's who I am, baby. ;-)
After a few strokes it looks very vibrant and fresh. It stays on all day with no flaking or smudging - you can also get a red eyeliner in this shade from Stargazer but I always find it flakes off during the day and looks weird. =/ I have sensitive skin but this doesn't feel like I'm wearing anything at all and I get no reaction from it.
Okay, so that's what it looks like on my hand, this is what it looks on my eyes - black first;

And now both, a la geisha-inspired:

TL;DR: I definitely love these eyeliners to bits - the black is great for everyday looks and the red is so different and unique! Definitely my favourite compared to the Stargazer one. I would say go out and buy these but they're so hard to find. If you do find them, however, or go to Japan, I really recommend them! Oh, and pick me up a couple whilst you're at it.

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