Friday, 20 July 2012

Khol Eyeliner | Topshop 'Coal' vs. MAC 'Smoulder'

Khol eyeliner is a staple in any make-up bag - it can be applied subtly in the day to define the eyes, or smudges to give a sexy smokey eye in the evening. That's why many people, including myself, thought it always needed to come with a hefty price-tag. But is this right?

I'd always heard so many good things about MAC 'Smoulder' Khol Liner, with reviews saying how it was ''the blackest black you'll ever use'' and how "creamy and easy to work with it was" so I decided to order it a few months ago. I was really excited for it to come and when it finally did, I was so disappointed. It's not bad per see, but I don't really consider it any higher quality than a Rimmel eyeliner and considering it retails for £14, I really expected a lot more! I tried to use it a few times, and each time I found the pigmentation poor and that it faded really quickly.

Then a few weeks later, I was browsing the Topshop make-up section in Oxford Street and happened to come across their Khol Eye Pencil is 'Coal' and swatched it on my hand. Imagine my astonishment when it came out a beautifully intense black and the pricetag was £4 - a whole £10 less than MAC's! This one has great lasting power on my eyes and, yes, it does smudge a little bit if you rub at your eyes but the main bulk of the liner stays put. If you were using this to create a softened, smokey eye, this is actually a bonus and the MAC pencil doesn't smudge at all. 

The Topshop pencil applies much softer, I often found the MAC pencil dragged across my eyes and was a little uncomfortable to apply in my waterline. 

Topshop - £4 for 1.27g
MAC - £14 for 1.45g

Left: MAC, Right: Topshop
As you can see in the above picture, the Topshop liner gives a much more intense black compared to MAC, and I had to go over the MAC Pencil a few times to fill it in!

Following one smudge with my finger
Both pencils have smudged but the Topshop one still has the bulk of the liner where applied, whereas the MAC one seems to have lost what little colour it had to start with. I don't know if the MAC Pencil I got was defective, or if the pencil itself is just extremely overrated. Let me know in the comments below if you have used either pencils and what you thought?


  1. Wow, so the cheaper version is actually better :) good to know! Great review!! Ixx

    1. I know, I was really shocked! Definitely give it a try :) x