The Day in Beauty Vol. 24: The Best Black Liquid Liner and a Makeup Tip for Late Nights

Published in: Clinique, Essie, Just For Fun, Nails, Product Reviews, Skin Care

I Love the ’90s…

That was the name of the concert I went to last Saturday night — I Love the ’90s — with my friend Marisol, and it was the first time I stayed out late since…


Shoot, I can’t even remember, but it’s been a looong time. I’ve been serving hard time in baby jail for almost five months now, and even before Connor arrived, back when I was still pregnant, I wasn’t going out a lot because I was ginormous, always tired and constantly uncomfortable.

Anywho, like I was saying, I hadn’t been out since forever, and when we were driving back home in the middle of the night from Jackson, California, which is a small town — I’m sorry, Jacksonites — out in the middle of nowhere, I suddenly got the feeling that I was wearing 20 layers of makeup on my face.

I wasn’t wearing a ton, though. Just, like, NARS tinted moisturizer, some powder, a little bit of cat eye makeup, so nothing too cray, but after being out and about in the summer sun for a few hours and perspiring at the concert, that drive home was rough.

I couldn’t wait to get home and wash my face, and Marisol said the same thing.

Has that ever happened to you? — where you get the sudden urge to wash your face in the car on a long drive home in the middle of the night? I mean, Marisol and I can’t be the only two people.

Oh! — I just thought of a genius (if I do say so myself) idea for the next time I’m out and about in the wee hours (whenever that may be). I’ll bring along a pack of makeup wipes to keep in the car! πŸ™‚

That way I can remove my makeup, wipe down my face, and let my skin breathe. Then when I get home, I can just fall right into bed, ah…

By the way, these new Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes are SO BOMB.

Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes ($14 for 50 wipes)

Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes ($14 for a pack of 50 wipes)

So what’s this micellar business about? Apparently, they’re ambitious little oil molecules suspended in water, and they attract oil, dirt and makeup.

These gentle wipes remove just about everything (including waterproof makeup), and they’re soft and don’t dry out my skin. Plus, you don’t have to rinse with water after using them because they don’t leave behind a sticky residue. They’re also fragrance free.

Speaking of Clinique…I was chatting with Chelsea (hey, girl, haaay!) in the comments on my cat eye post yesterday about Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Liner ($19.50), and I HAVE to give it an extra shout-out.

I actually started using it a few months ago but then got distracted by something else (can’t remember what it was), and I liked it back then, but now I love it.


clinique pretty easy liquid liner

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen ($19.50)

It’s a fabulous liquid pen liner with a felt tip, and it’s available in black and brown (I wear black). The felt tip flexes, so it has some give to it, but it draws sharp, crisp lines of deep, intense color, and it doesn’t budge.

It doesn’t make my eyes water, either. Give it a try if you’re looking for a new liquid liner, because it’s SO good.

essie pre show jitters swatch

Essie Gel Couture in Pre-Show Jitters ($11.50)

One last thing — the nail polish I’m wearing? That’s Essie Gel Couture in Pre-Show Jitters ($11.50). It looks like a stark white at first glance, but there’s a hint of pink in it. It’s my new fave shade!

Have you discovered (or rediscovered) any beauty faves lately?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy hump day. πŸ™‚


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So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I rediscovered some old skincare favorites lately, and I was finally able to get some use out of my Sephora MicroSmooth compact that I bought last year, but that was too dark for me in winter.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser – Here, there, everywhere

  2. Rachel says:

    I agree! For some reason my face looks and feels super greasy in the car.

    • Karen says:

      Seriously my least favorite thing! I also don’t like having a sticky neck in the car, especially for a long ride home.

      Hope things are good on your end, Rachel. It’s so hot here today, agh!

  3. Chelsea says:

    Hey girl hayyyyy! I’m definitely curious about these wipes, especially for travel. I usually use Bioderma, but these would be really convenient, especially if they remove hard to remove mascara (which Bioderma doesn’t, for me anyway)

    The brush on Essie Gel Couture polish is so easy to use, even for nail klutzes with shaky hands like myself.

    • Karen says:

      Haaay! I haven’t tried the Bioderma wipes, but I have tried the liquid, and yeah, it removes most things but not everything. With you on that. These wipes are great, and pretty affordable, too!

      Honestly I don’t know if I can go back to regular nail polish now. Gels are so great! What colors have you tried from Gel Couture?

      Happy Wednesday, by the way. It’s a hot one here in Novato.

      • Chelsea says:

        I have Turn and Pose and Flashed!

        I just went to the brand new Ulta the next town over and picked up the wipes, which is convenient because when I came back to the house our water wasn’t working!

        • Karen says:

          Oh, I love Flashed. Really pretty on the toes.

          Hopefully Essie starts releasing limited edition collections in the gels. I think l love them even more than the regular Essie polishes! πŸ˜€

          Funny you should mention the wipes, because I just pulled them out again and they’re on my desk. I’m about to wipe my face down.

          Hope your water is working now! What happened?

  4. JCarbonel says:

    I haven’t tried anything better than my Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner. I’ve had a pen last me 6 months with exclusive use! I’ve wanted to try the Kat Von D one, but so far the deluxe samples I’ve had of those I wasn’t impressed with. But who knows, maybe the full size will be a different experience. I have a backup Stila waiting for when I’m ready to trash my Lancome Art Liner, so maybe after that I’ll give the Clinique a go!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jcarbonel,

      How’s the felt tip with your Stila liner? Is it stiff or does it flex?

      I haven’t tried the Kat Von D one but I know a lot of people love it. My faves (besides the Clinique one) are by Tom Ford and Lorac.

      • JCarbonel says:

        The Stila flexes a little bit. I mostly have to trash it because at the 5-6 month mark it starts to lose its shape and it’s like little fibers become undone so it loses its precision.

        I’ve heard such amazing things about the Tom Ford one, but my grad school budget doesn’t allow for that luxery lol

        • Karen says:

          Ooh, funny you should mention that about the fibers. The exact same thing happens to my art markers after a while, LOL! I think I’ll try it someday. There’s a few shades that look really pretty.

          The Tom Ford one, UGH. SO GOOD. I really didn’t want to love it but it is so perfect. Maybe put it on your wish list as a graduation gift after you finish school? What are you studying, by the way?

          • JCarbonel says:

            I really like the Stila because it doesn’t flake or smudge on me! Asking for the Tom Ford one is such a good idea as a gift.

            I’m studying to be a dentist! I didn’t like the nurse or medical doctor route (I’m Filipino too lol). So any oral hygiene related questions, come find me!

          • Karen says:

            That is so key for a good liquid liner! I also like the ones that don’t make my eyes water.

            I’m all for makeup as gifts, girl. And hey, because it’s a basic, you’ll be able to use it every day. It’ll be a gift that keeps on giving!

            Oh, and hello future dentist. πŸ˜€ I would probably be your nightmare patient because I usually cry when I go in (childhood trauma!). I actually do have an oral hygiene Q for you. Out of the electric toothbrushes, which model would you recommend? I have an ancient Sonicare that I need to replace.

  5. Alix says:

    I checked out the blog today after many weeks away to see whether you’d stopped complaining yet about “baby jail”. No such luck. Moving on to other sites…

    • Karen says:

      I understand. I can’t help it though. It’s just life. I still hope you have a great day. πŸ™‚

      • kwmechelle says:

        Bomb a$$ response. I for one LOVE hearing about baby jail. And when you include pics of the TWO wardens, it’s like the best thing ever. Hopefully, this will persuade you to keep up the good work. No time for nay-sayers. It’s all love here. #byeFelicia 😏

  6. Efrain says:

    I was going to talk about greasy faces at midday but first:

    Please feel free to talk about baby jail I think that all your readers are also your friends and why you would like a friend who doesn’t understand what are you living right now? What I like most of your blog is the fact you tell us your life and that make me feel your friend so easily, also I feel like Connor is a niece for me and as I always say motherhood isn’t a pink place so you can tell us when something isn’t going great.

    Returning to greasy faces what happens to me the most is the urge of blot at midday at night after parties I don’t feel like washing my face immediately but also for me cleansing is a long routine so when I rush is only if I’m uber tired/drunk/sick.

    I haven’t really rediscovered any beauty product but I just realized that using a flannel to wash my face is making wonders to my skin with some acids and retinol, this last two weeks three persons have asked me if was 15 or 16 I was impressed (I hope it’s my skin and not the crazy hair I have right now).

    Happy Wednesday Karen, I thought today was Friday, the joys of traveling.

    • Karen says:

      You’re the sweetest, Efrain. Thank you for listening and for loving Connor as much as I do. <3

      Re: skin care. That's great that you are starting with retinol and acids now! Don't forget to use sunscreen and a hat though, since certain ingredients can make you more sun sensitive.

      Where are you right now? I wish I was traveling!

      • Efrain says:

        Don’t worry we’re friends so I needed to speak up.

        I use sunscreen everyday and a hat or an umbrella to protect my face, I’ve just bought a spray sunscreen from La Roche Posay so now I’ll reapply over foundation (My sister and I always joke saying we’re from Eastern Asia because of how we stay away from the sun and tanning).

        In fact I’m writing from my phone while we’re on the road to LeΓ³n, Guanajuato a city here in Mexico. Is my first time there so I want to visit many places and maybe buy a pair of shoes and a big wallet (I don’t remember how to say the one you have from Kate Spade that you can hang on your wrist) because the city is famous for their leather goods.

        • Karen says:

          That’s great that you are so good about your sun protection! Whatever you don’t forget your neck. Seriously! I used to skip putting sunscreen on my neck and I regret it now. How many years are you and your sister apart? I have a younger brother and he’s six years younger than I man.

          I just goolged LeΓ³n, Guanajuato and wow, it looks like there’s some really beautiful architecture. I hope you brought a camera with a wide angle lens. I also hope you can find that big wallet! The word for an oversized wallet is wristlet, by the way. πŸ˜€

          • Efrain says:

            I always use sunscreen on the neck, I have to admit that it was because of reading about not forgetting the neck in beauty blogs so thanks god for technology.

            I’m almost nine years older than her, so our age gap is bigger than yours.

            I don’t have a camera just my iPhone so I hope it’s enough to take great photos; I hope I can find the wristlet I want, I’ll send you some pictures at least on Snapschat or in a mail.

          • Karen says:

            Yes, thank goodness for technology! I wish I had beauty blogs when I was younger because they would’ve saved me a whole lotta heartache, LOL!

            Are you traveling to LeΓ³n with friends or family? Or is it a solo trip?

            BTW I’m a huge fan of the iPhone as a camera. I used to lug around my huge DSLR but now I just take my phone. It’s less bulky and takes pretty good pics. The trick is to keep your hand steady and reduce as much movement as possible. If you can brace your body against a wall or an object. That helps a ton.

  7. Sara says:

    Hello Karen,

    Do you mind my asking where your gorgeous ring is from? Love it!

    Sara x

  8. I love those wipes! First make-up removing wipes I actually liked! Finished my pack a few weeks back. I should pick up another…
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Beauty meets fashion | Crazy Cat Lady

  9. Trecee says:

    I love that white polish. It looks so good on you! Since I’ve discovered Micellar water I haven’t been using wipes as much, but I may try these for the gym!


  10. kwmechelle says:

    ….rediscovered any beauty faves lately? Well, on a good day, I actually take a shower. So there’s that. No new discoveries, just FOREVER obsessed with my new MAC blush that I got nearly 2 months ago. It’s Film Noir. Oh and I picked up a new tube of Katie Perry’s Matte lippies by CG. I bought Perry Panther, which coincidentally, is the name of the town where I was born & the name of the mascot where I graduated from high school. Haven’t taken it for a spin yet but I plan to wear it out dancing tonight. I tried it on and all I can say is DAYUM! It might be my new spirit color. Forget reds & pinks & purples. Just give me a black lippie, please & thank you. The formula feels super comfy on the lips & isn’t a true matte, which I love. I haven’t been out dancing in a million years. So looking forward to it πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      I have to say that a fierce black lippie can be SO liberating. I rocked that ish in the ’90s and still love it to this day. Are you using a lip liner with yours? If you don’t have one, in a pinch black eyeliner works. I’m so jelly that you’re going dancing! What kind of music? I hope that you’ve got false lashes planned for the evening.

      • kwmechelle says:

        We’re going to a “grown folx lounge” which means 80’s, 90’s, & some 70’s music. It’s an older -ish crowd & promises a night of old school hip hop & R&B. Black lips & ‘fros for this chick. And, since you mentioned falsies, I’ll pick up some lash glue. I’m so stoked, dude. This is a long overdue outting for me. I plan to wear peep toe heels which I’ll eventually dance my way out of, of course, right? πŸ˜‰

        • Karen says:

          You made me laugh with your reference to “grown folx,” LOL! SERIOUSLY, HOW FUN! Do a snake and a running man for me, will ya?

          I joke with my friends that my dream club is one that opens up at 7 pm, so that I can eat dinner and feed Connor, then dance from 7-9, and then be back home in time to take a shower and feed the baby again. LOL! I’m half kidding and half not kidding. 😁

          While you’re out getting lash glue might as well grab some Ardell Demi Wispies…

  11. Kristen says:

    How does the Essie gel polish hold up to chips?

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