Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner: So Smooth It’s Almost Criminal

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Product Reviews

neutrogena nourishing eyeliner review

QUESTION: How smooth are Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliners?


ANSWER: Well, they’re about a billion times smoother than this dude…

Like Tom Cruise’s feet in that scene from Risky Business, these richly pigmented $8 drugstore liners practically glide, in this case across lash and water lines.

They’re part of Neutrogena’s permanent makeup collection and come in six eye-illuminating shades — Twilight Blue, Brown Sugar, Brushed Pewter, Plum Drop, Cosmic Black and Spiced Chocolate.

When it comes to their makeup, the company prescribes to the philosophy that beauty products should enhance natural beauty while simultaneously improving the skin, which is why these liners contain hydrating ingredients like olive oil and shea butter to moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes.

I’ve been looking forward to giving these a try, hoping I’d find drugstore alternatives to the MAC Technakohls (so far the only somewhat comparable, less expensive liners I’ve found have been the Covergirl Exact Eyelights).

Among their other claims, team Neutrogena also says the Nourishing Eyeliners deliver all-day smudge- and fade-proof color.

Let’s see!

For starters, like MAC Technakohls, Nourishing Eyeliners have skinny twist-up pencil tips, which makes ’em fab for drawing thin, precise lines. Neutrogena was also kind enough to add a built-in smudger and sharpener with each one, a convenient and welcome touch.

neutrogena nourishing eyeliner review twilight blue and spiced chocolate

I’ve tried two of the colors — Spiced Chocolate (the shimmery, rich coppery brown) and Twilight Blue (the dark navy blue with shimmer) — and both slip and slide oh-so-smoothly along my lash and water lines.

NOTE: The liners feel just a tad harder than the MAC Technakohls do to me, but not annoyingly so. On the skin, they remain creamy and easy to manipulate for a good half an hour, which seems like plenty of time to smudge to my heart’s content.

neutrogena nourishing eyeliner review twilight blue and spiced chocolate

As for wear time…

Perhaps the colors I’ve tried are just exceptions, but both Twilight Blue and Spiced Chocolate don’t stick around for long and require frequent reapplication, only lasting about two hours on my waterline (about four on my lash line) — something that definitely makes them higher maintenance than a Technakohl, which I can pretty much apply once in the morning and then forget about until bed.

neutrogena nourishing eyeliner review twilight blue and spiced chocolate swatches
From left: Twilight Blue, Spiced Chocolate

Not only that, but they’re creepers, too, migrating as the day wears on until they eventually settle into a crease (NO!)…

Sure, a layer of powder shadow on top extends the wear time, but that’s an extra step. Sometimes I just want to line and go, ya know?

neutrogena nourishing eyeliner review karen wearing twilight blue
Wearing Twilight Blue

While I love the price, colors and smooth application, these Nourishing Eyeliners just doesn’t last very long on the skin. That might not be a problem, however, if you don’t mind having to reapply your liner throughout the day. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B-/C+

You might like Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner if…

  • You like eyeliners with a firm tip
  • You like the colors
  • You don’t mind having to reapply OFTEN
  • The price is right

Days of our (cat lady) lives

Lately, one of my greatest joys in life has been taking pictures of myself with Tabs in front of the computer:


It’s just a fad (one that has lasted three years, ha!)…

How’s it going with you on this lovely Wednesday? Are you glad we’re almost over le hump? 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 48 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Megan says:

    haha! i absolutely love that first pic of you and tabs.

  2. Fabienne says:

    oo i like (i dont mind the smudgy/migrating, most liners do that to me anyway, even ud and the mufe liners)! is it jus me from the swatches, or does spiced choc look like ud 24/7 in bourbon?

  3. Fabienne says:

    n karen, youre absolutely hilarious!

  4. Rachael says:

    I picked up one at the walmart across the street from where I worked. They worked well enough for my wait staff shift and that’s about it. The didn’t last through bar hopping with my friends after. I still use it when doing a smokey eye cause they smudge well.

    Wednesday is going alright. Got my course postings (I made Dean’s List!) Now I’m off to a bar to support my boyfriend’s band. I always want to reference your site when I talk to some of the girls there. They need some make up interventions ASAP! LOL
    .-= Rachael’s last blog post… License to Thrill: I Wanna be a Bond Girl =-.

    • Karen says:

      Congrats on making the Dean’s List! I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well in school. 😀

      How did the performance go? Is your bf a musician or the front man for the band?

      • Rachael says:

        The show went alright. the drummer messed up quite a bit on some songs, especially Holy Diver. Chris did well. He enjoys playing bass or as they put it in I Love You, Man: Slapping the bass. He plays a five string bass, pretty cool to feel and hear when they turn him up loud enough in the sound system
        .-= Rachael’s last blog post… License to Thrill: I Wanna be a Bond Girl =-.

  5. Nina says:

    Heyyyy Karen and Tabs! Awesome pictures! 🙂

    I havent tried that Neutrogena … and if it creases and migrates I might give it a pass. Im super happy w/ UD and Milani eye pencils right now that it doesnt make sense to add to the gang.

    The blue and the plum look very pretty though!

    • Karen says:

      Have you had a chance to play with the new colors you picked up? You know, I used to do the same thing when I worked w/lawyers. When they were misbehavin’ (LOL) I’d go to Walgreens and stress shop for makeup. Um, needless to say I was there a LOT! For a while I had a kick-ass drugstore collection, LOL!

      • Nina says:

        I have. Im using the brown and the gold today over MAC Nylon and its a pretty, no fuss and fast look for the summer! 🙂

        LOL @ misbehavin’ … that guy from yesterday is notorious for doin’ that! It all worked itself out in the end … but still. The aggravation was unnecessary! 😀

  6. Mrs. Kinne says:

    Love your Cat Lady pictures!

    I can completely relate, because my cat Barney and I like to Photo Booth it up on a regular basis.
    .-= Mrs. Kinne’s last blog post… A Quick Stop at Target =-.

  7. Amy says:

    Awww tabs!!
    Ate the wear times with or without primer?

  8. Catherine says:

    Bah. Those colors look so pretty but I know they won’t last on me. Even UD 24/7s and Prestige WP liners smudge and migrate on me (though the UD ones do a lot better with powder on top). But I totally hear you! Extra step!! I’m still hoping that out there there’s SOME liner that will stay in place for me though I’ve mostly given up by now lol.

    You and Tabs are SOOOOO CUTE. 😀
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… L’Occitane Peony Blush #4 Nuage Rouge =-.

  9. Lee says:

    Hey Karen,
    That vid is just so funny no matter how often i watch it lol

    The blue looks really really nice on u, i think ill try that one…Do they have a nice green?
    I cant figure out if green or blue suits me better, i have dark brown hair, fair more 2 medium skin, and chocolate brown eyes…what do u think suits these colours better?

    Love the pics with tabs hes so cute 🙂 he always looks so calm hehe we just had my neighbours dog bark up 2 our front door and surprisingly my usually scared of a breeze kitty stayed there and hissed back lol!

    Hope ur having a good day 🙂

  10. Michelle says:

    Love the dark blue — too bad it doesn’t last longer!! They look great on you though!

  11. veronica says:

    I’ve tried those liners before, and the bad news is those sharpener tops fall off really easily. A week in my makeup bag, and I was digging around for those lost tops! I finally threw them out after a while.

  12. Marce says:

    LOL I love your Blue Steel face! Those pictures are too cute. I really must take some photos with Pepa! Send Tabs a big kiss from me 😀
    The colours are so pretty! It’s a shame they don’t wear well. I don’t like reapplying, but sometimes I just have to, with these oily lids! I’ll have to give Technackhols a go.
    A liner that doesn’t stay put on me but get sooo many raves are the 24/7 liners by UD, I love the colours but they don’t. stay. put.
    Anyways, Happy Hump Day! Hope the rest of the week goes well 😀
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… SATC Series – Miranda =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marce,

      Bummer the UD 24/7s don’t work for you! I’ve have pretty decent luck with them in the past. Do you have Milani in your neck of the woods? They make a pretty good pencil liner that doesn’t budge…

      Anywho, how’s the new job?

      • Marce says:

        Nope, no Milani 🙁
        Clinique Creamshapers are good same as MAC pencils, but UD just starts creeping down the end of my eyes giving me that sad puppy look. I have to set it to avoid that effect, but I can’t bother!
        Work’s good for the time being, thanks, it’s not that crazy since I’m in a small shopping mall but quite a lot of people come to buy, something I didn’t quite expect!
        .-= Marce’s last blog post… FOTD – A Subtle Smoky Eye + Tutorial =-.

  13. Amber says:

    That gorgeous blue reminded me of a dream I had a couple nights ago — I dreamed that I could print makeup from the multi-function device at work. I just walked over to it and picked up all the Urban Decay palettes that I had printed out! How awesome would that be?
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Chocolate chip cookie quest: round 1 =-.

  14. Resha says:

    1. that video damn near KILLED me!! LMAO!!!
    2. thanks for reviewing these, that blue is gorgeous but if it doesn’t last longer than Bob Dole, I’m gonna have to pass
    3. the last 2 pics prove why you’re so adorable. Tabs is a gorgeous kitty with a hot mama!
    .-= Resha’s last blog post… MAC Goodbyes Haul =-.

  15. hahahahha oh man I love that video. spiced chocolate is a pretty color, these look like the revlon colorstay twist-up liners, only those stay all day (not that smooth though). love the you+tabs pictures
    .-= makeup morsels’s last blog post… Miscellaneous Monday Morsels 5/17 =-.

  16. Lisa S. says:

    Been using the Spiced chocolate and the Brushed Pewter for almost a year now. I have pretty oily skin but have had pretty good luck with these. My issue isn’t so much smudge or migration its finding a good brown and gray that are “true” and not “off” and Spiced Chocolate and Brushed Pewter fit the bill. I’ve pretty much always had problems with anything on my water line, so I’ve just resigned my self to a touch up every now and then.

  17. mkdallas says:

    Too bad about the staying power…the colors you swatched are really pretty. Love the pics of you with your furry friend! Tabs is a really big (not pudgy) boy.

  18. Kim says:

    I loved the plum, but creeping is a deal killer. Karen, you can’t put Tabs on a kitty diet.. his face in the 2nd pic clearly says “Sigh, you know I pose for the cameras all day for my real job. Can we please get this over with so you can fetch me some wet food in gravy?”. 🙂

  19. Scientific Housewife says:

    It’s a shame they don’t last longer!

  20. Melissa says:

    hey! wow, i didn’t even know that neutrogena made these! i’m something of a target/walmart/drugstore beauty queen (LOL), and i am always on the hunt for mac, benefit, etc knockoffs! loreal’s hip line makes an identical pencil-i liken it to greasepaint sticks, wear time is decent, highly pigmented, not bad in all.{userdata//d+d//|diagnostic|main:pdp//objectid+Cos41l_6//{pdp_tab:pdp_overview//objectid+Cos41l_6//}|media:_blank|nav|overlay:_blank}

  21. Deirdre says:

    the blue looks very like UD Binge, it was n the holiday collection of eyeliners! I think i’ll stick to UD though, they’re the best eyeliners 🙂

  22. Sharon says:

    Hey Karen, what nail polish are you wearing in that first pic of you and Tabs? It’s really pretty and I can see that shade working on me, too (even though I’m a NW15)…

    Maybe you could post those kinds of pics (the funny ones in front of the computer with Tabs) every so often? They make me smile. My LiveJournal avatar is a pic of my kitty Mischief being held up to have her pic taken by my webcam, she was NOT happy about it at all, LOL!

  23. Basak says:

    I am still laughing Karen 🙂 You are so creative and funny.

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