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Kajal Quest: Stila.

So, why did I pick Stila Kajal eye liner for my next kajal test? One reason really. Its name contains the term kajal which demonstrates some awareness on the part of Stila. So I thought "hey, it's trying to emulate kajal, so this just might be what I'm looking for!"

Here's what Stila's web site has to say about their Kajal eye liner:
Kajal eye liners are formulated to mimic the ultra-soft texture of the indian eye darkener of the same name. The luscious formula is silky smooth and glides on perfectly, without dragging across the most fragile skin around the eye area. Delivers bold, clear, true color that blends easily and beautifies.
Hmmm. So far so good. I purchased the liner (in onyx, natch) at Sephora for $18. I rushed home and unwrapped the pencil in a hurry to try it on. When I applied the pencil to my inner rim, I think I heard the Superficial Angels sing. The kajal went on like a dream - no tugging necessary! The application was smooth, and the color. Oh the color. Rich, dark and all that I ever wanted in a kajal pencil! I kid you not, I was in makeup heaven! I didn't have to rub the liner on my inner rims repeatedly - all it took was one light stroke and voila! A beautiful jet black line. I lined the inner rims of my lower lash lines, applied some mascara, and that was all I needed for a lovely, defined eye look suitable for daytime. Of course my head raced with the wild makeup ideas I had for night looks that would incorporate this wonderful kajal.

About an hour and a half later, my reverie was abruptly shattered when I chanced upon my reflection in the rear view mirror of my car. Noticeable smudges under both eyes. Eeep. I guess this was the price to pay for that rich pigmentation.

All was not lost (by all, I mean $18) and I didn't have to chuck the liner because of its smudgieness. I have found that if I apply primer or translucent powder under my lower lash line, and follow up the kajal application by dipping an angled brush in black eye shadow and applying this along my lower lash line, I increase the staying power of Stila Kajal by several hours. Of course lining the eyes with shadow takes the look out of daytime casual and into a high-drama night look, but at least the product is still usable! It's still worth it for that amazing pigmentation. It has become my go-to pencil any time I'm going out.

I recently learned, thanks to the January issue of InStyle, that Stila liner is what Courteney Cox Arquette prefers when she's going out. Check it out:Up next: MAC Technakohl Liner/Eye-Liner Kajal.

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