Review: Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner in Spiced Chocolate

By Voxy  

Chocolate with cinnamon? Bring it on! Oh, wait — it’s not for eating? Drat. Are you sure?

As I’ve said before, eyeliner pencils are things that I am usually just as happy to get at the drugstore as at Sephora or a high-end counter. I’ve had both good and bad eyeliners from both low-end and luxury brands, and there really isn’t a huge difference in performance between a good drugstore liner and a good high-end liner. So I usually end up choosing eyeliner pencils based on three things: texture/softness (putting on eyeliner should not be a painful experience), how well it lasts, and uniqueness of color. This last criterion is the one that makes me most likely to buy a high-end product, and that’s usually because I can swatch them at Sephora.

The difficulty with brown eyeliner is that it can so often be boring. The advantage to it is that it looks good on every eye color. Which is to say, therefore, that it can look boring on anyone. Super.

The color of this eyeliner, however, is surprisingly un-boring. I can’t quite figure out why that is, since there is no shimmer or sparkle and it is a fairly neutral brown — neither too warm nor too cool, neither too light nor too dark. On the eye, though, it has a lot of life and brings out the green in my eyes in a way that a plain old brown liner usually doesn’t do. I have to say I’m impressed.

What I didn’t like about it when I first started using it, and why I’m only writing the review several months later, is that I would put it on in the morning and by the time I got to work it would have migrated down to my lower waterline (where I definitely didn’t want it). I was using TFSI as an eye primer and was disappointed that this wasn’t staying in place, since I wasn’t having trouble with other products. But I gave it another couple of shots after I started using MAC paint pots as eyeshadow bases in addition to my TFSI, and this seems to have done the trick. Now the liner stays in place and lasts all day. This turns it into a winner for me, but I’ll have to remember to always use a paint pot underneath it.

The other end of the pencil has a rubbery smudger tip, so you can smoke out the line a little (or a lot), and it pops out of the pencil to reveal a sharpener, so you can also go the other way and sharpen the tip to get a thinner, finer line. Is it “nourishing”? I don’t know. My eyelids have not been hungry since I started using it, so I suppose that’s something. :: eyeroll ::

If Spiced Chocolate isn’t your thing, there are five other shades: Cosmic Black, Plum Drop, Twilight Blue, Brown Sugar, and Brushed Pewter.



Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner in Spiced Chocolate: $7.99 at

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good.

Purchase again? Yes, and in the meanwhile I’m off to make myself some hot cocoa with cinnamon. Yum.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar Inthelab
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 6:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    How can eyeliner be nourishing? I would have liked your take on that.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted June 28, 2010 at 8:25 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well, they say that it contains Olive Oil and Rainforest Shea Butter and that these nourish the skin when you put it on.

      Here are the ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Stearyl Esters, Polyethylene, Polybutene, Silica Silylate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Grandiflorium Seed Butter, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Pentaetythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Water. May Also Contain: Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Carmine

      “Nourish”? I don’t know. I don’t have any data on whether or not hydrogenated olive oil stearyc esters are any more “nourishing” than any other ester; most simulate (to a greater or lesser degree) the lipid chains found in skin. Well, that’s nice, but is it anything special? The other “nourishing” ingredient, shea butter, appears *after* the wax, and I also don’t know how much good either it or the olive oil can do when mixed with wax. Candelilla wax is so commonly used in cosmetics that it seems like any product might successfuly make a “nourishing” claim.

      However, this eyeliner is part of a line of products that Neutrogena all claims are “nourishing,” all for different reasons: SPF, vitamins A/C/E, olive oil/shea butter, etc. At this point I would not be surprised to see them claim it’s nourishing because it contains water. I can haz clinical data, please?

      My usual advice to people on stuff like this is that you should buy the product if you like it *in spite of* its claims, not because of them. In other words, if it were proven that it totally didn’t do that extra thing, do you like the product anyway? If so, buy it. If not, skip it. (All this presumes, of course, that it doesn’t contain anything actually *hazardous.* That’s a different deal.)


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