I'm Finally Revealing My Makeup Secret Weapon

Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm or Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous and have devoted, loyal followings. While we love many of these, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our series,Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you should really, truly know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but trust us: They've got staying power.

Every few weeks, I come into work and am immediately showered with compliments. People say something along the lines of, “Julie, you look amazing! Did you change your makeup?!” And though I laugh and insist that the only difference is actually wearing some — a rare occurrence for lazy ol' me — I’m ready to admit there’s something more to it. It's something that I’ve been hoarding for myself and using as my occasional makeup-day secret weapon. It's something that makes my eyes pop and transforms my whole face. It’s Laura Mercier’s Kohl Eye Pencil.

It was actually one of the first adult beauty products I owned. My aunt had taken me to Bergdorf Goodman and I asked for something versatile, subtle, but that would work for nights when I wanted to look more grown-up. The woman at the makeup counter confidently handed over the eyeliner in a deep, smoky green. And while I hesitated at the time — wearing green seemed a little too much — it has remained a staple in my routine ever since.

Its permanence can be attributed in large part to the fact that it’s simultaneously subtle and easy to use. The pencil is soft and goes on smoothly. It glides easily over both top and bottom lashlines. It’s easy to layer if you want a nighttime smolder and the formula blends like a dream. Truly, I don’t even use a brush — just my fingers to smudge it around my eyelid followed by a layer of Marc Jacobs Mascara. Voila! The perfect smoky eye.

A nice bonus: It comes in seven neutral shades, so you can choose whichever compliments your eye color, outfit, or vibe on a given day. In addition to Antique Jade (the aforementioned green color I mentioned and my personal favorite for hazel eyes), there’s also Black Navy, Black Violet, Brown Copper, Black Turquoise, Stormy Grey, and Black Gold. I'm actually almost too afraid to try the rest, in case I fall in love again. Then, I'll have to decide between them on a regular basis.

In any case, now the secret is out. I hope you enjoy the many compliments that are about to come your way. However, I would appreciate if you didn't buy Antique Jade in bulk so that there's still some left for me when it's time to restock.

Laura Mercier
Kohl Eye Pencil in Antique Jade, $25, available at Sephora.

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