(Left: Alchemy, Right: Abyss)
Alchemy is quite interesting because it's not a typical glitter liner, which is often a clear gel with chunky glitter particles contained therein as I have seen from other brands. Rather, it seems to be a lot of micro-glitter so densely suspended in the liquid that it doesn't separate from glitter particle to the gel. Hard to explain but see what I mean from the picture below.
I decided to compare the Illamasqua liners to some budget alternatives from the drugstore. Below you can see the Illamasqua liners on the right hand side, on the left are two similar products from other brands.
(From left to right: Essence glitter liner in Angel's Eyes, L'Oreal Super Liner in Carbon Gloss, Illamasqua Alchemy, Illamasqua Abyss)
The Essence liner is one of those liners I talked about where the chunky glitter particles are suspensed in clear gel that forms the liner, I had to apply several coats of it to get the color payoff on this picture, whereas Illamasqua's Alchemy (and all other liners seen here) is one stroke.
But where these liners really shine is their longevity in staying power. The Illamasqua Precision Inks just do not fade, and last until the moment you decide to remove them with an oil-based makeup remover. I was told by Illamasqua that the liner contains a special type of adherent that behaves a little bit like cosmetic glue that helps the product to literally stick on, but doesn't contain latex. I noticed this especially with Alchemy. In the picture below, you'll see how all these liners behave after running cold water over them and a little bit of smudging with a finger.
The Essence and L'Oreal liners are well on their way to rubbing off, whereas the Illasmasqua liners still look flawless. In the final picture, I've added more water and rubbed a lot with my fingers.
The Essence and L'Oreal liners have completely rubbed off, and the Illamasqua liners have taken some damage, but are still going pretty strong.
Hands down, these are the most long-lasting liquid liners I've ever used. The special adherents make for a very strong protective barrier against smudging and bleeding. The only down-side is that removal of these liners does take a little bit longer than conventional liquid liners. You must use an oil-based eye makeup remover doused on a cotton pad to take these off, and avoid scrubbing back and forth. (Baby oil will work in a pinch too.) I found it best to let the cotton pad with the remover sink into the product for a few seconds, then gently dabbing off. Especially with Alchemy, you might see some clear residue that takes a bit longer to remove. I also love the fact that a mixing ball has been added to the product bottle, which makes it much easier to shake up the product before applying.
I'm hoping that Illamasqua comes out with more of these liners, especially in the glitter variety, as Alchemy is really superb. It's easy to use, very opaque in one swipe, and the glitter really stays put. I would love to see these in colors like teal, silver, copper, and purple! I would recommend these liners to people who love wearing the dramatic winged liner and want it to really last all day, or suffer from watery eyes.