Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner

Product:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner.  This simple beauty staple never lets me down.

Overall Rating = 4 stars4 Stars – Excellent.

Cost:  $6.74 (.10 oz.) ($67.40 per ounce)  Price Category: Inexpensive

Sold By:  Almay; Target; Ulta; Walgreen’s; Walmart; Retailers everywhere.

Container:  Plastic tube, automatic twist-up pencil, built-in sharpener; snap cap.

Description:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner is an automatic retractable eyeliner pencil.  Depending upon your facial cleanser you may or may not need to use an eye makeup remover.

Formula:  This is a semi-creamy formula.  It can be smudged a little.  To avoid smudging for long-term wear, it should be set with powder.

Sensitivity:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and is suitable for those with sensitive eyes or contacts.

Company Claims:

“Define your eyes with beautiful color that lasts up to 16 hours. Water-resistant, long-lasting, smudge-proof formula stays true and stays put. Formulated with vitamin E to nourish and protect your delicate eye area. Built-in sharpener keeps point sharp for precise definition.”

Discussion:  Almay was invented in 1931 when chemist Alfred Woititz began making cosmetics for his wife, Fanny May, who was allergic to makeup.  I have been using Almay products my entire life.  I have severe fragrance allergies and Almay was the first entirely fragrance-free cosmetics line.  For many years this was the only brand of eye makeup I could wear.

An eyeliner pencil may seem like a boring product, but if someone told me I could only have one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be an eyeliner pencil.  With a brown eyeliner pencil I could define my eyebrows, line my eyes and even add color to my lips.

Colors:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner comes in three matte colors: Black, Black/Brown, and Brown.  There are four additional pearlescent colors that are sold under the name Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliner.  Those colors are: Purple Amethyst, Brown Topaz, Black Pearl and Raisin Quartz.  (Try a black on the upper lashes and a color on the lowers.)

Please Note:  If you have hypersensitive eyes, you may need to stay away from the Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliner in the colors Purple Amethyst or Raisin Quartz as they contain Carmine and some people are sensitive to Carmine.  (I have worn both of these colors with no ill effects and Carmine does not bother me at all, but there are reports of sensitivity to these two colors by some users.)

Morning Review:  I apply pencil eyeliner after curling lashes, primer and before any other eye makeup.  The Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner is a retractable pencil so you just twist up what you need.  Unlike some pencils that cannot be twisted back down, this one can.  The pencil is a medium to thick diameter so if you want a thinner line you will need to use the little pull-out sharpener that is in the bottom of the pencil.

As far as the formula goes, the pencil is semi-creamy and glides on easily without tugging.  This is a good eyeliner for a classic everyday look.  I use this eyeliner on the upper lash line as well as the lower lash line.  If you are going for a heavy smoky, smudged look, you can layer with this pencil.  If you are going for an extreme winged cat-eye look, this will not make fine lines at the corner and you will get better results with a marker or gel eyeliner.  I also prefer a waterproof gel for tightlining or using on the waterline.

Helpful Tips/Tricks:

  • Do not twist the pencil up too far when you sharpen it or you will break it.
  • To avoid smudging, always set your pencil eyeliner with a powdered eye shadow in the same color as the eyeliner. This is especially important if you have oily skin.

Evening Review:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner stays on well.  After many hours there was no smudging.  This did not come off with my regular facial cleanser, but it did come off easily with eye makeup remover or my makeup wipes.

Overall Review:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner is easy to use, long lasting and does not irritate my hypersensitive eyes.


  • Deep rich color
  • Applies quickly and easily
  • Stays on for many hours without smudging
  • Does not require a separate sharpener
  • Hypoallergenic formula does not cause any irritation
  • Readily available at local retailers
  • Inexpensive


  • Sometimes the outer cap cracks (I have had this happen twice recently.)

Suitability:  Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner is suitable for the following users:

  • All users


Morning Rating = 4 stars4 Stars;

Evening Rating = 4 stars4 Stars;

Average from Other Testers = 4 stars4 Stars;

Value Rating = 4 stars4 Stars;

Overall Rating = 4 stars4 Stars = Excellent.

Would Buy Again?  Yes, definitely.

(Please review the About 365 Cosmetic Reviews page for the rating info.)

Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour EyelinerAlmay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner

Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner Sharpener

Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner Sharpener

Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner Swatch

Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner Classic Everyday Look

Almay 16 Hr Crayon Contour Eyeliner Classic Everyday Look

Ingredients:  Cyclomethicone, Synthetic Beeswax, Arachidyl Behenate, Microcrystalline Wax, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Mineral Oil, Propylene Carbonate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Aluminum Powder, Bismuth Oxychloride, Bronze Powder, Carmine, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Copper Powder, Manganese Violet, Zinc Oxide.

Important:  Please read our full Disclaimer before using this or any product.

How To Choose The Best Mascara For Your Eyelashes

How To Choose The Best Mascara For Your Eyelashes – Mascara is one of those cosmetics that is the most confusing for most wearers.  Why?  Because there are so many different kinds, types and variables.  The below photograph shows just some of the mascaras I currently own.  As a professional makeup artist, I keep many different kinds on hand for different uses with clients.

Mascara 101 Best Formula Help Guide

What makes a good mascara?

  • Ease of application
  • A formula that provides length and/or volume (depending upon your needs)
  • No clumps
  • No flakes
  • No smudging
  • No running
  • No irritation

That doesn’t seem like too much to expect, right?  Why can’t they all do that?

Before you begin shopping for mascara, you need to know exactly what type of eyelashes you have.

Eyelash Characteristics:

  • Length – Are your lashes short, medium or long?
  • Thickness – Are your lashes thin or thick?
  • Density – Do you have sparse lashes or a lot of lashes?
  • Straight or Curly – Do your lashes have natural curl to them or do they stick straight out?
  • Suppleness – Do your lashes tend to get dry, brittle or break?
  • Delicate – Do a lot of them fall out when you rub your eyes?

Examine Your Hair:

If you are having trouble answering the above questions, typically your eyelashes will mimic your hair.  If the hair on your head is curly and thick, you probably have thicker lashes.  If your hair is fine and thin, your eyelashes are probably on the thinner side, too.  Regarding the length of your eyelashes, this trait does not correspond to any particular quality of your hair.  If your hair is very dry, chances are your eyelashes are, too and you may experience dryness or brittleness in your lashes.

Additional Concerns and Questions:

  • Do you wear contacts? (Stay away from mascaras with fibers.)
  • Do you have allergies and other sensitivities?  (Read the ingredients and make sure they are fragrance free.)
  • Do your eyes tend to water a lot?
  • Do you have oily skin? (Yes, your skin type will affect what type of mascara will work best for you.)
  • Are your eyes so deep set that your eyelashes touch your upper eyelids? (If so, a smudge-free formula is very important.)

Once you have answered all of the above questions, then you can begin to determine what type of mascara will perform the best for you.

Mascaras come in the following types of formulas:

  • Water based – These mascaras will run if you cry or your eyes water. These have a light density.  They are easily removed with any normal facial cleanser and do not require a separate eye makeup remover.  They are the gentlest to your lashes.  If you have a lot of chemical sensitivities, these formulas may be the best for you.
  • Natural – These are water-based mascaras that are made from minerals, beeswax and other naturally-occurring ingredients.  This type will always be free of fragrance and other irritants.  These are the best mascaras for anyone with allergies, sensitive eyes and those who wear contacts.
  • Water resistant – These mascaras, although water based, also contain ingredients that prevent the mascara from running if your eyes tear. These have a medium density. Some of them are easily removed with regular facial cleanser and some require an eye makeup remover.  These are good for deep set eyes and are good for people with dry, brittle lashes.
  • Waterproof – These mascaras are oil based, will not run when exposed to tears or water, but many are not smudge proof. These will have a medium or thick density depending upon the formula.  These must be removed with a dedicated eye makeup remover.  These stay on the longest and the best, but because they are oil based, they may actually smudge worse on users with very oily eyelids.  Think about this… What do you use to remove waterproof makeup?  Oil-based cleansers.  If your eyelids are extremely oily, your body is producing its own remover.  Those with oily skin will have to experiment the most to find a brand that works for them.  Waterproof mascaras can also have a drying effect on the eyelashes over time so they may not be good for those with brittle lashes.

Mascaras also have different objectives:

  • Some are designed to enhance a natural look.
  • Some will volumize or add thickness to sparse or thin lashes.
  • Some will add length.
  • Some have wands that claim to curl the lashes (They don’t work very well.)
  • Some have added fibers (These are not good for contact lens wearers.)

Mascaras have different types of applicators (wands):

  • Wands with straight brushes (These make it difficult to get into the corners.)
  • Wands with tapered brushes (These work the best.)
  • Wands with curved brushes (Most of them are too big.)
  • Wands with plastic bristles (These work okay if they are small.)
  • Wands with tiny combs (These are good for separating upper lashes but don’t work very well on lower lashes.)
  • Wands that vibrate (These are a silly gimmick.)
  • Wands that rotate (These can be very dangerous.)
  • Wands with adjustable brushes (These usually break after a few uses.)
  • Wands that are tiny just for the lower lashes (Some of these are very good.)

Most of the applicator brushes that come with mascaras are too large.  The smaller the brush, the greater the level of control.  Also, many of the brands with curved wands are way too large and the curve is wrong for the average-sized eye.  Mascaras with battery-operated rotating or vibrating wands are a marketing gimmick and I’d prefer to wiggle my own wand.  Also, there have been reports of people getting their eyelashes caught in the rotating ones and pulling them out.  Ouch!

Everyone just wants long, full, dramatic eyelashes.  So which formula do you need?

  • If you have enough lashes but they are short, look for a lengthening mascara.
  • If your lashes are a good length but you don’t have enough of them, look for a volumizing mascara. A separate eyelash primer will also add to the thickness.
  • If you have so few eyelashes that you can barely find them, look for a fiber-filled mascara. Using a separate eyelash primer will also greatly enhance your lashes.
  • If you are blessed with long, thick eyelashes, a simple water-based formula or even a clear gel mascara will add definition. (If this is you, please know that the rest of the world is envious.)

Tips and Tricks for Successful Mascara Application:

  • Always begin with clean lashes.  If you apply today’s mascara on top of yesterday’s leftovers, you are starting out with an invitation to clumping and flaking.
  • Always scrape some of the mascara back into the tube before applying. When you first pull the wand out of the tube there will be too much product on the wand.
  • If you need more product on the wand, don’t pump the wand in and out as this will infuse air into the tube, which will cause the mascara to dry out faster.  Instead, twirl the wand while fully inserted to get more mascara on the wand.
  • If your mascara came with a separate outer cap, replace the cap while the wand is out of the tube and it will last longer.  (Don’t throw away those outer caps the first time you place the wand into the tube.)  Air is the enemy of a tube of mascara.
  • Begin by coating the top of your upper eyelashes first with your mascara or primer. Let the first coat work from the top down.
  • Always move the wand in a wiggling side-to-side fashion from the lash roots to the tips rather than one sweeping motion.
  • Twirling the wand while applying to the upper lashes will help to keep the lashes separated.
  • If you are using a mascara primer, make sure to wait 30-60 seconds for it to dry, then apply your mascara on top of the primer. This will keep it from looking diluted or gray as opposed to black.
  • Use a separate clean mascara wand to separate your lashes in between coats. If you try to use the applicator brush that is already coated in mascara, you’ll end up with way too much product on them which leads to very clumpy lashes.
  • Mascara needs to thoroughly dry in between coats to avoid clumping and flaking. When applying multiple coats of mascara, avoid putting several coats on one eye at a time. Instead, switch from one eye to the next before applying a second coat in order to let your lashes dry between coats.
  • Don’t apply more than 2 coats.  More than that will lead to clumping and flaking.
  • Don’t ever share your mascara or you are inviting an eye infection.
  • Don’t add water to your mascara if it is too thick. (If you add water to a waterproof mascara, it will just bead up, not blend and that tube will need to be trashed.)
  • If it gets too thick, it is time for a new tube.

I will be adding a list of the best brands for each type of formula.

I hope you found How To Choose The Best Mascara For Your Eyelashes helpful.  Mascara is an important tool for adding accent and drama to your eyes.  Perhaps determining the best type of mascara for you will be a little less confusing now.  Please let us know your favorite mascaras and why.  We’d love to hear from you!