Clio Kill Brush + Pen Liner Review + Swatches

I mentioned in my Collective Asian Beauty Haul and Review + Swatches that I would be posting a more detailed review of Clio’s Kill Brush/Pen Liners, so here it is!

I have Clio’s Kill Black Brush Liner and Clio’s Kill Brown Pen Liner.


They have a typical slim liquid liner shape with a metallic sheen of the shade of the liner. The lid has a nice click sound that ensures that it’s put on properly, and will bounce off if not on preventing drying out.


In this photo, there’s a close up of the liner’s tips. The Kill Brown Pen Liner has more of a felt tip shape, whereas the Kill Black Brush Liner has more of a brush shape and reminds me of brush pens with synthetic hairs. The thing with the brush pen is that other makeup can cling to the brush hairs, making eyeliner application uneven. Every now and again it is good to run the brush pen over a cotton pad with makeup remover to remove anything that might be clogging up the brush.

According to Club Clio USA, here is the Clio Kill Pen Liner’s Description:

A new and improved formula with an airtight locked cap makes the Clio waterproof pen liner unbeatable! No flaking, no smudging—this is liquid eyeliner revolutionised. The brush pen applicator tip allows for effortless dramatic winged eyeliner or barely-there, precise lines that will last all day and all night. And when you’re done? The Clio Waterproof Pen Liner is easy to remove with oil cleanser or makeup remover.

And the Clio Kill Brush Liner’s Description:

Clio is globally renowned by makeup artists, beauty editors and consumers for their eyeliners and mascaras. The Kill Black and Kill Brown series have been steady bestsellers for years. Millions upon millions have flown off shelves because of the gorgeous striking shades of black and brown, the amazing applicators (thank you Clio for constant dedication to innovation) and the extremely smudge-proof and waterproof liner and mascara. Yet, it’s easy to wipe off with makeup remover. A Clio classic that speaks for itself.

So basically, both of them claim to produce clean, consistent lines with deep pigment, easy to remove with makeup remover, as well as waterproof and no flaking or smudging to last all day and all night. Let’s see if they live up to their claims shall we?


Above are the swatches of the two. As you can see, both liners have good variation in thickness, meaning good flexibility. The pen liner does have a much larger line variation, but it tends to bleed a lot more ink, leading to feathery edges. Upon application, there is a sheen of liquid above the swatch. The brush liner however does have less line variation, but enough ink comes out to create an even, pigmented line. So far, both of them produce deeply pigmented, consistent, and for the most part clean lines as claimed. So far so good!

Now let’s test how waterproof and smudge proof they are!


I held my hand under cold running water for approximately 5 seconds about 5 minutes after I swatched them. Both liners haven’t immediately started coming off once in contact with a lot of water immediately which is good!


After, I rubbed back and forth approximately 15 times. As you can see, the brown pen liner didn’t hold up too well but the brush liner held up well! I suspected it might be because of how it bled out a lot more ink than the brush liner. So I thought I’d re-swatch and this time let the liner sit for about 20-30 minutes and test it again against water.


It may also be because of a variation in lighting, but the brown swatch looks warmer and has less of a sheen.


After placed under cold running water for 5 seconds and after rubbing back and forth 15 times, this is how it held up! As you can see, the brush liner swatch smudged close to nothing whereas the pen liner did still smudge a lot, but smudged considerably less. You also might be able to see that when it’s rubbed off with water, it comes off in little ‘balls’ of eyeliner rather than streaks of pigment.


I re-swatched the check how smudgeproof they were. After five minutes, I rubbed back and forth quite hard and both liners held up superbly! Now to check how easy they are to remove!


I soaked a cotton pad with micellar water (a cleansing water with oil droplets suspended in it due to surfactants) that doesn’t mention it for waterproof makeup, and swiped it over the swatches once and applied pressure. Most of the brown pen liner was removed, and the brush liner has faded a bit.


And after rubbing back and forth 5 times, the pen liner was gone and the brush liner had considerably faded.

When I wear either liner throughout the day and set my undereyes with powder, I notice that I get more smudges with the pen liner than the brush liner.

So to sum them up:

Pen Liner: Smudgeproof, waterproof, smudges + crumbles when wet and smudged, easily removed with micellar water, goes smoothly over any makeup.

Brush Liner: Smudgeproof, waterproof, fades when wet and smudged, fades with rough micellar water removal, other makeup can cake up brush leading to uneven application, must be cleaned every now and again.

So if you’re looking for durability and prefer waterproof everything, I’d strongly suggest the brush liner. It’s actually my favourite liner, and I would’ve bought it in brown if I didn’t see that the brown brush liner was a very light brown. The pen liner is a nice liner if you like things easy to remove, but can still hold their own for a while.

I also just found out, that I stupidly deleted a lot of photos from my library, thinking I was making space when in reality, I was deleting all my photos from my blogposts. Now I’m stuck trying to salvage what edited photos I can, and maybe deleting the posts that I can’t salvage edited photos of if it’s too much work. *sighs*

I really hope this review was helpful to you, and until next time, hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!

– Jess




9 thoughts on “Clio Kill Brush + Pen Liner Review + Swatches

  1. Reine says:

    ooo I haven’t heard about any of these before! I kinda want to buy the brush liner now! Also, happy almost birthday!
    P.S not sure if it’s just my computer but your images aren’t coming up, just thought I’d let you know 😛


    • Jess says:

      Thanks Reine! My birthday was actually the 10th…I think I might’ve scheduled it for before then, and then rescheduled it later… -.- silly me! I’ll have to reupload the images then, thanks for letting me know! (: xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carla Norris says:

      Are Clio products cruelty-free?
      If they are, I’d like to try these liners!
      I’ve been using It Cosmetics’ Liner Love, with which I’m very pleased, but I’m thinking a pen form liner might be easier to apply.


      • Jess says:

        I did a bit of googling and Clio currently doesn’t have any information about animal testing, so I’d say it’s not certain if they do or not. I’ve also heard great things about the Etude House and Aritaum liquid eyeliners, but although they don’t test on animals in Korea, they do sell to China and have to comply with their laws (and I personally haven’t tried them myself). Sorry it took so long to reply, I haven’t been active in awhile! (:


  2. Aria says:

    Love these. The black one is very pretty. If you’re okay with putting your face up here, I’d love to see how they would look on your eyes! You should do makeup tutorials, I love reading those.


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