(Cult Status)

Why KVD Beauty’s Tattoo Liner Is Still The Industry Standard

It’s *even* car accident-proof.

Cult Status is our series that highlights an iconic item from brands both established and buzz-worthy. In these features, you'll discover the fascinating history of how one extra-special piece exceeded expectations and became a forever product. This time, the focus is on KVD Beauty’s Tattoo Eyeliner.

In 2018, 25-year-old Shelby Pagan’s car crash photos went viral. But, it wasn’t the accident itself that made the story cause an internet frenzy — rather, it was because of the review she wrote about the KVD Beauty’s Tattoo Eyeliner she was wearing at the time, which remained perfectly intact through the terrifying incident. As the product is proven to stay put even through the most *extreme* circumstances, it’s no wonder it has remained an industry favorite for over a decade. And even after the company underwent a rebrand in early 2021, the tattoo liner is still a crucial component of KVD Beauty’s collection.

While the best-selling eyeliner created quite a stir three years ago, it’s been a key player in beauty lovers’ makeup routines since its launch in 2010. “Tattoo Liner immediately took the world by storm because it has everything you want in a liquid liner: opaque, all-day, waterproof, smudge-resistant wear, plus a super-precise brush tip for complete artistry control,” Tara Loftis, Global Vice President, Brand Marketing and Public Relations of Kendo Brands, tells TZR.

KVD Beauty

At the time of the Tattoo Liner’s launch, Loftis says there was nothing like it on the market. “Tattoo artistry was seen as edgy and different from what the standard of beauty was,” she explains (which considering that Kat Von D, a renowned tattoo artist, originally founded the brand, makes a lot of sense name-wise). “With the launch of the liner, we authentically showed the connection between makeup and tattoo artistry in expressing oneself, and it really resonated.”

Indeed, as the name implies, “Tattoo Liner’s long-lasting wear, ink-rich pigment, and needle-sharp precision brush tip are all inspired by tattoo artistry,” Loftis explains. The expert adds, “Combined, they make it the ideal tool for creating ultra-precise lines and bold graphic liner looks.” And while Loftis didn’t give away all of the brand’s secrets (understandable), she does reveal that the iconic budge-proof formula relies on a few characteristics — like the optimized pigments for opaque color payoff and even strokes of long-wearing color.

If you can believe it, according to Elika Sudo, Global Marketing Manager of Kendo Brands, the Tattoo Liner’s long-wear, waterproof formula hasn’t changed since its initial release in 2010. “It’s still the uncontested holy grail of liquid liner,” she explains. And through the years, Sudo says the Tattoo Liner has won 20 global awards and counting, adding, “It’s our #1 award-winner for a reason.”

KVD Beauty

Though it might have pioneered the idea of long-lasting, tattoo-inspired eyeliner, it, of course, isn’t the only sought-after liquid liner on the market today. However, according to Loftis, it stands apart from the rest because the brand didn’t sacrifice performance to create the vegan and cruelty-free product. “That’s no small feat,” she adds. “The ultra-precise tip also makes the application process effortless and simple to use, so even someone who may be a beauty beginner can use this product with ease.”

To that point, Sandra Saenz, KVD Beauty Global Veritas Artistry Ambassador, says the key to achieving a quick and easy cat-eye with the tattoo liner is applying it with your eyes open and looking straight forward at the mirror. “Using your lower lash line as a guide, make a line extending towards your hairline at about a 45-degree angle,” the expert explains. “Then, line from the tip of the liner towards your lash line. Finish with filling in the corner you just created and don’t forget to connect your liner from the inner corner of the eye with a thinner line.”

Saenz’s top tip? Apply it while your eyebrows and eyes are relaxed. “Some people tend to squint or to lift their brows while doing their eyeliner,” she explains. “The problem with this is, if you have hooded eyes, you won’t get a nice straight line.” Additionally, she suggests having a sharp point Q-tip and micellar water in reach to clean or make the line sharp if need be.

If you’re into a dramatic liner look, choose the shade Trooper, which is described as a satin black. But for those who crave something a bit more subtle, the Mad Max Brown, a rich chocolate brown, is for you.

Below, shop both shades of the cult-favorite liquid liner. No matter what activity you wear it for (read: hopefully not a car crash), you certainly won’t have to worry about it budging.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.