Illamasqua Precision Eye Liner vs TheBalm Schwing

Illamasqua Precision Eye Liner vs TheBalm Schwing

In July I purchased my first ever YouBeauty box solely for the purpose of getting the Illamasqua Precision Ink liner. I’ve heard incredible things about this liner over the past year or so and my favourite from theBalm was starting to come to an end so picking it in a Beauty Box (which only cost £8.95!) and the liner cost over £20 it was a no brainer!


 As soon as it arrived and I opened it the nib reminded me very much of my one from theBalm which was pleased to see, I’ve found the long tapered felt nib very easy to get on with. On closer inspection and putting them side by side I noticed it wasn’t just the nib where the similarities landed, the dimensions of the package are identical, the diameter of the tube, the proportions of the handle are all the same as one another.

Left: Schwing Right: Precision Ink

The nib on theBalm Schwing appears the same when both are wiped down – they look a little different here, but I think that’s down to how the formula has thickened over time,which in turn has made the nib being coated by it also look thicker. From the very first swatch it reminded me just like how theBalm’s performed when it was new. I’ve now had it for 10 months an it’s been what I’ve used on a daily basis practically, whilst it’s definitely not dried up, I have noticed over the past few months that the formula doesn’t seem to last as long and can smudge a little through the day compared to when it was new.

The Balm Schwing

Illamasqua Precision Ink Eye Liner

Both of these liners dry down to a very pigmented and black line – this is what I wanted Kat Von D’s tattoo liner to be like for me, but was far from it. The Illamasqua one has a slight sheen, from the swatches below where as Schwing is perfectly matte – on the eye the difference is basically undetectable. Between the two if I’m remembering back to when Schwing was as brand new as this Illamasqua one is – I think the Illamasqua one is slightly (and I mean slightly) more water-resistant.  I shouldn’t admit this but I already did on Cat’s beauty podcast which airs next week so you’ll find out before long anyway. But over the weekend I applied this Saturday morning early and it was still on my eyes Sunday evening looking perfect without a single smudge and still looking highly pigmented.

Control on nib is the same – Top 2: Precision Ink Bottom 2: Schwing

Schwing is priced around the £14 mark, and Illamasqua Precision Eye Liner is around £20 – personally I think if I was buying them again I would pick Schwing – I’m not sure the £6 extra is worth it for me, but maybe over the long run if I’ve seen a significant difference. However if you really struggle with eyeliner smudging on you then I would recommend giving this a go. It dries so quickly and shouldn’t have time to smudge whilst waiting for it to dry and for me it really locks into place more than any other liner I’ve tried. Whilst theBalms lasted all day for me, this one one-upped it slightly.

What are your favourite eyeliners?


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. September 21, 2016 / 9:19 am

    I’ll have to take a look at both eyeliners you mentioned. They sound amazing x

  2. September 21, 2016 / 11:57 am

    I’ve been thinking about purchasing thebalm schwing eyeliner ever since kathleenlights mentioned it in her video, I definitely want to buy it now x

  3. September 21, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    I will have to give myself a try at those eyeliners asap! Great post

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