Review: theBalm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner

I have always been a gel eyeliner devotee. Liquid eyeliner seems messy, difficult to apply, and unforgiving.

Schwing, by theBalm, turns my stereotypes about liquid eyeliner on their head.

Unlike traditional liquid eyeliner, which comes with an awkward brush, Schwing has a felt tip, which makes it much easier to be precise. Although I had a brief fling with pen liquid eyeliners, I find that they dry up unreasonably quickly. Schwing is a nice compromise. Its ease of application is reminiscent of a pen eyeliner, but it does not dry out.

The felt tip makes it easy to create lines as thin or as thick as you like. It dries relatively quickly, and the finish is a lovely matte.

As a result, it is easier to try out funky eyeliner looks.

The 1960s mod look is still hard, though.

Unfortunately, this eyeliner has one big flaw, and it is substantial. The staying power is no good. I have come home more than once to find that one of the wings on my cat eye is mysteriously missing. I decided to test its lasting power using four other eyeliners in my collection.

From left to right: theBalm Schwing, NYX the Curve, Maybelline Gel, and Urban Decay Zero. The first picture is when applied, the second is four hours later.

When it was first applied, theBalm’s liner was the most gorgeous by far. It was both precise and dark. However, after a mere four hours, it was the only one that had smudged substantially.

Although theBalm’s website touts that this is “compact”, what they mean is that it is small. At $17 for 0.05oz, this costs $340 per ounce. Still, this is priced similarly to other mid-range liquid eyeliners. For comparison, Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners are $19 for 0.058 oz, or $327.58 per ounce.

TheBalm’s Schwing is easy to apply and looks fabulous. However, its poor lasting power means that I would not re-purchase it. However, if theBalm ever comes out with a waterproof version of this liner, I will be the first in line.


  1. Tati

    Kind of glad to hear it’s not so amazing as I was very tempted to buy back when they had their 50% off.

  2. Gryphonwolf

    What is your favorite gel liner? I’m a pencil eyeliner gal because it’s easy but I’m looking to branch out to something more precise.


    Maybelline is my favorite right now, but I have yet to do a full comparison of major brands!

  4. Jasmine (TheHappySloths)

    Woah, love that mod look.

  5. Candyflossone

    I like the mod look a lot, too. Enough that I’m left wondering if primer could extend its life so that I can buy it and try to recreate the look.


    I always wear primer and I haven’t had the best luck. It’s not atrocious, but I don’t like to have to think about it.