This MAC Rollerwheel Liquid Liner is said to resemble a pizza cutter, but is creating a wing with this really easy as (pizza) pie?
For those of you who are new to my Makeup Hype series – welcome! This is a series where I basically provide my own commentary on a recently launched product that I notice has received a lot of “hype” (both good and bad) on the internet with my “research” mostly taken from a bunch of YouTube reviews. In short, I watch a lot of YouTube videos and thought maybe it might be useful to condense them down into one short report of my own consumer opinion!
I’ve previously done Makeup Hype posts on the Anastasia Subculture Palette and the Ciaté London Glitter Flips, but today’s post is all about the new MAC Rollerwheel Liquid Liner, which retails for $21.00 and is available in four different options – “Roller Royale,” a royal blue; “Rollerwheel Brown,”(very creative) a warm brown; “On a Roll Black,” a matte black; and “Rollin’ Black Shine,” a shiny black.
According to Bravo, this was actually first teased by makeup artist Michael Patterson during NY Fashion Week in February, but the product wasn’t actually available online at the MAC website until August 17.
I’m always one for innovation, and the whole “trick” to this new kind of liner is the fact that it’s a very tiny wheel, which is why you may see so many people calling this the “pizza cutter” liner. According to MAC, the description and claims are as follows:
Like “training wheels” for liquid lining, a groundbreaking spinning disk applicator absorbs the perfect amount of product to provide a continuous, smooth, even stroke of colour. Skinny-lined and defined, a winged effect or a bold geometric look – let the rolling applicator do all the work for the perfect liquid line, every time. Available in four shades with a range of finishes including matte and shiny.
KEY CLAIMS & BENEFITS
- Provides a precise line every time
- Provides a continuous non-skipping line
- Easily creates even lines
- Features a comfortable, ergonomic design
- Provides rich intense colour
- Waterproof, fade and transfer resistant
1.) Alissa Ashley
Similar to my Subculture situation, the first review I actually watched was on the matte black version by Alissa Ashley, who immediately calls this a “unique” liner at 0:44. While holding the product up, she notes, “it looks like a little pizza cutter… it’s so interesting.”
At 1:11 she shows how the wheel tip actually spins, saying, “it’s so cool looking! Look at that – it’s like a little pizza cutter!”
She shows the inside of the tube at 1:34 and goes on to say that she hasn’t watched any reviews yet because she wants a true first impression. The initial line she makes at 2:15 looks pretty sharp to me, and she comments, “ok, so I did not totally just fail,” which makes the eyeliner seem pretty easy to use at first.
However, when she tries to connect her wing to her inner corner at 2:43, it seems a bit choppy. She says, “it’s not really that easy going back.” She attempts to complete the line and it seems like it gets easier closer to the inner corner. This is probably due to the fact that the skin there is “flatter,” as most eyelids tend to crease near the outer v, which is why I could see how the eyeliner wheel seems to skip there.
After completing the line at 3:20 she does say, “that was pretty easy to apply,” so maybe the skippy line was just due to her initial hesitation in using the product and the “tapping” motion she was using. When she switched to a more fluid gliding motion, the product seemed to perform better, which makes since sense it’s a wheel. She mentions that she hadn’t dipped the applicator back in the tube, so it seems like a little product goes a decently long way, and notes, “I am impressed!”
At 4:14, she says, “I feel like it seems a little bit tricky to really get the little wheel going on the parts of the eye that have a little more skin, so I’m going to dip in one more time and see if it’s easier with more product on it.” I personally think it looks pretty crisp, and she confirms that it’s easier to glide with more product. At this point, I’m kind of curious as to how much pressure she’s using – I feel like a lighter touch with this product would be better.
At 5:44, she mentions one of the things she really likes about this product, is that it’s great at getting super close to the lash line, which is something I personally struggle a little bit with when it comes to my liner. Her other eye doesn’t turn out completely symmetrical as the first and she has to clean it up with a little bit of concealer, but I think the final outcome looks pretty good!
Beginning with her final thoughts at 7:06, the first thing she points out is that it doesn’t look smooth because she noticed that the more she applied product, it was getting a little bit dry, so she concludes that you probably shouldn’t pile this product on too much, which she says is usually the case for most liquid liners. Not all is lost as she says it still looks good.
Another thing she comments on is the fact that the liner on her other eye feels a little bit dry and that the formula may be dry itself, which is probably why it could potentially crumble if built up too much. She says overall, the wing itself is very nice and black and is very matte, which is her preference. The thing she likes about it the most is its ability to get super close to the lashline.
At 8:37, she says, “overall, it seemed kind of easy to apply my wing. It didn’t seem as hard as I thought it would be. It may take a few practices, obviously, but I think that it was pretty nice. It came out really nice.” She concludes by saying she thinks it’s pretty cool, but might not be the most practical if you’re on-the-go and that she doesn’t see herself using it everyday because it’s easy to slip up and take the wing too far. She says she can see herself using it to get close to the lash line and using another liner to complete the wing.
The second video I watched is by Tati, who describes it as “the strangest liquid eyeliner I’ve ever tested” in her downbar. She says it’s been highly requested and similar to Alissa Ashley, notes that it looks like a pizza cutter. I thought it was interesting that at 0:25 she says that it’s a little bit “strange” that this product is from MAC because “they’re not usually the company or brand that comes out with gimmicky things, but this looks really gimmicky.”
Her first impression at 1:17 is that it’s smaller than she expected (even a little disappointingly so) and she’s also surprised by how firm the wheel is when she first swatches it on the back of her hand at 1:35: “it’s like a hard plastic… like it’s sharp. I have never seen an applicator like this though.” Uh… #yikes?
At 2:23 after trying it out on her actual eye, she says, “this is a lot harder to use than I thought it would be, and you can see how choppy her wing is at first. She does go on to try to smooth it out but notices that it dries so quickly that you don’t have much time to play with it as it dries completely within seconds. She says she feels like she needs more ink on her eye, but is hesitant to add more because it would probably “coat up and be kinda weird,” similar to Alissa Ashley’s observation.
Not like Alissa; however, Tati seems to have a lot more trouble, saying at 2:55, “dang… that’s hard to use,” and, “I do not like this.” Uh oh!
She opens a new one to use on her other eye, and says, “it’s nice if you’re just getting it just close to the lash line it’s like very thin,” but still doesn’t seem convinced about the product. She seems to be struggling a lot at 3:44 and to me, this looks a lot less pigmented and more dry than Alissa Ashley’s liner. I’m wondering if this is a different formula, because Alissa’s was definitely the matte black one, but Tati’s may be the shiny version, even though it seems matte to me. Idk man!
At 3:50 Tati has had enough, saying, “I f****** hate this product.” She says it just didn’t work out for her and actually has to go in with other eyeliner to try to “remedy” the situation. She actually ultimately decides to forego her usual check-ins because the “applicator is a nightmare – it’s really hard to hold, it’s really hard to get placement right on the lashline” and only made things more difficult for her. She calls it a “giant pass” for her and recommends to try other MAC liners.
The third video I watched is by RawBeautyKristi, who has become one of my favorite YouTubers recently due to her hilarious, “no bullsh*t” reviews. Her review immediately drew me in because of the more choppy look she has at the beginning of the video.
Prior to the video, she says her only experience with the liner has been trying it out on her hand, which actually was very long-lasting for her. She says it seemed a little difficult to control and maybe the line might be too large, but she actually really liked it because she felt like the line was so straight. She does more hand “swatches” at 1:45, saying, “it seems relatively easy to go straight… it looks like it picks up quite a bit of product. The main concern is whether or not it’s going to be able to get that very thin, sharp, precise edge that you know we like on liquid liner.”
She mentions she has the matte version, which dried down really quickly for her, as it did for the previous two YouTubers. At 2:07, she rubs her hand, showing that it’s completely budge-proof.
At 2:22, she says, “for me, it’s pretty cool and innovative. It’s very rare that you see something come out that you’ve never seen before, and I love that.” When she turns it sideways at 3:41, you can see how thin the wheel really is – by this point, I think it’s a great idea for getting that super sharp line, but I’m not sure how practical it is for filling the line in if you want a thicker look.
Similar to how Tati picked up on the fact that it’s kind of a hard plastic, RawBeautyKristi says at 4:10, “it almost feels like it’s going to cut your eye like a pizza slicer” and goes on to say, “I don’t know if I like that way that feels… it feels so slice-y!”
Things seem to start off okay with the wing itself, but as she begins to fill it in, she starts to have a little trouble with it at 5:33, saying, “the wing is just getting thicker and thicker” as she tries to smooth out the line. She ends up with kind of a funky-looking shape, which she says she actually really likes. She does a lot of “non-traditional” looks and I’ve seen a few of her avant-garde ones, so she’s definitely not afraid to rock some more statement eyes – not sure if I’d be able to, though!
At 6:56 she gives her first impressions based on one eye, saying, “I think it’s a really cool idea, but I think that it’s when I go against using the wheel for its purpose that it starts to turn out better… it’s when you roll it that it’s almost like haphazard, like it just kind of goes, but it’s when I sort of dot it on or use little tiny strokes that it’s a little easier to work with, which I think almost defeats the purpose of the wheel.” I thought this point was interesting because it’s the opposite of what Alissa Ashley seemed to experience – her initial “tapping” motions made the liner kind of skippy, while a full on gliding roll motion smoothed it out a lot more.
She has a little bit of trouble duplicating the look on her other eye and then accidentally blinks while the product is still wet, causing it to transfer to her upper lid. Her solution is to make the other eye graphic, which is how she achieves the really cool look you see in the beginning of the video. At 9:22, she comments that to get the smooth movements out of the liner, you “almost have to hold it up away from you face and not anchor your hand because if you don’t it almost skips because if you can’t hold it sideways you have to hold it up.”
She says she really likes the look (and says it reminds her of Furiosa), but acknowledges that most people probably think it’s weird. I personally love it on her, but I would look like a FOOL with this on. She says that, “truly this is one of those eyeliners that they make memes about.” DID SOMEBODY MENTION MEMES?
At 10:37, although she says this eye look is probably one of her favorites, it’s still frustrating because it was truly just supposed to be a regular winged liner. When doing price comparisons, she notes you only get 1mL, and at $21, that’s pretty high, especially when she says that the “thing” about the liner is that she couldn’t just use a little bit of product because the wing kept getting bigger.
At 12:36, she goes back and forth about whether or not she thinks the product is worth it, saying it’s “so tough because I really love the way my eyeliner turned out, but I absolutely create have done this with a regular liquid liner vs. the roller wheel. This was not necessary to create this eye look – it was instrument in creating it because of all the f*** ups that I did, but it was absolutely not necessary and I don’t know if I would ever use this again.” She concludes that it’s a “hard pass” and that she loves MAC, but thinks it’s more of a “gimmick than I feel like it is helpful.”
She disagrees about the whole “training wheels for your eyeliner” concept that MAC says this liner is meant to be, saying she thinks that it’s more advanced than a regular brush applicator.
After six hours of wear, she says it’s not perfect, but it’s held up pretty well and that it’s definitely water and soap-proof due to the fact that she’s washed her hands three times and the swatches are still intact. She does notice some transfer into her crease, ultimately saying it’s an “average black liquid eyeliner.”
ARTDECO vs. MAC?
After watching all these reviews, I was actually listening to the August 25th episode of BEAUTY NEWS when they start talking about a brand called ArtDeco at 3:55 and notice that the eyeliner in the collection looks exactly like MAC Rollerwheel. They say that since it’s a well-known fact (that I apparently didn’t know) that most liners are made in a factory in Germany, and that since ArtDeco is ~apparently~ a German brand, they were wondering if somehow there was a lab or factory that had this concept and ended up selling it to MAC and ArtDeco since they’re so similar and came out at pretty much the same time. They say, “it doesn’t make sense if they just came up with it independently because it would look differently and would have come out months and months later.” They go on to say, “if this was ArtDeco copying mac, it wouldn’t be out within the same month. There would be no way.”
According to BEAUTY NEWS, ArtDeco doesn’t only sell cosmetics, but they manufacture as well, so “there’s a good chance that this is actually ArtDeco’s concept and they sold it on to MAC.” They can’t confirm or deny this and it’s just speculation, but the packaging is pretty much identical so the concept had to have come from the same place.
I did my own little research on this ArtDeco liner (aka I used Google), which is called the “Roll It Disc Eyeliner” and seems to be available in only one shade, which is a matte black. I’m not sure if you can actually buy it since there’s no buy option on the US site, but it seems to retail for €17.00 on this French site called “Mon Institut Beaute.”
I don’t think there’s any real drama here as I haven’t seen anything from MAC or ArtDeco commenting on the similarities, but I thought this was an interesting mention from BEAUTY NEWS!
WHO REALLY INVENTED THE WHEEL?
I’m not talking about the OG wheel whose invention is largely credited to the ancient Sumerians, I’m talking about this wheel concept for eyeliner. Please disregard the bad pun and just stick with me here, ‘kay?
Earlier this week I was watching a video by Zabrena where she was testing out weird makeup tools and was surprised when she pulled out this Eyeliner Wheel by Woosh Beauty, which is a brand that I’m not all that familiar with, tbh. It’s double ended, featuring a brush on one side and the wheel on the other, is actually available on ULTA, and retails for $29.00 (wowza).
Zabrena apparently did a MAC Rollerwheel review (which I missed) and mentions that somebody told her after the review that Woosh Beauty was really the one to invent the idea of putting your eyeliner on with a wheel. She says she’s not sure if that’s really the case, but notes that the Woosh Beauty one is much bigger than MAC’s.
She bought the eyeliner separately, which she uses in the video, and the first line she makes at 7:03 using this product comes out really sharp and smooth. She says she stands by her “original statement” that she made in her MAC video that they should make “every eyeliner like this because this is such a genius idea.”
According to Zabrena, the problem with the bigger wheel is that it’s a lot harder to get into the inner corner and she says the size of the MAC wheel is nice for getting that job done. She also says another caveat of the Woosh wheel is that you need to keep loading product onto the wheel, which she didn’t have to do with the MAC wheel.
I’m curious about this whole “which came first” debate, so I tried to look into it more, and found a few interesting things, the first being that the “introduction” video for WooshBeauty’s wheel was only published on August 10, which is about a month ago, while MAC’s wheel has been “teased” since February.
This could also be due to the fact that WooshBeauty (I think) has much less exposure than MAC, which becomes apparent by checking out their social media reach – MAC has 16.3 million followers on Instagram, while Woosh Beauty only has ~4.6k.
After doing a little more digging, I found that Woosh Beauty actually did tease the eyeliner wheel at the end of April – I’m not sure when it actually became available in stores, but the earliest video I could find was uploaded on August 17 by Seeking Alexandra.
Woosh Beauty calling the Eyeliner Wheel the “world’s first roll-on eyeliner tool” is a pretty ballsy move, especially when going against industry giant MAC’s “groundbreaking” Rollerwheel. It’s also interesting to note that Woosh’s Eyeliner Wheel is patent-pending, which according to Investopedia, means the following:
This is wording inventors use to let the public know that they have filed a patent application for their invention with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “Patent pending” indicates that a patent has not yet been granted and does not give the inventor any legal protection. It does notify the public that a patent application has been filed. If a competitor tries to imitate the invention and the original patent application is granted, the competitor could later be sued for patent infringement.
I’m no legal expert, but common sense would tell me that if this patent is even granted, even if MAC’s Rollerwheel is considered an “imitation” (which I personally don’t think it is), it wouldn’t fall under the scope of this because it was already “invented” prior to the granting of the legal protection once patented. Again – IDK!
Yeah, yeah, yeah… I went on a long rant again and all that. I’m not going to say “so sue me” because I’ve realized that anything with legal baring kinda scares me now, so pls don’t 😦
About the product itself – do I consider the MAC Rollerwheel Liquid Liner an innovation? If we’re going with the ~business definition~ (because I’m a business major, can’t you tell?), which is…
The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need.
I think that it could be, but it depends on who you are. This concept seems largely based on preference (as most things are) – Tati flat out hated the product, RawBeautyKristi liked it for the look she created, Alissa Ashley seemed pretty pleased with it, but didn’t think it was ultimately worth it, and Zabrena seemed to love the idea of the wheel – so for the gurus who weren’t 100% on board with it, I’m not sure if any value was created.
Preferences aside, I do think this is a really cool concept and since it’s so unique, I personally do consider it an innovation. I think this is far from a disruptive innovation because it isn’t creating a new market or anything, but I can see how this might be a sustaining innovation since it takes an existing product and modifies it – maybe it could also be considered revolutionary, because I think it’s somewhat unexpected.
Since this is a new way to apply eyeliner, I think it would take some getting used to. Most of us are so accustomed to a “stationary” eyeliner tip, whether it be a brush tip, felt tip, crayon tip, pencil tip, or the like, that adding a mobile element to eyeliner is something that most likely won’t come easily at first. In Tati’s comment section especially, I noticed some people mentioning that the way she applied it may have been the reason it didn’t work so well for her, so maybe this requires a little bit of trial and error, but again, it’s all personal preference – I personally don’t think it’s worth it to spend $21 on a product that takes forever to get used to using when there are other options available that I know will work well for me!
This has 4.7 out of 5 stars on the MAC website, but this is only based on 9 reviews, which I don’t think is nearly a big enough sample size for it to be a “true” rating. I also generally don’t really trust reviews on the company website because I feel like they’re usually inflated, as compared to reviews on websites that sell multiple products, such as ULTA or Sephora. Still, the call-outs in this review section are “long wearing,” “color true,” “bold color,” “creamy,” and “waterproof.”
I’m personally still not completely convinced… as I said before, $21 for a shot in the dark when I have a drugstore holy grail that’s half that price seems a little silly to me, even if it does remind me of pizza.
Word on the street is this will be available in all MAC locations starting September 14… are you onboard the hype train, or is this a no for you?
- Alissa Ashley // ROLLING WHEEL EYELINER?! Let’s Test It Out!
- Tati // MAC ROLLER WHEEL PIZZA CUTTER EYELINER … OMG!
- RawBeautyKristi // OMG!? WEIRD AF WHEEL EYELINER | NO BULLSH*T REVIEW | NEW MAC Roller Wheel Eyeliner First Impressions
- BEAUTY NEWS // BEAUTY NEWS – 25 August 2017
- Zabrena // Weird Makeup Tools | DO THEY WORK?
- WooshBeauty // Woosh® Beauty’s Eyeliner Wheel
- Seeking Alexandra // NEW!!! Woosh Beauty-Part 1: Testing all the new eye tools!
- Bravo // “Here’s What a Pizza Roller Has to do With the Perfect Cat Eye“
- Investopedia // Patent Pending Definition
- Business Dictionary // Innovation Definition
- MAC “Rollerwheel Liquid Liner” // $21.00
- ArtDeco // “Roll It Disc Eyeliner” // €17.00
- Woosh Beauty “The Eyeliner Wheel” // $29.00
*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the aforementioned YouTubers/companies in any way, shape, or form! None of the links above are affiliate links and my opinions are purely based on what I watched in the above videos. Content of screenshots and .gifs are not my own and are owned by the credited YouTuber in the linked videos above.
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.