Liner Love: Etude House Code B Strong Eyes Cream Liner Review

You know I have a soft spot for gel and cream liners anyway so when I saw this Etude House Code B one which – OMG – has a little brush attached to the post, I had to buy it:


Yah I know, it’s a gimmick but I am always doing my make up in bizarre places and I never have a good liner brush with me. Plus it comes with a lid so you can prevent smudges and the like.

Etude House’s Code B range is quite a sultry collection based on a spy theme. I have tried their lipsticks before, nail pen and highlighter. This gel liner comes in 3 shades, Strong Black, Secret Black (a softer shade of black) and Strong Brown. I bought 01 Strong Black cos I don’t piss about.

Here is the cool box:


Etude House, like Skinfood is marked up on eBay – sometimes a bit, sometimes a lot. I have no option than to order from there and there are some great sellers who don’t take the mick with postage but do bear in mind you shouldn’t be paying Chanel prices for this stuff because it’s cheap in Korea.
I guess this is a ‘cream’ liner but it’s kind of like a gel too – I don’t see a huge distinction between the two, although in my experience, the gel liners, like Bobbi Brown have a better texture and last longer than the ‘creams’ (like Shiseido’s liner) which dries up pretty fast.


The brush makes it all worth it, honest!

Now this cream eyeliner is really, really stunning. Before I touched it, you can see it’s like a slick of deep dark oil; glossy, highly pigmented:


The texture didn’t disappoint. It is the most pigmented cream/gel liner I have tried in a long time and I have tried some brilliant ones and the texture – soft but setting in a decent amount of time to give a smudge free finish – is brilliant.

Once it dries, it’s sort of a semi matte finish. I don’t like glossy finish liners so this is good for me:


My not so handy job on my eyes. I love this liner – it’s got a beautiful texture, a good level of pigmentation and it just generally fabulous. It’s better than any other gel liner (or cream) I have used recently. I don’t think this is waterproof though.



All in all a great product. I paid about £9 for this with shipping on eBay. I won’t be buying any more black gel liners though, will concentrate of coloured ones instead!

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  1. Anna says

    I gotta have this, I’ve been eyeing it on ebay and loved your review, because it’s making me want to have it right now :)

  2. Shari says

    I like it! Nice color, and that little brush looks good. I can see where this would be lovely for stuffing in a purse or travel kit.

  3. says

    It looks fab and I LOL-ed at ‘I don’t piss about.’!!!

    Can I be cheeky? Obviously remove this comment if you have any problem with it, that would be completely understandable! But I was wondering if you’d like to check out my very new blog? I’ve just done my first proper post and would love your opinion on it, as you already know I adore yours! I feel very cheeky asking, but I figure I won’t get anywhere if I don’t!

  4. says

    I haven’t tried this stuff before but I have been pretty curious about it. Thanks for the review!! Now I want to buy this sometime, hehe. <3

  5. xKyu501x says

    Hi! I have it in Strong Brown but the box is different.. It does not have the 2NE1 logo there..

  6. KIM says

    looks pretty good.. might have to try it.
    I am a black liner girl too and i always try out new products, especially if they have good reviews.
    Thanx for the review!! K.x

  7. says

    I’ve looked at this liner several times and I always stop myself from buying because I still have a black and a brown gel liner from Maybelline to finish! Is it worth the buy even if you already have gel liners? :(

    Also, do you think this would dry up faster since the jar is plastic?

  8. Tish says

    I’m definitely gonna be paying Etude House a visit soon. I haven’t been in that lovely pink store for ages and this has got to be the perfect time for it! Thanks for your review :)

    • Row says

      Hi Germaine

      Hmm. Both are brilliant.

      Heavy rotaton comes in a much smaller pot and it’s got a mattier finish. It dries quicker, it crumbles less.

      Etude house is slightly ‘wetter’ and gives a glossier finish. It will crumble if you apply too much :o/

  9. Hannah says

    Love the blog! Saw it featured in the NYT.
    I live in Korea, so I went out and bought this liner — love it!
    Let me tell you, though, it’s TOUGH to remove. I think you need an oil-based remover. I ended up using lotion after my regular eye makeup remover just turned me into a panda.

    • Row says

      Hi Hannah!

      Yeas I know what you mean! All of these Asian brands make their products super long lasting!

  10. Frckls says

    Hi Row!

    How do you think it compares to Bobbi Brown’s? I’ve never had any gel liners but eyeing on buying one. Which one do you think is best between Etude’s, Bobbi Brown’s, and Heavy Rotation’s? A waterproof one would be nice!

    Thank you!!

    PS: Your blog has been some kind of a beauty bible to me. =p