urban decay heavy metal review
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Urban Decay Heavy Metal Review: Is This Eyeliner a Gamechanger?

The lowdown: I really love Urban Decay Heavy Metal eyeliner, but it’s not for everybody. The Heavy Metal Glitter Gel Liners are perfect unless you are sensitive to liquid eye makeup. They are not a vegan formula, meaning a latex-like ingredient gives them a shiny/liquid texture. This is common for liners. However, if you are allergic to latex or experience sensitive skin, you should consider an alternative. My favorite is to use a glitter gel pencil! 

Urban Decay is one of the most iconic staples of prestigious makeup. It was founded over 20 years ago and had a clutch on my nostalgic heart.

While I don’t often reach for my Naked Pallet, and I can’t tell you the last time I used any of their foundations, I LIVE for their eyeliners. The 24/7 Glide pencils are the best in the game, and their holographic glitters stay all day long WITHOUT glitter fallout. 

I’m picky about eyeliners because I have sensitive eyes and a latex allergy, so there are tons of liquid eye products I can’t use. If you experience very watery/dry eyes when you wear eye makeup, you understand this struggle.

Upfront, if you’re sensitive to makeup, the Heavy Metal liners are NOT the heaven-sent product they are to everyone else, but I am here to show you how to still make the whole place shimmer without sacrificing your eye health. 

Sparkly makeup has been in and out of style for decades, and with the rise of early 2000’s fashion, the new year will see a resurgence of glitter eyeliners.

More specifically, the iconic Heavy Metal liners. Below are tons of ways to wear glitter eyes, alternatives to Urban Decay, and even alternatives to eyeliners for those (like me) with super sensitive eyes! 

Heavy Metal Formula and Shades

I sometimes use the Heavy Metals because of how gorgeous they are. However, the process of their drying is itchy and a bit annoying. I wouldn’t suggest them to anyone with severe sensitivities, do as I say, not as I do, LOL. But since I have tried them and have done non-sensitive skin friends’ makeup using these liners, I am a minor expert on them.

The ingredients that cause sensitivities are sadly amongst all of the shades. These ingredients include metal-based elements like Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Tin Oxide, and iron oxide, and common allergy-based ingredients such as talc and silica. I find these liners itchy because I am allergic to most metals and silicone products.

So knowing what exactly you’re allergic to makes picking makeup a world and a half easier. However, a massive compliment to this product is even with the minor irritation I endure while it dries, the product doesn’t move! Usually, when I’m testing a product that irritates my eyes, it will completely disappear because of watery eyes, but the Heavy Metal liners STAY.

Rating The Liners

urban decay heavy metal eyeliners

Shade and Size Range

There are over 15 shades, including holographicgold, and lilac! There are also deeper colors like maroon and teal. Some of my favorite shades include the color shifters! 

Each liner retails at $22 and contains .25 oz of product!

Wear Time: 4/5 stars! 6-10 hours depending on activity level. If you’re at a club sweating, it will wear off quicker than if you are looking to sparkle at the office!

Application Process: 5/5 stars! The applicator is the perfect level of thin but firm. It’s so simple to create detailed liner work with this product because of the size and durability of its wand.

The wand is short, but not too short that it’s hard to work with. It’s also very sturdy. I absolutely love the wand because it makes doing detail work easy, which I love to do with glitter liners.

Even after years of practicing makeup, I still find eyeliner to be one of the most challenging steps, so a good wand is one of the most important things to me. The Heavy Metal wand checks all of my boxes.

In fact, my only complaint is that it holds less product than I’d like. I often find myself double dipping for a single eye, especially for more transparent shades.

Smudgeability: While I found this liner to be long-lasting and smudge-free, it is only after it is COMPLETELY dry. It takes about six-ten minutes to dry down fully. During this time, it is not only smudgable but will likely wipe right off your eye.

Scent and Shelf Life: This product is unscented though I’ve read reviews stating that some smell a mild cucumber/clean scent. This is because it is made with peach and cucumber extract!

It has a shelf life of six months and will start to dry up around this time. However, when it comes to liquid products, shelf life is super important because the chemicals become dangerous for your skin, so it’s best to toss your liner after six months, even if it’s not dried out.

Another good sign that your liner is expired is a change in scent. To me, expired liquid makeup smells similar to gasoline, but others have described the smell as “musky.”

Coverage: 3/5 Stars. The darker shades are significantly more pigmented than the pastel/holographic shades. The lighter shades usually need a layer or two to pop, but the deeper shades, like Stage Dive, are gorgeous with just one layer! 

Dry Time: 2/5 stars. It won’t budge on your lids after the 5-minute mark, but if you’re sensitive to the product, you will still feel it on your lids until the 10-minute mark.

Comfort Level: 

Fallout: 5/5 stars. I recently revisited the Heavy Metals to prepare for this article and wore the shade Pyro all day long while I hunted for a thanksgiving turkey in the LA heat. It didn’t move an inch! There was minimal fallout by the night’s end, but this was after about 12 hours of wear!

Best Heavy Metal Dupes

Maybe your eyes are sensitive to the Heavy Metal formula. Maybe you’re not ready for the price commitment that is prestigious brands. Maybe you want to try something new! Whatever the reason, below are some of the best glitter liner alternatives in the biz!

NYX Epic Wear Metallic Liner

NYX Epic Wear Metallic Liner

The closest dupe to the Urban Decay Heavy Metal liners is the Epic wear Metallic Liners by NYX! They can be found anywhere NYX is sold, but I suggest shopping online for the widest shade variety.

Shade Range and Formula

They have a much smaller shade range which only includes six colors. They have a wide range despite the limited availability, including blacksilver, and teal.

Price and Wear Time

They are much more cost-efficient than Urban Decay. A tube is $10 and will last for hours! Like they’re actually annoyingly hard to get off. They also are mildly irritating to my eyes, so sensitive eye readers, beware!


  • Budget-friendly, so your wallet doesn’t have to feel pain about trying all six shades! 
  • Wide availability, it is sold anywhere NYX is sold, any store carrying drugstore makeup products. 
  • This product is made for the eyes and body, meaning it is safe to draw glitter designs on your skin with this product. 
  • Lasts up to 36 hours. 


  • It has a tar-like material that makes it hard to blend the product. 
  • It is nearly impossible to get off, so be prepared to scrub your eyes. 
  • The pink and teal can stain your eyelids. 
  • Irritating if you have sensitive eyes. 

Wet N Wild Glitter Eyeliner

Wet N Wild Glitter Eyeliner

I will be honest with you; I’ve never tried this product. If you, like me, have sensitivities to makeup, you know to avoid anything liquid by Wet N Wild at all costs. They are a very budget-friendly brand, but the cheaper price tag means they use harsher ingredients. While they have tons of vegan products, their Glitter Liners are not one of those. 

However, while working at Ulta Beauty, I had many friends who adored this liner. I rarely see this product in stores, so the best bet is to grab yours from Wet N Wild’s website

Shade Range

There are only two shades, black and silver. They are both pretty pigmented and layer-able. However, they have a long/flimsy wand that makes detail work hard.

Price and Wear Time

These liners are only $4, making them the most cost-efficient product on this list! I personally had almost no wear time out of this product because it causes my eyes to water and melts right off.

Friends who have used and loved the product say it’s fast drying and can last hours without fallout. However, they do not suggest wearing it somewhere you’re likely to sweat and to set your lids before applying.


  • Budget-friendly.
  • Quick drying. 


  • Awful for sensitive eyes.
  • Hard to use wand. 
  • There are only two shades. 

Half Magic Beauty Glitter Pill

Half Magic Beauty Glitter Pill

The thing I love about these liners is that they’re made with eye health in mind. I have no issue wearing this product. However, I would still be cautious if you are allergic to artificial dyes. Half Magic is primarily an online-only brand, but they do have products at Ulta!

Shade Range

There are 4 shades, including copperholographicpear green, and turquoise.

Price and Wear Time

They have a very long wear time and can even survive a night of dancing. However, the glitter will start to fall out around the 12-hour mark. They are $20 per liner and have afterpay availability.


  • Lighter shades are layer-able, meaning they can be a dash of sparkly or a colorful moment. The darker shades are pigmented, as can be. 
  • They are blendable with a semi-short dry time that leaves enough time to blend out the product. 
  • They are transfer proof and fallout-proof. 
  • Lasts up to 12 hours. 


  • They’re a prestigious product, which means they need to be budget-friendly. 
  • The wand is awkward to use when you’re adapting to the product. 
  • Lighter shades are more transparent, so it takes a few layers to be more than just a dash of sparkly on your lids. 

Additional Glitter Liner Alternatives

As someone with sensitive eyes, I understand not wanting to mess with liquid liners. However, you can still have sparkly and creative eye looks! Below are my top suggestions for eye-friendly glitter liquid liner alternatives.

Fenty Beauty Flypencil Longwear Eyeliner

Fenty Beauty Flypencil Longwear Eyeliner

There is little Fenty Beauty does wrong, so it’s a given that their pencil liners made their way onto my list. They come in a huge variety of shades and have the sleek packaging that Fenty is loved for. The best part: is they are a twist liner, meaning you don’t have to sharpen them yourself!

Shade Range

There are 3 glitter shades (whiteblack, and brown), 4 shimmer shades (graypurplenavy, and rose gold), and 2 metallics (bronze and gold)

Price and Wear Time

They last most of the day but wear off after 5-6 hours. They are $23 a liner, but pencils tend to last their entire 12-month shelf life!


  • Huge shade range
  • Eye-friendly product
  • Available at Sephora and online! 


  • A shorter wear time than liquid eyeliner 
  • Relatively expensive for a pencil liner
  • I don’t like angled applicators on my liner. They’re more challenging to work with than the traditional pointed tip. 

NYX Epic Wear Eyeliner

NYX Epic Wear Eyeliner

The NYX Epic Wear Pencils are an identical dupe for the 24/7 Glide on Pencils by Urban Decay. They are hands down my favorite alternative to Urban Decay because they are much more budget-friendly. So if you, like me, are a grad student who loves the 24/7 Glide Ons but your wallet doesn’t – try these NYX dupes!

Shade Range

There are 27 shades, 18 of which are sparkly. They vary widely in shades and include nudespinksgreensblues, and purples

Price and Wear Time

They are only $9 per pencil and last forever because a little bit goes a long way. They have an incredible wear time of 36 hours but come off with a basic cleansing balm.


  • Long wear time
  • A TON of shades to choose from 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Easy to find in stores and online


  • They’re difficult to sharpen because the pencil is made of plastic, not wood.
  • No black, white, or brown glitter, meaning the light nude is the only every day glitter shade available. This is only suitable for some skin tones and aesthetics. 

24/7 Moondust Shadows – -Urban Decay — Use with a Liner Brush! 



My favorite on this list is these shadows! If you get a liner brush and spray it with setting spray, this product looks identical to eyeliner on your lid.

They’re great whether you’re looking for a dust of glitter (apply over the lid using a dry brush) or an intense sparkly liner (use a wet brush that is small enough to do detail work, even if you’re just going for a sparkly cat eye!)

Shade Range

There are 5 shades, including brownnude, and pink. My favorite is the shade Solstice, a red shadow with green sparkle! 

Price and Wear Time

This product is $22 per shadow, but they list FIVE-EVER, especially if used as a liner or for light sparkly. They last all day and begin to fallout at the 16-hour mark!


  • Blendable 
  • Beautiful both wet and dry
  • Easy to use with an insanely long wear time


  • Expensive for one singler shadow
  • A wet brush is required for heavy pigment

Do I Recommend Urban Decay Heavy Metal Eyeliner?

I recommend the Urban Decay Heavy Metal liners to anyone that doesn’t have eye sensitivities. Those with sensitivities take time to read over the ingredients and test the product on your hand before trying it on your eyes! If you are sensitive to this product, I suggest using the Moon Dust eyeshadow.

I hope this article helped you learn that no matter your skill level, allergies, or product preferences, you can sparkle your way through the new year!

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Review: FAQs

Question: How Do You Use Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliners?

A: Use the side of the brush to apply like a regular liner, apply over shadow or pencil work, or wear it alone anywhere you want a pop of glitter.

Question: What are Glitter Liners?

A: Eyeliner that is mixed with glitter to create a shimmer affect that highlights your eye makeup!

Question: Should Hooded Eyes Avoid Glitter Liners?

A: Hooded eyes mean you have minimal space to work with on your lid. Because of this, many people with hooded eyes avoid liners and shadows. However, a light-colored and glittery eyeliner would help to make the eye look wider, especially if it is thin across the water line into a wing!

More Makeup Tips to Make the Whole Face Shimmer

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