What’s Your Favorite Gel Eyeliner?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To


I’m convinced that swatching before bed brings on makeup dreams.


Last night while watching So You Think You Can Dance (OMG, Ade and Melissa? I’m heartbroken!), I swatched some of the Bobbi Brown Ivy League collection, including the bad-assness that is the Forest Shimmer Ink Gel Eyeliner.

I went to bed after the show finished and had a wonderful dream that I was swimming through a pool filled with pots of gel liner.

I was like a kid playing in one of those vats of plastic balls. πŸ™‚

Then, this morning I read this note from Aline:

Hey Karen!

I recently bought Lancome’s Ink Artliner in Indigo Charm from the Declaring Indigo fall collection based on your review and swatches, but mine seems to be a bit on the dry side — nothing “gel-y” about the texture. Was yours the same way?

Thank you for your time! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!


Hi Aline,

You must be psychic! I’ve had gel liner on the brain…

To answer your question, I think it’s normal for Lancome’s highly pigmented (with great wear time!) Ink Artliners to feel a little drier than the average gel liner.

MAC Fluidline, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner and the Stila Smudge Pots are a little creamier, and some people feel that makes them easier to apply.

But you may also have received an expired pot. Check for cracks in the surface of the product or if it has shrunken down around the inside edges (a sign of dehydration). If it has, then it may need to be returned.

Your favorite eyeliners?

Aline’s question got me thinking about other gel eyeliners, so I tweeted a question this morning:

Your favorite gel liner?

Here are some of the answers I received:

Favorite gel liners

There were votes for Stila Smudge Pots ($20), MAC Fluidline ($15), Rock & Republic Bound Gel Liner ($24) and Shu Uemura Painting Liner ($24), among others. With each of those, I have to agree. πŸ™‚

How about yours? What’s your favorite gel eyeliner?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. I can’t even believe today was Friday… What the heck happened to this week?


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. bomi says:

    Hi Karen,
    I live by Bobbi Brown gel liners. It’s pigmented and creamy and goes on so well. It also stays on my eyes even when I rub them from time to time (I work in front of the computer a lot and my eyes get soo dry!)
    A drugstore brand I like that retails for around 5 bucks are the Jane gel liners.
    They’re OK, but I super duper like to take those w/ me on vacation b/c i have the tendency to lose things in hotel rooms etc

    Keep up ur FABULOUS work!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bomi

      It seems like a lot of ladies love the Jane ones. I gotta pick up a jar next time I’m at the drugstore. Is there a particular color you recommend?

      What kind of work do you do?

  2. shontay says:

    Hi Karen,

    My favorite gel liner is hands down makeup forever’s aqua black shadow/liner. It’s so awesomely creamy. It’s fool-proof. It’s really pigmented, easy to clean up immediately if you make a mistake and it stays on all day. You can do so much with it. And I’m so excited because apparently, the liner will be coming out in more colors. Knowing mufe, the colors will be gorgeous. I can’t wait.

  3. Gracie says:

    I just got my first gel/cream liner a few weeks ago, and I’m loving it. I got the MAC Fluidline in Macroviolet and a MAC 209 brush to go with it. I love Macroviolet, it’s a fairly subtle shade of dark purple, an eyeshadow equivilet of MAC’s Shadowy Lady. It’s gorgeous with my green/hazel eyes and subtly makes them pop. I love the consistensy and it has not shown one sign of drying out. It works like a charm with the 209 brush, although I may try the MAC 266, which I already own. We shall see πŸ™‚

  4. Fabienne says:

    AHHH!! I know it’s cheapy, but my absolute favorite is Coastal Scents gel liner (“too gel-y”? how do you tell?) in Deep Plum is my absolute favorite, holy grail liner! It doesn’t tug, it doesn’t flake, it lasts all day, and it’s the perfect shade of purple for my warm, morena skin (that and Clinique pencil quickliner in plum)! I love how this shade is colorful, yet in certain lighting (natural, sunlight) is subtle enough to be mistaken for dark brown/black. I love to apply it with my weird fold-y Sonia Kashuk liner brush. I also like to apply it with a mascara fan brush to have a pretty line of purple along my lashline. It’s not one to last all day, but it fades to a beautiful (however more colorful/noticeable) shade. Plus, like most other gel liners, minimal tugging upon application πŸ™‚

  5. Charan says:

    After reading a lot of reviews, I just bought gel and cream liner last week and I am liking it :). I bought the Revlon and Jane cosmetic brands in black & plum. They do go on smoothly but I would love to try MAC. I will certainly keep an eye the next time i visit CCO.
    .-= Charan’s last blog post… Review : Calgon Body Spray =-.

  6. Aline says:

    You know what they say Karen, great minds….. LOL

    I’m a gel liner freak (have over a dozen) and my favorite color is navy blue, so naturally I freaked out when I saw your review and I HAD to make Indigo Charm mine. It’s a gorgeous color no doubt, but I’m a little disappointed with the texture. My hands down favorite is definitely Bobbi Brown’s gel liners (Sapphire, Ivy & Graphite Shimmer being at the top of that list), with MAC (Shade) coming in a close second. I’ve tried Rock and Republic in Mental and Torture, but those are incredibly dry as well – in fact, I ended up returning Torture because it was completely unusable (heard they are being reformulated though).

    I was looking forward to those Urban Decay cream liners, but had second thoughts after you stated in your review that they are sheer. =/

    • Karen says:

      Hi Aline,

      The UD ones are pretty if you have the patience for them. I’ve tried working with them a few more times and found that they’re better for thicker smudges of color on the upper lash line — not so much for crisp lines, though.

  7. i love bobbi brown long-wearing gel eyeliners and MAC fluidlines. glitz and blitz for a darker color, and ivy shimmer and sapphire shimmer ink for fun!
    .-= ines + cha cha’s last blog post… Random Musings – Cleaning Out My Stash =-.

  8. Leanne says:

    Bobbi Brown all the way!! Easy to apply, stays on until you take it off! And I have really oily lids too.

  9. melvel says:

    I loooove Coastal Scents’ gel liners, especially the one in brown. Doesn’t smudge, and lasts the whole day on me. Really cheap too!

    Color-wise, the best for me is MAC’s Graphic Brown.

  10. Beth says:

    Its not quite a gel, but I love the Smashbox ones.

    I’ve got a Stila Smudgepot and blacktrack fluidline, but they scare the bejesus out of me if I’m honest – I’m just that bit heavy handed with it and end up looking a mess. Somehow with the Smashbox ones I don’t have that problem.
    .-= Beth’s last blog post… To Buy or Not To Buy – Dior Addict Lip Glow Colour Awakening Balm =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth,

      Hmm, maybe trying a different brush might help lighten up the application. It took me awhile until I found one that I liked (Laura Mercier’s Flat Eye Liner brush). Which one are you using?

  11. Citrine says:

    I love Stila smudge pots (especially the golden olive green called jade) they are so easy to work with. (I also like to use their shadow wet or dry as liner, some time they yield better result. )

    For plain black one, Jane is pretty inky as well…
    .-= Citrine’s last blog post… ELF (or e.l.f ?) eye shadow brush and tweezers =-.

  12. Michelle says:

    I wish I could master gel eyeliner! Every time I have gotten my makeup done at MAC, I love the way they do eyeliner. But I can’t seem to recreate it at home. I can use a liquid liner with a thin brush — but when I bust out the gel eyeliner — it ends up a mess on me ;( Maybe I am using the wrong brush?? What brushes are great for application?

  13. Nikki says:

    My favorite is definitely STILA SMUDGEPOTS! It works so well on me and clients πŸ™‚
    .-= Nikki’s last blog post… Askmewhats Report: Neutrogena Deep Clean Wave =-.

  14. Amy says:

    I love Ade and Melissa and am so sad that they are gone. But all of the final 6 are so talented. Hopefully Ade and Melissa will find many doors opened for them because of SYTYCD.

    Bobbi Brown in my fav gel eyeliner. But I have never tried Fluidline…I’ve played with it in the store and find it very similar in consistency to BB. I also have every color in the Lancome HIP gel liners. They are all pretty good. Not as smooth as BB, but they do have excellent staying power. And they have them BOGO at Walgreens fairly often. That’s how I’ve ended up with every color! The navy blue is my favorite.

    So who do you want to win SYTYCD? I think I’m leaning toward Jeanine.

  15. jen says:

    i am all about MAC’s Fluidlines…love love love
    .-= jen’s last blog post… MAC Love That Look =-.

  16. Jenni says:

    I’m definitely a Fluidline girl. The MAC one is the best! I had a Smashbox one too, and it was absolutely terrible, I didn’t make that mistake again!
    .-= Jenni’s last blog post… I hate Mondays, and evidently so does my dog =-.

  17. Ann says:

    Bobbi Brown!! I love them! I have fluid line all packed up but I’ll have to try it sometime too. I used to use the liquid liners and liked the look but it definitely wore off easily. Now I’m a gel liner convert!

  18. Glosslizard says:

    I need to dig more into the world of gel eyeliners, I’m just so addicted to the total lazy ease of an eye pencil!

    Please tell, what is that eye-poppingly beautiful aqua/teal liner on the lower right edge of the picture??? I think I’m in luuuuuurve! πŸ˜‰

  19. Redhead says:

    Hey Karen!

    I’m not a fan of liquids/gels on the lower lashline or waterline, simpy because I MUST have a smokey line there at all times. Gels and liquids just don’t do that for me. BUT I do like them on my upper lashline in a cat eye. πŸ˜€

  20. Marisol says:

    My favorite gel liners are MAC, BB & MUFE. I have that Lancome gel liner on pre-order once the Macy’s near me gets it.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Daily Affirmation =-.

  21. Kate & Zena says:

    I love L’Oreal’s HiP Cream Eyeliner pots. They’re so easy to use.

  22. H. says:

    i love gel eyeliners! what is that lovely golden-green colour to the right and who is it by? looks tres gorgeous!


  23. lexi says:

    i am a stila smudge pot girl – it was my intro to gel liners. i have yet to buy the fluidline – i’m a slacker. i also heard that bobbi brown’s is really good too. I want Caviar Ink it looks great!

  24. Shefali says:

    L’Oreal HiP gel cream liners are AWESOME. And they are inexpensive, especially when they are buy one get one free! Plus they have major staying power. I never have to retouch or anything because they never smudge. I can wear those babies all day (like 10 hours) and they look the same as when I put them on in the morning.

    I also like MAC fluidlines. Never tried Bobbi Brown.

  25. shontay says:

    Hey Karen. I was out all day with a high school friend that I recently got back in touch with via twitter. I’m going to chill tomorrow, though because it’s the last day of my vacay. Monday it’s back to the grind.

  26. Beth says:

    Hi Karen

    I think its totally me LOL

    I’ve used the Smashbox arced liner brush, one of their flat brushes and even a regular fine eyeliner brush and I still make a mess of it!

    I think its just a case of practicing until I get it right, which I’m sure I will one day! xx
    .-= Beth’s last blog post… To Buy or Not To Buy – Dior Addict Lip Glow Colour Awakening Balm =-.

  27. Vivian says:

    I never bought any high ends. However, I have oily lids, so I used to stay away from them. One time I bought some Coastal scents ones and I love them. They stay un-budgedcfor many hours. yes, a bit was creased on my upper lid when I apply it at first, but this is far better than that Indelible gel liner I have. After maybe like 5 or 6 hours, CS gel liners still remain (at least 80%). I love 24K, sky line (matte blue) and a pink one. CS gel liners do vary in consistencies, so it really depends on your preferences. πŸ™‚

  28. bomi says:

    Hey Karen,
    Usually I just get the black ones b/c they dry out fast and isn’t creamy enough as I want it to be..
    I heard Jane won’t be at drugstores anymore so most of their items are on clearance… but I’m not so sure about that.

  29. Ani says:

    my BB gel liner seems to have tried up.. wen i apply it.. its not as eye popping as id like! how do we make it ‘wetter’ or ‘gellier’?
    .-= Ani’s last blog post… Wedding Updates on Room =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge