January 15, 2013

Top Gel Eyeliners

Gel eyeliners have been around for donkeys’ years at this stage, but have only relatively recently become available on the mass market. If you’re not familiar with this type of product, let me break it down: a gel eyeliner is a creamy product that comes in a pot and is applied with a brush. The formula of a good quality gel eyeliner is extremely opaque, jet-black and long-lasting, meaning that they are often utilised by make-up artists. For personal use, it really is a matter of preference, but a steady hand and a bit of practice with them can give you stunning results. I know plenty of people who are kind of terrified of gel liner and prefer to stick to liquid or pencil, but gel can look so much more polished, making it well worth experimenting with!

One problem with this type of product is that after a few months, they do tend to dry up and become much thicker and harder to work with. To prevent this happening, make sure you close the lid of the product tightly and store it upside down and away from sunlight. If they do dry out, try popping them in the microwave for a few seconds, or add a few drops of Inglot Duraline (€10), a make-up mixing medium which brings dried-out cream products straight back to life. It can also be used to transform eyeshadow into eyeliner, so it's a pretty nifty product to have in your stash!

I’ve tried a ton of gel liners, some better than others, and all at different prices - here's three of the best!

Inglot #77 Gel Eyeliner (€15) is my absolute favourite. It is extremely black, thick, and ridiculously long-lasting, which means that you do have to be extremely careful when applying it. Nevertheless, this is a phenomenal product – as long as you keep a steady hand when using it. I also use this on the waterline a lot because it doesn't budge and I never need to reapply - plus, the effect is a lot cleaner than if I use pencil. Oh, and if you want to get the most out of this product, I'd advise you to buy Duraline with it just so you can use the whole pot even after it has begun to dry up.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (€23) has been a cult classic for many years, but it could be argued that other brands have overtaken this product recently, and I’d tend to agree. It is a fantastic product if you feel like a splurge, but there are liners of equal quality at a lower price point. It wears really well, but the Inglot one lasts far longer and is cheaper.

Essence Gel Eyeliner (€2.50) has been a favourite of mine for the last couple of years. It’s very black and extremely soft and easy to work with, making it ideal for beginners. The fact that it costs me less than my bus fare is an added bonus! Lasting power is decent here, but not waterproof.

Applying gel eyeliner can be tricky to begin with, but you’ll be an expert in no time with the right tools. For a really precise look, I love to use a tiny, skinny brush. A normal little paintbrush will do – look for the smallest, skinniest one you can find in your local craft shop, and it should cost you no more than a fiver. I have a couple of these and they're absolutely brilliant.

If you’d prefer to stick to professional make-up brushes, I really like the Make Up For Ever 1N, but it's a bit pricey. I know that Sinead really rates the the Real Techniques fine liner brush (€8.50 from, and at less than a tenner, it's a good buy. 

When applying gel eyeliner, remember that less is more and be careful not to overload the brush. Stick as close to the lash line as possible before experimenting with flicks and/or thicker lines. I might do a post on achieving a good eyeliner flick (if that's something that would interest you please let me know), but there are already tons of great tutorials online - Siobhan's is one of the best I've seen! Oh, and always, always, always start out with a squeaky-clean brush!

It's worth noting that there are a ton of gel liners out there that I haven't tried, simply because I haven't needed to, and I'm trying very hard to cut down on the makeup hoarding so I can save up for other things! Two others that I have tried and don't recommend would be the Rimmel Gel Eyeliner and also the L'Oréal SuperLiner Gel Intenza. Both were too soft, not pigmented enough and didn't last on me. I've heard very good things about the Maybelline gel liner as well as MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, and I know that Sinéad really rates the Sleek one, too.

So, here ends my gel eyeliner ramblings - I do hope this was helpful and if you have a favourite that wasn't namechecked in this post, let me know!


  1. I've been using the INGLOT one for over a year now and after a lot of practice it became my favourite as well. Duraline is a life saver!

  2. I have the dark violet of inglot! I love it , too. Its cheaper here though (11€) !
    I also love the essence eyeliners (in general), gel and pen one!

  3. have you tried the korean brand from Tony Moly. their gel eyeliner really great!! love the staying power >o<

  4. Ooh I have quite a few gel liners including Sleek, Topshop and Stila but I never actually use them! I need to dig these out and have a little play with them.

    Steph xx


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