Gel eyeliner is like the Goldilocks of liners. More precise than pencil and easier to use than liquid, gel is just right. If you’re a gel liner newbie, it can take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but with the right tools and technique, it’s pretty simple. Read on for our favorite gel liners (at every price point!) and the right brushes to get that perfect swipe.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner: Universally beloved, Bobbi Brown’s gel liner is often at the top of ‘best eyeliner’ lists…and with good reason! This liner literally glides on. It’s the best gel pot I’ve ever used for getting a smooth and precise wing. There’s no crumbling or fading throughout the night. This will last. ($25)
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Gel Eyeliner: Gel liner is one of those products that the drugstore often doesn’t get right: many drugstore gels tend to not be super pigmented, smudge easily (not in an intentional way!) and fade quickly. L’Oreal is the exception. This is easily one of the best gel liners I’ve ever used. The black shade is a true, jet black. It applies so smoothly, it comes with a decent brush (I prefer using an angled one, but everyone is different) and is very long-wearing. A safe investment if you’re new to gel liner and don’t want to splurge. (Price varies: $6-10)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Creme Color: People went wild this past summer when Anastasia launched an assortment of colorful gel liners. Drawing wings has never been so much fun. In shades like Barbie Pink and Coral Reef (a vivid orange), these gels really upped the eyeliner game. Browsing through Instagram and discovering all of these creative, bright looks was beauty inspiration at its finest. ($18)
ColourPop Creme Gel Liners: ColourPop really never ceases to amaze. A few weeks ago, they made an announcement: they were releasing dozens of gel liners, along with matching pencils…which are now available! There’s an insane range of colors: everything from metallics to classic neutrals to brights and pastels, there’s truly a color for everyone. Some of the highlights include Get Paid, a metallic rose gold, and Bee Sting, a show-stopping turquoise. Oh, did I mention each pot is only six dollars?! ($6)
Stila Smudge Pots: Most gel liner looks involve precision, but if you want a smoky, lived-in look, Stila Smudge Pots are your friend. A perfect complement to a smoky shadow look, apply this product close to your lash line, then use a smudge brush to smoke it out. Rockstar perfection. ($20)
Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel: This is a cult classic. Inglot’s gel liners are widely regarded as some of the creamiest, easiest-to-apply, highly pigmented liners out there. Available in intense colors like red, yellow and teal, these are a makeup artist favorite. Good news: they’re now available at Macy’s, so it’s more accessible to everyone! It’s also available on Beautylish, which now offers a payment plan system that you can learn more about here. ($14)
Angled Liner Brush, Flat Definer Brush, Classic Eyeliner Brush
When it comes to the type of brush you should use to apply your liner, it all comes down to personal preference. I tend to use an angled brush, simply because I find it the easiest to create a flick or wing with. My go-to is Sephora’s Angled Liner Brush. Another popular type of brush is a flat definer brush, like this one by EcoTools. This is great for getting really close to your lash line. It’s good for daytime, when you just want to had a subtle hint of definition. A classic eyeliner brush, with its super-fine tip and densely packed bristles, is ideal when precision is of the utmost importance. It allows you to get a sleek, straight line without tugging at your eyelid. MAC’s makeup brushes are always on point, and the 209 Eye Liner Brush lives up to the hype.
***Beauty Tip: Always close the lid of your gel liner pot as tight as possible. If not, it can dry out very quickly.
Need a visual guide to applying gel liner? Check out this video by the extremely talented Laura Leth. She shares four different easy-to-follow looks, all using gel eyeliner!
Are you a gel liner devotee? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and on PAMPADOUR!