The Best Gel Eyeliners at Neighborhood Drugstore Prices

Doesn’t matter the season. A classic cat’s eye (or Cleopatra eye) NEVER goes out of style. It’s my go-to look when I’m in a hurry and need to look classic and fashionable for an event. Spackle on some primer, dust on a little gold glimmer eyeshadow, and lay on a fabulous streak of liner along the lashline. Add mascara and a red lip, and boom – you’re instafierce.

I admire women with steady hands, but I’m one of those women who are apparently incapable of managing liquid liner effectively. A super slick gel eye pencil or a gel liner in a pot are your BEST FRIENDS if you have shaky hands, love a cat’s eye, and don’t want to wind up with an EKG reading¬†upon your eyelids. It’s denser and gives you a fatter, more controlled line. And gel can last longer, too!

Together with always helpful and super sweet makeup contributor Sherry Blossom (@MsSherryBlossom) we’re here to help you make a decision if you’re looking for a gel eyeliner to get your cat’s eye all the way on. Remember our drugstore wipes post? Alright, here’s more of that goodness! Sherry’s got three favorites and I’ve got a few to share too – most of these are available at a drugstore, or Ulta, or Sephora and none are more than $15! Take it away, Sherry!

It’s no secret that a quick tight lining of your eyes open them up and make them stand out more.

Eyeliner has been used for a long time. Dating back to Egyptian times, Queens used kohl to line their eyes. Over the centuries eyeliner has evolved. Now one has their choice of liquid, pencil, pen, cake and even gel eyeliners. From high end to drugstore, there’s a price point and eyeliner for everyone.I always wing my liner (sometimes more dramatic than others). I use all types of liners, some are easy to manipulate than others. Gel liners are among my favorites – smooth, creamy and when dry, it’s waterproof. With the proper brush you can make the finest line and sharpest wing. Utter perfection!

Here are 3 of Sherry’s favorite drugstore gel liners.

Wet & Wild Mega Eyes Creme Gel Liner

This gel liner retails for $1.99. Throughout the bloggersphere many have declared this liner to be a dupe for (and some even say blacker than) Mac Black Track Fluidline. I know of many professional makeup artist who carry this gel liner in their kits and swear by its long wearability. Once you place this on, it’s NOT budging. It’s creamy, easy to work with and dries quickly. The gel comes with its own brush. The brush is decent, gets the job done but I do wish it came with a longer handle. For a novice, the super mini brush may prove to be some work. One of the darkest blackest gel liners I own this liner is perfect for intense, sultry eyes, super winged liners, smokey eyes and dramatic/nighttime looks. Sexy eyes in a jar.The only con is this gel liner dries and hardens in its container fast. I’d recommend you scoop a little out and place the cap back on quick. For $1.99 though it doesn’t hurt to buy it over and over again! — Sherry Blossom


Ruby Kisses HD Gel Eyeliner

This line doesn’t disappoint! I love the black and dark brown gel liners especially. For a super arched brow I love to use the dark brown to define the arch and for those brown eyeliner lovers this brown is so crisp and dark, great day time alternative to black liner. This gel doesn’t dry as quickly, no need to fret, a great trick is to set it with translucent powder using the same angled liner brush you used to apply it or a flat liner brush. It does last a while and is awesome for those that may have watery eyes, no need to worry about fading of the liner at the corner of the eye. Feel free to work at your own pace this liner doesn’t seem to dry out in the jar as quickly. — Sherry Blossom


Maybelline Lasting Drama Eye Studio Gel Liner

The most expensive of the trio coming in at $6.99 for a small jar. This liner comes with a small liner brush that (if you can grip it just right) gives the most perfect liner each and every time. This is another brand where I am fond of the dark brown color to aid in perfectly arched brows. This liner is smudge and water proof when it dries! It does NOT move. For those with watery eyes and/or oily lids this liner will still be around by the end of the day and even after a night of dancing. I wish it came in more colors and the black could definitely be blacker. The pigment makes this liner prime for everyday/daytime eyeliner wearers. — Sherry Blossom


e.l.f Studio Creme Liner.


I enjoy most things by e.l.f – but I kind of think of their products like Sesame Street’s Six Dollar Man (what do you EXPECT for six dollars? Hee!) I absolutely adore the eyelid primer and the lipsticks (mentioned in India Jewel-Jackson’s post on this week. PLEASE get you a piece of her awesome) But this here gel liner didn’t do it for me. Something about the packaging, perhaps was the issue – it dried out really quickly, so unless you’re trying to reapply with a wet brush, it kind of defeats the slick, smooth, gel application point. But hey. What did I expect for $3? — Afrobella


BH Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner.

Have you tried anything by BH Cosmetics, bellas? Super affordable, highly pigmented, quality makeup. The gel liner is killer, slick, long lasting, and bold for those of you who like to make a statement with your eye makeup. AND their gel liners come in a wide range of colors – see?? They’re less than $6 a pop. — Afrobella


And the pencil that performs like a gel…Avon Glimmersticks Liqui-Glide Eyeliner.

If you’re totally brush averse but can work with a pencil, this could be the alternative for you. Avon’s Glimmersticks are amongst my fave liners ever – super glidey and easy to use, highly pigmented and just sparkly enough to make the look stand out. It’s pretty long lasting on it’s own, but over a primer, will not budge for hours. As an Avon ambassador I’ve been lucky enough to try all their liners, and this is my fave! ¬†— Afrobella

And those are a few of our favorite affordable gel liners! What are yours? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. Thanks for this post! I’ve been ready to delve into using gel eyeliners. These prices are a perfect segue. :)

  2. Thank you SO much for these reviews. I’m nuts about gel/cream eyeliners and love Stila’s but I don’t love the price. This is really helpful!

    • Sherry Blossom says:

      You’re welcome. Thanks for reading them! There really are great drugstore priced gel liners on the market. Glad you now know of a few!

  3. I’ve been using the Maybelline Eye Studio line and absolutely love it!

  4. I love gel liner. I use it with a bent liner brush. It makes it even easier to make an even line.

  5. That ELF one is my favorite! I never thought I would get such a good gel liner for so cheap! Just a heads up-the picture you posted with it is actually a wet n wild liner.

  6. Great article, especially for lovers of gel eyeliner (like me). Ooh and Glimmersticks are one of my big favourites from the Avon line. Thank you.

  7. I’ve never used a gel liner before, but now that you’ve introduced me to it, I may give it a try.

  8. I do like the WnW but like you mentioned, it dries out fast. I’ve still got 2 MAC Blacktracks to use up before I buy any more.

  9. Thanks for addressing this issue. The article is very informative & gives me the courage to try gel liners. Thanks!

  10. I loved reading all the reviews of the gel eyeliners. I never really tried gel eyeliners so I will start with a product line I know—Maybelline Lasting Drama Eye Studio Gel Liner. I have make-up brushes so I probably would use my own brush for applying the gel eyeliner if the Maybelline brush does not work for me. I really never thought about using the gel eyeliner for the arch of the brow so that is a new tip I will also try. Thanks for all the great tips.

  11. I can honestly say I am shocked physicians formula isn’t on this list…

  12. GLIMMERSTICKS Liqui-Glide Eye Liner is available at, just put “959342” in search bar on upper right. FREE shipping w first time order, code: FIRSTREP. Have a beautiful day!

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