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. Most of these are available at a drugstore, or Ulta, or Sephora and none are more than $15!

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 some of the best reviewed drugstore gel liners right now:

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lacquer Eyeliner

TONYMOLY Backstage Gel Eyeliner #1

Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner BLACK Eye Liner


And detailed reviews of some older favorite gel eyeliners:

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!


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.


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.



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. –


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.

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



PBG says:
August 16, 2012, 3:39 pm
Thanks for this post! I've been ready to delve into using gel eyeliners. These prices are a perfect segue. :)
Marijka says:
August 16, 2012, 3:41 pm
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!
aquababie says:
August 16, 2012, 3:51 pm
I've been using the Maybelline Eye Studio line and absolutely love it!
Camille says:
August 16, 2012, 4:34 pm
I love gel liner. I use it with a bent liner brush. It makes it even easier to make an even line.
Alice says:
August 16, 2012, 6:35 pm
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.
Marsha S. Haneiph says:
August 16, 2012, 10:12 pm
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.
Shones says:
August 17, 2012, 12:19 pm
I've never used a gel liner before, but now that you've introduced me to it, I may give it a try.
Phyrra says:
August 17, 2012, 12:20 pm
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.
trabag says:
August 17, 2012, 9:39 pm
Thanks for addressing this issue. The article is very informative & gives me the courage to try gel liners. Thanks!
Sherry Blossom says:
August 20, 2012, 2:56 am
You're welcome...yes the prices can't be beat!
Sherry Blossom says:
August 20, 2012, 2:58 am
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!
Sherry Blossom says:
August 20, 2012, 2:58 am
Yes I LOVE the Maybelline Eye Studio gel too! It definitely had to be on the list!
Doctor Cris says:
August 20, 2012, 8:58 am
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.
That_Tiffany says:
August 22, 2012, 1:30 pm
I can honestly say I am shocked physicians formula isn't on this list...
Nancy, the Avon Lady of NJ says:
September 30, 2012, 9:34 pm
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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