Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Over & Under: Most Overrated & Underrated Gel Eyeliner

There are always products that receive endless raves, but they don’t always live up to our expectations or work out as well as they do for others.  Share your picks for most overrated and underrated GEL EYELINERS.  Don’t forget to share your whats and whys as to your choices!

  • Most Overrated: [answer]
  • Most Underrated: [answer]

My Picks

  • Most Overrated: I can’t think of one!
  • Most Underrated: shu uemura’s Painting Eyeliners are really lovely! Lots of fun colors, too.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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47 thoughts on “Most Overrated & Underrated Gel Eyeliner

  1. Avatar of Barbie Barbie

    overrated i don’t know but underrated i have to say essence and elf their black gel liners rocks! and so cheap too

  2. angie

    Overrated Wet n’ Wild….it’s only $3 but it dries out fast and it’s very hard to build with the product, basically your brush gets stiff and the liner starts skipping and tugging if you try to thicken your line. for $12 more, you’re better off with MAC or Clinique which will last MUCH longer and is creamy and buildable!

  3. Avatar of Lydia Lydia

    Essence makes a great gel eyeliner and it’s only $3.50 at Ulta :) (ahh i sound like an ad o.o)

  4. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I’ve only got 2 gel liners and I’m a major failure with both but I think it’s me, not the liners – Clinique and Smashbox (the Smashbox one is so old it’s probably useless now). I really am a pencil liner type of gal but I should probably keep trying with the gel liners…

  5. Liz

    Overrated: MAC fluidline liners. The one I tried smeared like crazy on me. It’s actually the worst gel eyeliner have ever used. I know so many people like them, but they are useless to me.

    Underrated: Make Up For Ever Aqua Creamliner. It’s amazing. It won’t budge no matter what the weather is. It goes on smoothly and the pigmentation is nice. I never hear (or read) anyone talking about this amazing product.

  6. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    Overrted: MAC Fluidline; admittedly, I’ve only tried one, Delineate, and it may just be the shade (red), but it tends to skip, and it takes alot of effort to get it to work well.

    Underrated: Black Radiance; highly pigmented, goes on smoothly, stays put, and is inexpensive. I’ve never heard or read any mention of it.

  7. Avatar of Emily 18thCenturyFox

    Overrated: Smashbox ( sorry, I feel this way about a lot f their products)
    Underrated: Maybe it’s Maybelline!
    Oh and my Bobbi Brown ones dried up awful quick! Though I loved them while they were of this earth…

    • Liz

      I tried the Maybelline and it just would not dry. It was so strange. I wonder if I got a bad batch.

    • Avatar of Amy xamyx

      I agree with you about Smashbox. I really *want* to love them, but eveything I’ve bought has been mediocre, at best. I still find myself looking at their stuff, though, and only a couple of weeks ago I had to talk myself out of buying their latest blockbuster palette. I do love the 15 Hour cream shadows, though.

      • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

        The only thing I’ve tried by Smashbox is their lipstick line, which I’ll vouch for as a good product. Their shade “Grenadine” remains on of my favorites from my collection. (It’s also an impossibly close dupe for Guerlain’s Liu from the Rouge Automatique line).

        I agree that it’s one of those lines that catch my eye in store, but then I talk myself out of it after I remember the complaints I’ve heard online about their stuff.

  8. Avatar of Kafka Kafka

    I truly don’t think I’ve ever used a *gel* liner. Actually, this raises an issue that I’ve never really understand: is there a significant difference between gel and cream liners? I googled it once but read some conflicting things, though most thought there was no difference. But there has to be to warrant the different terminology, right? If there is a difference, is that why many people don’t seem to use *gel* liners as an eyeshadow or base but, instead, merely as a eyeliner?

    • blueraccoon

      I was actually wondering this. I have a Tarte eyeliner that I thought was a cream liner, it comes in a little pot and is applied with a brush. But is it actually a gel liner? Is there a difference? I’m so confused *sob*

      • Avatar of Mshel shel

        ime, creme liners may blend nicely as e/s base. Gel e/l are stickier and you want to make sure you choose a pigmented one. Creme liners don’t stay as long for me as gel liners.

        Underrated: BB – ok, these are pretty well known. I just love the color range, glad I grabbed a bunch when Sapphire Shimmer was still around. These wear so well on me. I’m amazed I have so many, but some wonderful colors, and I don’t purchase black liners from any brand. My first one, some yrs ago, did eventually dry out. But I didn’t realize that I should store them upside down and very tightly capped. None have started to dry since!

        Overrated: Smashbox

    • Liz

      For the purpose of this question, I just assumed it meant any of the eyeliners that come in a pot. I I usually reach for cream liners because the ones that I have seen look less shiny than the gel ones. But that is just my observation.

    • cream liners are waxed based. The never completely set on their one without powder. Gel liner do set on there own, are silicon based and long wearing.

      • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

        Eureka! An extremely specific technical explanation and one that makes sense to boot, too! You have no idea how much I appreciate it, Ani_Bee. Thank you! :) Thank you, too, to everyone else who tried to explain.

        And sorry for the terrible typo in the post; I was multi-tasking and got distracted by my dog. I so wish we had an Edit feature, or even just the chance to delete the post while it’s awaiting approval and re-post (like one could with Livefyre). Typos under this system bring out my OCD and neurosis in full force. lol.

      • freshpinklips

        That does sound very accurate with Clinique cream liner. It doesn’t stay on and smudges everywhere without setting it with eyeshadow powder of the same color. And even after setting I experience noticeable transfer after a few hours. On the positive side it is the creamiest, smoothest and most pigmented black liner I’ve used, glides like a dream. However I switched to Bobbi Brown gel liner which isn’t as smooth even though I still have almost a full pot. You can’t have everything. lol

      • Liz

        Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream Liner lasts all day long on its own. I never set it with anyting. I have hooded eyes and most products transfer to the upper part of my eyeliner. The Aqua Creamliner is one of the few products that does not transfer at all. I wore it on my wedding day. It lasted for about 12 hours with no budging in really intense heat.

  9. Wet n’ Wild and Smashbox for overated. The consistence o these drive me nut when working with them.

    Underated: MAC Chromaline, I find the pigmentation and wear of these are nicer then the fluidline formula. The Pure White shade is the only white liner that actually stays but on my waterline for more then 1 hour. lol

    • Agreed. I know MAC Chromaline is Pro but is available to everyone. I wear the black, the green is like amazing green grass…amazing colors. However, if you want a matte long wearing liner (yes, the fluidline will sit right in my crease within two hours)…the chromaline is SO much larger and 20 months later I am in the same container with no drying. AMAZING product! I have one for work and one for home. Take care!

      • Katie

        Right now, the Chromaline is available through the MAC website if you’re interested…

        Overrated: Avon Supershock gel liner. It’s so flaky and sheer and almost too dry to get on a brush :(

        Underrated: Essence. They have all the basic colors in a just-creamy-enough formula and after 6 months have yet to dry out. They’re super waterproof and last forever on the waterline; however, the black one transfers a bit.

  10. Avatar of Shontay shontay

    Overrated: Clinique. It runs like it stole something.

    Underrated: YSL’s ‘new’ gel liners. Stays put, even on the waterline and comes in all the essential colors.

  11. Avatar of Maggie Maggie

    Overrated: stila. You get a lot of the product for the price in comparison to some but these dried up soooo quickly. I thought maybe I had a bad batch of the first so went ahead and purchased another and it ALSO dried up quickly. Was my first and last stila product.

    Underrated: Bobbi Brown. Yes, these are popular so not exactly underrated but these last a while if you keep the lid tightly closed. LOVE them.

  12. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    Overrated: MAC Blacktrack. It is by no means a bad product, but I bought it hoping it would avoid the creasing I get in my outer corner with most eyeliner and, well, that didn’t happen. :)

    Underrated: I’m kind of surprised to write this, but…e.l.f.’s brown gel liner actually wears extremely well for the price. If anything, it’s a almost too creamy.

  13. Avatar of Lauren LB

    Overrated – MAC Blacktrack and Stila. MAC liner ran a lot on me. I also have had the experience of Stila drying out quickly.
    Underrated – Lancome’s new products work well. They’re a little dryer than most but I find it easier to apply.

  14. Avatar of Trillium trillium

    I can’t really think of an underrated one, because most of the ones I hear people rave about are definitely good. Bobbi Brown’s are my personal favorite.

    The most overrated one to me would definitely be ELF’s. I bought a couple of these after reading many rave reviews, and these are awful! I don’t know how people have had such good experiences, but these were awful on me. Unpigmented, flakey, and most/worst of all, DRY. They start out on the dry side, and dry up to being totally unuseable in no time.

    • I must agree. I like many ELF products. Their powder blush is my blending miracle for foundation and I enjoy their bent liner brush very much. However, I must agree that my first 3-4 uses of the liner was impressive. The next time I opened, about one week later, it was dry. I couldn’t get it to move and improve with a mixing medium as I can higher end gel liners. I am glad I only purchased the black. I enjoy Coastal Scents Divine Line SO SO SO much. Much more than BB, fluidline, etc. However, I am loving Dalton and MAC Chomaline that does not move. It is much longer lasting than the fluidline, but is matte. Totally safe in the summer with Chromaline:)

      • Diana

        I have had my ELF Olive Cream Liner for several months, with no sign of drying. I also have it in plum. Both are creamy, but due to ELF’s price point, they are probably inconsistent as far as quality. Disappointing that you have had a negative experience. For $3, I will never buy MAC again.

  15. Frances

    Most Overrated: Mm, I think I’d have to say MAC Fluidlines, Clinique’s Cream Liners, and Stila. I cannot get these to set, they smudge far too much for my liking. Fluidlines have a great colour range, though, so top marks for that.

    Most Underrated: Must concur on shu uemura’s Painting Liner (Terrible name, though. Sounds like panty liner). Really nice colour selection with very minimal smudging, even in tropical heat. Kiss Me Heavy Rotation is also a REALLY good product, if somewhat more difficult to find. The blackest black, which goes nowhere once you put it on.

    Most Deservedly Rated: Bobbi Brown gel liners. Great formula, fabulous colours. Ivy Shimmer Ink is particularly gorgeous on brown eyes, and dark skin in general.

  16. Overrated: Smashbox. That stuff was awful.

    Underrated: Physicians Formula. It rivals Stila and MAC, honestly. (And I LOOOOOOVE MAC Fluidlines).

  17. Avatar of Joanne Joanne

    Most overrated: MAC’s Blacktrack Fluid line, everyone talks about it but I find it to be just another gel liner.
    Most underrated: Wet n’ Wild’s Gel Eyeliner. Excellent formula and the deep black color is amazing

  18. Anna L

    Overrated: Bobbi Brown’s gel liner. I’ve bought 2 already and I always close the container tightly and it dries out quickly. It also transfers due to my hooded eyelids and does not last more then 4 hours on me without a primer, with a primer it will last 6+ hours and I do not have oily eyelids.

    Underrated: Maybelline’s gel liner! Not the best but will sufficed as a quick replacement when I discovered my BB eyeliner dried out.

  19. Celeste

    Overrated: Smashbox Jetset liners. They clump on the brush when fresh, dry to a solid lump in the container absurdly quickly, and when they start to flake off into the eyes they HURT like no other.

    Mediocre: MAC Fluidline, becomes unusable in a month. Maybelline, patchy, fades.

    Underrated: Physicians Formula. The black might have microglitter but they go on opaque, stay, and don’t dry up.

  20. Overrated: MAC Fluidline, this was the very first gel liner that I used, so I thought they were all pretty much the same because of the great reviews on it, but noooo! It’s really dry for me compare to another ones, and not that pigmented unless you really pack your brush with product, which I think makes harder to make a thin crisp line.

    Underrated: INGLOT, I got two colors and I fell in love! you need the smallest amount of product and they’re super creamy and pigmented, just perfect!

  21. Laura

    Overrated: UD 24/7
    Underrated: Sephora Flashy Liners

  22. Avatar of Maja Maya

    Most Overrated: Bobbi Brown. It’s so dry and thick, difficult to clean off my brushes, and dries out too quickly. When there are amazing gel liners for much less money, it’s pointless to deal with that

    Most Underrated: YSL!

  23. SUMER

    Most Overrated: MAC fluidline
    Most Underrated: Bobbi brown , and Inglot .. they very long wearing :)

  24. Jojo

    Overrated: Physicians Formula’s Eye Booster 2 in 1 felt tip liner. (this think smudget and stinks my eyes)

    Underrated: Nyx Slide on Pencil, Nyx Retactable eyeliner (both comes in a wide range of colours and stay put really well!)

  25. Sandy

    Most overrated: I have to say the MAC and Bobbi Brown liners, the gel liners that is.

    Most underrated: Shu Uemura gel liners. They last such a long time! Even better than the MAC and Bobbi Brown gel liners. I also find the Physicians Formula retractable eye liners are so good. They are cheap and last so long :)

  26. Geneva

    I have no idea on overrated, but I love my Clinique and Avon gel liners