Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Liner Vs Liner

Eye liner is a trend that is getting trendier day by day. Women have started reinventing themselves getting inspirations from the 80s and 70s. The lines drawn are not limited to the lash line and every season makeup artists take the eye liner trend to a new level . May it be Prada, Louis Vuitton or Dolce & Gabbana, the eye liner trend is getting better and better.

The popular the trend, the confused we are. When we follow trends we have to choose different options that what we would do if we made our own trends. This happens because cosmetic companies bring in liners not only in different colors and glitter but also in different textures. We have pencils, pens, liquid brush liners and gel liners and all the hybrids that drop in between these main categories. These innovations are made taking into consideration the level of effort a woman (or men who use guy liners) puts in to get herself the perfect line and the easier application that she desires for. Eye liners over years have adapted to such situations and what we have today is bigger platter of colors and textures to experiment with.

Today's post is about comparing a gel liner with a liquid liner and looking for their pros and cons and seeing the best products in the Indian market with better options to choose from. Please note that being a professional makeup artist I would always choose a liner albeit its price and look for something that gives me a professional result. My ideas may vary with yours but I'm sure this article would show some direction and food for thought.


In one of the Vogue editions, makeup maestro Pat McGrath has given some essential tips over drawing the perfect line. In a literal sense that was itself an eye opener considering how easy it is to apply it and also remembering the fact that the most famous makeup artist in the world herself is scared of liquid liners that are runny and bad. This makes the choices even difficult and with so many products available a roving eye would get us some lovely stuff. First of all a liquid liner needs precision and a stable hand to apply and that where most of us go wobbly. Liquid liners if not tried and tested can be runny or crack on the lid and the formulation as well as the application brush would play an important role in getting things done perfectly.

The brush of the liquid liner should be felt tip or a small flexible nylon brush tapering downwards for better application. I hate felt tips though because they need more precision and if a small mistake is made, the line goes very thick and unsightly. The flexible brushes are great tools to create an amazing finish and always the end result pays off.

The formulation of the liquid liners is such that it dries up to give a precise line that could be depending on the contents of the liner. You wouldn't believe but some cosmetic companies have the same formulation for the eye liner as they have for their mascaras. I love waterproof liquid liners that come out as one strip when you use a cleanser and leave no residue behind. I also love eye liners that give a lacquered finish and look very sophisticated and elegant.

Liquid liners sometimes have fantastic formulations but very horrible brushes and vice versa. In such cases you have to go for a liquid eye liner brush that is specifically made for such reasons. Since the brush is long enough, it gives a good hold and the liner goes perfect on the lash line.

Liquid liners that I really love are

  • L'Oreal Superliner
  • MAC liquid liner
  • Christian Dior liquid eye liner for their fantastic brush
  • Lancôme Artliner which has the best brush and best formulation you'd ever see
Other companies maybe good but these are the best in that section.


Gel liner was developed with an inspiration from a mascara formulation for people who loved those tiny gel pots and who loved to sport a dramatic effect at an ease. Cosmetic companies have also created angular liner brushes that take eye lining to a different level. When we say gel liners, the formulation is more of pigment and waxes than oil and that's why they are more long staying and blend better. One thing about them is the quick lining and blending that is needed because gel liners dry at a lightning speed and once they are dry they are indestructible.

Gel liners have such lovely textures that a thick line if blended before it dries can create a lovely smoky eye with minimal effort. The gel liner glides so beautifully over an eye pencil that it looks as if it's a dark eye pencil that is applied. The texture is somewhere in between a liquid liner and eye pencil and it's much ergonomic as it stays better.

Gel liners are intensely pigmented and give a jet black line that does not appear grey on wearing.

In gel liners I love: --

  • Clinique Brush on cream liner which comes with a brush

  • Shiseido Accentuating eye liner with a better brush and better cost
  • Inglot gel liner
  • MAC fluid line
Lancôme also attempted to make one but I absolutely hate the formulation and find it a complete waste.


It is your comfort and easiness in application that plays a role in understanding what liner you must use. Teens and middle aged women should go with gel liners as they draw one sharp line without breaking anywhere in between. For teenagers it gives a punk effect but for middle aged women its ergonomic as it does not settle or break in their wrinkled eye lids. Liquid liners are good for ladies who go to work as it adds the right amount of drama that is needed at work. Liquid liners can be vampy and foxy while gel liners could be gothic and punk. It depends on how you use it.

Some brushes that I recommend for liquid liner and gel liner application are: --

  • NYX cosmetics eye liner brush
  • MAC angled liner brush and flat liner brush .... I forgot the numbers
  • Shiseido Angled liner brush which is excellent because its tiny enough in thickness to draw a precisely lovely line.
  • Clinique makes a flat small liner brush that makes the liner walk over the lash line.
  • Also try out the eye liner brushes from Dior and Clarins but they are not that famous.

If you have some liner ideas feel free to share them. Soon shall review eye liners from Inglot and Makeup Forever so do keep reading ....

Till then,


1 comment:

  1. Hey! Nice post. I love eyeliners, and have quite a huge collection of the same.

    I specially like pencil eyeliners that can be smudged to get a smokey look.

    Any suggestions in the pencil category?


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