Eyeliners comes in three basic forms: cream, gel, and liquid. They all serve different purposes, do different things, and have different textures. I’m often asked which liner is best to perform what specific task for. While it’s great to have one of each of these, it’s even better to know what you should be using them for.
Here’s a breakdown of what each of their strengths and weaknesses are.
- Thicker shapes. Using gel on an angled brush is great for thicker and more defined wings.
- Using as an eyeshadow base. Instead of drawing with any other kind of liner on your lid as a base for shadow, gel is much more convenient.
- Intense waterlines. If you want a very intense waterline, using gel above any other product will give you the pigmentation and density you desire.
- Brows. That’s right. If you want a super sculpted brow, or your brow is very sparse, using a gel liner similar to the color of your brows gives a very sharp and impactful appearance.
- Smudge-ability. Gel liner is really easy to create a smoldering eye effect with.
NOT SO GOOD FOR…
- Precise detail work. If you plan on drawing any design that isn’t a straight or angular line, the thickness and consistency of gel liner won’t help you much.
- The lashline. If you don’t put liner on the waterline, the creamier texture will get stuck on your lower lashes.
- The waterline. Pencil liners are excellent for defining the waterline in a conventional way.
- Light smudging. If you want a slightly smudged out look, pencil is the best option.
- Lining the lashline. If you don’t like to line the waterline, but rather just beneath it, pencil will give you a smoother look.
- A more natural look. Pencil can be applied lightly and in short strokes to avoid a harsh line appearance.
NOT SO GOOD FOR…
- Drawing anything. Doing a winged or designed liner is really hard with the soft, thicker tip of a pencil.
- Intense looks. Pencil doesn’t tend to have the opacity that other options offer.
- Sharpness. The fine tipped applicators that come with liquid liners are really great for getting a razor sharp line.
- Art lining. If you want to do an unconventional eyeliner shape, or even draw in the eye area, think of these like super markers.
- Filling in small gaps. If you’ve applied false lashes and noticed that you can see the band, the fine tip of a liquid liner can be pushed into those gaps to fill them.
- High shine or metallic finishes. The formula of liquid liner can hold glitter and glossy texture the best for your more creative ventures.
NOT SO GOOD FOR…
- The waterline. If you try to apply liquid liner to the waterline, it will mix with the water in your eye immediately and turn into a big, stinging burn fest.
- Under the eye. The line will look awkward and your lashes will get crunchy.
- Using as an eyeshadow base. Large concentrations of liquid liner will flake off very easily.
- Smudging and blending. Once it’s set, it’s like paint. Don’t try to disturb it.
- Soft looks. Because of the nature of liquid liner, it cannot be applied softly.
WHICH DO YOU PREFER?
Do you have a liner love? Feel free to share it in the comments below.
- Gel liner
- Pencil liner
- Liquid liner
- Angled brush
Real Life Makeup Artist and MakeupTalk Blogger