The 5 Best Gel Eyeliners on the Market, from Drugstore to High-End

Looking for the perfect gel eyeliner? You’ll find it here.

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Back in the 2010s, liquid liner used to be my daily favorite. I was all about the crisp, dramatic wing, and the darker the better. But in this decade, it’s all about minimal, clean looks, and gel liner is the name of the game.

In fact, with the rise of the “no makeup makeup” look, gel eyeliner is the only kind of eyeliner I wear these days. It’s much smoother, softer, and more forgiving than liquid, and it’s perfect for creating subtle cat eyes, or just filling in around your lashes for a fuller look.

I’ve tested out a ton of gel eyeliners, so I’m extremely familiar with the category. Here are my all-time favorite gel liners and why I think they’re the best on the market.

5 Best Gel Eyeliners

1. Patrick Ta Major Dimension Precision Gel Eyeliner

Looking for a gel eyeliner that does it all? You need to try Patrick Ta Major Dimension Precision Gel Eyeliner. It has everything you’d want in a gel liner, from a beautiful shade range to incredible pigmentation and a budge-proof finish.

Patrick Ta’s liner is the perfect choice for those new to gel eyeliners. It comes in an easy to use twist-up pencil form and the shades are highly pigmented, so you only need one swipe.

  • Shade Range: 6 shades available
  • Item Form: Pencil
  • Size: 0.007 oz/ 0.2 g
  • Finish Type: Available in matte, metallic, and satin finishes

Recommended For: If you are new to gel eyeliners or just want an all in one product for a stunning look, this is the best gel eyeliner on the market today.

The shade range is great, including basics like brown, black, and cream, as well as beautiful metallic bronze, copper, and burgundy. And you only need one swipe for rich color.

The formulation is extremely creamy and easy to blend into a variety of looks, and it stays put all day. Plus it’s a twist-up pencil, so no sharpener required!

Pros:

  • Beautiful shade range
  • Incredible pigmentation
  • Does not require a brush; easy to travel with
  • Twist-up pencil does not require sharpening
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free
  • Gorgeous metallic packaging

Cons:

  • Contains the least amount of product of any liner on this list (only .007 oz). However, product is extremely concentrated.
  • At $26, it’s expensive for how much product you get.
  • Need to replace cap immediately or product will dry out.

2. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

If you want an ultra smooth gel liner at a super low price, you can’t do better than the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. It’s been my go-to drugstore liner for a decade now, and at under $10, it’s a fantastic value for your money.

While this product only comes in two colors (black and brown), what it lacks in shade range, it makes up for in effectiveness. The liner applies like butter, dries down to a pigmented finish, and lasts a long time.

  • Shade Range: 2 shades available (black and brown)
  • Item Form: Gel in pot
  • Size: 0.106 oz/ 3 g
  • Finish Type: Matte

Recommended For: If you want to try out gel eyeliner but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is the one to get. It’s a high-quality liner that’s available everywhere and it even comes with its own brush so you don’t need to buy a separate one.

Pros:

  • Dark and pigmented
  • Very inexpensive for how much product you get
  • One pot lasts a long time — doesn’t dry out as fast as other brands
  • Extremely smooth to apply
  • Comes with its own brush
  • Easy to find at any drugstore

Cons:

  • Very small shade range
  • Decently budge-proof but doesn’t last quite as long as other liners
  • Not the highest quality brush — you may want to use a different one for more precise looks

3. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

The most expensive eyeliner on this list, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is the OG of gel liners, beloved by celebrity makeup artists and influencers alike. It’s been one of Sephora’s top sellers for years and years, so it’s tried and true.

This is a good all-around product. It’s very smooth, easy to build up, and dries slowly so you have time to fix mistakes before it sets. It’s also versatile — you can smudge it out for a smokier look.

  • Shade Range: 4 shades available
  • Item Form: Gel in pot
  • Size: 0.1 oz/ 3 g
  • Finish Type: Matte and shimmer finishes available

Recommended For: This cult favorite liner is a definite splurge at $28 for a pot, however it’s the most famous gel liner on the market and a staple in every makeup artist’s kit. If you want to create a smooth, precise, and even wing every time, you can’t go wrong with Bobbi Brown.

Pros:

  • Dark and pigmented
  • Extremely smooth to apply
  • Doesn’t dry instantly — gives you time to fix mistakes before it sets
  • Easy to build up from light to dark coverage

Cons:

  • Expensive at $28 a pot
  • Doesn’t come with a brush
  • Product dries out quicker than other brands, not a great option if you don’t use gel liner very often

4. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil

If you want a gel liner in a non-traditional color, the shade range of the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencils is truly unmatched. They offer an incredible 33 shades in finishes ranging from matte to glitter, and the quality of these pencils is well worth the $22 price tag.

I’ve been buying these pencils for years now and they never let me down. They apply like a dream and the pigmentation is fantastic. Plus, in my experience they do not move once set — even on oily lids like mine.

  • Shade Range: 33 shades available
  • Item Form: Pencil
  • Size: 0.04 oz/ 1.2 g
  • Finish Type: Matte, satin, and glitter finishes available

Recommended For: If you love a pencil liner and want to experiment with bright and fun colors, you absolutely need to try the 24/7 pencils! While I personally hate having to tote around a sharpener, I’ll put up with it for the quality and pigmentation that this pencil delivers.

While you don’t get the precision of a gel liner you apply with a brush, you can apply this product to your lid and then use a brush to wing it out.

Also, if you love an extremely black eyeliner, their shade Perversion is truly the blackest black I’ve ever seen!

Pros:

  • Extremely pigmented — one pencil lasts forever
  • Actually lasts a long time
  • One of the smoothest pencils on the market
  • Long working time so it’s easy to smoke out before it dries
  • Contains the most product (.04 oz) of any pencil on this list

Cons:

  • Not as precise as a gel liner you’d apply with a brush
  • Not an automatic pencil so you do need a separate sharpener
  • Some shades (particularly the lightest ones) are less pigmented than the others
  • Not as waterproof as claimed

5. KVD Beauty Tattoo Pencil Waterproof Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Lots of eyeliners claim to be waterproof, yet in my experience, very few are. However, KVD Beauty’s lineup is the exception. Their Tattoo liquid liner is famous for staying put forever, and their brand new Tattoo Pencil Gel Liner has that same lasting power in a gel form.

This product was just released this week (just in time for humid weather and pool days) and I was lucky enough to get to try it. I predict it will soon have every beauty blogger buzzing. It’s that long-lasting and waterproof.

  • Shade Range: 10 shades available
  • Item Form: Pencil
  • Size: 0.0176 oz/ .5 g
  • Finish Type: Matte

Recommended For: KVD Beauty is a brand that actually delivers when they claim that something is waterproof. This liner does what it says, and it does it beautifully. The pigmentation is great and the staying power is truly unmatched — in fact, you need full-on makeup remover to get it off.

If you can get your hands on this hot new product (it’s only available at Sephora and the KVD website for now; it will launch at Ulta in June), snap it up immediately! It won’t let you down.

Pros:

  • Actually waterproof and long-lasting; excellent choice for the waterline for this reason
  • Impressive shade range with some interesting colors like cobalt and emerald
  • Beautiful, rich pigmentation
  • Vegan and cruelty free

Cons:

  • Brand new product so can be hard to find
  • Can actually be difficult to remove since it’s so waterproof
  • Dries down very fast so you need to work quickly; not the most forgiving if you make a mistake

What do you think is the best gel eyeliner on the market?

Did we mention your favorite? Have you tried any of these gel liners? Let me know by leaving a comment down below.

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