Gel liners delivered in the form of pencils are all the buzz these days– not a concept I was completely on board with. Why? Well, the reason I gravitate towards gel liners in the first place is to capture the precision of an angled brush paired with the pot of liner. But come to think of it, liquid liner pens are also fabulous for super thin lines and graphic flicks.DSC_0668


Benefit made quite the deal of their They’re Real! “Push-up” Liner Launch (I was literally serenaded in dance by the employees of a French Sephora), and I was lucky enough to get my hands on it on it’s first day out. Maybe it was the hype of it all, but initally, I wasn’t totally blown away like everyone else seemed to be. I think  this was because the thicker formula of a gel is just something to get used to when working with it from a pen. The formula is quite lovely– super black, doesn’t budge once in place, and very creamy. However, I always end up with little clumps of the product getting stuck in my lashes or awkwardly on the line. I think the trick to this product is clicking up a very small amount of the liner and using the applicator tip to disperse the gel into the line you’re creating. The tip is very capable of making thin, subtle lines, but would also be great for a dramatic look.

Another gel liner that really would have went unnoticed to me if it weren’t for my sister is Hourglass’ Mechanical Gel Liner (comes in a pack of three). The packaging is much less bulky than that of Benefit’s, and much more chic if you ask me. But onto the important stuff. This tip is just a very thin (1.5 mm to be exact) circlar point, unlike the They’re Real! which is a thin, approx. 10 mm line tip. I personally prefer the pointed tip, I feel it’s easier to apply with. This formula is a softer black, and it requires much more pressure to get the strong, opaque line of the Benefit liner, and consequentially, a bit of a thicker line. This product moves much more once applied, which isn’t ideal for cat-eyes and such, but works well with shadows and smudgier looks.

I think the Hourglass version would be perfect for a more Sky Ferreira-esque smokey look whereas the Benefit liner would be great for anything from your everyday flick to your costume-party Cleopatra look. Can I say that either of these beat my old-faithful MAC Fluidline and an angled brush? Nope.

–Anna Raponi


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