Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Eyeliner - Pencil, Liquid or Gel?

Eyeliner is my FAVOURITE piece of makeup. After all, the eyes are supposedly the windows to the soul...

Eyeliner is extremely versatile and can be used in so many ways to totally transform your look, from gentle subtle definition along the waterline s to dramatic cat eyes.

Some people find applying eyeliner intimidating, which is totally understandable because normally we keep things as far away from our eyes as possible! Hopefully I can share some information and tips which will turn the process of applying eyeliner from daunting and seemingly complicated to fun and simple.



  • Easy to apply - everyone has practice using a real pencil to draw, so this is a natural movement to most
  • Long shelf life - unlike liquid eyeliners, you do not have to worry about your pencil drying out
  • Hygienic - can be sharpened before each use to remove any bacteria on the tip of the pencil 
  • Soft and easy to smudge - useful for blending with eyeshadows to create sultry smokey eyes


  • Smudges easily - you may find your eyeliner becomes messy during the day so be sure to check your reflection occasionally and carry a pencil in your bag to fix any fading
  • Not as sharp or defined look as liquid - this is not necessarily a con for everyone, some people prefer a softer look. However, some, like me, prefer dramatic flicks and wings which are not possible with a pencil.
  • Can be uncomfortable to apply - some pencils are hard and feel like you are tugging at the skin around your eyes

My Favourite - Bourjois Khol & Contour Eye Pencil  (Ultra Black colour)

RRP: £4.99 from Superdrug

This is a lovely soft eye pencil, I hate hard pencils that pull your skin, but this one just glides on which is great. It is also hypoallergenic, which means it is suitable for most people to use on the waterline area. Also, you can not argue with a great price like that!



  • Long lasting 
  • Sharper lines than achievable with a pencil - perfect for dramatic flicks with definition
  • Intense colour - personally I find liquid eyeliners to have a much more pigmented, pure colour


  • Requires practice - there are few things more infuriating than drawing one perfect flick with liquid eyeliner then being unable to make the eye match 
  • A steady hand is helpful... however there are ways to create fantastic looks if you aren't the steadiest, e.g. using tape as a template
  • Can be too over the top if applied too liberally - panda eyes are seldom the goal 
  • Mistakes can be difficult to fix
  • Can leave residue on lashes

My favourite - No7 Stay Precise Liquid Eye Liner (Chain Mail colour)

RRP: £7.50 from Boots

The staying power of this eyeliner is amazing. The colour is just as intense 12 hours later. I have even heard from people who have left it on for over 24 hours, including in the shower. The brush is very fine, which means it can be used to create elegant flicks. Also, this eyeliner is available in a range of colours. The sapphire coloured "Sky High" colour would be a perfect complement to blue eyes.



  • Smooth application - a good gel eyeliner will glide on effortlessly
  • Allows for precise application - make sure you use a good brush with a fine tip
  • Gentle to apply - no tugging on the delicate skin area around the eyes
  • Easy to vary the thickness of the line - can be used with different brushes
  • Long lasting - some will last for 24 hours


  • Quick drying - if you make a mistake you better move fast to fix it!
  • Requires practice - more like using a paintbrush than a pencil

My Favourite - L'Oreal Superliner Gel Intenza (Violet Black)

RRP: £9.99 from Superdrug

This is a luxuriously smooth gel which glides on easily.  The angled brush can be used to create both thin and thick lines. The colour is an intense black which contains gorgeous subtle violet sparkles. I have found I can apply this eyeliner at 7am in the morning and no matter what I face during the day - rain, exercise - the results will still be perfect 12 hours later.

What is your favourite eyeliner?