Home Style Beauty Eyeliner Showdown: Gel vs. Pencil vs. Liquid

Eyeliner Showdown Gel vs. Pencil vs. Liquid1The battle of the eyeliners.

Makeup is artistic expression. From bold lips to a cat-eye; it’s a way to let the world know how you’re feeling by putting your best face forward. Eyeshadows and lipsticks are not as hard to choose as an eyeliner. Each eyeliner formula: gel liner, pencil liner, and liquid liner, has its pros and cons. Everyone has their favorite or reasons why they choose a particular liner.

Here, we’ve listed the three most popular types of eyeliners so if you’re going out tonight, work or to an interview, you know which to choose.

Closed Cat-Eye

Gel Eye Liner


  • Creamy formula (between a pencil and liquid liner)
  • For beginners to experienced users
  • Easy application
  • Long wear
  • Can layer, blend, smear and build shape
  • Can use as eyeshadow
  • Can use on waterline


  • Can smudge
  • Need special brush
  • Dries out


Pencil Eye Liner


  • Solid formula
  • Long shelf life
  • Never dries out
  • Smudges easily (for desired looks)
  • Can use on waterline


  • Smudges easily
  • Hard to blend and build shape
  • Hard to create fine lines
  • Not defined
  • Needs frequent sharpening

Liquid Eye Liner


  • Liquid formula
  • Long wear
  • Applies smoothly
  • Creates defined lines
  • Dramatic and intense
  • Dries fast


  • For experienced users only (takes practice)
  • Can be difficult to apply
  • Dries fast
  • Can’t use on waterline

The bottom line (ha!) is to try at least one of each so you can become a pro and be able to use either liner whenever you feel like it.

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