My original intent was to head to the store and pick up one of the new Benefit They’re Real Push Up liners in a snazzy new color. I use the original one in black a lot and have always been impressed with how pigmented and creamy the formula was. For some reason I had my heart set on having it in Beyond Blue. Only when it swatched it in store, it was a little runny and not opaque like I’m used to with the original at all. Cue disappointment. I did swatch the other colors, and really liked the brown, but not enough to take it home with me.
So there I was aimlessly wandering around Ulta, my rewards points burning a hole in my digital pocket when I stumbled upon the Smashbox section. For some reason, I didn’t even think that other brands had a similar gel liner. Lo and behold, there was also a stunningly pigmented blue gel liner to play with. After swatching all the colors though, I really fell in love with the gray option aptly named Smoke. How’s that for an untraditional smokey eye, eh? In general though, I found the Smashbox colors to have a lot more pop compared to Benefit ones.
What I love about it is undoubtedly the color. When they say “Pure Pigment,” they aren’t kidding around. Formula wise it is a little thicker and drier than the Push Up Liner counterpart. If you have trouble applying the other, this one won’t be any easier. Especially since it’s a really similar applicator and click up packaging design. However, if you can manage it really pays off with sheer pigment and staying power. I’ve found clicking it a few extra times, stamping a guide, and then filling it in works the great for me – but you kind of just have to find what works best for you.
Overall, I think I’ll stick with the Benefit Push Up Liner for the traditional black cat eye, but Smashbox wins hands down in the colorful options department.
Seeing as I picked up the gray gel liner, I needed a complementary color for my waterline & tightline. Proximity won out because right next to the gel liner were the Always Sharp Eye Liners. There were two options that looked like they’d be a good match – storm (matte gray), and galaxy (a lighter gray/black with silver pearl).
I’ll admit, after using it the first couple of times, I was impressed with how it did seem to keep a point consistently. Though it did take me a while to figure out how to get more product out of the casing. Apparently you just push the liner casing towards the twist top part until it clicks up. Other than that, I’ve really really been liking the liner. It lasts in the tightline/waterline area a little too well and needs a good eye makeup remover at the end of the day. Unlike the angled gel liners, this is super creamy and easy to apply, and smoking it out in the lower lashes gives it a really pretty effect.
The Always Sharp 3D Liner is swatched on the right, and the Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner is on the right. While you can’t see the tiny silver specks in the always sharp liner, it has the neatest sparkle when you move it around in the light – not overwhelming like you just played with a bunch of glitter – but a really subtle pop of shimmer. Which I think pairs so nicely with the pure matte finish of the angled gel liner. Plus the gray really plays up my blue eyes – more so than the Beyond Blue would have. Anyway, hopefully within the next few days I’ll put up a short loop on Instagram showing how it looks with a little movement so you can get the full spectrum of the colors.
You can find the Always Sharp 3D Liner here (they also have more matte shades here), and the Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner here. What do you guys think of gel liners? Do you prefer them in the pencil forms, or in the little pots with and angled brush? Let me know in the comments.