Home Beautygab Gel Vs Liquid Eyeliner

Gel Vs Liquid Eyeliner

by Gabbi

Eyeliner is an essential product in any makeup routine to help accentuate your eyes. While it can easily flatter your best features, eyeliner can also be intimidating to use. Most of us agree that we want to avoid creating a raccoon-like effect.

Your eye shape, application technique, skin type, and other factors can determine the outcome of your liner. You’ll want to find the right eyeliner formula that is easy to use and works well for your eyes. The most popular formulas are gel and liquid eyeliner.

What is the difference between gel vs liquid eyeliner? First, they both have different textures. Liquid eyeliner is watery and thin, while gel eyeliner is a thick and creamy consistency. In addition, they have other uses and application methods.

Liquid eyeliners offer pigmentation, but they can be challenging to apply if the formula is too runny. Likewise, gel eyeliner is malleable, but it can potentially be dry or unblendable. However, gel and liquid eyeliners serve different purposes.

How do you know which eyeliner is right for you? How you decide if a liquid or gel eyeliner is suitable for you will be based on your preference. However, if you’re looking to learn more about their differences and similarities, follow along.

Liquid Eyeliner

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Liquid eyeliner is one of the most popular liners. 

Liquid eyeliner usually has a watery and opaque formula. It’s loved by all levels of makeup lovers, so no matter if you’re a beginner or a professional, you’ll find a way to incorporate liquid eyeliner in your makeup routine.

However, it can take some time to get used to liquid eyeliner. Some liquid liners have a felt tip which is more beginner-friendly, while others have a thin brush. Some liquid eyeliner formulas can dry matte or dry with a shiny finish.

Liquid eyeliner is also opaque and pigmented. They are ideal for creating extremely precise lines and shapes which is why most people use liquid eyeliners to make a cat eye effect.


Liquid liners usually come with their own applicator. We briefly mentioned liquid eyeliners typically have a felt tip or brush to apply your eyeliner. Liquid liner can be applied to the upper and lower lash line to accentuate your eye shape.

However, avoid applying liquid liner in your waterline at all costs. Because you’re working with a liquid formula, it won’t dry on the waterline like a gel or pencil. Instead, it will seep into your eyes and potentially sting or burn. 

Liquid liner can be tricky to apply at first, but you’ll be able to glide on the product instantly with practice. 

A liquid liner can dry quickly, or it can take a few seconds to set in place, but it will all depend on how the brand formulates their particular eyeliner.


Liquid eyeliners are very saturated. They are ideal if you want to create a dramatic look or add definition to the eyes. Liquid eyeliners are great for detailed or intricate eye looks.

So if you’re looking for an intense or saturated eyeliner, a liquid liner will work tremendously. Liquid eyeliners are available in a wide shade range. So whether you’re looking for a bright pastel or a deep black, there is a liner for you.


Unfortunately, liquid eyeliners aren’t very versatile. Liquid liners are ideal for creating graphic eyeliner looks or adding details to your eyes. However, they can’t be used for much else. So, if you’re looking for a multi-tasking product, gel liner will be a better fit.

As mentioned earlier, you can’t apply liquid eyeliner to your waterline. Liquid eyeliners can’t blend like gels, and they can’t replace other makeup products. However, liquid eyeliners perform well to create unique shapes or lines.

Liquid eyeliner serves one purpose, but it performs exceptionally well. 

Difficulty Level 

Is it difficult to use liquid eyeliner? Liquid eyeliner can be challenging at first for some beginners, but it quickly becomes an easy-to-use product with a little practice. So whether you’re a professional, an amateur, or a beginner, liquid eyeliner can work for you!

If you’re a beginner, try finding a liquid eyeliner with a felt tip. Felt tip eyeliners allow you to hold the eyeliner closer to the eyes and have complete control.

Liquid liners with a brush applicator have a handle further away from the eye and are harder to control. These features can indicate how beginner-friendly a liquid eyeliner will be.

While a gel is more forgiving, a liquid eyeliner will be just as easy to use after a few applications. 

Skin Type

Liquid liners can suit all skin types. Most people with oily skin types may fear that liquid eyeliner can run easily. 

However, it will depend on your skin prep. For example, investing in a high-quality eye primer or setting your eyelids with powder will prolong the wear time.

Liquid liners are great for dry to normal skin types that don’t want to apply a drying pencil or a thick gel to the eyes. 

Another thing to consider is the formula of your liquid eyeliner. For example, if you have oily skin, you can search for a liquid eyeliner to dry matte to avoid running or smudging.

Regardless of your skin type, you can find a liquid eyeliner that works for you. You can adjust your skin prep to accommodate your skin’s needs. 

Wear Time 

Liquid eyeliners are generally long-lasting. However, it will also depend on the formula. For example, your liquid eyeliner can be waterproof or smudge-proof, boosting its longevity.

Also, once the liner dries down, it’s unlikely that it will move unless it comes into contact with some form of moisture if it’s not a waterproof formula. 

Gel Eyeliner 

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Gel eyeliner has a creamy consistency, and it has a thicker formula than liquid eyeliner. 

Gel eyeliners are usually packaged in a pot, and you’ll need a separate brush to apply the product. Some brands do include a brush, and others don’t.

Gel eyeliners can be just as pigmented and precise as liquid liners; however, they are more forgiving. 

Also, gel eyeliners are more versatile because they’re blendable and serve multiple purposes. As a result, gel eyeliner is great for all skill levels.


Gel eyeliners are applied with a brush. You can either use a small detail brush to apply eyeliner or use the brush included with your eyeliner if your brand provided one. This allows you to scoop up as much eyeliner as you need with control.

Gel eyeliners should be creamy, glide on with ease, and set in place to avoid smudging. Gel eyeliners can be applied to the waterline, upper lash line, and lower lash line, and they aren’t as irritating as liquid eyeliners can sometimes be.

The brush you use to apply gel eyeliner will be up to your personal preference or desired outcome.


Gel eyeliners are also quite pigmented. They’re available in multiple shades like bright colors or intense neutrals. However, they may not be as pigmented as some liquid liners, but a gel liner’s pigmentation varies by cosmetic brand.

Because you apply gel eyeliner with a separate brush, you can adjust the intensity of your eyeliner.

For example, if you want a soft or diffused cat-eye, you can apply a small amount of product and lightly blend it into a soft finish. Or you can add more product to your brush and add a few layers of gel eyeliner if you want a bold graphic eye look.


Gel eyeliners are creamy and blendable, making them a versatile makeup product. You can use gel eyeliner as eyeshadow or base for eyeshadow, fill in brows, and create endless eyeliner looks. One pot of gel can replace several other makeup items.

Using gel eyeliner as an eyeshadow base will intensify any other colors you apply on top, providing a long-lasting finish. You won’t have to worry about fading because gels are blendable at first, but then they will set in place and become budge-proof.

Also, you can use multiple different brushes to create new eye looks with ease. 

Difficulty Level

Gel eyeliners are less intimidating to use than liquid eyeliners. They can be wiped away if you mess up without spreading the product around or causing raccoon eyes. It’s also an excellent product for all makeup enthusiasts.

Professional makeup artists, amateurs, and beginners will all love gel eyeliner or find a use for it. Gel eyeliners are fantastic for beginners because the formula is blendable, and you control how much product you want to apply at once.

Skin Type

Gel eyeliners will suit all skin types. 

However, this will also vary by brand. For example, some gel eyeliners may be drier in texture which can be great for oily skin but not for dry skin. Likewise, gel eyeliners can be creamy in texture and suit dry skin more than oily skin.

If you find that your gel eyeliner doesn’t stay in place due to oily skin, you can set it in place with an eyeshadow. Or, if you find your gel eyeliner is too dry, you can add a mixing medium to bring it back to life. 

Wear Time

Are gel eyeliners long-lasting? Yes, gel eyeliner will stay in place until it’s time to remove your makeup at the end of the day. Most gel eyeliners will claim to last anywhere between 10-24 hours. 

Because gel eyeliners can also be used as a base, they can prolong the wear time of your other eye makeup, like an eyeshadow. However, gel eyeliners can be challenging to remove from the eyes, so it’s best to use an oil-based cleanser or eye makeup remover.


Surprisingly enough, gel and liquid liners share many similarities. 

For example, they’re both long-lasting products that stay in place. So in most cases, you won’t have to worry about gel or liquid eyeliner smudging, moving, or fading away throughout your day.

Even though gel and liquid eyeliners have completely different textures, they are pigmented. Therefore, you can create an intense or bold eyeliner with either of these products. 

They both create precise lines and shapes, so you get a clean finish.


The most significant difference between gel and liquid eyeliner is their application techniques and textures. We know that liquid eyeliners have a thin and watery consistency, and gel eyeliners have a thick, cream-like texture.

Liquid eyeliners come with their own applicators, whether it’s a felt tip or a brush. Gel eyeliners can also come with a brush, but sometimes you will need to find your own eye brush if the brand doesn’t provide one.

Gel eyeliner is more versatile than liquid because it has a blendable texture. For example, a gel can create intense eyeliner looks, or you can use it as an eyeshadow base, replace eyeshadow altogether, or us it as a brow pomade.

Liquid liner is excellent for one purpose: creating bold and opaque eyeliner looks.

Can You Use Gel And Liquid Eyeliner Together?

Surprisingly enough, you can even use liquid eyeliner and gel eyeliner together. 

You can layer these two products together to intensify your eyeliner or add extra details. For example, you may find that liquid liner is great to create a wing while gel fills in gaps within the lash line.

Pairing these two products together is great for beginners. For example, you can lightly sketch out your eyeliner shape with gel since it’s more forgiving. Then, once you’re happy with your form, you can add the liquid on top for a crisp finish. 

How To Choose: Gel Or Liquid Eyeliner?

So which eyeliner is right for you? Gel or liquid? Both offer unique benefits and finishes. You can also consider your desired results, lifestyle, and eye shape and analyze your favorite makeup looks to help make your decision. 

Gel Eyeliner 

Gel eyeliner is terrific if you’re looking for a versatile makeup product. We mentioned earlier that gel eyeliner could replace or intensify other eye products. It can double as an eye primer, eyeshadow, brow pomade, and more.

Gels are more beginner-friendly, but they are still long-lasting, saturated, and opaque. If you mess up with gel liner, you can easily blend it out or wipe it away without the extra mess. It can be an excellent base for liquid eyeliner.

Liquid Eyeliner 

Liquid eyeliner is the ideal product to create bold, intense, or crisp eyeliner looks. Whether you want a classic wing shape or to try a graphic look, liquid liners offer precision and intensity.

Liquid eyeliners are long-lasting and pigmented. You can find liquid eyeliners that dry matte or dry with a shiny finish. If you’re a beginner interested in liquid eyeliner, try finding one with a felt tip, like this all-day liner from Maybelline.

The Takeaway 

Both liquid and gel eyeliner will make a wonderful addition to any makeup bag. They are both fantastic for creating precise, detailed, and pigmented eyeliner looks. They’re long-lasting and suitable for all skin types. 

What sets them apart is their texture, application method, and versatility. However, you can also pair or layer gel and liquid eyeliners together to intensify or prolong your eyeliner. You can find gel and liquid liners in a wide range of shades. 

No matter which eyeliner you choose, you’re bound to accentuate your eyes effortlessly. Which eyeliner are you trying next? 

Up Next: Eyeliner On Top And Bottom – Do You Need Both?

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