These Creamy Gel Eyeliners Will Make Doing Your Makeup So Much Easier


Softer than a pencil, less stressful than a liquid, gel eyeliners provide a happy middle ground for makeup novices and professionals alike. Gel eyeliners tend to be greasier than their pencil and liquid cousins — that’s what makes them so easy to work with — but the best gel eyeliners won’t smear or fade after they set, nor will they flake off when they’re dry. So your meticulously crafted cat-eye getting smudged beyond recognition is one less thing for you to stress about.

That said, if you have oily or hooded lids — or if you’re just very concerned about the health and wellbeing of that cat-eye — it’s a good idea to use an eye primer first, which will keep the gel from transferring to your upper eyelid. Even better: Apply a line with a waterproof eye pencil first, then trace over it with your gel liner of choice. That first line of defense will protect that softer formula from oil, tears, sweat, rain, or anything else that threatens to mess up your work.

Ahead, you'll find five of the best gel eyeliners you can get on Amazon, whether you're looking for a pencil, a pot, or something with a bit of shimmer. Scroll on to shop them now.

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The Overall Best Gel Eyeliner

This Maybelline gel liner is the first gel eyeliner I ever used as a little emo teen, and it’s still the product I gravitate toward when I want to create a (more subdued) cat eye. The pigment glides on smoothly, but once it sets it doesn’t smudge. It can occasionally fade a little bit over the course of the day or night, but much less so than other similarly priced gel eyeliners. I’ve also found it to be a pretty good dupe for Bobbi Brown’s cult-favorite Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and it’s about a third of the price. It's sold in three colors — black, charcoal, and brown — and even comes with a handy brush.


Another Top-Rated Gel Eyeliner

Right after the Maybelline gel liner, this L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lacquer Eyeliner is the most-loved gel eyeliner pot on Amazon. Reviewers give it high marks for its creamy, easily workable formula and intense, fade-resistant pigment. One reviewer, who called it their “holy grail” eyeliner, said their thick wing stayed on even after sleeping in it, and people with hooded and oily lids confirm that it doesn’t transfer. I like it for its slightly glossy finish, which feels a little more special than the usual matte.


The Gel Eyeliner With The Smartest Design

This TONYMOLY gel eyeliner has a lot going for it. It stays nice and creamy, so it won't dry out over time, it glides on incredibly smoothly, and it lasts for hours without budging (one reviewer said it even stayed on overnight). But I really love this gel liner pot for its unique packaging: The liner brush snaps right into the top, so it’s both travel-friendly and it won’t get lost in the sea of random brushes amassed at the bottom of your makeup bag.

“This is hands down the best I have ever used in the 20 plus years I’ve worn makeup,” one fan reported. “This goes on smooth, lasts all day long, and is somewhat waterproof." Another reviewer called it, "truly smudge proof."


The Best Gel Eyeliner Pencils

Don’t have the time, the patience, or the dexterity for the pot-and-brush situation? That's fine! Try these Physicians Formula gel liner pencils instead, which deliver all the creaminess of a potted gel liner with the easy application of a pencil. The formula is spiked with vitamin E to nourish your lash roots, and like all Physicians Formula products, it’s hypoallergenic and safe for people with sensitive skin. Plus, you’re getting three liners (one shimmery, one satin, and one matte) for the same price as either the Maybelline or L’Oreal pots. You can also get this bundle in brown on Amazon.


Another Gel Liner Pencil You Might Like

Also worth your consideration: This Neutrogena Intense Gel Eyeliner. After you apply it, you have about 30 seconds to blend before it dries for good (according to one reviewer, it’s cry-proof. Useful!). Some reviewers say the tip of the twist-off pencil occasionally breaks off, so use a light touch with this one — but a light touch is really all you need to apply this super soft eye pencil. Along with Dark Brown, you can get this gel pencil in Jet Black and Smokey Gray.