Q: Is a gel liner more durable and less likely to smudge than regular eye pencil?
A: “Gel formulas are not only much longer wearing than pencil, they are more richly pigmented, and the softer texture makes them easier to blend on,” says makeup artist Kristofer Buckle, who uses gel liners to create a smoky, dramatic effect on clients like Christina Aguilera. And gels that are silicone-based, such as Make Up For Ever Aqua Creamliner and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, are water- and sweat-resistant as well. “Even during long, hot days on the set, it doesn’t budge for up to fifteen hours,” adds Buckle, who uses a small, firm, synthetic-bristled brush for precise lining. A pencil is still easier to apply, of course, but it can’t do sharp lines or blend like gel can. So just practice in the mirror a few times before trying it out in public.