High End vs Drugstore| Gel Eyeliner Put To The Test!

I dont know about you, but personally, the only liner for my lids is in a gel form. The ability to thin and thicken the line as you please, the thicker, matter formula and the little pot and brush combo is a winner! 

But with the more recent growth of such liners into the more budget friendly market, poses the question: Is there really a reason luxury cosmetic companies came up with this first, or have the drug store brands been able to nail it?

I've done a comparison between 'Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black' and 'MAC Fluidline in Dipdown'


The MAC comes in their usual little glass jars with the black matte twist lid, can be quite heavy.

Maybelline do a similar style - but the jar is frosted and the lid is a metal twist cap, a really nice, modern packaging from a drugstore brand. The lid is fairly easy to bed and squash however.

Colour Intensity

I didn't compare MAC Blacktrack which is Black with the Maybelline Black because I don't think there is really any colour difference between blacks, so to test the intensity I went with the colours I have!
Left: Maybelline Right: MAC
Both are matte liners, which is good, and are very pigmented. MAC is a deep brown but not a black-brown so the colour intensity is nice and rich without being shimmery. Maybelline is a definite black and does not give any blue or grey tones in its swatch which is rare to find with black cosmetics.

The colour of both is intense on first swipe of the lid an does not require repeated lines. MAC gives a deeper brown colour the more that is applied but that is most likely because it is brown rather than black.


Maybelline applies like a dream... Its rich formula allows it to glide on the skin without slip giving precision to a cat eye.

It comes with the brush (above) which is actually really handy to apply this (TIP: use a synthetic brush, not a natural brush, to apply liners for better application) so a definite plus for the Maybelline brush :)

MAC also applies well, has more slip to it and is a thinner formula, which means it doesn't dry out as quick as Maybelline/Bobbi Brown ones so lasting of a jar is definitely longer than Maybelline. This one actually applies well with a natural brush, I use MAC's 209 brush (right) and the length of the brush and tapered point allows for a better stroke.

Funnily enough, I don't like to use this brush with the Maybelline, I think the thickness of the formula means the brush doesn't move as well with it.


This is where MAC lets me down. I find with oilier lids, it dissolves and slides MUCH quicker and after about 4-5 hours of wear any sign of cat eye has gone, as has liner from the inside corner of the eye. 

It transfers to the crease which is a MAJOR irritation for me, but being brown means it isn't as obvious and can be rubbed away easily. 

Maybelline does it far better job! It lasts all day and doesn't slide on my lids and I put that down to its thicker formula being able to hold on. Cat eye flicks last all day until I rub them away although they do slightly smudge, but overall a much better lasting power than MAC.

Cost & Shade Range

MAC Fluidlines are available from MAC for £14 and a pot will last well over a year at least even if used daily (for me anyway). 

Comes in a 3g jar and available in a great range of colours, Blacktrack (Black), Dipdown (Deep Brown), Rich Ground (Reddened Coco with Frost) - acts as a nice shadow base as well)  Waveline (Navy Blue), MacroViolet (Violet) and often other colours come out during collections throughout the year.

Maybelline is available in Boots and Superdrug for I think £6.99. It comes in a smaller jar but also has a brush so definitely worth its money. However, colour range is limited - I wish they did a brown but it's only Blackest Black and a Navy available at this moment.


Maybelline wins for me - lasting power is far better for my lids and the brush works very well with it. Maybe MAC's colour range needs to meet Maybelline's longevity formula? Here's hoping...

'The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.'


  1. I agree Mayballine wins =D

    I prefer it over my Bobbi Borwn Gel liner too =D
    Great post xx

    1. Thanks doll! Love reading yours too so its lovely to hear from you :)



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