I own three Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliners. I suppose you can probably already tell that I like them.
The Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is packaged like the popular Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, with a black plastic cap on a thick glass jar. Despite having the extra packaging weigh down the jar, the glass gives the drugstore eyeliner a classier feel. I actually bought the Maybelline gel eyeliner way before I had ever seen a Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, so I had no idea that the Maybelline eyeliner mimicked the Bobbi Brown packaging. To me, the Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliner was a very sophisticated drugstore find, indeed.
The Bobbi Brown jar is actually slightly bigger and has thicker glass than the Maybelline. The Maybelline gel eyeliner has 0.103 oz (3 g) of product, a negligible amount more than the 0.1 oz (3 g) of product in the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner. I bought the Maybelline gel eyeliners on sale for $9.99 CAD shortly after they were first released; I believe they’re usually about $13.99 CAD. I bought the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner at the Holt Renfrew counter for $25 CAD; the price is now $27 CAD at Sephora (sigh, inflation).
Each Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliner comes with an eyeliner brush, which I thought was a wonderful idea. This was the first gel liner I had ever owned and I did not yet have any eyeliner brushes. Half the reason I was drawn to this product was because it included a free brush. As a first time gel eyeliner user, I did not want to invest in a brush that I didn’t know how to use yet. Even a Sephora brand eyeliner brush would have cost about twice as much as the Maybelline gel eyeliner itself.
The brush included with the Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliner is still my go-to brush for applying gel and cream liners. After the many uses you can see that some of the bristles on the side of my brushes are fraying, but that doesn’t bother me at all because they’re short enough not to interfere with application – they don’t pick up product or touch my lids.
The bristles are relatively firm to allow control but not scratchy on the lids at all. The brush is tapered to draw a thin line if desired. Because of its small size, I wasn’t afraid of applying too much liner at a time. I think that this brush was perfect for me as a beginner because I could apply product a bit at a time and be able to draw the curved outline around my eyes much easier. With an angled eyeliner brush, I always applied straight lines that didn’t follow the curve of my eye, and the flexibility of the angled eyeliner brush meant that I had to have a very steady hand. I am better with angled eyeliner brushes now, but I still prefer using small brushes shaped like the Maybelline eyeliner brush.
I own the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Eggplant, Charcoal, and Forest.
I believe Forest must have been a limited edition shade or one that was not released in Canada. I had never seen it on the Maybelline website and have only ever seen it in one drugstore (across several cities, too). I snatched it at full price partly because I lust after limited quantity items, but mostly because deep green called to me.
Eggplant, Charcoal, and Forest are all shimmery shades. You can see tiny sparkles if you rotate the eyeliners under the light, but upon application no sparkles are visible. There aren’t any large pieces of glitter, but the finish is definitely not matte. I believe that the other two shades, Blackest Black and Brown, would be matte liners but I have not tried those.
Eggplant is a plum colour with tiny red and white sparkles. This is the least pigmented shade I own, but colour can be built up quite nicely. I love wearing this on its own as a soft pop of colour.
Charcoal is a dark slate grey with tiny sparkles in red, white, and green. This was the first Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliner I bought and it had actually been a mistake – I thought it was Black. I didn’t realize my mistake until after I had opened it, but I’m glad that I had grabbed Charcoal instead. Charcoal gives a much more forgiving eye look that I was more comfortable with as a first-time gel liner user. And of course, any mistakes would have been easier to fix, too.
Forest is a rich deep green that looks almost as dark as Charcoal. It has tiny green and white sparkles. I think that the forest green really makes my brown eyes stand out. (Maybelline, you seriously need to think about putting this back on the shelf. And maybe add a navy. I’d also like a bright pink. I mean, you have 14 shades of Color Tattoo Cream Shadows to date, and only 4 Gel Eyeliner shades available! How about making dupes of all the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner shades?)
Below are some pictures of Eggplant on my eyes in different lighting. I’m not wearing any other products on my face (no eyeshadow primer either) other than concealer under my eyes.
In comparison with some higher-end gel eyeliners, the application of the Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliners are a little more difficult to work with. The formula is a not as creamy as Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners or MAC Fluidlines. If you can tell from the close-up picture of Charcoal, you do have to work your brush in a little to pick up product, but I actually prefer this because I always tend to pick up too much of the creamy liners and end up wasting the excess.
The pigmentation is a little sheer but as you saw from the swatches, colour can easily be built up. Although this might not be an accurate statement because even my MAC Fluidline in Added Goodness (a warm mauve-y taupe-y brown) requires me to go over it to build up colour. I think any coloured gel eyeliner would be less pigmented than black gel eyeliners.
Although the formula isn’t very creamy, I think that this actually enhances the staying power of the Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliners. It definitely doesn’t stay on me for the 24 hours that it’s advertised to, but I can wear it all day without worrying too much about transfer or smudging. It smudges in the corners of my eyes after a few hours, but I have to say that all liners do that on me, regardless of brand or formulation (pencil, cream, gel, liquid) because my eyelids apparently have a vendetta against my love for eye makeup. I don’t find that the staying power is significantly outperformed by higher-end brands.
All in all, I think that the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliners are a fantastic drugstore buy, especially for those just starting to use gel or cream eyeliners. At about $10 CAD, it’s hard to find a gel eyeliner that performs well, not to mention getting a free brush to go with it. I only wish they would come out with more colours!
Have you ever tried the Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliners? What’s your go-to gel eyeliner?