Review: Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Gel eyeliner is a gateway drug. It’s the perfect transition from wobbly, “what-the-fuck-am-I-doing” pencil liner to the smooth, crisp lines you usually associated with liquid liner. In comparison to liquid eyeliner, gel products are more forgiving and maneuverable. Maybelline gel liners are the perfect item to push wafflers over the makeup addict edge.

I have three colors: Blackest Black, Espresso, and Charcoal.

These gel eyeliners do come with brushes, and the brushes definitely aren’t the worst thing in the world. They’re neither too stiff nor too flexible, meaning that they are relatively easy to use. Their narrow, paddle-like shape is definitely different from a conventional eyeliner brush, but it doesn’t impede use. I strongly suspect that many will prefer to use a traditional brush, regardless.

The texture of the product is very creamy, making it easy to use. If they are properly stored (upside down with a tight cap), there shouldn’t be any substantial problems with them drying out or clumping.

Charcoal is a shimmery slate.

Espresso is an aptly named coffee bean brown.

Blackest black is… a pretty black.

All three colors are intensely pigmented.

Swatches from left to right: Charcoal, Espresso, Blackest Black

I’ve tried a few other drugstore gel eyeliners. In comparison to Maybelline, all of them feel cheap, dry, thin, and insufficiently dark. (As a side note, I have to direct some serious eyerolls to anyone who recommends the ELF gel eyeliner as an alternative. Worst. Product. Ever.)

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Charcoal on Human Face

The Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliners retail for $9.99 for 0.11oz, or $90.82 per ounce. This is pretty expensive for a drugstore product, but I definitely think the price is warranted given the quality of the product. For comparison, MAC Fluidline Gel Liner retails for $16 for 0.1oz, or $160 per ounce.

1. I’m thankful for your blog! Happy Thanksgivnukkah!

2. To you as well!

3. That is indeed an amazing eyeliner! And it doesn’t dry it. I’ve had mine for over a year now and it’s still going strong. And I think there’s enough product in there that would last me a lifetime.

4. After a lifetime, it would probably dry out. 😉 They last well, though!

5. Can you please do a Beauty Bullshit post on micellar water? For example, Dr. Brandt’s Xtend Your Youth Dual Fusion Water. Basically, little particles will break down impurities in the skin, so glorified soap?

6. I actually talked about this briefly in my “How Does It Work: Soap” post!

7. I almost bought the elf gel eyeliner today to try. Glad I read this. Now I will skip it.

8. I would definitely avoid it.

9. As far as quality goes, I find ELF to be seriously lacking, and it’s often not much cheaper than drugstore brands which are much more consistent in quality (woohoo Wet N’ Wild!)
Maybelline was also the first and only gel liner I bought, glad to see I lucked out.

10. I’ve never tried the gel liner, but I love ELF liquid liner. Easy to apply, nice pigmentation and, unless I actually rub my eyes, it stays all day.

11. ELF has a couple of nice products, but there is just so much crap that it’s hard to weed through it to find the stuff that’s worth even their low price tags…

12. Your makeup and skin look amazing here! This is such a great look for you. 🙂

13. Thank you!

14. Wow, I was about to give up on these after I bought this in the plum color. It was a horrible product: non-existent pigmentation, patchy, not very plummy. The brown and black look like they would be worth it though!

15. I haven’t tried the eggplant one, but I’ve used the Forest and the Sapphire and they were both comparatively crappy.

16. This is my go-to gel eyeliner (in Espresso)! I think I wear it almost every day and it never smudges or fades away. I got rid of the brush that comes with it pretty quickly, though; I was surprised how much cleaner my lines were when I switched to a slanted eyeliner brush instead. 🙂

17. I’m one of the only people that doesn’t like slanted eyeliner brushes!

18. Love your blog! Definitely my favorite along with intothegloss. I’ve tried the ELF and Wet ‘n’ Wild liners, looks like this one might be the last drugstore product I try before I just give up and get the MAC one.

19. Let me know what you think when you try it!

20. This is my favorite eyeliner! And its so true what you say, its the gateway. It’s what turned me from casually interested in makeup, to obsessed. I love it! I was a bit apprehensive to read your review cause I thought oh no what if she brings up something that I never noticed about it…but you love it to! so now I know I have good taste. Ha!

21. Right now at these are on sale for $5.99 each (40% off) PLUS BOGO50%. Then add their standard coupon code for $3.50 off a $10 purchase and your grand total is $AWESOME.

22. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the ELF gel liner sucks. Mine dried out the second day after I bought it! I usually use Sephora gel liner but I will have to try the Maybelline sometime!

23. I purchased this in the brown because this product was recommended on here. I haven’t used eyeliner since I was a teenager, and back then it was a pencil liner and I was terrible at it. I put this on (after watching a couple of videos) and it looked great and wore fabulously.
Reading this blog makes me want to actually do my makeup like a grown-up.

24. Try Essence or Physicians formula. Physicians formula is especially good if you have sensitive eyes like me! You also get three colors for around $13 and they’re customized to your eye color. As far as the elf liner goes, I think the packaging is more of a problem than the liner itself as it allows the product to dry up.

25. I’ve seen a review that the Maybelline studio gel liner is blacker than MAC backtrack