If you want to test gel liners, I recommend going to department stores. Gel liners in particular can dry out especially with people opening them and recapping them improperly all day long. The testers I tried at Sephora were not very representative of the actual liners because they were so dry. For some reason, department stores seem to keep gel liners better.
Here's my hand full of swatches. I walked around the mall like that!
The top row is YSL Effet Faux Cils Cream Eyeliner (reviewed here).
The second and third row are Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners
The bottom row is Lancome Liner Design Long Wear Gel Liner (swatches here).
But of course you can't really see anything right now, so clearer pictures are below.
I didn't swatch every color from those product lines. As you can see there are no blacks. I swatched the colors that I was open to buying. So I left off dark browns, blacks, really bright colors, etc.
Without further ado!...
YSL in different lighting:
See the pink shimmer in the purple?
Left to Right, YSL:
Cherry Black / Black Burgundy 05
Bronze Black / Black Bronze 03
Sea Black / Black Blue 04
Jade Black / Black Green 06
Ashy Black / Black Grey 02
Not sure why they have two names. But if you see both names floating around on review blogs, they're talking about the same color.
Cherry Black is a really dark purple shimmer with reddish pink sparkles.
Bronze Black is an olive-y shimmer. In some lightings, it is much less yellow than in these pictures.
Sea Black is a darkened bold blue shimmer
Jade Black is a beautiful shimmery, sparkly emerald. It's really eye-catching in person.
Ashy Black is a grey, dark taupe kind of deal with multicolored sparkles. It's similar but less spectacular than Black Mauve Shimmer Ink from Bobbi Brown which is further down this post.
The YSL shimmer and glitter particulars are very very fine compared with the Bobbi Brown liners which are swatched further down. YSL is also very opaque and pigmented. They seemed very smooth and creamy in the pot.
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner, in different lighting:
Left to Right, Bobbi Brown:
Forest Shimmer Ink
Black Mauve Shimmer Ink
I was trying to capture the intense sparkles. Especially in the 2nd and 3rd from the left.
Denim Ink - Blue with black base and large sparkles. This one applied less evenly than the others. Comparing this to Cobalt Ink, I think Cobalt Ink is a darker blue with much less shimmer and sparkle (almost matte).
Forest Shimmer Ink - The most glittery of them all. It has a yellow-green tint and yellow-green sparkles.
Black Mauve Shimmer Ink - On the eyes, it pulls quite grey. There is the slight hint of mauve/purple, and then you have your multicolored, cooler-toned shimmer-sparkles. It's very pretty. On the eye, the reflective particles looked dulled down and it was much more grey-dominant.
Violet Ink - Deeper purple with shimmer sheen. This is a tad lighter and less complex than the YSL Cherry Black (which had dark pink sparkles if you recall).
Sepia Ink - Matte dark brown with a greyish, taupey tint. This is the lightest of the various shades of brown, such as Espresso Ink and Caviar Ink. Still, it is not that distinguishable from black, especially to the average passerby. However, I can see that it would be very office appropriate. And it might be very good to pair with eyeshadow, because it's not as striking as black and easily matches whatever shade of eyeshadow you're wearing.
You can tell that some of the sparkle particles in these Bobbi Brown liners are larger than those of the YSL liners. Bobbi Brown gel liners have a thicker, more stiff consistency compared to other gel liners, although it still applies easily and with full opacity. I find that the Bobbi Brown shimmers are slightly more smooth than the mattes, but they look equally good when applied.
Two more Bobbi Browns:
Left to Right, Bobbi Brown:
Ivy Shimmer Ink
Left to Right:
Smashbox Jet Set in Vamp
MAC Fluidline in Dark Diversion
Bobbi Brown in Espresso Ink
Bobbi Brown in Ivy Shimmer Ink
Espresso Ink is completely matte. If you noticed the stray sparkles in the first picture, they were floaters from another eyeliner. Espresso Ink is dark dark blackened brown.
Ivy Shimmer Ink is a very shimmery green-dominant teal. This shade is very eye-catching, but it is not bright flourescent but rather slightly washed out. It's a pretty classy, interesting color. It has a black base.
Just for kicks and comparisons, I came home and swatched my own gel eyeliners. The leftmost swatch is Smashbox Jet Set in Vamp, which I have already reviewed. It is not as pigmented compared to the other superstars swatched here. But it literally will never flake - the formula is just that way. So Jet Set is easy to touch up. The next one over is MAC Fluidline in Dark Diversion, which is sort of deep wine-esque. Fluidline pigmentation is between Smashbox and YSL/Bobbi Brown. Usually one layer won't quite do it. But it's very smooth and almost inky and thus layerable. I will do a thorough review of this one later (here it is!).
My thoughts on the colors: I ended up purchasing the YSL Cherry Black (dark purple) and also a Tarte in bronze which I also swatched that day. YSL Cherry Black was pretty similar to BB Violet Ink, but YSL was blacker. In fact, YSL is so black it is practically redundant with my black liner. But it had that pink glean, whereas Violet Ink is straight up purple. I like unique colors so I decided to forego the "you can tell this color is purple", and just bought the color that looks unique under bright lights but looks black in every other occasion. I don't know how that computes in my head.
I was actually going to purchase BB Black Mauve Shimmer Ink, but I tried it on and goodness, something about grey looks very off on me. I have never ever been able to pull off grey and I do not know why. I was also really drawn to YSL Jade Black. My sister said I could never pull it off. I'm not one for really bright colors and sparkly glitter, but that color is so great!
Sephora carries YSL and Bobbi Brown, but be aware that Sephora doesn't have the full range of gel liner colors.
For example, you can't get YSL Jade Black or Bobbi Brown Sepia Ink from Sephora.
Nordstrom and other department stores should have the full lines. Nordstrom Bobbi Brown $23. Nordstrom YSL $25. Just make sure they're not out of stock at your department store. Prices are the same whether you go to Sephora or department stores.
Hope you liked the pictures. Subscribe to RSS, Bloglovin, etc.. And comment below on your favorite of the bunch!