I’ve always envied the ladies who can pull off such stunning cat’s eye looks. (Sarah Jessica Parker does it flawlessly!) A perfectly executed cat’s eye is a sight to behold. It is elegant and feminine. Very old Hollywood. My last attempt was somewhat botched, so I skipped the liner and it became a mild smoky eye instead. Clearly, I need more practice.
For the sake of getting the look down pat and also because I wanted to add to my collection of liners, I started to consider investing in a pot of gel eyeliner. I didn’t want to overspend, so I did my full-on research. Fact: Did you know that, with a budget of PHP250 – PHP 350, you can go to SM Department store and take your pick from 3 brands of gel eyeliner? There’s Fanny Serrano (methinks around PHP 299), ELF (PHP 249), or Essence (PHP 229).
I went to SM Makati to check out the new Essence counter and to test their top-rated gel liner. There were only 2 colors to choose from, whereas Essence in other countries has more available shades. The locally available colors: Midnight in Paris (matte black) and Miami’s Ink (shimmering steel gray). Upon swatching both colors, it was easy to see that gray was not the shade for me. It had a teenage playfulness to it, while I was definitely set on luxurious and elegant. Midnight in Paris it is! After a few minutes, I started to rub at my swatched hand to test for smudging. I’m happy to report that there was hardly any.
Brush sold separately
Unfortunately, the brush is not included with the pot, so you have to buy it separately for PHP 109. I decided to go for it, since it’s a one-time buy anyway. Said brush is of a good quality. It has synthetic purple hairs/fibers cut asymmetrically, and those hairs are firm enough to deposit the bold color in a thin, straight line, but soft enough not to hurt or irritate the eyelids.
No sooner had I bought it than I already gave it a comprehensive test drive. That very evening, I was to attend an outdoor event. Being subject to wind, sweat, oil, and heat seemed like the perfect (if extreme) trial environment.
I had no trouble with application, since I’m used to employing steady hands for liquid liners. Little mistakes could be rubbed away while the gel hasn’t completely dried but it takes a whole lot of rubbing, so try to get it right the first time. The liner survived the evening well, except for slight smudging on the inner corners of my eyes where the lashline meets the eyelid fold. (It’s not noticeable at all when my eyes are open.) I’d chalk it up to oily lids.
Finished product. I lightened the deep black liner by dusting a layer of eyeshadow over it
That same weekend, I got to wear the gel liner for a whopping 15 hours straight for two gatherings in one day. The results were similar to that of the first time I tried it. Halfway through my long day, I went to the restroom for a touch-up and rubbed the light smudging away with damp fingers. Then I dabbed on some eyeshadow. Good as new.
The hardest part is the removal, since the eyeliner rests directly on the lashline. I had to use 2 cotton balls soaked in Maybelline makeup remover for each eye. That aside, I’m very happy with the PHP 229 I spent on this item (and the PHP 109 on the brush). It’s cheap and requires minimal maintenance. Oily lids require an extra layer of powder or shadow, but I don’t mind. It’s top-value for money, so you can expect me to do more shopping from Essence in the future.