Sunday, 9 June 2013

Gel Eyeliner Showdown: Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner Vs. L'Oreal Super Liner Gel Intenza

The showdown: two glass-jar-dwelling gel liners that claim long wear and water resistance.

Illamasqua's Precision Gel Liner is the first gel liner from the brand, and sits alongside it's Precision Ink liquid liners (which are excellent) and Medium Pencils in the liner range. It's newly released with the Paranormal collection and has earned blogger raves. My expectations of it were high. So was the price (£18).
Shade: Infinity, a pure black.

L'Oreal Super Liner Gel Intenza is a drugstore gel liner that claims 24 hour wear. It comes with a surprisingly adequate little brush. It costs £9.99. I'm afraid I don't know a lot about the universe of L'Oreal liners available, having only just started buying the brand again following the EU cosmetic testing ban deadline in March. But this is the only gel liner I saw in their stand in Superdrug.
Shade: Black Gold (I picked up the wrong colour, intending to get pure black)

Illamasqua's offering comes in a little box with their standard branding, while L'Oreal arrives in a larger gold-toned box which also contains the little brush. Both jars are made of chunky glass and have plastic lids. Illamasqua's lid has subtle branding, which is a nice touch. Neither has a seal to mitigate the drying-out risk that haunts all gel liners, and this seems an oversight.

Winner: L'Oreal (for inclusion of brush)

Those who are volume-conscious should note that Illamasqua gives you 5g of product, L'Oreal just 2.8g.
Illamasqua: £3.60 per gram
L'Oreal: £3.57 per gram

Winner: L'Oreal, by a whisker!

Pigmentation and consistency
Both liners have a very creamy, smooth consistency. L'Oreal (on the right, below) is thicker and definitely more pigmented than Illamasqua. As the swatches show, Illamasqua's pigment seems to slide out of place and doesn't really apply opaque, which I was surprised by, given the brand's usual exacting standards. L'Oreal does better, but there is infinitesimal dragging, which I guess is the trade-off for the higher pigment level.

Winner: L'Oreal. Pigment is very important.

 L-R, Illamasqua, L'Oreal

Now we come to the crunch. I applied the liners one on each eye, with no base or eyeshadow, using a single stroke for each, and applying with the same angle brush. Left is the Illamasqua (note the pigment-gap, which was there from the start and is due to the formula being none-too-opaque, and not due to wear), right is the L'Oreal. Both eyes also have mascara - Clinique High Impact. I waited until 9pm when the natural light started to fade before taking the after shots.

11am - newly applied

9pm - after a day's wear

As you can see, both eyes have totally lost the rather silly elongated flicks, which I seem to have rubbed off. Colour has also been lost from the inner corner. It's a typical pattern of wear for eyeliner, reflecting the fact that the inner corner is more tear-prone and the liner is not protected from the eye's moisture by as many eyelashes. The L'Oreal has transferred a little to the browbone. The Illamasqua hasn't, which is good, but the inner corner seems to have worn off in a patchy, flaky sort of way, while the L'Oreal has worn more evenly.

Neither has achieved anything like exceptional wear, unfortunately. I'd say a MAC Fluidline would perform similarly, and those have no long-wear claims at all.

Winner: a tie

Overall winner: L'Oreal 
Overall loser: me, for dropping the best part of £30 on eyeliner. Ah well. I have no regrets.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.


  1. I think they are both great liners. I will def try any of them. They are easy to use and seem to enhance the look of the eyes.

  2. Can't wait to try the L'Oreal! Great review.


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