I resisted gel eyeliner for a long time. And by "long" I mean "for the last year since I started paying attention to makeup again." Eyeliner was one of the first beauty products I ever used, though, and the tried-and-true pencil liner was one of my few makeup essentials back in middle school when I was first allowed to wear makeup. I distinctly remember my mom showing me how to stretch out my lid to apply it smoothly (I wince inwardly every time I think about it now) and many failed attempts resulting in a distinctive line of skin between my lash line and the liner before I learned how to use the pencil correctly.
Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that I've stuck mostly to pencil liners (primarily Urban Decay's 24/7 line, though I've also tried Pixi and one terrible, TERRIBLE Sephora-brand pencil) for the last year. I love the way liner looks when paired with mascara and eyeshadow, and have finally branched out beyond brown and black into purples, greens, and blues. There are a LOT of pencil liners in my collection these days.
I kept hearing about Bobbi Brown's gel liner, though, and given that I already had several good angled liner brushes that had come with various brush sets I'd purchased (the Sigma angled brush is my favorite for gel liner, by the way) I decided to take the plunge. I stuck with basic black--the Caviar Ink shade--for my first gel liner, and held my breath as I dipped the brush into the little pot for the first time.
First, the gel liner is very, very dense. It's the perfect consistency for someone who really doesn't know how hard to press the brush into the pot, since it's neither too hard nor too soft to know that you've got a good amount of product on the bristles. Without a fairly stiff brush this might not be the case, which is why I'm a fan of the Sigma.
Now to the stabbing part. See, I'm not terribly coordinated. My mother actually confessed during a recent visit that she probably should have put me in occupational therapy as a child because I was clumsy and uncoordinated to the point of NEEDING therapy. No joke. So it's not like I wasn't halfway expecting to skewer my eyeball with the brush, but I was still surprised when I did it. Let it be known that as great a product as Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Gel Eyeliner is, it is NOT fun to get it in your eye.
Once I'd removed the gel from my eye, however, I found that I loved using it. It's far easier to get a really precise line from the gel liner plus brush than it is when using a pencil, and there's no stopping to sharpen a pencil (thereby losing a fair amount of product in the process) mid-application, which I appreciate.
Ultimately I'm very happy with this purchase, and will likely be trying out several other colors of gel liner once I use up some of my pencil stash.