model with brown hair winking wearing gel eyeliner

Intense colour impact? Check. Easy and smooth application? Check. Guaranteed to create a fierce cat eye? Check. Ah, gel eyeliner – you really the mega-babe in our makeup kit. If you’re yet to discover the versatility and amazingness of our ultimate bff, then these steps will help you apply gel eyeliner like a pro. Trust us, it will be love at first line…

model with brown hair winking wearing gel eyeliner

How to apply gel eyeliner

Step 1: Start with a blank canvas

Before you dive straight in, make sure you're starting with a clean and clear base. Use eye makeup remover across the eyelids before you begin - even if you don't have makeup on - this process will also pick up any excess oil too. And if you want your eyeliner to hold (say if you’re heading to a party) then add a touch of primer too.

Step 2: Coat your brush

A flat angled brush is perfect for precisely applying gel eyeliner (we're talking about the type that comes in a little pot), although you might want to mix up your brush depending on the desired effect. A wider, more textured brush if better for blending out your liner for a smokey eye look whereas a thin brush is better for precise lines.

Coat your chosen brush in gel eyeliner and do a couple of practice lines on the back of your hand to get rid of any excess product.

Step 3: Draw the line

For a classic winged look, start drawing your line from the middle of the lash line towards the outer eye, finishing with a light flick. Next, draw a line from the inner eye towards the middle, completing the line. If you have hooded eyes, try pulling the lid gently at the edges for help drawing the perfect line.

Step 4: Build it up

If you want added drama, a great thing about gel eyeliner is that it’s buildable. So once you’ve applied it once, you can go back and add more layers. If you want to go for a smokey eye, take a slightly bigger brush and smudge, smudge, smudge!

Step 5: … And repeat

Repeat the process on the other eye to complete the look and make sure to spot-check as you draw the line to keep them as symmetrical as possible.

What makes gel eyeliners different?

Gel eyeliners revolutionised the eye makeup game because they are in a word – versatile! From smouldering smokey eyes to edgy cut crease looks, this product is a firm favourite for good reason. And don’t get us wrong, we still have a place in our heart for kohl and liquid eyeliner (and every beauty lover will have their personal fav!) but if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all product then gel is the way to go. Experiment with all three types of eyeliner to discover which one will work for the look you have in mind.

flat lay of different types of eyeliners
Maybelline Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner 01 Black £8.99 Buy Now
Revolution Pro Revolution Pro Supreme Pigment Gel Eyeliner Purple £3.00 Buy Now

3 tips for gel eyeliner #goals

1) If you’re not as confident with a brush, simply line your eye with a kohl pencil and then trace with gel eyeliner – this way you are able to practice getting that perfect line!

2) Try a few brushes to find out which one you feel most comfortable with - everyone has their own sworn-fav!

3) If you’ve recently finished your liquid liner, don’t throw away the brush – this can be reused! Clean all the product off first and then it’s ready to roll.