Friday, December 20, 2013

Gel Liner Comparison: MAC vs Bobbi Brown

Hey Lovelies, 

As by now you probably have all noticed, my signature make-up look is a nude eye with a winged liner. I've been wearing this look with slight changes for years now, I love how classy it looks and you can spice it up with any bold lipstick. For creating your winged liner, you could use several products: gel liner, liquid liner or an eye pencil. The sharpest and most dramatic result is achieved with liquid or gel products. I personally prefer a gel liner, I've been using MAC Blacktrack for years now and I really like it. I apply it either with an angled brush (MAC 263 or 266) or a very fine brush with a pointed tip (Louise Young LY23). 
  Since I'm very low on my MAC gel liner, I decided to purchase the Bobbi Brown one, so I can finally compare them. I've read some really great reviews on the Bobbi one and I was always curious about it. Since both brands are owned by the same company (Estee Lauder), I expected them to be rather similar.

Here is the packaging:

Bobbi Brown Black Ink and MAC Blacktrack

Both brands give you the same amount of product (3 grams) but the Bobbi Brown one is more expensive (BB 23 USD vs. MAC 16 USD). Texturewise, I find that Blacktrack is a bit softer, more creamy but both of them glide on really nicely. I can detect a slight difference between them in undertones: 

When compared to each other, Black Ink looks more like a black with a colder, bluish undertone, while Blacktrack looks like a warmer, slightly brown based black. Here is how they swatch on my hand: 

Black Ink on the left, Blacktrack on the right

As you can see, the difference between them is minimal, Blacktrack is slightly more satiny, while Black Ink is a bit more opaque and rich. Of course, in action, these differences are barely noticeable, and overall both gel liners will work amazing.

Here is how they applied on my eyes: 

On the left: Blacktrack, on the right: Black Ink

As you can see, both liners created an opaque and pigmented color. Blacktrack is a bit richer, while Black Ink is a bit more matte. They both stay on very well during the day, but I found that Black Ink is even more long-wearing then Blacktrack. I do notice sometimes on very, very long days that Blacktrack starts to fade slightly, particularly at the wing area. I've read some people found Black Ink more difficult to remove, I did not encounter this problem, my regular Bioderma easily took it off at the end of the day. You also need to consider that since Black Ink is so matte and drier in texture, it will dry out on you faster. If you use it up fast, it's not a problem, but it can be annoying if you've just used up like the third of it.

Overall, I couldn't detect any revolutionary difference between the two gel liners (apart from Black Ink drying out faster over time). I would say that Blacktrack is a little richer in color, while Black Ink is slightly better in longevity.  However, both of them are amazing, whichever you decide to try, you will like it!

Last but not least, this was my complete look while testing the liners:

This would make a great holiday look for red lip lovers! The soft champagne shade on my eyes compliments the bold lips beautifully. I've used my all-time favorite red lipstick for this look, which is Ruby Woo by MAC. Here is a complete list of the products I've used for this make-up:
Eyes: Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base; Chanel Illusion D'ombre in Emerveille; MAC Eyeshadow in Wedge; Benefit High Brow; Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Liner in Black Ink; MAC Blacktrack Fluidline; Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara; Nars Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte; Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash
Face: MAC Prep& Prime Highlighter in Bright Forecast; Benefit Eye Bright; Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Santa Fe; Bobbi Brown Corrector in Bisque; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla; MAC Prep& Prime Translucent Finishing Powder; Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre in 30 Naturel; MAC Sculpting Powder in Bone Beige; MAC Powder Blush in Legendary LE; MAC Shaping Powder in Emphasize
Lips: MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry; MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick

So what eyeliner do you prefer? Let me know in the comments! 



  1. Hi. Do you use them on your water lines? Which does not tend to smudge and come off? :D

  2. Hi :) I've used them to tightline my upper waterline, and for that I would recommend the Bobbi Brown one, since it's a bit drier formula, so less likely to transfer. I don't like gel liner in the lower waterline though. :)