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Review & Swatches: Essence Gel Eye Pencils

posted in: Makeup
December 18, 2014

The search for the next best eyeliner formula seems never ending. I personally prefer liquid liner for every day wear, because there are very few pencil liners that I can stand using. When I use pencil eyeliners, they need to be super soft, pigmented and long lasting. When I heard about the Essence Gel Eye Pencils, I was skeptical but intrigued.

Review & Swatches: Essence Gel Eye Pencils | Slashed Beauty

There are six pencils in this collection, with a color for every look. They are twist up style, so no sharpener needed. Each cap indicates the color of the pencil so you can find which one you’re looking for easily.

Review & Swatches: Essence Gel Eye Pencils

From left to right:

  • Black Blaze is a deep, pure black.
  • Gunmetal is a charcoal gray with silver shimmer.
  • Cocoa Bean is a chocolate brown.
  • Around Midnight is a navy (that almost looks purple) with blue shimmer.
  • Blue Lagoon, my favorite, is an ocean teal shade with a metallic finish.
  • Urban Jungle is an emerald green with green shimmer.

Right off the bat, the gel formula glides on effortlessly with high intensity color payoff. The shades pop off the skin with full opacity; I was extremely pleased with their appearance and ease of application. They are also very soft and bendable, so you can create some killer smokey eyes with them before they set. Once they dry down, they stay put for about 6 hours without creeping around the eyelid like other soft liners do. They live up to their waterproof claim; under running water there’s no smearing or dripping, and it takes a lot of force to rub them off. On the waterline, they last up to four hours before the color starts to fade.

Review & Swatches: Essence Gel Eye Pencils | Slashed Beauty

The one problem I had with the pencils was isolated to the shade Black Blaze. After using it for the first time and being super impressed, I put it away for about a week before picking it back up again. Trying to apply it a second time, it felt dried up and hardly any color was transferring onto my eyelids. Thinking perhaps it was just a dud in the batch, I got another one in the same shade. Unfortunately, the exact same thing happened, and it took incredible force to get the swatch you see in the photo above. Luckily, none of the other pencils dried out the way Black Blaze did, but it’s a bummer since that one would have been my most used out of the bunch for every day looks.

Overall, most of these pencils are lovely to work with and offer stand-out colors with good pigmentation, with the exception of Black Blaze. They’re only $3 and are available at Ulta. I’m still curious to see if I’m the only one who experienced problems with the one shade, so if you’ve tried these, let me know how they worked for you in the comments!

What do you look for in a pencil eyeliner?

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28 Responses

  1. marina miouprincess
    | Reply

    I love the Avon gel eyeliner pencil and use them all the time. Might give these a try, too!

  2. Stephanie Louise Telford
    | Reply

    Boo to that black shade!

  3. Deborah - Love Varnish
    | Reply

    I had the same issue with the black one! It sucks, because it stays put so well on my waterline, but I can’t really use it anymore now :(.

  4. Betzy Carmona
    | Reply

    They are pigmented and you can’t beat the price.

  5. Destany
    | Reply

    Great price – I like the blues. Sucker for blues.

  6. mynewestaddiction
    | Reply

    I love a great gel liner! These sound fabulous!

  7. Justina
    | Reply

    These are so pretty!

  8. FabZilla_Kath
    | Reply

    Great steal for the price! Hope they won’t irritate my eyes.

  9. Nidia Doherty
    | Reply

    Considering the price for other gel liners, these are a steal! Bummer that the black dries up, but if heating them up does the trick, it could save some $$.

  10. Aleya Bamdad
    | Reply

    These colors are all very pretty! Never tried this brand though. Too bad about the black.

  11. Kimmi @ The Plastic Diaries
    | Reply

    When it comes to gel liners, whether in a pot or pen style, they can be particularly prone to drying up. It’s definitely a downside but easily fixable. Just hold the pencil over a flame (lighter, candle, whatever) for a couple seconds and it will be your best friend.

  12. Brooke @ Blushing Noir
    | Reply

    These look so pretty swatched! Definitely worth checking out for the price.

  13. loveforlacquer
    | Reply

    I have never tried essence liners.. Such a good price

  14. PrimeBeauty
    | Reply

    I think I’ll stick to UD 24/7 liners.

  15. TinaBowling
    | Reply

    I look for ease of use (no tugging) and a line that doesn’t smear. Love that grey!

  16. Eugenia
    | Reply

    These loooookk so amazing! I want some!

  17. Phyrra
    | Reply

    I like the grey, navy and blue!

  18. Carleen
    | Reply

    Essence makes some really good items. I think people tend to overlook them sometimes.

  19. Kim Porter
    | Reply

    These are beautiful. I love Blue Lagoon. It sucks that some dry out quickly.

  20. Miki Nyckel
    | Reply

    Oh and as for liquid liners. I agree, I prefer those. Simply because they last on my oily skin. But I like a softer look, that is hard to get from liquid liners. So I’ve been trying so many pencils, trying to get one that lasts! Otherwise, my golden liner is from Gosh (intense liquid liner pen) that actually looks like a crayon, but is liquid liner.

  21. Miki Nyckel
    | Reply

    Thanks for your discriminating review! (I mean that in an absolutely good way!) I have oily lids, and these sound like *maybe they could work for me. They sure look lovely!! I love those colors. Good to know about the black one, I will pass on that one. It’s ok, I have quite a few UD 24HR black pencils 😀

  22. jamie lynn prata
    | Reply

    I’m always looking for pencils like this too – basically dupes for the Urban Decay ones, since those are way too expensive. I will have to check these out!!

  23. Allison @neversaydiebeauty
    | Reply

    I’ve had good luck with essence’s eyeliner pencils and I like the colors. So I will definitely give these a try, but I’ll pass on Black Blaze. Thanks for the head’s up!

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