Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner – Review and Swatch

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

The last time I purchased an eyeliner was back when I reviewed the Essence Gel Eyeliner in June of last year. And if i’m not mistaken, it actually took me a while to get that review up! Sadly my little essence pot dried out, a little over a half year later (Is that impressive? Someone tell me!) I still had a bit left but with its death imminent, I decided to seek out a replacement. I ended up buying two (a pencil and another potted liner.) I think you can tell which this is.

This gel offering from Maybelline has been making its rounds on the blogosphere for a while now; and yes i’m going to review it anyway. Mostly because I really can’t stand the idea of posting another blush review after the monstrosity that was the week-without-Larry (the laptop.) Oh. He’s totally back now guys! Well, knock on wood. He goes in for more work than…some celebrity.

General Information:

It’s safe to say that this is an extremely popular liner, as it’s one of those items you see get heavily overpriced on eBay and the like. It’s normally priced from between $6-10 USD at stores like WalMart (where it’s cheaper) and CVS (where it’s quite a bit more!) I purchased mine from; which regularly prices it at $9.99 but it’s almost always on sale for $7.99 and it ends up being $6.99 after the $1 coupon off “Select Maybelline Products” (there’s a box you must check before you add the product to cart on the item’s page.)

For that price you get .11 oz or 3g of liner. This is about on par with Essence’s .1 oz offering, but keep in mind that Essence’s liner costs $3.49 USD at ULTA. And of course there’s MAC’s $15 offering for the same quantity as Essence.

I picked up Blackest Black, as I was just looking for a good solid everyday black liner. There are currently four shades available at Blackest Black (950), Brown (952), Charcoal (954) and Eggplant (956).


Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Like most gel liners, the American version of the Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner comes in a clear glass pot with a black, screw on cap.It’s sturdy, and the label on the top makes it distinguishable from the dozens of other similarly packaged liners.

I’ll never understand the point of these types of designs, where the amount of space consumed by the product is only half of the bottle itself (like a bottle suspended within a bottle.) I’ve seen some reviews that have this liner in a frosted jar with a silver, soda-pop looking screw on cap. Not sure what that’s about but I believe it’s for the international market.

Eyeliner Brush

They’re also kind enough to include a little eyeliner brush which, surprisingly, isnt’ bad at all. I’ve used it quite a few times and it’s yet to fray, provides sufficient control and has a nice short handle that allows me to use it nice and close to a mirror.


Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (left) vs Essence Gel Eyeliner (right)

This is not an unpigmented gel liner, but as you can see from the comparison shot – it’s not quite as dark as Essence’s offering. Both are a good true black, but the Maybelline is just a smidgen less black than the Essence. Both are miles better than cheap kohl pencils though! Again, neither is unpigmented, but Blackest Black might have been an overestimation of this liner’s ability.


Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner Applied

Applied in a smooth straight swoop, I had no problems with this liner. (Using the provided brush.) As you can see from my swatches though, it doesn’t really work well if you’re changing angles – kind of smudges. Realistically, I’m not sure why you would use such a motion on your eye but just letting you know! I prefer to start my wing on its own line anyway, rather than as a continuation of the lining around the eye itself so the point is moot for me.

To get this to on on smoothly, you really have to make sure the brush is evenly coated. If it is, it glides on nice and easy.  This particular liner seems to dry pretty quickly so try not to take too long before cleaning up.


I tried two different smudge tests. One on my eye which…well…

Rub Test (On Eye)

It didn’t smudge, but it also didn’t hold up against rubbing on my eye. Yes, I did allow it to set for about 10 minutes. Maybe it’s because I have oily lids? It held up much better on the non-oily back-of-my-hand.

Rub Test (Back of Hand with Maybelline on the Left and Essence on the Right)

The color faded a bit, but there was no smudging, which only confirms my thoughts about the oily eyelid affecting the smudge-resistance. As you can see, the Essence did smudge, if only a little.

I think tried a water test, which yielded identically makeup removing results on my eyelid but once again the back of my hand out-performed.

Water Test (Back of Hand)

Again, some fairly impressive results. But again, also comparable to the Essence results. And finally, for kicks and giggles…

12 Hours and One Shower Later (Back of Hand)

But again, none of these results were true for my eye-area. Which was neither smudge or waterproof and had a maximum of 5-6 hours of wear if I was very careful not to touch my eye. 24 hours? I think not.


Mixed feelings here!

Value: 4/5

Not expensive, but more than similar drugstore products.

Packaging: 5/5

Solid, protective packaging. Maybe a touch bulky. The included brush is surprisingly useful!

Pigmentation: 8/10

Not a super-black black. But a relatively solid color when well-applied.

Application: 7/10

Have to use the right amount of pressure, product and the right angle. Dries down quickly so not easy to touch up. But doesn’t tug or pull like cheaper lines.

Wear: 7/10

Terrible on my oily eyelids but shows great promise for normal to dry skin types.

Overall: 77.5% (C+)

I don’t see myself buying this again when I run out. I’ll probably go back to the essence, which held up better on my particular eyelids at under half the price. However, Maybelline is a bit more accessible to the layperson (I’ve only ever seen the Essence liner at ULTA) and not everyone has oily lids. A solid product, just not for me.

All for now!

<3 EA

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7 Responses to Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner – Review and Swatch

  1. Larie says:

    Interesting! I’ve actually never found a gel liner I like; they all travel all over my eye! I’ve been thinking of trying one of these, though.I know these are paraben-free and I’m not sure about the Essence.
    Larie recently posted..The Beauty No-Buy: Update #4 and a Confessional

  2. GREAT wing, woman! The liner is a little on the sheer side for my taste, however. :/
    Red Lips, Black Hair recently posted..Easter FOTD

  3. Lilit says:

    Oh this is the liner that I use, but only because I’m too lazy to look for a better one! It’s not bad, but yeah there’s something about it that makes it not great. Mine also dried out fairly quickly so every couple of weeks I have to put in microwave for a few secs to melt it again. Great review hun. xo
    Lilit recently posted..Makeup brush basics – what brushes I use and where

  4. Oh Avaaaa! It’s ages I’ve been wanting to try a gel liner… I wonder how the consistency is?! I like the finish of both… they look like real coal! I have to admit though that I almost never wear liner… it’s so difficult to apply it! nyaaaa but I love it so I should definitely learn it.. your line is so perfect!!!
    ねこちゃん recently posted..Sartre, Schiller and Dandelions

  5. sara says:

    I am on my second pot. I really love this product! works great for me. But now I will try Essence for sure. Looks promising :) x
    sara recently posted..NIVEA VISAGE Refreshing Cleansing Milk – Review

  6. Stacey says:

    I don’t use gel eyeliner much, but my favorite would have to be the Bobbi Brown one. It does smudge a little, but works fine if I set it with a dark powder eyeshadow. This Maybelline one seems promising too though!
    Stacey recently posted..Nubar 2010 Glitter Top Coat

  7. I’ve never tried the black one, but the eggplant I have it great!! I do, however, put it over primer :) )
    Maryam Maquillage recently posted..My Favorite Person Ever!

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