REVIEW: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen

Hi everyone! I’m so sorry for the long silence: we’ve just moved into a new place and had to wait an eternity for the internet, and then my boyfriend’s parents came to stay, so blogging has been slightly difficult!

Anyway, I’ve picked up quite a few new products over the last few weeks and have been diligently testing them out for the blog: this being one of them. Let’s just jump in, shall we?

Claims: From the Boots website – “Dramatic bold line and intensity is now made easy. Lasting Drana Gel Eyeliner Pen makes it easy to draw bold, statement line.”

Price: £8.99 for 7ml

Reality: This product caught my eye sometime last year, around the time that the Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Gel Liner was raising hype all over the internet – naturally I wanted a dupe. However, I didn’t manage to pick this up until last week, and was so pleased to finally have it.

The concept is innovative: it’s a compromise between felt pen liners, which are highly user-friendly but don’t always produce the blackest effect, and fiddly brushes and little gel pots, which are a pain when travelling/too lazy to clean your eyeliner brush after every use, and can be intimidating for newcomers to winged liner. Gel eyeliner, but in pen form. Simple, right? If only.

The packaging is simple and clever, featuring a screw-top lid presumably designed to prevent the product staining your makeup bag. However, that’s more or less where the cleverness stops with this product. Several times I’ve twisted up the liner and suspected a blockage, as no product has emerged, only to then receive a shock when it all spills out at once. I had expected the gel to be a little more solid and retain its shape when twisted up, but in reality it’s very soft and comes out in what can only be described as a giant splodge. Even when I anticipate this and only twist the liner up a little, nothing comes out, so I have to twist it up more until the spillage happens again.

The pen “nib” is relatively thick – much thicker than your standard pen liner – so it’s difficult to create a smooth line as it drags along the eyelid. I didn’t have too many problems drawing wings, but anyone who likes small, fine, unobtrusive flicks won’t have much luck with this liner. The gel doesn’t distribute evenly across the lid – it appears in a blob and you have to “drag” it with the pen nib to spread it, rather like jam on toast. It’s not much different from using a proper brush and eyeliner pot, except with more risk of ruining your made-up face, as the pen is so thick that you can’t always see what you’re doing, and rather have to hope and pray it doesn’t go hideously wrong. I even tried putting the liner in the fridge/freezer before use to cool it down and solidify the gel somewhat, but it had no effect.

One strong point of this liner is the extremely dark matte black finish. When paired with volumising mascara and Maybelline Colossal 12-Hour Kajal in the waterline and on the bottom lid, I find the overall effect is as dramatic and mysterious as Ms Bardot’s own signature look. However, I have to employ a pen liner to neaten the line and draw the outline of the flicks before I then “colour in” with the gel, which would be an irritating hassle for even the most patient make-up devotee. To add insult to injury, the gel liner isn’t even day-proof: it smudges easily and certainly doesn’t look as clean and sharp after a few hours. I don’t use a designated eye primer at the moment, as I find my Smashbox Hydrating Primer is usually sufficient, and I absolutely refuse to set this gel liner with black eyeshadow on a daily basis – there are already so many steps to make this supposedly “simple” product work for me and I am extremely unwilling to add more.

Finally, it is near impossible to remove, even with waterproof eye makeup remover. I have never in my life used a product that refuses to leave your skin in this way, to the point that attempting to scrub it from my face becomes downright painful. This formulation needs to be altered ASAP.

Final Verdict: I thought I would continue to use this liner because I do like the blackness of it and really despise wasting things I’ve spent money on, but it’s such a nightmare to remove that it’s probably going to end up collecting dust, which is a total shame. In short, I would not recommend anyone purchases this product, unless they’re actively trying to make their lives more difficult.

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