I tend to be pretty skeptical about pencil eyeliners: there are just so many things that could go wrong. When I got wind of Bobbi Brown‘s new Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner (courtesy of Paris from My Women Stuff), I started stalking the local counters like a hawk. When they become available, I swoopped down and snatched Pitch Black at the earliest opportunity!
First, let’s get the practical details out of the way: the new Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner line includes 6 shades. Each eyeliner contains 0.35 grams (0.012 oz) of product and goes for 23,50 euros here (I got mine from Cosmeticary in Brussels). I swatched all 6, and my first impression is that Pitch Black, Chocolate Truffle, and Steel Grey are the more pigmented ones. Sapphire, Violet Night, and Scotch contain shimmer, and the color payoff seems somehow weaker (although they do look like they can be built up).
I might have mentioned that gel eyeliners are my go-tos, simply because there is less chance of them going wrong. I don’t really like the evaporating sensation liquid liners leave on my lash line, and they are too harsh for my lower lash line anyways (I prefer to gently dot the liner across my lash line before smudging it out with an eyeshadow. Not all liquid liners can be effectively smudged out). Pencil liners don’t tend to last quite as well everywhere, and there are many formulas that I am allergic to. It is mostly my lower waterline that is sensitive, but there is no guarantee I wouldn’t smudge a bit of eyeliner onto my lower waterline even if I only line my lower lash line. Long story short, this monolidder is a loyal gel liner fan.
The design of Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner reminds me a lot of the Chanel and Dior ones. The twist-up pencil can be sharpened with the sharpener at the end of the pencil. What got me intrigued is that the formula is touted to be “gel-based.” Could I possibly enjoy all the benefits of a gel liner without having to clean the brush afterwards?
The answer is ALMOST.
Bobbi Brown Pitch Black Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner is soft enough to glide on, but not so soft that it becomes a creamy, smudgy mess (Urban Decay Perversion, I’m looking at you!). Despite the name, if you glide the pencil lightly across your skin, what you get is more of a grayish black. However, it can be built up, and I wouldn’t complain about it not being black enough.
Pitch Black one pass/build up:
Since I normally use quite a bit of eyeliner, I have to sharpen this after each use for more precision. The sharpening process doesn’t produce a lot of waste at all, though I still wonder how long this pencil will last. My advice is outline where you want the liner to be on both eyes when the tip is still sharp, and then proceed to filling it in. The wing I get with this pencil is not quite as precise as what I can with a gel liner, but it more than passes.
In terms of lasting power, Pitch Black can manage to look decent for about an hour on my lower waterline without triggering an allergic reaction (new record, people)! I do have to say it looks more gray then black on the lower waterline, so if you have already found something that lasts on yours, you don’t necessarily have to give this formula a go. Everywhere else, Pitch Black holds up just as well as a gel liner (which means on top of a primer, it’s not going anywhere)!
Here is a couple of eye closeups for you to see how Bobbi Brown Pitch Black Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner looks:
Bobbi Brown Pitch Black Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner is definitely the pencil liner with the most impressive lasting power that I have seen. It doesn’t necessarily replace gel liner for me, but it is quick and easy to use, so it is a nice alternative to have at hand!
Would you be interested in giving this a go?