Gel eyeliner may seem intimidating at first, but given the right formula, tools, and a little practice, it’s the best route to the perfect cat eye. First, pick a colour—the best formulas for jet black, shimmery silver, and more, above—then choose a brush. A bent brush (try the E.l.f or Smashbox versions) is best to create a thin line, while thicker versions (Cala and Anastasia’s are great) create a thicker, more dramatic cat eye.
We suggest watching a how-to video—celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge explains how to use a straight brush perfectly or watch this how-to on using a bent brush—and taking your time. Dip your brush into the gel, wipe excess product on the back of your hand, and start building the colour on the center of your eye. The best part? You can use a pointed cotton swab to easily perfect the line, since gel liner dries more slowly than liquid liner. Everything you need, above.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($23) in Ivy Shimmer Ink
Anastasia Beverly Hills Angled Cut Brush ($17)
M.A.C. Fluidline ($16) in Blacktrack
Fran Wilson Eye Tees Precision Makeup Applicators ($4)
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($10) in Charcoal
Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner ($28) in Infinity
Smashbox Arced Eyeliner Brush 21 ($20)
Essence Gel Eyeliner ($4) in Midnight in Paris
E.l.f. Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush ($3)
Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Gel Eyeliner ($22) in Deep Purple
Q-Tips Precision Tips Cotton Swabs ($4)
Nars Eye Paint ($25) in Interstellar
Cala Angled Brow/Liner Brush ($10)
Lancome Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner ($25) in Dress-Up Teal