The big deal with this gel eyeliner is Maybelline’s claim of 24-hour wear. Let’s sidestep the fact that wearing eyeliner for 24 hours isn’t the best idea (at some point you have to sleep, and sleeping with your eye makeup can cause puffiness and swelling) and focus on the fact that the claim is designed to make this gel eyeliner seem a cut above the rest, most of which cost more than this option. Like all gel eyeliners based on silicone, this goes the distance and definitely wears longer than most eye pencils or liquid eyeliners. But whether or not Maybelline’s contribution lasts 24 hours, you’ll notice problems within the first 24 seconds. This tends to apply unevenly, necessitating that you go over the lash line repeatedly to achieve a uniform line. Because it sets quickly, building for intensity and even color deposit can cause the formula to clump, requiring more smoothing. Application is surprisingly sheer, which contradicts the “drama” ads for this eyeliner. Maybelline included a full-size eyeliner brush, and it works decently. If only the formula itself were better, this would be an all-around winner.
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996 and that's when things really started getting much better. Both companies specialize in offering a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, and many of their foundations have the same strengths and weaknesses (smooth textures and finishes plus the inclusion of sunscreens that are often without much-needed UVA-protecting ingredients).
The powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor are impressive and inexpensive. Although L'Oreal remains the more sophisticated and refined of the two lines (and now they have credible products, not just sleek ads, to back this assertion), Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Price-wise, Maybelline is the least expensive of the L'Oreal-owned cosmetic lines (which also includes Lancome, Biotherm, Vichy, and Kiehl’s), and smart shoppers will note the similarities among brands that, with conscientious shopping, can really save you money without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.