Being a MUA I always need to know which the best products are, and which have the most durability and wear. I definitely have my favourites and really believe that you pay for what you get, but sometimes something comes along that totally surprises you!
For myself, I will often buy something cute, funky and as cheap as chips and wear it on my face with no problem but when someone is paying a lot of money to have their face done or when I am on a shoot and durability is key I will always choose the more expensive option. Thus being said, I noticed that Essence brought out a very similar product to my much loved MAC Fluidline Gel Liner in Blacktrack. Their offering, Essence Gel Liner in Midnight In Paris comes in an almost identical small glass pot with an identical black screw-on lid. I am not saying it is a direct copy but hey…One major difference however is the price. The MAC offering coming in at R250 and the Essence one for under R7.
I decided to do a little test so that I could see which of these products fared better. I must admit that I did think that the results were already pre determined but little did I know…I opened both jars and with my MAC 266 brush drew very pretty lines from each jar on my hand. I was so amazed when the Essence one came out a much darker and truer black. I then steadily drew a line from each one on different eyes. The MAC was slightly wetter than the Essence(they were both new, unopened jars to make the comparison fair) making it a bit easier to apply. But all in all their durability was exactly the same making the Essence Gel Liner the winner due to its intense dark black. Result! I must add here that the MAC brush for this purpose (brush 266) is far superior to the Essence one. They are both sold separately, and are both small hard angled brushes. The MAC brush you just know is going to last forever and makes application easy peasy whereas the bristles on the Essence one separated after one wash. And who wants to use a dirty brush. Also remember with both jars to always close it properly so that they do not dry out.
Just a little note on my favourite favourite makeup look with black gel liner. I like a very sheer foundation, MAC Face And Body works wonderfully here. A small amount of shimmer to highlight the top of the cheek bones, think MAC Strobe Cream liquid highlighter. A clean eye with no shadow, a thin black line on the top of the eyelid only with a small flick on the outsides of the upper eye. Loads of mascara and a nice red lip. My go to here would be MAC (yes yes ok I am actually brand conscious) Ruby Woo. It is a deep matt intense true red. I like to apply it with my fingers and then rub it in leaving just a hint of colour. For a much cheaper option Rimmel lipstick No. 01 by Kate would also work here. Now do not be like me and see these online on a British makeup website and recon they will never be available here, hysterically whip out your credit card and bulk buy lipsticks because it does of course have Kate Moss’s signature on it. Yes, you can buy them at Clicks. And yes, they are cheaper here.*Embarrassed sigh*