Find Out Why the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner in Black Ink is a Cult Favorite


Never give up on a brand, even when one of its products didn’t work out quite well as you expected, and especially if the brand is widely known for being one of the first to come up with the life-saving gel liner. Oh, by life-saving, I mean no more ugly eyeliner smudges on the under eye and dreadful transfer marks on the lids usually caused by pencil and liquid eyeliners.

Bobbi Brown Black Ink and MAC Fluidline Blacktrack have always been compared with the another. Some people are diehard fans of Black Ink, while some swear by Blacktrack. Some people like to say bad things about the other too. Haha. But I think, to each its own. Everyone has different things that make them tick, ya?

There are two categories of the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners: the Inks and Shimmer Inks. Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Chocolate Shimmer was my first purchase from the brand and it left me very disappointed. The brown of Chocolate Shimmer did nothing to bring out the brown in my eyes – it made them look sad and dull. On top of that, application was not as smooth as other gel eyeliners I have tried.

Chocolate Shimmer’s cap is matte while Black Ink’s glossy.

Left – Chocolate Shimmer; Right – Black Ink

If I had to compare, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack wins Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer in all aspects – texture, application, pigmentation.

But what about Bobbi Brown Black Ink?

Great Texture = Easy Application

The Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink has a texture that is slightly firmer than other gel liners I have tried, which is what I absolutely adore about this gel liner.

I’m not sure why there was moisture on the gel liner when I first opened it; there are none now. That doesn’t compromise the quality of the product though.

MAC’s Blacktrack is softer, more satiny, and silky. MAC Blacktrack is very easy to manage, but Black Ink is even EASIER. Painting Black Ink onto the eyelids is easier than using a pencil, okie, maybe not that easy, but it really goes on very quickly because it is not too soft nor too hard in texture.

Compared to the Kate Gel Liner in BK-1, applying eyeliner with the Bobbi Brown Black Ink is a piece of cake. As much as I love the Kate Gel Liner, it takes a little getting used to because the formula runs a little damp.

Get a Very Precise Line Quickly

Dipping an eyeliner brush like MAC 263 or Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner Brush into Black Ink will not cause an overload of product on the brush because just the right amount of product is picked up by the brush, so there is no need to swipe excess off the brush. That amounts to less wasted time and product, and money!

Ahhh… FRESH Black Ink!!! YUM-MEH!

Dipping a brush in…

Ready to get it on!

Then, after swiping the brush across/into the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink, I glide the brush across my lids. You can draw on a very fine line or dramatize the look with a thicker one.

In my opinion, the MAC 263 Small Angle Brush is perfect to use with the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner to create the perfectly sharp winged tip eyeliner because the sharp angles of the bristles carry just the perfect amount of liner to deposit on the outer lid. The Sonia Kashuk Brush does not work as well with the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner as the other gel liners which are more wet.

(The MAC 263 brush is not shown in this post as I did not own the brush at that time.)

A Not So Black Black Ink

I have always loved the classic black eyeliner look and am always on the hunt for the next darkest eyeliner. Me love the jet matte black look very muchee.

Pencil or liquid eyeliners just cannot give the intensity of black I desire.

Although Black Ink is a much darker black compared to many pencil or liquid eyeliners, I have to say that it isn’t quite as dark as other gel liners.

Therefore in terms of intensity, I still like the Kate Gel Liner the best (not compared to in this picture) because it gives the blackest black.


As with most gel liners, where the prime benefit over other kinds of eyeliners is that of their ability to stay on the lids for long hours and are the great love for many oily-lidded lasses (*waves hand), the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner does not disappoint in this aspect. I mean, I would expect that of the brand’s gel liners so it does not come across as surprising.

Does Not Flake

So far, after about 3 months of use, Black Ink is still malleable and consistent in viscosity. Layering it on to get a darker shade of black does not cause annoying bits of dried up gel liner to fall off.

Some say that the Bobbi Brown Gel Liners just don’t dry up the way MAC Fluidlines do. I’ve read that the Bobbi Brown one can even last up to 3.5 years! WOW! Bang for the makeup buck!

We’ll just have to wait and see. I’ll update you guys in 3.5 years. Lol.

Get the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner in Black Ink here

What Bun Bun thinks of the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner in Black Ink:

So what say you about the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner in Black Ink?

What is the eyeliner you cannot live without?

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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

  • Meiying

    Wow I think I’m commenting on all your eyeliner reviews. I’m a diehard eyeliner fan as well, because I think it makes the biggest difference in a person’s appearance.

    I bought Black Ink, because I heard so many rave reviews about it. I was already using Black Track for around 3 years when I tried Black Ink. I think the former is darker than the latter, especially on my waterline. The formula for Black Ink is smoother though. The two liners are both pretty good, but if I had to choose one it would be Black Track. It is a lot cheaper than Black Ink and comes out darker.

    • Bun Bun

      Hahaha and thank you for commenting! I love it! 😀

      Oh yes, eyeliner makes me go from blah to WOWZA. It’s amazing what a line of color on the lashline can do to brighten one’s looks!

      I see that you love dark and intense eyeliners too. You’ve got a buddy in me! =DDD If only there was a brand of gel liner that has the intensity of Black Track and the ease of application of Black Ink. That’ll be PERFECT.

  • Katelyn Tuyet Vy

    without regards to color intensity, if we’re just speaking of quality and its appearance on the eyelid, which one would u pick? Black Track or Black ink? I just bought Black Track, since I’m a newbie in any kind of makeup, I can’t tell which one is the best, but for me the black track is decent on eyelid, but at the outer corner where we do the winged cat eye, the color intensity become more transparent, not sure if it’s because I don’t know how to do it and move the brush back and forth too much or if it’s because of blacktrack formula itself. Would you suggest that I return Black Track and give Bobby Brown a try instead?

    • Bun Bun

      In terms of ease of application, I would pick Black Ink. In terms of intensity, Black Track wins.

  • Qoo Qoo

    Wow I accidentally discovered this wonderful blog when I googled “Best Eyelash Curler for Asian Lashes” and I have to say I LOVE this blog! I love your writing and your informative reviews! Eyeliner is one of the only makeup products I use so I’ve sampled at least 20 different ones, liquid, gel, pencil…drug store brands, and high end brands. But…so far no luck. I loved my Chanel Eyeliner but the tip broke easily and it was too expensive to replace. I am currently using YSL waterproof pencil liner. Girl, that liner is beautiful, smooth and so dark in intensity. HOWEVER. It smudges like it’s nobody’s business. Every time I wear it I have to check my eyes 10 times a day to make sure it’s in place…which it usually isn’t. So this review was just fated to be read by me! Cause it sounds absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to get it…first thing tomorrow morning! You have found yourself a faithful reader!

    • Bun Bun

      Welcome to my blog Qoo Qoo! I’m glad you like it and thanks so much for subscribing! 😀

      Oh gawd, seems like you have a love-hate relationship with the YSL waterproof pencil liner. It happens to the best of us. Lol. I hope you’ve managed to get your hands on the Bobbi Brown Black Ink and tried it on! Let me know what you think about it. =)

  • LF


    i have my Bobbi brown gel eyeliner for more than 5 years alrdy (i seldom use it) and although its a lil dry as compared to when i first used it, it still works for me, thou it does smudge when the weather is hot n humid outside.

    My liner’s packaging was the matt cover & pot.have dropped it a few times and yes, it does chip at the bottom of the pot (i dropped it from more than 1m in height by accident).

    nevertheless, i still think that this is super value for money. I haven experience any liners with such long shelf life

    • Bun Bun

      5 years?!? How can that be? I have had mine for about a year and the thing’s drying up fast. It’s a lot more difficult to get it on compared to when I first got it and it was super creamy. :( I blame it on our mad hot humid weather here. GRrr!! Where are you from, by the way? =)

      • LF

        I’m frm SG too.. mine is not super creamy, but still workable for me. I kept it in the drawer and still use it every now and then. No problem for me thou

  • dr.kaye

    hi guys have you tried the wet and wild eye gel liner? its pretty darn cheap for i guess $3. It is extremely black and glides easily. However, the packaging is cheap with a plastic cap, but who can complain for a $3 gel liner? i think its a pretty good deal.

    • Bun Bun

      I’m envious you have such easy access to wet and wild stuff! I’d love to try the eyeshadow palettes. They seem to have such good quality and are priced so cheap in the US!

  • rko

    so strange. I have MAC and Bobbi Brown’s gel liner and all of them smudge on me, unless i have a primer (Like Urban Decay) underneath it. :(

    • Bun Bun

      They smudge on me without UDPP too. An eye primer is a step I never miss, as important as face primer. That said, Mac Blacktrack and Bobbi Brown Black Ink are not 100% smudge proof even with primer, due to our humid weather and my oily lids. But they’re the best form of eye liner I can find. Do you have oily lids too?

      • rko

        yeah, my eye lids churns out oil like nobody’s biz. So far the only one that did not smudge that easily w/o any primer is the CLIO korean brand, and that Japanese “Heroine” brand. My friend is asking me to try k-palatte.. hear that is not bad as well. In terms of color and intensity, I think MAC has the best “black” but the texture seems abit runny. I will choose Maybelline, Kate or Bobbi for the texture.

        • Bun Bun

          Oh yeah!! I love the Clio brush eyeliner for its ease of use! It does smudge on me without a primer though. Very ugly sight.

          The Kate gel liner is my fav gel liner! It wins hands down in terms of quality and price. It can be a little harder to control than its Mac and BB counterparts at first, but it’s not hard to get the hang of it.

  • rosace

    Very good review!!
    <a href=” /” > My BLOG: Keep calm and carry on </a>

  • rosace

    Very good review!!

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @rosace Thanks for reading!

  • soubidaaa

    smudged like there was no tomorrow on me :C

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @soubidaaa Oh no! Mine does smudge a little still, but it doesn’t create a hot mess. Try putting on an eye primer first?

  • adilac

    I have my MAC fluidline for 3.5 years already, and I think I can get another half year more at least. I really want to try BB Expresso Ink gel liner though!

    • BunBunMakeupTips

      @adilac 4 years!? That’s amazing! How did you do it???

      • adilac123

        @BunBunMakeupTips  @adilac Probably because I live in Canada xD And I keep it in my bedroom and close it quickly after use! 😀

  • RHa

    I have the Bobbi Brown in Espresso Ink and I am disappointed it already dried out after 3 months? Its creases on my lid…It is smooth, but hmm i have to apply few strokes on the same area to get it. I was expecting a lot from it seeing the reviews and for the price paid. Than one night i remembered i had the maybelline eye studio in blackest black (more dense consistency) and it stayed still better! but both do smudge T_T. I think the solution is to set it with shadow. It always seem to stay better =O.

    • BunBunMakeupTips

      @RHa Gahhh! Really? I didn’t like the Maybelline Eye Studio one at all! I am about to do a review on it. I even bought two of them, the black one and eggplant. So disappointing!

  • kathleenkong

    The eyeliner I cannot live without is Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in black! It’s very black, doesn’t smudge for me, and stays on for the entire day, and I absolutely love it. I have been using it since I first tried it about 2 years ago… don’t really dare to try other brands haha. Anw great blog, you’ve earned a reader! 😀