Kate Gel Eyeliner Review: Smudgeproof, Long-lasting, and SO MUCH CHEAPER


Oh Kate! Thanks for reminding me that gel based eye liners are meant to look like thick cream, apply like butter and spread like silk! I almost forgot all of that when my MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack dried up!

And let’s not forget my unfortunate episode with the Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink that was dry like salted fish from the start.

Gel eyeliner, I have come to realize, is actually the easiest type of eyeliner to apply. Natural or dramatic, gel liners are much more adaptable to the type of look you want to achieve than liquid or pencil eyeliners.

Go for a sleek thin line to define the eyes, or amp up the look with a sultry winged out line. Pencil eyeliners can never achieve the intensity of gel liners; liquid eyeliners can never stay as long or smudgeproof as gel liners.

Packaging and Size

Fresh gel liner always looks so yummy and inviting!

The early generation of the Kate Gel Eyeliner came with an eyeliner brush which many people loved, more than the gel liner itself. I don’t have the luxury of ever trying out the brush because it has since been excluded. Same price but without the brush! Bah!

The Kate Gel Eyeliner is smaller in quantity than its high-end MAC and Bobbi Brown friends with only 2.5g – 0.5g less than them. But I’m not complaining because who needs so much product when gel liners dry up so fast anyways!

I like the frosty finish of the Kate Gel Liner too! And it feels lighter and much less vulnerable compared to the glass jars of MAC and BB.


I really couldn’t wait till after the weekends to plunge my favorite Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner Brush into the gel liners. They looked so yummy and inviting! So the very next morning I tried the Kate Gel Liner in BK-1 and oh my, I felt like I was cutting the butter for McDonald’s breakfast waffles. It took tremendous effort to reserve the BU-1 till after the photo shoot. LOL.

The Kate Gel Liner glides so creamily it may be a teeny wee bit hard at first to control; it is more slippery than MAC or Bobbi Brown. In terms of control, MAC Fluidline still comes in tops because it is creamy enough to apply without having to tug at the eyelids, yet not overly creamy until you risk drawing a wobbly line.

Once you get used to Kate’s creamy consistency though, it is definitely a dream to apply. If you get too much product on your eyeliner brush, simply wipe the excess off on a tissue.

I’ve had no problems achieving a sleek, well-defined winged out eye line with the Kate Gel Liner.


BK-1: Matte black

BU-1: Matte navy blue (I love this color! It was exactly what I wished for when I bought the MAC Liquidlast Liner in Inky)

4 other shades are available:

BK-2: Black brown

BR-1: Dark brown

BK-3: Black with glitter

CL-1: Silver white


I find that Kate actually wins MAC in terms of pigmentation. BK-1 is a darker matte black than Blacktrack.

Blacktrack, BK-1, BU-1

One odd thing is that, if I accidentally get eyeshadow powder on MAC Blacktrack, the black eyeliner does not get covered by the eyeshadow. If I do that with Kate Gel Liner BK-1, the eyeshadow easily covers the black eyeliner. It’s no big deal to go over the line again, but it is a hassle in a way.

Smudgeproof and Long-lasting

Oily eyelids call for smudge-resistant products, like eye primers, smudgeproof mascara (Smudgeproof VS Waterproof Mascara), and gel based eyeliners because they stay on much longer on the lids and are more resistant to oil secretion of the eyelids. I do what I can to ensure eye makeup stays on the lids for at least a good 10 hours.

If resistance to The BodyShop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover says anything about smudge resistance, then the Kate Gel Eyeliner is a sure winner.

MAC Fluidline Blacktrack comes off easier and faster, while the Kate Gel Liner swatches stay pretty stubbornly on the skin. To thoroughly remove gel liners though, use an oil-based makeup remover.

I must say I am immensely impressed with the smudgeproof Kate Gel Eyeliners. Not only do they last well into the night, they hardly smudge. While MAC Fluidline Blacktrack can smudge when I apply it on the lower lashline, the Kate Gel Eyeliner stays really well on the lower lashline.

I totally recommend the Kate Gel Eyeliner to people who always have trouble getting eyeliner to stay on the lids, like if you have oily eyelids, or monolids, or always have eyeliner transferred onto the skin above the fold.

This is a winner, I tell ya!

Get the Kanebo Kate Gel Liner

Bun Bun rates the Kate Gel Eyeliner:

What is your favorite drugstore eyeliner brand?

What is the BEST gel liner you’ve tried?


You will also like:

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.

  • Kyra

    i bought the mac fluidline recently and it smudges on me :( it’s so sad cos it’s kinda pricey too :'( should’ve waited for your review on kate before i purchased mac’s gel liner! your posts are really helpful anyway :) thanks so much!

    • Bun Bun

      Awwww man! My heart hurts for you, Kyra! Did you try applying a eyeshadow base or eye primer first? I have oily lids and without the Urban Decay Primer Potion, any eye makeup hardly stays on. If that still doesn’t work, you really should give the Kate one a go. It’s my go-to gel liner ever since I got it.

      And thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you find my posts useful! =D

  • a!kO

    YAY finally ^^, Wow I really like the navy blue color. Aww too bad they don’t sell the brush with it! I feel like wanting to try this 😉 Bad bad influence XD I guess I never really look at this twice, cause the tester is always dried up you know 😛


    • Bun Bun

      Finally!!! LOL! I was waiting for you! :mrgreen:

      The navy color is really gorgeous, it’s a nice breath of fresh air away from the typical black, brown eyeliner colors. Go try! Go try! I love being a bad influence! Haha!

      Hey I agree on that part about the testers always being dried up! They look and feel like hardened gummy bears, except without the shape of the bear.

      • a!kO

        hehe you were waiting for me 😉 Oh I saw Kate gel liner was on sale at my local Watson but they didn’t have the navy blue! I would’ve bought it if they had it. They only had the black which was not on sale and a black with glitter or something, I couldn’t see what the difference was since they had no tester. such a pity…you got me curious 😛

        • Bun Bun

          Yup, they have it in matte black and black with shimmer. Oh and I really love the navy blue one! It’s so weird that your local Watsons chooses specific colors to be on sale. Haha

  • Alene

    all this time i wondered why even with waterproof eyeliner and mascara i still got this IDIOTICALLY annoying little black flakes and smudges at the corner of my eyes near my lower lids. now i understand. SMUDGEPROOF! GENIUS!! thank you so much!

    yes, i do heart the anna sui mascara…think i wud prefer it over Lancome’s Oscillation tho, somehow vibrating mascaras never seem to work on me =(

    the Beblesh Balm is called Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm Gold. im malaysian but i actually bought it from Singapore! when i was there – Raffles City’s Watsons. i dont think you shud try it tho, becos i have dry skin and it moisturizes my skin!

    • Bun Bun

      I see! Thanks for telling me that! I have super oily skin and I think that Beblesh Balm would make me look like an Old Chang Kee fishball with eyes, nose and mouth. lol.

      You know what, it is very coincidental that just today, my Lancome Oscillation Mascara STOPPED VIBRATING. Hahaha! What luck! But I really don’t mind coz the vibrating mechanism kept giving off this foul smell that I didn’t like anyway. So hooray!

  • Laliitha

    This was a really good review. I came across your blog by chance. Been in a major dilemma of lately trying to figure out the best drugstore gel liner to purchase. The maybelline gel liner was kinda smudgy after a while. Thanks a lot. Kudos!!

    • Bun Bun

      Hey Liliitha! Glad to have helped you in your quest towards finding the best gel liner!

      I find myself reaching for the Kate gel liner almost every day! Let me know what you think about it when you’ve tried it. =D

  • Makeup fan

    Your post has got me wanting the Kate eyeliner now! :) Have you tried the ones by CLIO? I was browsing watsons the other day and CLIO had a pretty purple eyeliner! :)

    Just a random question, what age did you start wearing full faced makeup? Most singaporeans I know start wearing full face around 19 years old.

    I love your blog btw, look forward to more posts!

    • Bun Bun

      Oh yes!!! I tried the CLIO eyeliners when I was at Ngee Ann City Watsons a few weeks ago. The purple is gorgeous! And the black, WOW, so black!! I had to tear myself away from the stand coz I was running very late for an appointment. I tried the liquid liner. I rarely feel anything for liquid liners but that really made my heart skip a beat. I think I will get it some day, soon! Haha

      Hmmmm…. full face? It really depends on what you define ‘full face’ as. Some of my friends regard having foundation on as ‘full face of makeup’ already, in the literal sense of the words, coz the whole face is covered. Haha. According to that definition, I think I started when I was 14. My first compact was from Shiseido. I used the money earned from holiday jobs!

      But if you’re talking about full eye makeup (brows, mascara, eyeshadows, eyeliner), blush, contouring powder, highlight, lips…. Then I’d say just a couple of years ago. Before that, my makeup was limited to just foundation (powder or BB cream), eyeliner, mascara, and blush. No fancy colors on the lids at all, at most some shimmer, and no dimension. Hahaha…

      What about you? :)

  • MeLly

    hi bunbun … very inspiring to read your blog about beauty and stuff .. just wondering where can I buy KATE gel liner in Singapore since I’m going to SGP next month and how much is the retail price compared to MAC gel liner .. thanks in advance …

    • Bun Bun

      Hey thanks MeLly! Really happy that you like my blog! 😀 Most Watsons stores will carry the KATE line of cosmetics. You can find larger Watsons stores in Ngee Ann City (the largest Watsons in Sg), Bugis Junction, IMM, but most Watsons do carry KATE. I can’t recall the exact prices, but KATE retails for about half of MAC’s gel liners.

  • Luvmakeup

    Maybe u might want to try Makeup geek brand gel liners. I have ordered mine a few weeks back in brown and shimmer sliver colour. I oso have oily lids so it’s hard to find the perfect eyeliner. But the MUG gel liners are hands down one of the best I’ve used. Another is Etube liquid eyeliner.

    • BunBunMakeupTips

      @Luvmakeup Really! *TEMPTED* I should go take a look at them! Thanks for sharing. =D

  • blurkat

    Hi BunBun, I read ur post on Kate Gel Eyeliner again and I really can’t resist trying it. After all, it’s cheap too! =D

  • rabbitsfortea

    Thanks for the review! I’ve always been using MAC’s blacktrack but it always smudges at the end. Now that my pot is drying up, I’ll definitely give kate a go.

  • elizabethzhouaihui

    @Bun Bun hey do they sell the white version here in Singapore? :)