I'd read several negative reviews on their website which mentioned the gel going clumpy and collecting in blobs on your eyelid, thus causing the 'post breakup' look - i.e. very messy eyes. The sales assistant in Debenhams, Weymouth, was insistent that this wasn't the case, and I would get a perfect smoothly flowing line of eye liner, which was resistant to eye-rubbing and tears (ticking all the boxes for a severe hay-fever sufferer like me). So I decided to bite the bullet and go for it, particularly with several statistics on the packaging claiming it to be the Holy Grail of make up... although what would have been really useful instead was a percentage of people who said it was 'easy'.
Day 1, and it takes several pumps (definitely over 20, going on 50) to get the gel to push up through the rubber nib. Suddenly - even for the prepared - a blob of gel comes out of the nib and has to be wiped away with a tissue. Wastage number 1. You then drag the 'nib' across your eyelid, and despite the supposed 88% of 'surveyors' claiming this product to 'hug the lashline', a more appropriate description would be to say it hugged the pen. Another design flaw is the fact you are fighting against gravity by holding a pen up to your eyelid, without any way of pushing the gel liner in an upwards direction. I described this to a friend as attempting to put on lipstick without holding the bottom end, so that every time you pushed the lipstick against your lips, it would just disappear back into the tube.
Unsurprisingly then, you're left with several haphazard dashes lining the bottom of your eyelid whilst you battle with gravity, the positive of all this being that because it's so close to your lashline, no one would be able to see it anyway. After spending several more minutes trying to join up the wonky dashes and create some sort of seductive sweep of black eyeliner, the effect is the same as a fourteen year old scrubbing on Rimmel Kohl pencil onto their eyelids. As a pro at liquid eyeliner, this 'em' grungy look with clumpy bits of gel which have merged with my foundation layer to create a more grey line than jet black is not something I would ever aim for, let alone spend £18.50 on.
Because of the pen design, more of your make up goes into the nib, rather than gel coming out of it, and the result is more on a 'caked on' effect, which becomes more apparent throughout the day when bits of eyeliner start dropping off. After washing my face later that evening, I was left with even more of a time-consuming mess, when it refused to be come off entirely, despite a method of several cotton pads and a damn good eye make up remover. Short of using domestos or acetone on my lids, I have to scrub harder and use more face wipes. It didn't take this long to remove face paint as a seven year-old, and I think a Pierrot clown would be in a serious predicament if it took him several hours and tubes of face wipes/ cotton pads to remove only his eye make up.
On the morning of Day 2, I came to the conclusion whilst picking off clumps of gel liner with a tweezer before it molded to my eyeball that this daily hassle wasn't ideal in a full-time working Londoner's schedule, and so marched into Debenhams, demanding a full refund on the premise that the package was misleading, and it definitely did not 'do what it says on the tin'.
I am sure after reading this you can tell that my verdict is a resounding NO. Do yourselves a favour and buy some cheap (but extremely good and easy to use) Collection 2000 liquid liner and get over whatever fear you may have about using liquid liners. Whilst other Benefit make up is extremely useful and effective (a huge fan of the 'Watts Up' highlighter, and POREfessional primer cream), this gel eyeliner is better suited to 'ladies of leisure' who can afford to spend half the day applying this Benefit liner, and then the other half attempting to take it off.