Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac review, swatches, photos

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Eyeliner review

The product: Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Earlier this year, I attended a Smashbox Photo Session in Edmonton that (as some of you may remember) I wasn’t particularly thrilled with. While there, however, I fell in love with a couple of their products — the Photo Angle Gel Liner pens in particular.

I’ve had the chance to test the liner more than a few times since then, so read on for my full thoughts!

Smashbox photo angle gel liner review

Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Smashbox Photo Angle Gel Eyeliner review packaging

This clever twist-on cap keeps the product from drying out!

The packaging: The Photo Angle gel liners come in pen form with a soft silicone-slant tip, much like the Benefit Get Real! Push-Up Liners. After reading a lot of reviews for the Push-Up liners, I can definitely see what people don’t like about this kind of packaging, but I don’t know… I mean, I didn’t mind it.

If you’re really good at gel liner on your own, I think this kind of packaging is going to be frustrating for you. The pen tends to put a lot of product on the lashes themselves and makes it hard to get a super fine line right off the bat (as you have to push the product up by a full click each time), but on the flip side, it’s a one-handed application paired with a formula that wears really well.

For those who aren’t super good at gel liner to begin with, though, I think something like this could actually be quite helpful — just remember to wipe off any excess product first, and apply with a light hand so that the soft tip doesn’t turn into a thick brush.

Smashbox Lilac gel eyeliner pen review

The formula: I was able to wear this from 3:00 to 11:00 during testing with zero wear (I kept going to bed early the week I was wear testing this? I don’t even know), which for my un-primed lids is very impressive — but the product itself does feel a little thick and ungainly on the lids.

I think a lot of my love for this product comes from the excellent wear time (most gel liners only last about an hour on my lids before creasing), so if you really struggle with keeping your liner on all day long, take note of this one!

Smashbox Lilac Photo Angle gel liner swatches review

The shade: Okay, but like, let’s be honest: I really only like this product for the shade. For all of the Photo Angled liner’s faults, Lilac is both beautiful and unique; matte and vibrant with lots of cool blue overtones and vibrant red undertones.

I’ve never come across another liner quite like this one, and for that alone, I think this liner is worth taking note of. It looks a little weird along my lashline, honestly, but it is as of yet unparalleled in my stash!

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac swatches review

The verdict?

This liner format is a rather polarizing one, and if you know already that it doesn’t work well for you, I don’t think this formula will change your mind.

That said, for all of its faults, I really do like the Lilac Pure Pigment Gel Liner. It’s a very unique matte lilac shade, and unlike most non-liquid liners, it wears very well on me. I’d recommend getting it only if this is a colour that you just have to have — it’s a fantastic rendition of the shade, but I don’t think I’d have been as impressed had this liner been black or standard violet.

Availability: $24 USD/$29 CAD at Sephora and ULTA.

Smashbox studios review created tested

Developed and tested in-house at Smashbox Studios!

What do you guys think of this new liner format? Do you like it, or do you find it to be a hindrance?

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  • mostlysunnybunny

    OK sooo this reminds me of the Benefit one, which was probably the worst disappointment I had in 2014. In all honesty, just give me a brush and a pot of gel liner: it's so much easier that way!
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    • Oh, man. I never got a chance to check out the Benefit liners, but yeah: I've read some pretty bad stuff about them.

      This kind of packaging is definitely not my first pick, but the formula and shade are just stellar. It makes it hard to write off the range entirely!

  • I agree, the shade is awesome – but I don't think I would get on well with this type of applicator, so I'll probably skip. Rae, you should post a look featuring this liner, I bet it looks great on you!
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  • I really want to try this. I picked up the Stila liquid liner in a periwinkle shade and it's so sheer and watery you can barely even notice when I'm wearing it. The gel looks way more vibrant!
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    • Aww, that sucks, Megan! This one sounds like it'll definitely be more of what you're looking for — it's still a really light shade, so it will kind of "meld" into fair skin, but it looks awesome paired with black liner through the lashes. I think you'd like it! :)

  • kristen @g-bunctious

    This color is gorgeous and unique! I never tried the They're Real liner either but was cautioned strongly against it by many friends who did give it a whirl. That being said, this might work for me as I have only worn gel liner a handful of times in my life so I'm definitely not a pro. I love your use of "ungainly". I've never read a beauty review with that word in it! 25 points! ;)
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  • Jaa

    I actually don't mind the new format! When I was testing the Benefit one, it took me a while to get used to it but once you're familiar with it, I think it's not that bad at all! I just got a sample in the new brown shade that I'm looking forward to testing. For this Smashbox one, like you, I ADORE the color! I don't think I have anything like it in my collection. Will see if I can get a hold of one here!

  • This colour is gorgeous! But I also don't think that the packaging is ideal – I prefer liquid liners with a thin brush tip!
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  • Unique indeed! I wonder if I'd get along with it though… seems quite fussy! And I am not that great with eyeliner to begin with.
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