REVIEW: Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, Scotch

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, Scotch

I’ve been using this ‘holy grail’ gel eyeliner for a couple of weeks, but it’s going back tomorrow.

This unique gel-based pencil delivers richly pigmented colour and precision lining with sweat and humidity-resistant up to 12-hour wear. (LIES!)

Returning make up always goes two ways; either the transaction runs smoothly and you receive an immediate refund without any quibbles, or the sales assistant wants to fight you – I’m hoping for the latter, because I’m ready and armed!

I bought Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner online and thought it would be perfect for tightlining – applying eyeliner to the inside upper eyelid, a wonderful technique to open up the eyes.

My first problem is that the pen feels very light and flimsy. I would have preferred a little weight to help balance it in my hand. The other problem is that the lead is extremely delicate and the constant worry is that too much pressure will make it snap.


I chose the shade Scotch, which I reasonably assumed from the description, would be a rich amber shade, much like the website’s gorgeous swatch.

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, Scotch

The colour instead, is an earthy brown. Even when applied along my lower lash line and double checked in bright sunlight, there was no hint of any shimmer.

Indeed, the shade is so utterly different, I’m now wondering if Chocolate Truffle, was inserted by mistake?

This is the danger of buying online, unfortunately, we can’t always be arsed find the time to shop in person. It annoys me that huge brands still can’t get their act together and produce, accurate swatches with all the technology at their disposal.

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, ScotchLONGEVITY

Admittedly, when first applied, the dull brown shade looked good and gave a polished finish to my eye make up. Two hours later, though and the colour had faded and transferred to my lower lash line.

By the end of the day, I looked like I’d slept in my make up after a particularly heavy night out on the town.

Why didn’t I buy the waterproof version you might ask? Well, I was going to, but reviews were poor, with complaints that the pencil crumbled too easily and transferred to the bottom lid – sounds familiar.

There are many fine Bobbi Brown products – the famous Brick palette anyone? But this eyeliner is way off the mark for me.


Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner, Scotch £17.10 (Price drop 30/4/17) John Lewis

I know I’m stirring a little here, but apparently, Bobbi Brown is the make up guru Wayne Goss (who loves to call out beauty miscreants), was referring to, when he claimed some YouTube make up tutorials were misleading people by using video photoshopping i.e. special skin smoothing lighting/filters.

However, I’ve found a beauty vlogger called Risa – a professional make up artist over 40, who applies make up using iPhone video to offer more realistic tutorials. She uses filters when presenting (fair enough), but none during tutorials.

Her channel is Risa Does Makeup which is well worth a look.


  1. May 2, 2017 / 9:19 am

    Hi Ann-Marie,
    I love Scotch because it has the golden shimmers through it and its a lovely shade of mid toned brown.
    I think you def. got the wrong pencil inserted into the tube as you thought.
    I notice that BB pencils do tend to crumble a little and have been put off re purchasing Scotch as a result, which is a shame because i can’t find the perfect dupe, even from my beloved Chanel.
    I think it can be a bit hit and miss with BB products at times. They do some things really well and then fail at others.
    i would return too and stand your ground. It would be interesting if you can get the SA to compare the shades at the counter with the one you boutght.
    You are so right about the swatches online. They are ridiculous. I have only bought makeup online without seeing first with NARS and the lipstick i bought was a shade that didn’t suit my skin tone and; have never worn it as a result.
    Good luck with your return. I’m sure they will exchange without a problem.

    • May 8, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      Hi Mandy,
      The eyeliner was returned without a fuss. I was ready to launch into a long winded rant, but the money was refunded immediately without question.

      I also took back a Mac lip liner pencil in Subculture, I’d wanted that shade for ages, but it didn’t suit me at all. The reason I returned it though, was because the lead was too hard. I haven’t used Mac Spice for ages, but I don’t remember it dragging on my lips. I compared it to my C Tilbury pencils and they were so soft in comparison.

      Re gel eyeliners, there’s an Avon one bloggers raved about called SuperShock gel eyeliner, but of course it’s been discontinued! You might find it on eBay though.

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