"This unique gel eyeliner and shadow is an innovative alternative to traditional powder and liquid formulas. This clever little gel has an inky intensity that leaves powder shadows in the dust. A favorite for the sultry, smoky eye."
Stila Smudge Pots are well-known faves of fellow beauty bloggers, Nikki of Askmewhats, and Prettybeautiful. Being a big time gel eyeliner fanatic, I started to venture into Smudge Pots with the Stila Smudge Pot Trio (Black, Bronze and Gray) and more recently, added Jade to my collection.
Read on for the review and comparisons.
The Smudge Pot Trio Set is limited edition -- Three Mini Smudge Pots in Black, Bronze and Gray with a Mini Eyeliner Brush. Each pot is 2.0g, which is half of the full-sized Smudge Pot. The brush is not as firm and precise as I would prefer it to be but it's handy so I don't mind it.
A full-sized Smudge Pot is 4.0g. The jar size is exactly the same as the jar of Benefit Creaseless Shadow/Liner but I assume that Benefit's product is more dense hence the extra 0.5g.
MAC Fluidline is 3.0g and in my opinion, it's more than enough for a jar of gel liner since they dry out quickly. I would actually be happier if more companies produce gel liners in 2.0g to prevent product wastage.
Having used numerous brands of gel eyeliners, I'm aware that I can be quite fussy. The Smudge Pot's formula feels more creamy than gel-like but not powdery (like Bobbi Brown). Although it applies very smoothly, the shimmery colors such as Jade and Bronze, are not able to give solid color in one stroke. I find myself having to dip into the pot for more eyeliner countless times just so I can get a solid line. These colors also tend to have poorer staying power, especially the bronze. After a few hours, the liner will start to flake off.
As for the matte colors, Gray and Black, they have much more solid pigmentation for a consistent application. While they don't flake off and have better staying power, I did experience a tiny bit of smudging. The MAC Fluidline reigns supreme in terms of being reliably smudge-proof.
Quite obviously, I still think that MAC Fluidline is the best gel eyeliner for me. The Smudge Pots are excellent quality but not equal across all the colors with only the Gray meeting Fluidline's standards.
Jade (shimmering green): Medium-tone olive green with gold shimmer. This is a highly similar shade to MAC Fluidline in New Weed except lighter (but not as light as Sweet Sage)
Bronze (bronze sheen): Metallic medium-tone bronze. It looks nice in the pot but on the eyes, this color makes my lids look wrinkly. Safe to say, it's my least favorite shade
Gray (rich steel-charcoal): Matte deep blue/indigo gray. A very unique color and my favorite. It's also the most smudge-resistant
Black (jet black): Matte dark black with very slight hint of brown. Darker than MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack but has higher tendency to smudge
Stila Smudge Pots retail at $20USD on their website. Other permanent colors include Brown and Cobalt. Occasionally, they would have limited edition colors such as Pomegranate, 24k, Black Cat and Kitten.