L’Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows

Brands L’Oreal Paris and Maybelline feature products that are very similar to one another (like their gel eyeliners) and for good reason – both drugstore makeup brands fall under the L’Oreal Group’s portfolio.

I’ve finally had the opportunity to test both L’Oreal and Maybelline gel shadows – Maybelline’s Color Tattoo (available for $6-ish on Amazon and at drugstores, etc) formula, and newer (to me – not new in general), L’Oreal’s Infalliable Eyeshadow (available for $7-ish on Amazon and at drugstores, etc). Now that I’ve had adequate time to play with L’Oreal’s Infalliable offering (and have really, really come to enjoy the latter), I wanted to share a comparison and review.

First, let’s check out the packaging of the L’Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows:

L'Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows - Packaging, Bottom

On the left, we have Maybelline’s Color Tattoo, lid down. The bottom of the glass pot includes information about which sub-line it is from (this is Barely branded, which I talked about in my Color Tattoo post – it is from their Metals sub-line), and also boasts that it will wear for 24 hours. That said, unlike my accidental 28 hour test of Maybelline’s gel liner, I haven’t made a point to push this past a normal day. The cap includes more information about the product, such as the shade name, batch number, and product volume (4 grams or .14 oz).

L'Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows - Packaging, Lid

On the right, we have L’Oreal’s Infalliable Eyeshadow, also lid down. The L’Oreal packaging is a bit more simple, not as loud with the font used, and it allows for an unobstructed view of the product inside (this is Bronzed Taupe). The pot is lower profile, sleeker, and is more of a squared shape with a round screw-on cap. Like its Maybelline cousin, the cap has a sticker featuring batch, color, and volume (3.5 grams or .12 oz) information on the cap. A notable difference is that unlike the Color Tattoo, this Infalliable Eyeshadow features acrylic (plastic) packaging; this makes it lighter (and sturdier!) which I personally consider a plus, but glass is more-often associated with luxe when it comes to product packaging…something L’Oreal usually tends to pursue.

L'Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows - Open 1

Opened, the L’Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows are two different scenes – the Maybelline Color Tattoo has the product right there in your face, but the L’Oreal Infalliable Eyeshadow has a little secondary lid that sits atop the product. Though it isn’t loose or of such a consistency that it may escape if you accidentally invert it, I imagine this secondary lid is to help tamp the product in place to keep it from drying.

L'Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows - Open 2L’Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows

I’m going to be a little backward and share swatches before sharing consistency details. I’ve swatched the L’Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows on the back of my hand. Both products were picked up with a finger and applied with one swipe over no primer – this is how they are out of the pot. You can’t see it in the photo so well, but the L’Oreal Infalliable shadow, pictured left, is a bit more even in one pass than the Maybelline Color Tattoo. They are both great; excellent pigmentation and color payoff. Both L’Oreal and Maybelline gel shadows pictured are frosty metallics, but Bronzed Taupe features a shinier, almost wet-look finish on my hand here compared to Barely Branded, which looks satiny in comparison.

L'Oreal and Maybelline Gel Shadows - Swatches

Now, my favorite part: the formulas. Though these are both gel-type shadows the formulas and consistencies could not be more different.

Maybelline’s Color Tattoo formula, though gel, is actually somewhat stiff. Although they recommend applying with a finger for best results (like you might do with pigments), I found that using this non-flat shader brush gave me the best results. I apply with my finger from time to time and usually regret it – I just can’t get an even application with my finger unless I pat, but I find patting this product with my finger doesn’t give me great color payoff, even if I press, unless I pick up a TON of product. Once it is on, it dries swiftly and does not budge. I like using Barely Branded as a base for other gold or light-neutral eye looks or to use in a single-shade look for lazy days. I have oily lids and this is fine through a ten-hour (office!) workday without additional primer.

L’Oreal’s Infalliable Eyeshadow formula is much softer – we hear the word, “buttery,” tossed around a lot to describe product texture in the beauty world but seriously, this reminds me of butter. Not room-temperature butter, firmer than that, but still definitely smooth – it glides on BEAUTIFULLY with a finger or a brush. I actually prefer using a finger with this to swipe or pat it on my lid. That is invaluable to me – as much as I love makeup, I reeeally love sleep, which sometimes means I don’t have as much time to do my makeup as I’d like…I like not having to grab another tool, and I love that it is so easy to work with. I haven’t used this shade as a base yet because I feel like it would be more appropriate as a base for a darker look (which I don’t do a ton of), but it is also fantastic for lazy or single-shade days (which I’ve had a lot of lately).

In the past two weeks I’ve REALLY been loving using the L’Oreal and Maybelline gel eyeshadows in Brozned Taupe and Barely Branded in concert to create a nice, neutral two-step eye that is appropriate for work. Slap on mascara and wham, you look like you put some effort in when really it took like, oh, maybe two minutes tops (before coffee). They’re definitely worth their price tags.