Gold Eyeliner: Illamasqua vs. Make Up For Ever


So, I LOVE gold eyeliner. It’s like, ‘my thing’. I wear it maybe 3 or 4 times a week with a nude shadow look – just a bit of definition in the crease – it’s so quick and more forgiving that black so I don’t have to spend so much time being precise. That, and it really complements blue eyes.

I have two favourites, and it only very recently dawned on me how bloody similar they are. I tend to chop and change between the two, they get used more or less equally. They are Illamasqua’s Precision Ink in Alchemy, and Make Up Forever’s Aqua Liner in Diamond Gold.

The biggest difference between the two is the brush. Well, I call it a brush but really they are both made of that spongey/foamy type material which I much prefer – I like to use something with a little firmness which I find some liquid liner applicators are lacking when they have a loose, floppy bristle brush. The Illamasqua one is a fair bit longer though, which gives it a slight edge as I find this one to be ever so slightly quicker and more precise to apply. There’s barely any discernible difference in ease of use though, really.


The colour and finish are practically identical, too. Neither are entirely ‘solid’ colours, but I might hasten to say that the Make Up Forever one is ever so slightly more opaque on the first swipe. The above swatches are one stroke each, shown in two different lighting conditions – MUFE top swatch, Illamasqua bottom swatch – but I prefer to use two layers of each of these in context just for a really opaque finish. They are both hardcore waterproof and remain exactly where you put them without a hint of movement until you want to remove them.

Now, if one of these was considerably cheaper than the other that might be the decider of which one I would repurchase. However, they’re pretty much exactly the same again! Illamasqua Precision Inks are £17 for 1.8ml, and Make Up Forever Aqua Liners are £16.95 for 1.7ml.

I absolutely love both of these liners and would definitely recommend them both. As for which one I would repurchase (as obviously I wouldn’t need to repurchase both of them again!), it would probably be the Illamasqua. If only because I love Illamasqua so much! That, and it’s also more easily accessible than Make Up Forever which is only available to buy in the UK from Guru Makeup Emporium.

Are you a lover of gold liner? Have you tried either of these products?

8 thoughts on “Gold Eyeliner: Illamasqua vs. Make Up For Ever

  1. You should check out the MAC Superslick Eyeliners, they have a gold which is identical called Pure Show and it is £16.50. Urban Decay also have their version too which is a dupe but it has a brush rather than a sponge. I find it applies very precisely though with a little practice – they are £14.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I’m not a much of a MAC fan though, something from MAC has to look seriously cool for me to even consider buying it ;-) and as for Urban Decay, I’m still pretty reluctant to buy from them at the moment.. good to know there’s a slightly cheaper alternative out there though!

  2. I love gold liner too, really makes blue eyes stand out, I’m a huge fan of the Illamasqua one, not tried MUFE one but it looks very similar, I love Illamasqua Havoc liner too its the aubergine coloured one its a lovely change from black xx

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