In the world of eyeliners, it can be tricky to find one that doesn’t smudge, is easy to apply and isn’t going to make your eyelids into a grease factory.
There are so many eyeliners out there, it’s difficult to know which one to buy for your specific needs. That’s where this list comes in.
So here is a list of the best of the best when it comes to eyeliners.
The 4th Best Liquid Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye liner
I walked into Sephora and asked their recommendation of the best eyeliner.
Their response? Stila.
This eyeliner has an impressive “staying on” rate, although… it’s by no means perfect. It is a waterproof formulation, though.
The truth is most eyeliners aren’t perfect and this is one of the better ones! It’s also excellent for giving you the option of “choice”.
You can apply both thin lines and thicker, more dramatic ones.
One other benefit of this eyeliner is even if you’re not an expert in applying, it’ll be fairly simple for you to have control over it.
Stila Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye liner, $22
The 3rd Best Liquid Eyeliner: Tarte Cosmetics, Lights Camera Lashes Precision Longwear Eyeliner
This is an amazing eyeliner. First of all, you don’t have to be an expert in applying eyeliner to use it.
What’s ideal is that you can make both a thin and thicker line because of its size. And after you apply, it truly doesn’t lose its color and fade or smudge.
It isn’t going to end up flaking, either, which is uncommon for an eyeliner that stays on the way this one does.
I’m so obsessed with this eyeliner. It’s a bit expensive but worth the investment. I’m obsessed.
Tarte Cosmetics, Lights Camera Lashes Precision Longwear Eyeliner, $20
The 2nd Best Liquid Eyeliner: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner
Revlon is a trustable yet affordable eyeliner that you really cannot go wrong with.
There’s a reason it’s called “color stay”, because it stays on!
It is not technically waterproof, but it still lasts longer than many liquid liners. The pen is not too thin or thick which makes it versatile for many different looks.
I really, really love this one. It’s an affordable must buy.
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner, $7.19
The #1 Best Liquid Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
This is one the best eyeliners I have ever used in my entire life (so far) when it comes to how long it stays on. I am so serious.
Applied first thing in the morning, before a day of running around (the kind of running around that makes your face makeup melt off) this liner stayed put.
No smudges on the corners of my eyes. Literally, nothing! I couldn’t believe my eyes.
It’s funny, I had always heard of Urban Decay having an amazing eyeliner but after directly using it myself… I highly recommend this to anyone.
I wear this one every day and am utterly obsessed with it despite being unbearably picky.
Note: it is an ultra thin tip. So assuming you’re okay with that, you need this one.
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $19
The 4th Best Pencil Eyeliner: Anastasia Covet Waterproof Eyeliner
This cult favorite for eyebrows definitely delivers when it comes to eyeliners!
This is ideal for lining inside the waterline as well as creating sultry cat eyes. It also has very good staying power and you will find that it lasts almost all day.
It also has a built in sharpener, which adds a layer of convenience.
Anastasia Covet Waterproof Eyeliner, $19 (on sale for $10 as of publication)
The 3rd Best Pencil Eyeliner: Lancôme le crayon khôl – Smoky EyeLiner
This eyeliner gives you that “sultry”, intense look.
The only problem is that it sort of smudges. I know, it’s obnoxious.
The truth is most eyeliners do smudge somewhat, so this really is no different than most of them.
It does give a very sultry look when you first apply it, rather than that soft-barely-there effect a lot of eyeliners have.
Am I making sense? I truly hope so. If not, just ignore my rambling.
The point is: for a dramatic, intense, sultry pencil eyeliner, go for this one.
If you have oily eyelids and want this to stay on all day, go for another one.
Lancôme le crayon khôl – Smoky EyeLiner, $26
The 2nd Best Pencil Eyeliner: Milani Cosmetics Supreme Kohl Kajal Eyeliner
This is a “softer” kind of eyeliner that would be good for everyday use.
I wouldn’t opt for this in preparation for a night out but rather a daily, casual way to add some life to your eyes even though technically you can opt for a dramatic look by lining your entire eye and doing multiple applications.
Most Kohl eyeliner pencils end up being prone to smudging, which makes it difficult to precisely apply it to your waterline and line the inner rim.
That’s why this one is ideal because it allows you to waterline and enhance your upper eyelid without having to worry about major smudging disasters or application precision problems.
It’s a waterproof formula that also has hydrating ingredients.
One con is that it only comes in one shade (Blackest Black).
The bottom line is: this is an affordable must-have that you can pick up at your local cvs.
Milani Cosmetics Supreme Kohl Kajal Eyeliner, $6.99
The #1 Best Pencil Eyeliner: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner
I actually discovered this eyeliner after trying the Aqua lip line.
I was amazed at how well the lip color stayed on (I’m not going to go into lip colors right now, that’s for another day).
The point is: when I realized that “aqua” was created for underwater performers (specifically, the Parisian Aquatic Ballet), I pretty much had to try the eyeliner.
I wasn’t disappointed.
By no means does this stay on all day without smudging. It does, however, almost stay on all day without smudging.
And for me? That’s a gift from heaven.
It’s a creamy, waterproof eyeliner that’s extremely easy to use. Even if you aren’t an expert, this is going to make it simple to define your eyes.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner, $19.00
This is a very good new discovery that goes on smudge free, gives enough eye definition to look sexy but not too much (so that you don’t look overdone!). A must-have.
Osmosis Colour Eye Pencil, $25.00
The 4th Best Gel Eyeliner: Inglot amc Eyeliner Gel
I remember walking around Macy’s, in one of my binge shopping frenzies and what do I stumble upon… None other than Inglot.
I was told that this “knock-off” was “as good as Bobbi Brown” but for a more reasonable cost.
It’s Hypoallergenic, waterproof and comes in a variety of colors too.
The 3rd Best Gel Eyeliner: Maybelline eye studio® lasting drama™ gel eyeliner
This affordable eyeliner is a must-buy because it’s pretty much as good as the more expensive options.
It’s an oil-free formula with concentrated pigments. It comes in four colors (blackest black, charcoal, eggplant and brown) and is waterproof.
It’s not going to smudge much (but it might a little bit to be honest with you but nothing too bad).
It works well for a defined cat eye and a “sexy” look. And it comes with an ideal little application brush.
I’ve actually found myself buying this eyeliner on and off for the last… I don’t know how many years.
Wandering around cvs, I was drawn to its packaging. Could the product be as good as it looked?
I mean, sort of. The one con is it’s not that easy to apply. It’s definitely an affordable must-have, though.
It’s safe for contact lenses as well. I recommend it.
Maybelline eye studio® lasting drama™ gel eyeliner, $9.99
The 2nd Best Gel Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel EyeLiner
This is a cult favorite. I mean, really. Who doesn’t know about how amazing Bobbi Brown’s eyeliner is?
It’s been a classic favorite in the gel liner world for years.
This eyeliner formula glides on smoothly and is pretty good at staying on all day.
It’s by no means perfect, but certainly lasts for a very long time.
If you want to shell out $25, I do recommend it. It is worth it.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel EyeLiner, $25
The #1 Best Gel Eyeliner: Tarte clay pot waterproof liner
I love this brand in general and first discovered it because of their addicting blush and bronzer. But their eyeliners are a hidden gem I am glad I discovered.
This adorably packaged eyeliner formula is one of the best I’ve ever used particularly when it comes to being able to “draw on” your ideal eyeliner look.
It’s a must-have for anyone who wants a highly pigmented look where you can define your eyes as your heart desires.
It’s ideal for creating the sultry cat eye as well as making your eyes “pop”.
What is unique about it is it’s infused with “Amazonian clay”, which is going to help reduce the oil production on your eyelids, which is going to allow it to stay on longer without smudging or looking oily and messy.
Tarte clay pot waterproof liner, $21
The Best Eyeliners Today
- Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
- Tarte Cosmetics, Lights Camera Lashes Precision Longwear Eyeliner
- Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner
- Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
- Anastasia Covet Waterproof Eyeliner
- Lancôme le crayon khôl – Smoky EyeLiner
- Milani Cosmetics Supreme Kohl Kajal Eyeliner
- Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner
- Inglot amc Eyeliner Gel
- Maybelline eye studio® lasting drama™ gel eyeliner
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel EyeLiner
- Tarte clay pot waterproof liner
Love this article! Finding an eyeliner for the waterline took years of trying every liner. I had a drawer full of black eyeliners maybe used once or twice. I agree with a few on your list that I have used. The urban decay is my 2nd fav. However I hate pencils I have to sharpen. It also wastes a lot of the liner in the shavings. . My favorite is ‘Inliner’ by POP. Made for the waterline. It doesn’t need any primer or eyeshadow to create a barrier & you can make it as dramatic as you want. You can also use it on the outside. It stays exactly the same all day. Completely waterproof. I can use 1 application in the morning. Work all day. Go out all night & it stays perfect. No sharpening just twist it. No eye irritation. I love it!
thinking of using tarte’s liner..thanks for the info
iv been using m,aybelline gel liner..it works , it lasts 7 its cheap
nver used Urban Decay liquid liner but now thinkin of tryin 1
i luv stila products but nver tried their liquid liner..il get this 1 soon
too afraid 2use liquid liners..takes me hours 2get d perfect tip
inglot gel liner is LOVE!! thx 4ur advice
i use anastasia even 4 my eye brows & im super happy..try it too
reading about each of these is a thrill..i luv make up & ill sure b getting hold of some of these eye liner produtcs
uv just convinced me once again ill be saving up for tarte on my next make up shopping… cant w8!
i luv that these are all quality brands but budget-friendly as well
pencils r the easiest 2use 4me, i tried gel liners though & not too bad as well
iv been eyeing on d tarte liner, its just a lil more pricey than wat i usually have
i use maybelline gel liner, user&pocket-friendly
this article’s so awesome, makes wana try them all!!
been using Maybelline’s gel liner for years now & doesnt fail me
this is awesome..got new items to eye for ;)
for me, liquid liners are the hardest to use and gel liners the easiest
gel liners R very easy 2 use & they last really long. bobbi brown is stil d best 4 me
pencils are still the best for me..easy to apply, easy to remove
cant w8 2 try these eyeliners esp Tarte’s… i luv their blush products
Stila Forevaaaaah ;)
I agree with Valerie NYC ALL DAYYYYY!!!!(:
NYC (: <3 Liquid Eyeliner!!
im definitely trying the Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyeliner..this really sounds smudge-free
i love INGLOT products esp their freedom palettes
Anastasia liner all the way..
sharing this to all my ladiiiieeeeees!!
Luv this article :) AnythinNeverythin about make up :)
For me Liquid liners are the best in staying on. Have yet to try gel liners though.
id stil go for gel liners, theyr d best!