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The Best Eyeliners

Last updated on November 3, 2023

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Eyeliners

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Honest Beauty Hypoallergenic Liquid Eyeliner

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Honest Beauty

Hypoallergenic Liquid Eyeliner

Individuals with sensitive skin will want to go with this hypoallergenic eyeliner. It's liquid-based and formulated to create dark lines that are quite attractive. The eyeliner also lasts a full 8 hours without smudging or clumping up, so you won't have to reapply it during a workday.

Overall Take

Never Tested on AnimalsThis eyeliner is carbon-free, pigment-free, silicone-free and vegan-friendly.

 Best Liquid Liner

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Waterproof Vegan Liquid Eyeliner


Waterproof Vegan Liquid Eyeliner

This boldly-pigmented eyeliner pen offers a matte finish. The felt tip is small and can handle very thin, precise lines with ease. Its formula is vegan and waterproof, and you don't have to worry about it coming off.

Overall Take

Handy for BeginnersThis waterproof eyeliner's precise brush tip allows beginners better control during application.

 Runner Up

LA PURE Double-Sided Long Lasting Eyeliner


Double-Sided Long Lasting Eyeliner

With this eyeliner, you get a pen at one end and a stamp at the other. Together you'll be able to create a stunning wing-look that is sure to draw attention. The formula is also smudge-proof and waterproof, which means you can wear it to the gym or out by the pool.

Overall Take

Stunning EffectsThis eyeliner comes in a choice of 8 millimeters or 10 millimeters.

 We Also Like

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Retractable Smudge-Proof Creamy Eyeliner


Retractable Smudge-Proof Creamy Eyeliner

This eyeliner is smudge proof and will last all day through heat and humidity. The pencil is retractable and easy to use. This eyeliner is available in both neutral and bright colors.

Overall Take

Smudge ProofThis eyeliner lasts all day through heat and humidity.

Buying Guide

Eyeliner is a great way to express your creativity. However, there are so many different types of eyeliner – how do you know which one is right for your needs? A popular variety is liquid eyeliner, which allows you do draw with a sharp, precise brush to create defined lines. This is a good choice if you like the winged retro look and like making flicks or scoops at the sides of your eyes. Gel eyeliner is perfect for getting a satiny finish. It glides on smoothly and looks very professional. However, it can take a little while to get the hang of it.

For those who prefer a more subtle look, pencil eyeliner is a good choice. It can also be used to color on the waterlines of your eyes, which isn’t possible with liquid or gel eyeliner. Pen eyeliner is quick to apply thanks to the sharp tip. They don’t show up as dark as pencil eyeliner so you may need multiple coats to achieve the look you’re going for. A traditional style of eyeliner which has been used for centuries is kohl. It glides on smoothly but it is likely to smudge, so you have to be careful when wearing it. There are some smudge-resistant styles of kohl available as well. If you’re a beginner and new to makeup, cream eyeliners may be a good option. They are the easiest to rub off, so you can re-do the lines if you didn’t get them right the first time.

What to Look For

  • In addition to the type of eyeliner, you also need to think about the type of applicator – which is how you actually apply the eyeliner to your skin. Many types, such as liquids, come with a pen-like applicator, which is easy to hold and maneuver. There are also felt-tip applicators which are great for making thicker lines as well as thin ones. Keep in mind that they may dry out quickly. Another type is a brush applicator, which is similar to the type of brush you get with nail polish. It can be more difficult to control and maneuver this applicator, but you are able to create different line thicknesses with it. Pencil applicators are easy to use and a good choice for most beginners.
  • Waterproof eyeliner formula are designed for long-lasting wear. However, keep in mind that they are also difficult to take off. Another issue is if you live in a humid climate, your eyeliner may be more likely to run or drip. In this case, waterproof eyeliner is a necessity.
  • Opt for high pigment formula as this way you don’t need to put on multiple layers of liner in order to get a bold color. Plus, this type of eyeliner typically goes on smooth and clean and doesn’t damage the sensitive skin around your eyes.
  • Most styles of eyeliner are available in multiple colors. However, arguably black eyeliner is the most popular as it works with so many different types of makeup looks and fashion style. You can also find eyeliner in other colors such as brown, blue, green and red.

More to Explore

Did you know that the history of eyeliner goes as far back as ancient Egypt? During this time, people used kohl to trace their eyes. This kind of eyeliner was made from a type of lead sulfide combined with other minerals and then mixed with water, oil and animal fat. Eyeliner saw a boom in the early 1900s when the bust of ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti was found in 1912. She was revered as a beauty and everyone was captivated by her look – including the lines of thick, black kohl which she used to outline her almond-shaped eyes.

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