Eyeliners wield a special power that a lot of other makeup products don’t: the ability to make a huge difference in just a few strokes. From supersharp liquid pens to luxuriously smooth pencils, here are the 18 best eyeliners we’ve tried for creating every kind of line (graphic, winged, squiggly) you could want.
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In an Ulta review, one woman noted that this liner stayed on during a car accident. “I fell out of a truck going 50 mph,” she explains. Even if you don’t regularly fall out of trucks, you will appreciate the reliability of this $8 version. The color is intensely black, dries quickly, and lasts throughout both positive and unfortunate situations.
The pen version from Amazon is also highly rated and costs only $4!
This liner lives up to its name, famously staying put during a car accident and a subsequent ride to the hospital. (It’s unfortunate that car accidents can be used as a measure of liner durability, but here we are.) If you’re prone to blinking immediately after application, you’ll appreciate the quick-drying formula. If you have have oily lids, you’ll love the way it stays in place throughout the day.
Maybelline makes one of the sharpest liquid liners out there. This pen has a supersharp tip and an easy-control grip that helps you create smooth, even lines. Use it to create a cat-eye, and you’ll end up with angles so precise your friends will think you used a protractor.
In general, you should not sleep on the Sephora Collection. Thanks to Sephora’s manufacturing know-how, the entire collection contains very satisfying dupes for high-end products at a fraction of the price. Its eyeliners are reliably long-lasting, come in a ton of fun colors, and cost under $10. The one is particularly nice because it doesn’t require any sharpening and doesn’t smudge, but also blends easily if you want a softer look (how it manages to do these seemingly contrasting tasks is a mystery, but it works).
Yes, this eyeliner is pricey. However, you get two eyeliners for the price of one. This liner comes with two tips — one bigger and thicker, and the other smaller and finer. Use the thicker side to line your eye in a hurry; use the thinner side to perfect the point and angle of a cat-eye. Both tips are sturdy, and the pigment flows from them as freely as drinks at happy hour (though it also dries very quickly). Once on your lid, it looks thick and expensive and not at all like a magic marker.
Leave it to Marc Jacobs, whose favorite color is “shiny,” to create a giant range of very good, very sparkly liners. If you want baby-pink shimmery liner, Marc Jacobs has that. If you want orange or mint green, the brand has two kinds of each. And the shimmer is very fine and not chunky, so you won’t look like an extra on Euphoria.
If you want a turquoise liquid liner, you have to go Stila. It’s notoriously difficult to make a liquid liner in a bright color, and it’s the only brand to do it well. No matter the shade, each performs equally well, giving you a vibrant, sharp line of pigment that glides across your skin. If you want slightly different shades of brown or black, Stila does those too.