If you ask us, a flawless eyeliner application is worth its weight in gold. But mastering the perfect cat eye, reverse cat eye or even a great wing takes more than just a steady hand—you’ll have to use the best liquid eyeliner, too. Though it may take some trial and error, finding the right one for you is akin to finding the perfect pen: a small delight each and every time you use it.
WHAT IS THE BEST LIQUID EYELINER?
Makeup isn’t one size fits all, so the right eyeliner for your BFF might be totally different than the one that will make your heart sing. Depending on your makeup preferences and abilities, there are a few things to look out for when deciding which liquid eyeliner is best for you.
Applicator style: Each liquid eyeliner brand is tasked with figuring out a design that will allow the formula to glide on smoothly. Pen-shaped liquid eyeliners, for instance, are great when you’re looking to achieve a more precise application, while brush-style applicators can give you that perfect flick.
Ingredients: If you’re someone with sensitive eyes, the last thing you need is a liquid eyeliner that will cause irritation when you are about to head out for the day. Look for hypoallergenic ingredients that are specifically crafted for those with sensitivity. There are plenty of organic and hypoallergenic options that could be right up your alley.
Colors: Do you want a classic black or brown liquid eyeliner for the office? Or do you want to go wild and dip into a fun metallic glitter liner for a night out with friends? Your answer will help you narrow down your dream liquid eyeliner selection.
1，STILA STAY ALL DAY WATERPROOF LIQUID EYELINER—Best overall liquid eyeliner
There’s a reason Stila’s All Day waterproof liner is hailed as a fan favorite—it has more than 20,000 glowing reviews on Amazon alone, for starters. It always delivers the sharpest, cleanest lines, the inkiest, richest color and it has a longevity that can withstand your sweatiest moments—even in peak humidity. Plus, the fine marker-like tip is easy to maneuver for beginners and pros alike.
2，THEBALM SCHWING LIQUID EYELINER—Best matte liquid eyeliner
If it’s a quick-drying and totally stunning matte finish you’re after, look no further than this liquid eyeliner from theBalm. The conveniently thin felt-tip applicator is designed to create crisp, precise lines. Note that those with oily skin may need to reapply more frequently, but all in all, it’s a makeup bag staple.
3，NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP EPIC INK LIQUID EYELINER—Best drugstore liquid eyeliner
You don’t need to spend a boatload to get a great liquid eyeliner. This inky formula from NYX Professional Makeup has a flexible tip to allow for the perfect cat-eye or wing. It’s also completely cruelty-free, so you can feel good about your purchase.
4，KAJA WINK STAMP WING LIQUID EYELINER—Best liquid eyeliner for a cat eye
If you haven’t quite mastered the cat eye yet, rest assured—you’re not alone. Thankfully, Kaja created a starter kit for any fellow novices that comes with a fine-tipped liquid liner and a double-sided flick stamp to give you a jumping off point. (There’s also a handy illustrated guide that shows you exactly where to put what.) Take it from us: Getting crisp, symmetrical wings has never been easier.
5，UZ FLOWFUSHI EYE-OPENING LIQUID EYELINER—Best colored liquid eyeliner
You know that flutter of excitement you used to get when you were a kid opening a new box of crayons? That’s exactly how we felt when we first laid eyes on these rainbow liners from Japan. In addition to the brand’s neutral black and brown hues, you can choose from 13 vibrant shades that range from tangerine orange to sky blue to baby pink and khaki. The colors pop against your skin and become more vibrant with each layer you apply. The paint-like formula, meanwhile, is made with flexible polymers that can withstand sweat, humidity, tears and oil. The ingredients are completely cruelty-free, too.