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The Best Liquid Eyeliners for 2021
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Liquid Eye Liners
If there’s one thing a makeup look isn’t complete without, it’s liquid liner. I don’t know about you, but that final touch always makes or breaks the look for me. Liquid liners are incredibly versatile and can widen, elongate, or even drastically change the appearance of one’s eyes.
The problem is finding the right product to achieve your desired finish. For beginners, a liquid liner can be incredibly messy to practice with compared to a gel eyeliner or pencil. This is because most of them are super pigmented and have a long-wearing formula. If you’re not yet confident with your winged liner skills, check out our beginner’s guide to applying liquid eye liner like a pro.
If you’re one of the people who can’t live without their day-to-day wing, then you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up all the best liquid eyeliners in the market so you never have to run out. Take a look right here.
In a Hurry? This is the Best Liquid Eyeliner
This cult favorite is a cult favorite for a reason. It’s popular all over social media, on Pinterest, and basically has its users raving. If there’s anything you should purchase this liner for, it’s the precise line and staying power. The waterproof formula is perfect for long wear, making it great for when you’re out and about without time for retouches.
This precision liquid eyeliner includes a smudge-proof formula (goodbye, oily lids!) so you don’t accidentally sweat it off. The tapered tip and rich pigment make precise lines easier for both eye makeup novices and pros.
What are the Best Liquid Eyeliners?
BEST FOR WINGED EYES
MAYBELLINE HYPERSHARP LASER LIQUID PEN EYELINER
Perfect winged eyes, every time, without fail? Maybe it’s Maybelline! The Maybelline Eye Studio Master Liquid Eyeliner…
One wonderful thing about liquid eyeliners is their pigment. Compared to pencils, liquid liners are usually much darker and bold, making them great for sharp lines and angled tips. However, there are different kinds of liquid liners that are suited for different needs. Some things you should look for in your liquid liner are:
As you go through our list, you’ll notice different types of applicators, usually brush or felt-tip. Brushes are usually more fluid and ideal for thin lines, while marker-style tips are best suited for beginners because they allow for more control.
Most liquid liners are jet-black for the bold look. However, there is a wide range of colors to choose from if you’re feeling experimental! Try out browns, whites, and neon colors for a unique look.
Some liners have a creamier texture that is easier to erase and change, while others have a pen-like feel that dries easily. This really depends upon preference more than anything and what style you’re most comfortable with.
Top 10 Best Liquid Eyeliners
Let’s Go Over Each Liquid Eyeliner
Did someone say makeup bag staple? The Stila Stay All Day has everything you need in an eyeliner: a precise felt tip applicator, waterproof formulation, portability, and a tapered shape at the end.
Whether you’re applying a thick line, thin line, or a fox eye for that extra glamorous look, this eyeliner stays on and it stays on for long. Richly pigmented with a flexible applicator, this liquid eyeliner grants the user complete control no matter the look they’re going for.
The Stila can go head-to-head with some of the most famous eyeliners in the market, including the makeup artist-owned Pat McGrath Perma Precision and the Sephora Collection Long-Lasting liner, both of which are notorious for their pigmented and heavy-duty formula that doesn’t smudge for hours. The Stay All Day isn’t a gel eyeliner, which is better for some who are still practicing, but it is still quite easy to apply.
Pros and Cons of the Stila Eyeliner
|✔️ Simple packaging |
✔️ Waterproof formula
✔️ Great for beginners and pros
Looking for a luxurious experience? Tom Ford can help you with that. While this eyeliner may or may not break the bank, it’s certainly a valuable product that hangs onto your eyes for dear life.
Long-wearing and flexible, anyone who wants to experiment with different eye-opening looks can certainly make use of the dual-tipped liners that come in both a fine calligraphy-tip end as well as a brush tip.
It’s the best of both worlds.
The rich black glides on effortlessly to create the perfect cat eye or the most seductive smoky eye finish.
Pros and Cons of the Tom Ford Defining Pen
|✔️ Dual-tipped eyeliner |
✔️ Rich black pigment
✔️ Suitable for any makeup look
|✖️ Product is a little costly|
Remember how we said liquid liners can be terribly hard for beginners? What if we told you that you could skip the practice phase and go straight to the “Oh my gosh, this cat-eye is absolutely perfect” part?
L’Oreal Paris definitely came through with this one. The Super Liner Flash Cat Eye comes with a removable wing stencil so you don’t have to spend hours perfecting that tip.
All you have to do is place the stencil a few centimeters away from the outer corner of your eye and above your lash line where the tip would be, then fill it in.
The liner has a brush tip for more precise strokes, but without the stencil, it might be hard to achieve the same precision compared to liners with a felt tip.
Pros and Cons of the L’Oreal Paris Super Liner
|✔️ Includes a stencil for easy winged eye |
✔️ Quick application
|✖️ Brush tip might be harder to control without stencil|
Precise application is key to becoming an eyeliner pro, and this baby can certainly help.
Benefit’s Roller Liner boasts a sleek matte finish and a precision applicator similar to that of felt-tip pens.
However, this might not be the best to practice with as a beginner (unless you have bottles of makeup remover stocked) as the pigment is long-wearing and meant to last for as long as 24 hours.
The good news is that it’s perfect for avoiding constant retouches and those who have oily lids.
Pros and Cons of the Benefit Roller Liner
|✔️ Smudge-proof and fade-proof formula |
✔️ Great for oily lids
✔️ Felt-tipped for better control
|✖️ A little costly|
Did someone say cruelty-free makeup? We’ve got you covered on that front, too. Kat Von D has plenty of awesome vegan products that help you not only look good but be 100% ethical while doing so.
This award-winning liner comes in a satin finish and in the colors brown and black. The brush-tipped liner helps you create fine lines both on the upper lid and inner lash line for a smokey look.
Sidenote: If you’re looking for other brands that have cruelty-free liners, check out Urban Decay. They’ve made it clear that they don’t test on animals, nor do they collaborate with ingredient suppliers who do.
Check out their Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil if you’re on the hunt for a pencil liner to add to your bag.
Pros and Cons of the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
|✔️ Vegan and cruelty-free product |
✔️ Satin finish
✔️ Long-wearing and waterproof
|✖️ Brush tip might be difficult for beginners|
If you’re a practicing beginner, definitely go for a controllable tip. One of our picks for the best liquid eyeliner comes from none other than NYX.
Aside from giving your eyes the perfect feline flick with just one swipe, the Makeup Epic Ink Liner is also incredibly affordable — handy, because we already see a repurchase in the near future.
The rich pigment glides effortlessly to create an eye-opening look suitable for every occasion.
Pros and Cons of the Nyx Epic Ink EyeLiner
|✔️ Controllable tip|
✔️ High-quality yet affordable
✔️ Waterproof formula
|✖️ Can be hard to remove|
Perfect winged eyes, every time, without fail? Maybe it’s Maybelline!
The Maybelline Eye Studio Master Liquid Eyeliner is perfect for a quick, no-fuss application, especially if you want that super-sharp “can-cut-a-man” eyeliner look.
The tip is a minuscule 0.01 mm for improved precision and control, making it perfect for both sharp and bold lines.
Pros and Cons of the Maybelline Hypersharp Laser Liquid Pen
|✔️ Great for precision eyeliner |
✔️ High-quality drugstore product
✔️ Super-small tip for sharp lines
|✖️ Can be hard to control for novices|
There’s a reason Revlon stands the test of time, and one of those reasons is high-quality makeup that simply doesn’t disappoint.
Their products are long-lasting and smudge-proof, and this liquid eyeliner is no exception.
There’s not much to say about it because the brand’s reputation speaks for itself, but suffice it to say that you’re going to want another buy once you’ve used up every last bit of this liquid liner!
This ophthalmologist-tested liner is said to last up to 10-16 hours without fading or smudging, and the reviews can back up the claims.
It also has a magical quick-drying formula so you don’t have to spend a few minutes waiting for your liner to dry.
Best for: beginners, pros, casual dates, nights out, and well, pretty much any occasion you can think of.
Pros and Cons of the Revlon Liquid EyeLiner
|✔️ Quick-drying formula |
✔️ Tested by an eyecare professional
|✖️ Only lasts 10-16 hours|
If your skin is particularly sensitive around the eyelids, worry not. IN2IT’s liquid eyeliner is not only smudge-proof and long-lasting, but it’s paraben-free, too.
The product is easy to grip for better control, allowing you to experiment with different shapes and styles of liner without worrying about it fading in the middle of the day.
It’s also an excellent choice for contact lens wearers.
Pros and Cons of the IN2IT Liquid Eyeliner
|✔️ Doesn't fade, pull, or smudge |
|✖️ Can be easy to remove|
Rounding up our list is the best liquid eyeliner for those of us who are on a tight budget.
If you’ve ever wondered why Wet N’ Wild is one of the best-selling drugstore brands in the US, this eyeliner might answer your question.
The ProLine Felt Tip Eyeliner has staying power and an ultra-smooth applicator, making the journey from the inner corner to your outer corners quick and easy.
Whether you’re a newbie to the liner world or a seasoned celebrity makeup artist, this product is definitely convenient to have in your arsenal.
Pros and Cons of the Wet N’ Wild ProLine
|✔️ Extremely affordable |
✔️ Water and smudge-proof
✔️ Easy to control
|✖️ Simple features|
Best Liquid Eyeliner Comparison
A good eyeliner will make you look and feel great, no matter what — so it’s best to invest in one that is going to bring out the best in you! With these ten products, we’re sure you’ll be on your way to achieving the perfect makeup style.
Found this guide helpful? Check out our other beauty, skincare, and health guides right here at Pretty Me.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.