The power of eyeliner is historic. Both men and women used an ancient version of eyeliner over 12,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Egypt in order to denote high status and define their eyes. Eyes are often the main focus of many makeup looks, and eyeliner is recognized as one of the main essentials in any makeup bag. The best eyeliner can define and enhance your eyes to make them look bigger, and gives you the flexibility of a thin, defined line or a dramatic cat eye.
A poll of 2,000 American women examined their relationship with beauty and found that 82 percent would describe themselves as a confident person. Nearly two in five (38%) say that getting their makeup done gives them the confidence boost they’re looking for. For those with a beauty routine (58%), an overwhelming nine in 10 agree that their regimens are key to boosting their confidence.
Though women certainly do not need makeup to feel confident at all, taking the time for self-care can definitely give you the boost you need!
The definition of the best eyeliner will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Do you prefer a precise wing or a smudged, smoky look? Do you mainly need eyeliner for a night out or do you wear it every day and need your makeup to last all day?
StudyFinds wanted to know which products were heralded by experts as the best eyeliners on the market, from budget drugstore options to the most powerful liners used by makeup artists on runways. Our list is based on the most recurring favorites from eight expert websites. If you have your own suggestions, please list them in the comments section below!
The List: Best Eyeliner, According to Expert Reviews
1. NYX Epic Ink Liner
The NYX Epic Ink Liner is a drugstore cult favorite, with over 45,000 positive reviews on Amazon. The formula packs a punch with major dark black pigment comparable to brands that cost triple the price.
“The NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink Liner is a drugstore favorite that’s so pigmented and easy to use that it won a 2022 Allure Readers’ Choice Award. This certified waterproof and sex-proof option has a fine-point tip for smooth, thin, and skip-free lines of satiny-black ink,” writes Allure.
For around $10, this eyeliner is waterproof and will last all day, but still comes off easily with makeup remover. The fine brush tip makes it easy to create the perfect wing.
“You don’t have to spend major $$$ for a smooth, waterproof eyeliner, and this drugstore liner from NYX proves it,” writes Cosmopolitan. “This brush-tip liner—which also comes in brown—creates pigmented cat eyes, flicks, and swoops that never look patchy or watery, and the formula itself dries down to a smudge-proof finish for an eight-hour work day.”
2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a great option for users with oily skin or lead active lives. The formula does not budge.
“You absolutely need to believe all of the hype on this waterproof eyeliner,” writes Marie Claire. “If you’re on the hunt for an eyeliner with serious staying power, look no further than Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner.”
A fine, felt-tip applicator applies smoothly and allows control over your chosen liner look – choose major drama with thick dark strokes or a precise, fine wing.
“This is the eyeliner formulated to address all your eyeliner hang-ups: feathering, skipping, bleeding, running, there’ll be none of that here, folks. Lubricated enough that it won’t pull at your eyelid upon application, you can simply glide your eyeliner on to your optimal thickness for all-day wear,” writes Byrdie.
3. KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner
The Kat von D Tattoo Liner is arguably the original waterproof liquid liner pen that started the winged liner craze, with a rich formula that doesn’t smudge or crack.
“The tiny pointed felt tip dispenses the rich liquid liner in the smoothest, most even way possible, which makes creating neat lines a breeze. And since the tip is so small, this liner lends to ultra-crisp wing application,” writes InStyle.
Enjoy effortless application and an easy-to-use brush tip pen loved by over 560,000 Sephora shoppers and many celebrity makeup artists.
“Our tester loved the smooth and even application of the KVD Beauty Tattoo Waterproof liquid eyeliner. It went on easily in just two strokes, including the end “swoosh” they added for some high drama,” writes People.
4. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner is another makeup artist essential that comes in a little pot and is applied with a brush. The application tends to be more forgiving for users who find the pen method too precise or those who like to smoke out their liner.
“When celebrity makeup artist Miriam Nichterlein gave Vogue the scoop on flawlessly etching double-winged eyeliner, she shared her recommendation for this Bobbi Brown formula,” writes Vogue. “Expect dramatic pigments and fade-resistant wear that can be smoked out or applied with precision.”
The creamy formula stays on all day and can be used for thin lines or major impact looks.
“It’s easy to guide it into hard-to-reach places or paint on cat-eye wings without skips. Once it sets, it stays put with a long-lasting matte finish that has a unique sheen you can’t get from a liquid or pencil liner, writes The Cut.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.