best liquid eyeliner

15 Best Liquid Eyeliners For Thin Or Thick Lines

Cat eyes, wings, or just a little something to highlight your beautiful peepers? Whatever your reason for wearing eyeliner, it goes without saying that only the best liquid eyeliner will give you the effect and long-lasting wear you desire.

Liquid eyeliner brands are plentiful, so which brands are worth considering when it comes down to the nitty-gritty?

Our makeup experts share a list of their 15 best liquid eyeliners and provide you with some helpful shopping tips in this guide. So, read on to see which brands made the cut in the ultimate showdown.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Liquid Eyeliner?

Each type of eyeliner (gel, pencil or liquid) will work best in certain conditions but may not do so well for other jobs. Take pencil eyeliners, for instance; they are the perfect tool for doing smoky eyes but having to sharpen them constantly can become somewhat irritating.

It’s the same with liquid eyeliners; they too have their upsides and downsides. Even the best liquid eyeliner will have some characteristics which you will have to consider carefully before deciding to use it.

Pros

  • Delicate Details – Liquid eyeliners do a marvelous job when a delicate, precise and bold look is needed.
  • Varying Designs – They make perfect flicks and swoops (with practice).
  • Artistic – They can really help you to bring your inner creativity to the fore.
  • Range of Applicators – Liquid eyeliners come with different forms of applicators to suit your skill level. (More on this later.)

Cons

  • Messy – Using liquid eyeliner can be pretty messy job, especially for beginners.
  • Can be Intimidating – The level of skill required to perfect liquid eyeliner use might be a turn-off to some persons.

Which is the Best Liquid Eyeliner for Your Skills?

There are four basic types of applicators, including the pen, the sponge tip, the brush and the pot.

  • The Pen – The tip of the pen-type eyeliner looks pretty much like a felt tip marker. This type of applicator is a real breeze for most people to use, so newbies to liquid eyeliner use or anyone with less than steady hands should love it.
  • The Sponge Tip – This eyeliner will give you bolder, cleaner lines so you’ll look more “made-up” than if you used a pen eyeliner. The tips come in varying lengths, a fact you can take advantage of as you use shorter sponge tips to build your confidence before progressing to longer ones. The sponge tip is a great way to transition into the two more professional applicators we’ll look at next.
  • The Brush – If you have naturally steady hands or you’ve put in the time and practice with the pen and sponge tip type applicators, then the brush is for you. The long bristles may tend to splay out at first, but that’s okay. Building skill with the brush requires quite a bit of trial and error. Once you have mastered the brush, however, you will be able to complete more intricate and artistic designs with your liquid eyeliner.
  • The Pot – This type of applicator brings to mind fancy calligraphy done with a quill and ink. It is definitely for the experts – not necessarily a professional, mind you, but certainly someone who has had loads of practice and neurosurgeon-like steady hands (think: Doctor Strange’s hands before the accident).

How Can You Easily Remove Water-Proof Liquid Eyeliner?

While water-proof liquid eyeliners will give you both the precision and durability you crave, a possible downside is that they can be notoriously hard to remove. Here are a few quick steps guaranteed to make removal of water-proof liquid eyeliner a frustration-free breeze.

  • Step One – Soak a cotton pad in a makeup remover that is specifically made for removing eye makeup. Avoid using a cotton ball, if you can, as this might cause bits of fiber to get into your eye.
  • Step Two – Close your eye and begin to dissolve the eyeliner by gently wiping across the top eyelid. Wipe two or three times with one side of the pad, then turn it over and wipe again for another two or three times. Repeat with a clean, soaked pad if necessary.
  • Step Three – Repeat Steps One and Two for the top lid of the other eye.
  • Step Four – Now it’s time to clean the eyeliner from the bottom lids. Do this by soaking a Q-tip in the eyeliner remover and wiping it carefully across the eyeliner on one lid. Repeat with more clean, soaked Q-tips, if necessary. Avoid getting the remover in your eye.
  • Step Five – Repeat Step Four for the bottom lid of the other eye.

Once all of the eyeliner is gone from both eyes, you can continue with your regular face cleansing routine.

Best Liquid Eyeliner

best liquid eyeliner

Finish type: Matte

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is on top of our list for some really good reasons. We found it to be the best liquid eyeliner when you really need your eye design to stay put all day. It’s both waterproof and smudge-proof that won’t break sweat, water, and tears. The thin felt tip applicator pen is ideal for grasping and maneuvering around your eyes, making it easy to draw and fill in the lines.

Pros: 

  • Full-coverage
  • Easy to apply
  • Long-wearing

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

Finish type: Matte

Right off the bat, we were wowed by the color – extreme black! The New York Color eyeliner gives you the rich, deep black you need to perfect certain styles. It has a tapered natural brush applicator to ensure those designs go on smoothly and evenly, no matter how intricate they are. If you want to try natural, the brown shade is also available. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to apply
  • Long-wearing
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes

Cons:

  • Can get messy

Finish type: Satin

You can set your inner artist free with the NYX Epic Ink Vegan Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. Its ultra-fine felt tip is built for precision and detail, allowing you to draw lines of different weight and thickness. The intensely black waterproof formula is resistant to smudging, giving you a long-lasting wear.

Pros:

  • Bold color
  • Easy to apply
  • Doesn’t run
  • Long-wearing
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • Difficult to remove

Finish type: Matte

The Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Eyeliner comes with a waterproof formula with ultra-pigmented black color to create dramatic. It also features a fine-tipped brush applicator which takes all the effort out of getting your eyeliner to look professionally done. Plus, the brush bears 1,000 vegan bristles, allowing you to design thin or thick styles you desire.  

Pros:

  • Super-pigmented
  • Long-wearing
  • Bold color

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

Finish type: Satin

Rounding out our top five of the best liquid eyeliners you can buy is the Idole Ultra-Precise Felt Tip Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner by Lancôme. It brings you an ultra-felt tip brush that seamlessly delivers the blackest pigment on your lash line. The easy application offers no smudge, flake, or fade, leaving you with no grumpy eyes that lasts up to 24 hours until you remove it.

Pros:

  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to apply
  • Bold color
  • No smudge, flake, or fade

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

Finish type: Matte

Despite being a super affordable price, L’Oreal Infallible Flash Cat Eye eyeliner will provide the best quality liner you will absolutely love. Highlighting matte finish with highly-pigmented blackest ink, it plays on the game on your lash line with dramatic look. It is also waterproof, allowing you to hold on the style for 24 hours! Not to mention the thin tip brush that will precisely glide on the line.

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Easy to apply
  • Bold color
  • Long-wearing

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

Finish type: Matte

If you are someone who love to be playful with your eye makeup, this one is the best liquid eyeliner that must be added to your basket. Featuring 11 different colors, you can freely choose one that suits your personality best. Besides, its super slim, delicate tip brush offers smooth, precise, and easy glide on the lash line. Even though it is not waterproof, it gives you a resistant wear from smudging. 

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to apply
  • Available in 11 colors
  • Paraben-free

Cons:

  • A little watery

Finish type: Matte

Calling for beginners because we have found the best liquid eyeliner that will fit them perfectly. Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner offers smudge-proof, super-pigmented eyeliner to improve your eye makeup look for 12 hours. The Japanese precision brush delivers the ink evenly in just a single stroke. It is also formulated with tripeptide that promotes lashes growth. 

Pros: 

  • Vegan
  • Tripeptide formula
  • Long-wearing
  • Japanese precision brush

Cons:

  • Difficult to remove

Finish type: Opaque

Those with sensitive eyes will consider this product as a life savior because the formula has been clinically tested by ophthalmologists and dermatologists to ensure the product safety. It highlights flexible pen brush tip that easily follows the lash line and coat it with the rich black pigment. The liner is also smudge-resistant and buildable that allow you showcase your cat wings for 12 hours.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Buildable
  • Long-wearing
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

Finish type: Matte

Considering its amazing dual-sided applicator, you won’t be regret spending $29 for this best liquid eyeliner. It comes with a stamp and pen in one product that will make it easy for you styling the lines you want, especially if you are in rush! With the super-pigmented, waterproof and smudge-proof black ink, it ensures a long-lasting look that stays from morning to night. 

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Double-ended applicator
  • Long-wearing
  • Paraben and phthalates free

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive

Finish type: Clear-Glittery

Urban Decay blesses us with cheerful glittery eyeliner that is available in 10 different colors. They are best glide on top of your eyeshadow to add sparkle to the lash line and boost up your eye makeup look. Since they are water-based eyeliners, you need to apply multiple layers to have the long-lasting look and super-pigmented effect.

Pros:

  • Available in 10 different glittery colors
  • Quick dry formula
  • Long-wearing

Cons:

  • Expensive

Finish type: Satin

Another the best liquid eyeliner for sensitive skin fellas out there! This time, it is a pocket-friendly eyeliner that won’t rob your pocket money. Honest Beauty Liquid Eyeliner features a highly-pigmented black color that will enhance your lashes look with just one swipe away. Its ultra-thin brush tip also allows precise application, coating every inch of the lash line without leaving anything behind. It is also dermatologists and ophthalmologist-tested, so this eyeliner is safe for sensitive skin.

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Easy to remove
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Hypoallergenic formula

Cons:

  • Can smear

Finish type: Matte

The name of this product may be intriguing, but don’t be too distracted since this product truly gives you rich deep black pigment you will ever wish for. It is also waterproof, smudge-proof, and flake-proof that lock the look for 24 hours. Plus, the dual-fiber brush allows easy-glides on the lash line, creating the think or thick wings smoothly. 

Pros:

  • Long-wearing
  • Transfer-resistant
  • Lightweight application

Cons:

  • Can be patchy

Finish type: Matte

Easy application is a key for amazing eyeliner product and this Master MattesTM Liquid Eyeliner comes with a flexible tip brush any beauty enthusiast will appreciate! The brush effortlessly glides on the lash line to cover it with waterproof and smudge-proof, rich black pigment that lasts all day. Not to mention its bullet-proof formula that hug the lids, creating more defined eyes look.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Long-wearing
  • Easy to apply
  • Paraben and gluten-free

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

Finish type: Matte

Last but not least, we recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Liner as the best liquid eyeliner you ass to your eye makeup list! It brings you a highly-pigmented, blackest liner that glides on smoothly with a matte finish. Also, thanks to its felt-tip precision brush, you can easily create natural or dramatic, thin or thick lines you wish for. 

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Easy to apply
  • Long-wearing
  • Paraben, sulfate, gluten, and fragrance-free

Cons:

  • Dry out too quick

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which eyeliner is the best between liquid or gel?

It highly depends on what you prefer for your eyes look. If you want to have a dramatic, bold-looking eyes, liquid eyeliner is the best choice since it delivers highly-pigmented color than gel or pencil eyeliner. However, the best buildable eyeliner goes to gel eyeliners.

Should you line your bottom waterline?

It is best to avoid line your bottom waterline especially if you are using liquid eyeliners. The liquid can smear and run into tiny lines on your waterline. It is also too risky as the liquid can unintentionally enter your eyes that may lead to irritation, or worst, damage your eyes.

Should hooded eyes wear eyeliner?

Yes! Those with hooded eyes can make their eyes look bigger, widder, and more defined when putting the dark color eyeliners on. Those eyeliners can also help conceal the hoodedness of their eyes smoothly. 

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