How to Choose the Best Eye Liner

Although we dress up our eyes differently (cat eyes, au naturel, smokey eyes), there are several very important features we want our eyeliners to deliver. We wanted to see what everyone thought, including the professionals.

Our main questions when starting our research were: What makes an eyeliner the best? How do you know what type of eyeliner is right for you? And which is most loved and coveted by the masses? Read below to find out…..


In our quest to find the best eyeliner, we focused on black, everyday eyeliner since this is what most of us use most frequently. What we discovered during our research was that many women also use brown-black or brown eyeliners for a more everyday, casual look, so we changed our criteria to ensure the best eyeliners also offer a subtler brown version.

After hand-generating a comprehensive list of over 70 products, we whittled down the list to 18 of the best eyeliners based on a proprietary formula of positive reviews, comments, awards, recognitions, and social-media mentions. This strategy was used to get to a manageable amount of top products so we could move to the testing stages.

The winning features of the best eyeliner are jaw-dropping long wear, gorgeous pigmentation, smooth application, and an uncanny ability to withstand water, sweat, accidental rubbing, and The Bridges of Madison County-level tears.

The Top Picks for Gel, Liquid, and Drugstore Eyeliner:-

The Best Eyeliner: Summed Up

Choosing the Right Type of Eyeliner for You:-

The three main types of eyeliners are pencil, gel, and liquid.

Deciding on the right type is the most important part. After that, there are other factors to consider, like drugstore versus luxury brand, waterproof capabilities, and if the eyeliner is good for water lining.

Pencil Eyeliner

Pencil is the most standard type of eyeliner and comes in different sizes and a range of colors. Pencil is available through the vast majority of cosmetic brands.

Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner provides precise definition to the lash lines and is usually dispensed through a brush or felt-tip pen.

Gel Eyeliner

Gel eyeliners lie somewhere between pencil and liquid eyeliners. They are smudgeable enough to look natural but can also be applied so the line is bold and defined. An eyeliner brush is needed to apply gel eyeliner, which is typically contained in a small pot.

What Makes a Good Eyeliner?

The 14 Most Important Features

  1. Precision — Flexibility in the thickness of line (more important for liquid liners since the shape of the tip can’t be altered)
  2. “Buildability” — Ability to darken the line without over-layering the product
  3. High pigmentation — The higher the pigmentation, the easier it is to produce the intended color, especially if it’s applied over primer and eye shadow.
  4. Consistency — Balanced texture creamy enough for the perfect glide without tugging
  5. Drying time — Dries quickly after application, but is easy to take off right away if you make a mistake
  6. Strong stick — The tip of the stick doesn’t break off as you’re applying or sharpening.
  7. Overall ease of application ­— Not too challenging to use in order to achieve your desired look
  8. Easy hold — Your hands and the eyeliner work in harmony, without slipping or construction that make application awkward or difficult.
  9. Stay-on power ­— The color stays on all day (or as labeled); does not fade; and withstands water, tears, and sweat.
  10. No smudging ­­— The color does not smudge throughout the day — no raccoon eyes!
  11. True to color — The eyeliner produces the intended color (e.g., “black noir” eyeliner should appear black — not gray or charcoal).
  12. No creasing — The eyeliner does not slide into the eyelid crease.
  13. Doesn’t chip or peel — The eyeliner stays smoothly on your skin without flaking off (more applicable for gel and liquid eyeliners).
  14. Hypo-allergenic — Does not make eyes water or itch.

Final thoughts :-

Though they’re petite, eyeliners are powerful instruments for self-expression and are behind some of history’s most iconic looks.

Even a subtle streak on a lash line makes a huge difference in how you look — and feel. The curves, lines, and colors are the finishing touches accenting your personal style.

Eyeliner should be easy to apply, glide effortlessly, have a variety of gorgeous colors, and boast longevity you can trust. We have our favorite, but you can’t go wrong with any of our top picks.

Read detailed review of the above mentioned liners along with 8 bonus features to look out for in a liner in



7 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Eye Liner

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