Right this very second, a handful of memes about eyeliner are making the beauty community rounds. You might have seen some of them; they often lament the woes of trying to achieve the perfect cat eye without going full panda or breaking down in a nervous sweat.
Sure, learning how to create the perfect wing takes hours of practice staring yourself down in the mirror, but there are other factors to consider, as well. Take formulation, for example. Subpar formulations can lead to smearing, streaking, and opacity. Also, if the felt tip is too loose, good luck trying to get a crisp wing! If it’s too hard, you’re in for a struggle, too.
Liquid Eyeliners That Won’t Disappoint
You know who has the 411 on the best liquid eyeliners out there? Professional makeup artists, who literally try countless products and then narrow down their trusted favorites. We asked them to share which liquid eyeliners they swear by, and now we’re rapidly adding these to our basket!
Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Liquid Liner
“Kevyn Aucoin’s The Precision Liquid Liner, $34, is perfect for creating a thin, delicate, daytime line, or a thick and bold statement line,” says Kate Stromberg, a makeup artist and director of beauty and cosmetics at Color Salon in Las Vegas. “It’s quick drying, waterproof, and the felt tip applicator makes it easy to use.”
Maybelline Ultra Liner
“I first discovered Maybelline’s Ultra Liner, $6, in the ‘80s when I painted my brows, intricate huge cat eyes, and even lined my lips with it,” says Kristofer Buckle, a celeb makeup artist to the likes of Mariah Carey, Shay Mitchell, and Blake Lively. “This product never failed me through many nights of dancing, performing and new wave concerts! It doesn’t crack if you build it up, and it doesn’t come off until you’re ready to take it off.”
Juice Beauty Phtyo-Pigments Liquid Line & Define
“I personally love this liquid liner by Juice Beauty. Not only is it long-wearing, it’s also smudge-proof to beat the rain and snow this winter. It defines my clients’ eyes with a soft tip, and it’s only $24,” says Cassandra McClure, a California-based makeup artist who specializes in working with clean beauty products. “I love that the liner is leaping bunny certified, free of synthetic fragrance, vegan, and made with certified organic ingredients including organic aloe juice and cranberry fruit powder.”
Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel
“Inglot’s AMC Eyeliner, $13, is a waterproof, smudge proof, creamy gel formula that delivers a long-lasting, high-intensity payoff after each use — [and it has] a set time of 60 seconds,” says Stromberg. “With over 30 shades to choose from, it is easy to create endless looks with this resilient, waterline-friendly liner.” Note that this one is a gel pot that you dip an angled eyeliner brush into, which some people prefer over felt tips since it gives you a little more control over the tool you’re using.
Winky Lux Feliner Liquid Eyeliner in Shade Black Cat
“Winky Lux’s Feliner Liquid Eyeliner, $13, is a high-performance waterproof eyeliner. The felt tip allows for precision application while the un-smudge-able formula lasts all day,” says Katherine Dorn, makeup artist at Pierre Michel salon. And can we talk about how cute that name is? Kitty lovers, this one’s for you.
Surratt Auto-Graphique Eyeliner
“This Auto-Graphique Eyeliner by Surrat, $42, is a bit pricey, but instead of a solid felt tip this pen has a fine roped brush that disperses the inky black liner,” says Buckle. “It allows for a single-hand application and provides great pigment.” We recommend this one for anyone eager to experiment with inventive products and for those who habitually wear liquid eyeliner and don’t mind splurging. It comes in four colors and you can buy refill cartridges, $18.
Beauty Counter Precision Liquid Eyeliner
“This clean beauty liquid liner by Beauty Counter, $28, is the best liner I’ve ever tried. It doesn’t dry up and is super sleek and compact. My clients usually struggle with liquid liner, but they all say that they love how easy it is to use,” says McClure. “It comes in a gold bottle that is super fancy and is delivered in sustainable packaging and shipping materials, so you can feel good about disposing of the box.”
Have you guys tried any of these? Let us know in the comments below.