10 Best Liquid Eyeliners in 2019

best overall rating
  • Waterproof liquid eyeliner
  • Ultra-precise tip
  • Easy to use stroke
premium choice rating
  • Waterproof formula
  • Comfortable pen design
  • Enables great control
great value rating
  • Applicator and pot combination
  • Skinny applicator tip
  • Smudge resistant

Eyeliner has provided a make-up staple for individuals for many decades, with the creation of liquid eyeliner in the 1960s providing women with the tools by which to create sharp, dramatic looks which echoed the fashion of Mary Quant.  Eyeliner progressed further throughout the decades which followed, helping to create edgy drama for punks and effortless elegance for the new romantics, crossing the gender boundaries with the look becoming fashionable for men also.

Today, liquid eyeliner is still a firm favorite with many people, being used daily across many make-up routines.  With advancements in technology and design, however, different types of liquid eyeliner have become available, including an eyeliner pen, to waterproof liquid eyeliner, to an oil-free liquid eyeliner.

We have reviewed ten of the best liquid eyeliners currently available on the market, helping you to decide which liquid eyeliner is perfect for you.  From different types of applicators, different length of wearability, and a variety of hypoallergenic formulas, there is a liquid eyeliner for all needs.

View the Best Liquid Eyeliners

best overall rating

1. NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Epic Ink Liner

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NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Epic Ink Liner provides a waterproof liquid eyeliner which is long-lasting and used by professionals, offering a striking black color.  Featuring an ultra-precise tip, the tip is flexible and provides an easy to use stroke, helping you to control the eyeliner precisely while varying the thickness of your liner through adapting pressure.

Offering a waterproof eyeliner, your look is fixed throughout the day and can later be removed with a good facial cleanser.  Additionally, NYX PROFESSIONAL is endorsed by PETA as a cruelty-free make-up brand.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Epic Ink Liner is a waterproof liquid eyeliner which does not smudge underwater, providing excellent coverage and can only be removed with a good facial cleanser or vaseline.

Why We Like It
  • Waterproof liquid eyeliner
  • Ultra-precise tip
  • Easy to use stroke
  • Vary the thickness of your liner by varying pressure
  • Cruelty-free make-up brand
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
Yes
Ophthalmologist Tested
No
premium choice rating

2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

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Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is available in a wide range of color choices, from intense black, midnight, indigo, and cobalt.  This liquid eyeliner is waterproof and offers superb coverage, while the handy pen design enables you to possess effective control and management around the delicate eye area.  The liner glides onto your skin effortlessly and remains in place throughout the day.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner offers a vast range of different colors from which to choose from, suiting all looks and preferences while providing lasting coverage.

Why We Like It
  • Waterproof formula
  • Comfortable pen design
  • Enables great control
  • Numerous color choice available
  • The formula glides onto the skin
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
Yes
Ophthalmologist Tested
No
great value rating

3. Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

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Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner features a traditional pot and applicator combination, offering a sleek 'Black Out' color choice from a leading make-up brand.  Providing a skinny applicator tip of 0.1 mm, precision is key as you enjoy creating effective and stylish looks across the day and the night.  This liquid eyeliner is smudge resistant and will not fade as the day progresses.  Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner is ophthalmologist tested and so is safe to use on sensitive eyes.

Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner is ophthalmologist tested and so is safe for sensitive eyes while providing great protection.

Why We Like It
  • Applicator and pot combination
  • Skinny applicator tip
  • Smudge resistant
  • Will not fade
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
No
Ophthalmologist Tested
Yes

4. e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner

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e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner provides an easy to use applicator and pot in a dramatic black color choice.  This liquid eyeliner is smudge-proof and is long-lasting, providing a precise fine tip to create your specific look.  Additionally, this product is not tested on animals.  e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner provides a long applicator wand which makes applying the liquid eyeliner quicker and easier.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner is a good, smudge-proof liquid eyeliner which is long-lasting and quick and easy to apply.

Why We Like It
  • Easy to use applicator
  • Smudge-proof liquid
  • Long-lasting
  • Precise fine tip
  • Long applicator wand
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
No
Ophthalmologist Tested
No

5. Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

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Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner comes from a well-respected brand in a sleek black color choice.  Providing a smudge-free liquid, your color lasts for up to 12 hours and will not break away as the day progresses.  This liquid eyeliner is offered in a pen format, helping to create a comfortable and easy to use application which ensures precision.  Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner is waterproof and so should be removed with a good facial cleanser.

Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner is a good, long-lasting waterproof liquid eyeliner which provides a useful pen applicator for easy use.

Why We Like It
  • Sleek black color choice
  • Smudge-free
  • Lasts for up to 12 hours
  • Pen applicator
  • Waterproof
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
Yes
Ophthalmologist Tested
No

6. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner

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Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner is available in a pen applicator which helps you to create precise lines and a dramatic look.  This liquid eyeliner is easy to apply and you can create superb designs to accentuate your eyes, providing intense color and a smudge-free look.  The formula used is paraben-free and is offered in a striking black color choice.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner offers a good choice of paraben-free liquid eyeliner which still ensures a smudge-free, dramatic look.

Why We Like It
  • Pen applicator
  • Creates precise lines
  • Easy to apply
  • Smudge-free
  • Paraben-free
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
No
Ophthalmologist Tested
No

7. L’Oréal Paris Makeup Liquid Eyeliner

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L'Oréal Paris Makeup Liquid Eyeliner offers an ultra-fine tip of only 1.4 mm in width complete within a pen applicator.  This liquid formula lasts for up to 12 hours and ensures a smudge-free look and a flawless finish, ensuring that wherever you apply your liquid eyeliner, the formula will stay put. L'Oréal Paris Makeup Liquid Eyeliner is ophthalmologist tested and so is safe for users to wear on sensitive eyes.

L'Oréal Paris Makeup Liquid Eyeliner provides a good choice of liquid eyeliner which lasts for up to 12 hours.

Why We Like It
  • Pen applicator
  • Ultra-thin tip
  • The liquid formula lasts for up to 12 hours
  • Flawless finish
  • Ophthalmologist tested and so safe for use on sensitive eyes
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
No
Ophthalmologist Tested
Yes

8. Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner

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Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner is offered in a 'Jet Black' color choice, perfect for dramatic looks.  This liquid eyeliner is waterproof and so is water-resistant and will not crack or smudge, ensuring that the liquid is applied effortlessly and easily.

The formula contains coconut and natural honey, creating a unique formula which does not fade.  Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner is hypoallergenic and so is suitable for use on sensitive eyes as well as wearers who use contact lenses, providing comfort and style for all individuals.

The Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner provides a hypoallergenic liquid eyeliner for individuals with sensitive eyes.

Why We Like It
  • 'Jet Black' color choice
  • Waterproof
  • Smudge-free
  • Contains coconut and natural honey
  • Hypoallergenic and so is suitable for use on sensitive eyes
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
Yes
Ophthalmologist Tested
Yes

9. Almay Oil-Free Liquid Eyeliner

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Almay Oil-Free Liquid Eyeliner is available in an applicator and pot combination with an easy to use applicator tip with flex grip which provides excellent results.  This liquid eyeliner is waterproof and will ensure up to 16 hours of effortless wear with no smudging or irritation.

Almay Oil-Free Liquid Eyeliner is hypoallergenic and is dermatologist tested, ensuring that the product is suitable for individuals with sensitive eyes, or for those who wear contact lenses.  This liquid eyeliner is perfect for everyday usage, offering a fresh, sleek color and design with every use.

Almay Oil-Free Liquid Eyeliner is hypoallergenic and is dermatologist tested, providing a liquid eyeliner for everyday usage for all individuals, with up to 16 hours of wear.

Why We Like It
  • Applicator and pot combination
  • Applicator tip with flex grip
  • Waterproof
  • Up to 16 hours of smudge-free wear
  • Dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
Yes
Ophthalmologist Tested
Yes

10. Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen

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Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen offers a pen applicator to ensure that you possess full control over the design and style of your eyeliner look.  A tapered brush adds precision and allows the user to alter the thickness of the deep color to suit your style.

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen offers a superb 24 hours of smudge-free wear, ensuring that your eyeliner stays put throughout the day and the night.  This eyeliner is ophthalmologist tested and is also allergy tested, containing zero phthalates and zero parabens in addition to being completely fragrance-free.

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen provides up to 24 hours of great coverage, ensuring that your eyeliner stays put.

Why We Like It
  • Pen applicator
  • Tapered brush
  • 24 hours of smudge-free wear
  • Ophthalmologist tested and allergy-tested
  • Free from parabens, phthalates, and fragrances
Smudge-Proof
Yes
Waterproof
No
Ophthalmologist Tested
Yes

Liquid Eyeliner Buying Guide

Liquid eyeliners are different from powder, which tends to smudge or flake off. Powdered eyeliner is also hard to control, and gives a wider line. It doesn’t deliver strong, pigmented color. It is also terrible for creating precise lines. It also comes off with humidity, rain, or tears. Computer users tend to rub their eyes. So, no more liner at 10:00 AM! This really irritates you if you spent 10 minutes getting the perfect look just a few hours before.

Liquid eyeliners are great for creating precise, even lines with strong color and a lovely, glossy finish. It has great staying power. However, you can’t use liquid eyeliner under your lashes close to your eyes (called waterlining). We tend to rub our eyes staring at computer screens all day, and a great liquid liner stays on even with the accidental smudging! Eyeliner also works in the hot, humid weather endemic to those waterlogged regions.

Are you the kind that changes makeup completely before going out, or do you want to use the same look all day? A long-lasting, 15-to 24-hour eyeliner would be best for you. Have thin eyelashes? Why not use a liner that grows your lashes over time? Living in heat, humidity, or someplace with heavy rains? A waterproof eyeliner is right for you. A newbie? You need an eyeliner with a lovely liquid liner brush or even a three-dot brush. A felt-tip applicator makes the liner easier to apply. A bristled brush gives perfect control. There are very tiny brushes that give perfect, precise control. There are even those with dual brushes!

What kind of look are you After?

An angled brush makes it easier to the cat eye, with extends the line from the lash line to the far corner of the eye. The drop eye swings back and creates a thick line under the eye from the cat eye. You can create a very thick line on the top lid, then make an Arabian look with a thicker line over the top, a thin line beneath, and a tiny cat eye. You can go all Lady Gaga and create designs with thin lines to the side of the eye. The idea is to have fun making those peepers pop!

Liquid Eyeliner Color

What color should you use? Well, most people go with basic, dramatic black. Gray makes for soft, bright eyes. Brown is great for those with brown or green-brown hazel eyes. Blue makes blue eyes pop, but stick with dark blue. Add blue mascara, and your eyes are seriously dramatic! If you have green eyes, green or khaki eyeliner will really pop out your eyes. For those with small-set eyes, use black or another color on top, and white waterproof eyeliner on the waterline just above the lashes.

For parties, red, gold, purple, or silver eyeliners are amazing. You can buy glitter eyeliner, but it doesn’t tend to stay put. Put another eyeliner on first, such as gold or silver, then the glitter. Do NOT touch your eyes if you use glitter eyeliner. You don’t want to get glitter in your eyes! Keep eye drops to gently rinse your eyes if this happens.

How I do I Apply Liquid Eyeliners?

You may want to do this in front of a makeup mirror, if possible. You can start by putting a little moisturizer or foundation on the eyelid first. You can skip this step if you prefer. Then, be sure the lid on your liquid eyeliner is on tight, and shake the bottle for a few seconds. This removes any sediment that may clump on your lashes. Then, unscrew the cap and take the brush out of bottle. Swipe it a touch around the inside edge of the liner bottle to be sure there are no clumps. Put your elbow on a table, and your pinky on your cheekbone. Start lining in the middle of the eye just over the eyelashes.

Close your eye and pull the skin taut. If you prefer your eyes open, hold a mirror downward to see what you are doing. If you’re new to eyeliners in general or liquid eyeliners, make 3 tiny dots, then go back and connect them with tiny strokes. Or, you can substitute dashes for the dots and connect those. When you get better at applying eyeliner, use longer strokes and put your dots or dashes a little farther apart.

Use this dot or dash technique on the entire eyelash line, working from the middle out and then from the middle back to the crease of the eye, until you have one solid line. If you are terrified that you may be a klutz, relax. Just do the same thing with a pencil liner first, getting your line perfect, then repeat with the liquid eyeliner. Go slow. Slow is real!

For a winged look to intensify your allover look, apply the eyeliner. Then, extend from the outer lash to the corner of your eyelid on each side. The farther you go, the more dramatic the look. Do this for each eye symmetrically. A trick is to use a business card to get a perfect line. Just put the card in a line between the last eyelash and the corner of the eye, and then apply the eyeliner. Or, you can use a piece of regular clear tape. Line up the tape on both sides before drawing the line! Then, obviously, remove the tape. You can also go first with a powder pencil first and match the lines. Then, go back and draw a small line to the middle of the cat eye to create a tiny triangle. Fill this in to create a lovely cat eye.  

If your eyes tilt-up, create thick lines on the outside corner of your eyes with the liquid eyeliner. This makes your eyes look bigger and more round. If your eyes turn down, do the traditional winged cat eye, but use a lighter shade to contour just above the liquid eyeliner line on the top lid to make it look rounder. With almond eyes, use the traditional wings. With thick eyelids, make a thicker line with the eyeliner on the top lid to pop out your eyes. If you want a wide-eyed look, angle the cat-eye down, not up.

If you STILL think you can’t apply liquid eyeliner, use an eyelash curler. Put your powder eyeliner on the inside of the crimper, and then curl your lashes. Then, go over the perfect line you just made with the liquid liner.

Next, go ahead and do your eyeshadow! Be sure the shadow complements the eyeliner color. Use a little translucent powder to “set” the eyeliner. You can do this before or after adding the eyeshadow. It is better to do it afterward, because why do it twice?

How do I Remove a Liquid Eyeliner?

There are special washes you use to remove eye makeup. You can also use a face wash, “tear-free” baby shampoo, moisturizer, or cold cream. Some people just wash their faces with facial cleanser. Just close your eyes and gently wipe on a dab of the eyewash, baby shampoo, or cleanser with a soft cloth. Then rub your eyes in gentle circles. It kinds of feels like a massage! Rinse and wipe again.

Then, wipe your eyes with a dry cloth. Use the wipe on/wipe-on method without the water rinse step with cold cream or moisturizer using a cotton pad or soft cloth. If you are an earth goddess, or just want to feel like one, use 2 ounces of olive oil with 2 ounces of witch hazel. Put it together in a little covered cup or ramekin, shake or mix it up, and use a cotton ball to dab it on your eyes.

Then, wipe your eyes with a dry cotton ball. Don’t use oils or petroleum jelly. This tends to block pores. If you have sensitive skin, you may have to choose a trusted brand’s facial cleanser, like those from Neutrogena or Clinique.

How do I Fix Liquid Eyeliner Mistakes?

First, using a q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover, dot the remover on. Then, flip the q-tip over and pat on the mistake to eliminate both the remover and the mistake. This technique is fast and simple, and lets you go back in a jiffy to complete your look! Or, use a q-tip dipped in a dot of foundation. You can then cover up the mistake with eye shadow. For emergencies on the go, you can use clear lip gloss to remove mistakes.

You can also use black eyeshadow and a smudge brush to clean up mistakes as well. Believe it or not, there are makeup remover pens! Buy one if you want to get fancy about fixing eyeliner errors. If your eyeliner is clumping and causing you to make mistakes, you can fix that easily. First, run the tip of the eyeliner on your hand or inner wrist to get the dried parts off. Or, if it is a felt-tipped liner, get a paper towel and dampen it with warm water. Then, run the felt tip over it. Then, plunge it in again, and carefully wipe the excess off in the inner part of the top.

So, these are the top 9 eyeliners! You’ve got it all on the list, from price-conscious to pricey, from simple to dramatic, from black to multicolored, from tiny brush to double brush, from day to night and back again! You also have the best tricks and tips to help you choose, then apply, the liquid eyeliner, even if you feel like a klutz. We’ll get you making your eyes beautiful in no time! Choose the eyeliner that will create the look you love, and experiment! You never know what look will bring out your gorgeous eyes!