What’s The Best Liquid Eyeliner?

With liquid liner, what you're generally looking for are precision and lasting power (although being waterproof can be pretty great, too). Dior Intense Liquid Eyeliner dries really quickly, which makes application a whole lot easier, and the narrow brush makes getting a fine line superlatively easy. For something a little more portable, Hourglass Precision Liquid Liner comes loaded in a pen and has a similarly versatile brush that's slightly shorter, which makes for a less dramatic, more daywear-appropriate line.
If you're an advanced liner applier, of course, the rules are a little different. The classic for gorgeous vintage-style cat eyes is Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner, which has a super long, super fine brush that makes a perfect flick and comes in the prettiest bottle around.

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  • Amanda Satchwell

    L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner is my gold standard in the frosted gold tube--the original black dries more opaque and dark than the "carbon black" version in the shiny black tube. Plus you can find it everywhere for <$10.

    I find that the long, flat paintbrush-like handle and long, tapered felt tip is the MOST versatile and stable set-up for my every day liquid liner application. The longer, more stable surface area on both the handle and the tip accommodate my MULTIPLE angles of attack when I apply liner.

    • sydneyk

      Agree! Best eyeliner ever. The Carbon Black version is amazing!

    • bzgh

      I liked it until it irritated my eyes. The color was great, better than the Armani one.

    • Lizzy

      Hands down best liner- but in the carbon black black tube version. Easy to apply, stays jet black all day, and does not budge a millimeter!

    • shoumi

      Agree - this has been my favorite for years.

    • Alexa

      The carbon black one is my absolute favourite! I've been using it for almost 6 years and it never fails. It stays on through everything UNTIL I go to bed which is perfect, let's be real, when coming home after some coughliquorcough. Nobody wants to wash their face in that state so you know. Golden.

    • Anonym

      The gold one from l'oreal is my favorite, I have been using it for over 15 years! The tip is just so easy to handle...

    • Nallely

      Does anyone know if it is waterproof?

  • addy

    For me it would have to be rimmel glam eyes. Very affordable and works great. Easy to remove if you make an error too.

  • Ilonka

    Maybelline Hyper Sharp Liquid liner! The applicator is a pen thats so thin it allows me to draw the most subtle of all flicks, yet its kinda of like a calligraphy pen where, when you add more pressure you can create a thicker line for a more dramatic cat eye. I love that baby! However its super hard to find, so I have to stock up each time I travel to Asia. The 1 Day Tattoo liner is another good one.

    • Rozza

      I'm on my 3rd pen with this one, tried looking for substitutes but this one is the best bet when it comes to precise application. Bought my mom her own pen as well since she keeps on borrowing mine.:D

  • JLO

    Kat Von D Tatoo is the inkiest, glossiest black and it does not budge for anything, even on the waterline! Clio's Kill Black is a close runner up but hard to find since it's a Korean brand.

  • Amanda Lou de Perquise

    Mine is "La Rose de Versailles" in "Oscar Impact and cool eyes". I bought it in Tokyo last summer, and it's perfect.
    The tip is really fine but it's not a felt tip, it's not really black, more like a really dark green/brown, wich makes it perfect to draw on tiny baby brows as well, and it's really long lasting.
    Plus the packaging is really cookycool. And it costs 750 yens (more or less 7$).

  • Celina

    Givenchy Parad'Eyes Fluid Eyeliner! The azure one in summer beautiful!
    As for a cheaper alternative, Max Factor Colour Expert.

  • Neelam

    Mac fluidline blacktrack because its matte and doesn't budge. The loreal liners are too shiny for my liking and seem to move all over my eyelid

  • Amy

    Stila All Day Liquid Liner because its smudge free but not too hard to wash off.

    • Lindsey

      I'm so over Stila- it isn't inky enough for my taste. I also find that when trying to smooth out any mistakes that I've made, it smudges and then it's harder to fix. I used to really love this liner but I'm convinced that there has to be something better. Really want to try Kat Von D, always hearing amazing things!

      • Jane T.

        I feel the same way about the black Stila liner, but I tried out the dark brown and it is very pigmented and a nice change up if you're bored with black! I was inspired by the makeup at Prabal Spring '14 and it's been a refreshing change to try out.

  • Isabel

    I know this isn't liquid eyeliner per se, but I love the L'Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner. It's like a liquid eyeliner in pencil form. It glides on smooth and still gives the dramatic look of liquid eyeliner. I've always found liquid eyeliner way too difficult to apply but liked the look of it, so this is the perfect solution.

  • Aleja

    Kat Von D Tattoo liner. Easiest liquid I've ever used and doesn't leave any extra liquid on lid. Jet black as well

    • Trisha

      I found that putting on primer is a necessity for those with oily lids. Other than that, this liner and its applicator is A+!

  • Teckie

    Although I almost always choose gel over liquid, Lancome Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner is fab for a more high-end brand, and Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Liner works really well for a drugstore brand.

  • Kasia

    the new line of L'Oreal liners is great. I use the super slim one. Affordable, practical, looks great.

  • Teresa @

    I'm currently liking the YSL Eyeliner Noir, the one with the long thin brush. I also use it with an angled brush for more control.

  • jaci.

    as someone who has been wearing giant wings of black liner for more than half her life, i can say THIS: makeup forever aqua black waterproof creme eyeshadow. i've fallen asleep with it on and it's still there when i wake up. how's that for longevity.

  • heysarajean

    I'm a fan of Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen. The fact that it's built like a pen makes applying it so much easier. It gives a great, intense black and lasts all day.

  • Alex

    Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner Pen...the best

    • rae

      Agreed! The dark brown is amazing.

  • Jubidoo

    Kat von D Autograph Liner in Puro Amor--short wand, can get a precise line, and is a true matte black. I order 2 at a time from Sephora, I've been using it for more than 5 years and it is my boo.

  • Ranna

    Revlon Color Stay Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black! It's around $8 and has a great tip applicator to draw cat eyes very easily.

  • Cheng

    Jordana Fabu Liner. Easy felt tip with a nice dark black for a wearable daily cat eye. And only a $1.99!

  • audrexyz

    Shiseido Maquillage Perfect Fine Liner WP. It does exactly what it says: Very jet black with a felt tip that can draw thin and thick lines. Plus it dries INSTANTLY and is smudge proof. Pity it's only available in Asia.

  • Thia Laurain

    theBalm's "Schwing!" liquid eyeliner is definitely my favorite (and an underdog at that). its felt tip is flexible but firm, and very pointy, and it never, ever clumps or drags!

  • Elizabeth Licata

    I haven't found a gel I like at all. My favorite is definitely Lancome's Artliner. There's just so much control.

  • Karina

    Helena Rubinstein Spectacular Eyeliner!! it's incredible.

  • Claire

    MAC Liquidlast liner all the way! It's the only thing that stays all day (and all night) on my rather oily eyelids. Unfortunately they discontinued the colours and I get so paranoid they'll discontinue the black one that I buy it in bulk at Selfridges.

    • shoumi

      I wanted to love this because it has crazy staying power, but I could never master the super skinny brush (I prefer a felt tip or pen applicator).

  • Jane T.

    I'm a big fan of Eyeko -- I've repurchased a couple of times and it's wonderful! They also make a nice subtle navy that's fun to try as well.

  • Katie

    surratt autographique liner all the way!

  • Lauren Long

    Ecriture De Chanel in black!

  • Parker

    Stila: Stay all day waterproof liner. Perfect.

  • pemora

    i really like sephora's brand of liquid liner. cute colors and they stay put for me!

  • Rosie

    stila all day!

  • Melissa Huynh

    Lorac Front of the Line liquid eyeliner is amazing! Sets well and the brush tip is tapered perfectly to the finest point.

  • Allison

    Stila Stay All Day liquid liner!

  • Eleanor Rigby

    Stila. Stila. Stila. Stila.

  • CLAUDIApietrzak

    Revlon Color Stay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black!

  • nanaf

    I love the Diorliner Precision Eyeliner, so easy to apply!

  • nanaf

    And while not exactly liquid, I'm quite happy with the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner that comes in a little pot with a little brush. Cheap and great for everyday use and stays put!

  • Aline Bessa

    Guerlain's Jet Black is the only liquid eyeliner I trust. <3

  • jfs537 .

    artliner by lancome is my favorite although i haven't tried the guerlain or hourglass.

  • Bryn

    Stila black stay all day liquid liner. Great finish and it really lasts. Love the pen applicator as well

  • Rachel

    I use Kat Von D's tattoo eyeliner. It doesn't budge at all, until it's time to take it off. I discovered it after my favorite long lasting liner, which I stocked up on in Japan, ran out. This is the only liquid eyeliner that lasts as long as Japanese and Korean eyeliners.

  • Hannah

    milani infinite liquid eyeliner is the ONLY eyeliner i have tried that doesn't smudge on me and i have super oily, asian hooded eyelids. it should get way more recognition that it does!

  • TheJessjess

    I have an old dried out felt tip eyeliner pen (Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner Pen) that I dip into my Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in true black. All the precision of a felt tip liner, but with the creamy consistency and opaque blackness of a gel liner.

    I find most liquid liners end up smudging in with my eye shadow and turning kind of grey - hence why I've rigged up my crazy system.

  • labisqwee

    Dr. Hauschka, love it!

  • Marta

    EL Double Wear..lasts forever! no smudges, looks perfect all day long!

  • Shianne

    I consider myself an expert- hands down Stila liquid eyeliner in dark brown for only $20 you can't beat the quality or the price!

  • Ashley

    Shockingly, Wet&Wild Mega Liner. I'll never buy another eyeliner.

  • Hayley

    surprisingly enough, N.Y.C. (cheap brand sold at target and places like that) has an amazing liquid liner. Super precise tip and doesn't smudge all day when I wear it. I've been using it for years.

  • Bertiebeetle

    I love love love both of these and the stila liquid liner. Currently the Stila is what I'm using most but I really do recommend the physician's formula.

  • Renaphuah

    Just tried Eyeko liquid liners, they are inky black, has firm nibs, waterproof and affordable