The Best in Eye Liners


The Best in Eye Liners

UPDATE: 03/10/2011

One of the most annoying beauty challenges is preventing that irritating smudge under your eyes after meticulously (or haphazardly…I don’t judge) applying eye makeup. While I find the equal culprit is mascara (which is a whole other blog) finding a eye liner that gives you the look you want, doesn’t smudge or flake and doesn’t irritate your eyes is enough to make my Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe lacquered toes cringe.

So I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of different tried and true liners that give you a variety of looks and application. Just remember, dear lovelies, that if you tend to cry or tear the best bet for keeping your eye makeup in check is :DON’T TOUCH! Once you rub re-moistened makeup, it will be prone to move, smudge or disappear. And if it makes you itch, swell or tear – stop using it. Return it! Throw it away! Or something. But please stop. Let’s proceed.

MONSTER BITES: You will not find a broad selection of standard pencils – it is my opinion that they are normally a waste of time and effort since they smudge or disappear. I’ve also found that very cheap pencils tend to be too hard for the delicate eye area, aren’t pigmented enough or don’t apply smoothly. If you’ve found a pencil for less than $5 that works – please let me know! 🙂



BEST OVERALL PENCIL: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes (Pearly Brown 2L) $17 – If I had to pick just one pencil to use for the rest of my life – thus far, MUFE Aqua Eyes Pearly Brown (deep golden brown sheen)  would be it. Not because its a spectacular stand out product – but because its a trustworthy one that goes the distance. I also love Urban Decay’s 24/7 in Underground (metallic taupe), but Pearly Brown is a darker, slightly harder (more control) version that allows for more versatility from natural to dramatic.

Past Winners: Shu Uemura Drawing Pencils (M(atte) Black, M(atte) Brown) $20 – Still fabulous, but too hard to get.

MOST WATERPROOF PENCIL: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes $17 – Yes, here they are again. Of all the pencils, this one seems like the winner in the longevity department. I have yet to find a pencil that lasts longer. My sister and best friend both use these and swear by them. They both used to use the Shu Uemura Drawing pencils but like these better. However, my sister has since switched to the Sephora brand Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner – which I will try, but I’ve never been successful with retractable pencils and smudging…so stay tuned.

BARGAIN HUNTERS: Prestige Cosmetics Waterproof Eyeliner $5.25 or Sephora Collection Kohl Waterproof  Eyeliner $9.

BEST BASIC SHADE/FUN COLORS: Urban Decay 24-7 Glide-On Eye Pencils $18 – With 29 colors (20 standards, 3 Sephora exclusives and 6 new colors currently available in the Anniversary Collection) – 24-7 Pencils are by far my favorites for specialty colors (and basics). They are well pigmented, insuring good coverage which makes it easy to create your desired effect. They are waterproof – although because of their glide on formula, they do smudge just a tad – the only reason they aren’t the BEST OVERALL. But with all the incredible colors available (including Underground – one of my favorites) I’ll get over it and use it when I’m doing a smokey eye.

BARGAIN HUNTERS: Hard Candy Take Me Out Liners (also available in Glitter and Molten Metal formulas) $5.00

MONSTER BITES: Rub a colorful pencil (or even white) on your finger to warm and apply to your lids sparingly like a cream shadow – this makes a really solid base for super glittery eyeshadow or pigments that normally won’t stick. Try to use a coordinating shade.

DARKEST PENCIL & BEST DRUG STORE PENCIL: L’Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Liner $7.99 – This is by far the coolest new liner I’ve come across in a long time. I own them in Dark Brown and Black and I love them. They glide on with the intensity of a liquid liner and the ease of a pencil. The down side is the point doesn’t last long and needs to be resharpened often. It also can smudge – which is okay if you’re doing a smokey look. Clean look…not so much. Still my favorite for darkening the lash line and adding extra drama to a smokey eye.

UPDATE (11/16/2011): I still love the L’Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil – which now comes in a Carbon Black shade with a smudge tip.



MONSTER BITES: There used to be one by Shiseido called Moisture Mist Liquid Liner that was a rich black and “peeled off” when you washed your face. It was the BEST. But like my beloved Aquacils mascara by Lancome – its been long discontinued. Poo on them. If you are looking for a similar product, the Blinc Eyeliner $25 is very similar to Shiseido’s original Moisture Mist.

BEST OVERALL LIQUID & BEST DRUG STORE LIQUID LINER: Physician’s Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum $10.95 – This liner has easily replaced its more pricey counterparts. Incredibly, this wondrous pen liner is BETTER than the Shu Uemura Liquid Liner and about a third the price. It has a high-tech Japanese formula that doesn’t smudge and wears all day. It also has a lash boosting complex – which is a nice addition to an already magnificent product. If you are using a lash growth serum at night, this is a nice supplement for day use. It does not irritate my eyes and the precision point pen allows me to get right into the lash line, which can be hard to do with traditional liquid liners.

Past Winners: Shu Uemura Liquid Eyeliner (refillable – pen and cartridge sold separately) $35- I actually think the PF liner lasts longer and is more opaque.

LONGEST LASTING EYELINER: Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Eye Liner $19.50 – This is the best as far as ease of application and longevity. I have literally scoured every brand trying to find my Mom a liner that didn’t fade or irritate her eyes. This is the only one in existence that stays on her. I swear. Although I’m wondering if the Make Up For Ever one would work on her…anyway. I also really like this in Brown. It goes well with my new simple liner and mascara look I’ve been sporting.

BARGAIN HUNTERS: L’Oréal Telescopic™ Waterproof Precision Liquid Eye Liner ($9.49).

Past Winners: Bourjois Liner Clubbing $17, Tarte Indelible Wink $22  – Great liners, but no longer available.



BEST CAKE LINER: Laura Mercier Cake Liner in Black Ebony $22 – This is a must have if you like dramatic eyes. Use this cake liner mixed with a tiny drop of Eye Liner Sealer (I’m in the process of finding a good and affordable one…or you can try Laura Mercier Tightliner Activator $20) with the Laura Mercier Flat Eye Liner Brush ($25) right under (yes, under) your top lash line for an incredibly sexy look. Great for finishing a smokey eye. Just moisten the cake with a drop of sealer, work the brush (gently) into the cake to form a fluid paste and PRESS into the lash line from under the lashes. This technique always looks rock and roll cool. You can also use it more modestly into the lash line (remember to press – don’t try to draw it in) using less product. Awesome stuff.

BARGAIN HUNTERS: Fran Wilson Cake Eyeliner $7.50 or La Femme Matte Cake Liner $3 – the key is using the right sealer vs. water.

Past Winners: I liked Aromaleigh’s Indelible Eyeliner Sealer ($4 – a steal!) – but unfortunately, they went out of business and took their fabulous (and affordable) goods with them. I (literally) just ordered La Femme Cake Eye Liner Sealer ($3.50) – so let’s see how that turns out.

BEST GEL LINER: Loreal HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner $10.19 – This is not my favorite form of liner since it can get cakey and the product tends to get clumpy and dry out before you get to the bottom of the jar.  In fact, I would say to just avoid this form of liner altogether.  This is true even with the more expensive brands (yes, Bobbi Brown too). If they stayed nice and creamy like they are when you first crack it open, that would be one thing. But they all clump up on the brush (and who is REALLY going to clean their brush every time?) and eventually need to be tossed. BUT it does offer some pretty heavy duty wear and for $10 – you won’t die if you have to toss it. But don’t use the silly hard brush it comes with…its way too stiff and painful to use on the eye. It does make a nice travel brow powder brush though…

I hope this helps narrow down the TONS of products they have out there. If you have any questions about other liners, feel free to ask me. More than likely I’ve used it at one time or another! 🙂



2 thoughts on “The Best in Eye Liners

  1. You know that eye products are my favorite…and now I have to try them all! Especially the pencils. MUFE first!!! I’m frustrated with my Sephora because it’s an odd size and I haven’t bought the sharpener yet!!

  2. gel liner by ELF is great too!!! i used it for the first time a few days ago…. i really love it! it’s sooo nice and it goes on like butter! it’s soo smooth and lasts all day too! i like it much better than my smashbox gel liner, and for the $3 price at target, you can’t beat it!!!!

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