Because nothing makes eyes pop like a flick of the black stuff
When it comes to actually applying your best liquid eyeliner, there are two types of women in this world.
The first can apply liquid eyeliner like a ninja; hand steady as a board. Then there’s the other type, who ends up with smudges rather than precise lines (sadly, this is the camp most of us at MC fall into).
Regardless of whether you possess a natural proficiency in liquid liner application, it is something that can be worn by everyone.
If your eyes are hooded, you’ll need to keep the colour quite close to your lashes and make sure you look dead-ahead into a mirror when plotting the end of your wing.
Read on as we chart the best liquid eyeliner to help you nail those feline flicks and winged eyes.
Best drugstore liquid eyeliner
Coming in at just under a fiver, Barry M’s waterproof formula is easy to apply, compact, and comes in a proper ‘super gloss’ black. It also sticks to its promise and is completely waterproof. Designer make-up enthusiasts will also love Marc Jacobs’ aptly named waterproof Magic Marc’er.
Best waterproof liquid eyeliner
We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that oily eyelids are a royal pain in the derrière. There’s nothing worse than labouring over a smokey eye or perfectly blended shimmer wash only for it to slide off your lids and go all over the place a couple of hours later. (F.Y.I you should also invest in a good eyelid primer. Check out our definitive list on the best primer for any occasion.) In terms of liners though – opt for a heavy duty waterproof formula, like Stila’s Stay All Day liner.
Best liquid eyeliner pen
Kat Von D’s Tattoo liner has an impressive cult following. The reason? It’s damn good. Not only is it a joy to use, but it’s called tattoo for a reason. It creates a deep black line that won’t budge unless you really want it to – a bit like the tats that Kat Von D creates at her parlour in the US.
Best liquid eyeliner for beginners
Liquid eyeliner beginners will love this Clinique felt tip. Its super thin nib makes light work of drawing a thin, elegant line along the bottom of your lid and creating a seamless cat eye flick. For a bolder and thicker line, drag more of the felt tip along your lid by holding the pen on its side. Simples.
Best long lasting liquid eyeliner
Everybody knows and trusts Bobbi Brown. It’s wearable, reliable and long-wearing. From its cream eye shadow to its foundation, they’ve all earned their place in the beauty hall of fame. And we think this liner deserves the same praise. The Long Wear liquid liner has an ultra fine tip, and the long-handled applicator makes drawing along your lash line simple. Each shade has a slight sparkle to it, which catches the light beautifully.
Best liquid eyeliner for sensitive eyes
There’s one liquid liner that’s constantly heralded by sensitive-eyed beauty reviewers (the Mumsnet community included), and that’s The Body Shop’s. Weepy-eyed women of the web cite this as the best liquid eyeliner for sensitive eyes because it’s non-irritating and won’t sting. But don’t think that this means that it sacrifices the colour pay off. No, no, no. It has a stunning dark matte black finish that’ll suit all colours. If you suffer with sensitive eyes it’s definitely worth a go.
Best smudge proof liquid eyeliner
Estée Lauder’s Double Wear range, including foundations and concealers, has one soul purpose: to last and last. Their Zero-Smudge liner is no different . It is super long-wearing and will get you from bathroom mirror, to desk, to dinner, to dancing.
Best coloured liquid eyeliner
Sometimes a black line just isn’t jazzy enough. Sometimes what your beauty look needs is a pop of colour. Whether that means investing in a green mascara or keeping it a little more subtle with a thin line of bright poppy colour along your upper lid. Kiko Milano’s Super Colour Eyeliners are brilliant for three reasons: they are dead easy to use, they come in 11 stunning shades and they’re under £10. Win.
How to apply liquid eyeliner
To truly make your eyes pop, your eyeliner should hug the lash line. So apply it as close as possible to the root of your eyelashes – slow and steady is key. You may find it helpful to stretch your eyelid a little taut in order to reach your lash line, but be sure not to pull your lid too tight.
You also shouldn’t forget about your waterline – ensure you fill this in to avoid the obvious strip of exposed flesh and to complete the overall look.
Rimmel's Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner is one of the best budget liners on the market. The felt tip-style pen means application is easy and, once dry, has real staying power. We love the pen and ink style packaging, which mean you can easily control the amount of product you want on the tip. Build slowly from the inner corner to the outside of the eye and flick up towards the end of the eyebrow for the perfect feline flick. Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner still draws over even the most highly pigmented eyeshadows for a dramatic look.
If you aren't one for subtlety and like high drama, this is the liquid eyeliner for you. You won't be able to draw a thin line with the L'Oréal Paris Super Liner Blackbuster Intense, but you will find a super-slick, heavy flick easy to create. The nib is super soft and won't drag your eyelid, even though the colour is bold and dark and the liquid heavy and quick drying. Thanks to the firm applicator, you can get really close to the lashes, without worrying about getting the product in your eyes - a must for getting a flawless finish with no gaps.
Technically this is a gel liner, but it has the precision of a liquid eyeliner thanks to its pen tip, which promises a perfect flick, every time. While not totally foolproof - if you slip, you are still going to make a mistake - application is smooth, as the pen is easy to hold and the gel formula glides on effortlessly. Benefit mean it when they say this eyeliner won't 'smudge, budge or dry out' - even in water, your new-look 60s flick won't disappear.
Rather than building colour, this eyeliner is applied in one go, guiding the pen applicator across the eyelid from corner to corner. Great news for when you are short on time and need to create your favourite look in seconds.
The soft foam tip on the Lancôme Artliner 24HR genly bends to an angle for foolproof precision every time. The soft tip is also kind to eyes and allows you to get seriously close to the lash line, without making sensitive eyes sore.
We love the strong black pigment of Noir, which gives great definition, with or without an eye-widening flick. Play around with thickness, pressing lighter or harder to achieve different looks. So simple, we can even use this when time is short in the morning.
When roller liners first launched, we scoffed at them for being a gimmick. But do you know what? We stand corrected! Whilst they are a bid fiddly at the beginning, once you nail the technique the line it creates it both precise and pigmented.