Hot and humid weather, oily skin and the occasional thundery showers make it very worth your while to ensure your eyeliners are going to stand the test of time and external aggressors.
We’ve rounded up our favourite crayon, gel and liquid liners in an array of colours, finishes and price points for you to update your makeup stash.
The one thing we will say is don’t hang on to too many liquid eyeliners at a time, always have a backup in case yours runs out or dries up, and don’t open a new one until you’re ready to use it. Happy shopping!
There’ve been so many impressive new entrants into the long-wear eyeliner category over the last few years, but Stila still stands out with its Stay All Day liquid eyeliner. I remember a time it was all the rage and everyone was getting their friends to help them buy it during Sephora sales.
Available in many shades, including a trusty black.
While not all shades in this range are created equal (some are creamier than others), they’re really long-wearing. I once swatched one of the crayons on my wrist and it was still there over a day later. Marc Jacobs launched an entire matte range of these gel eye crayons this year, and while I much prefer the matte colours (not to mention the quality is more consistent), the decision comes down to a matter of preference. The blacquer shade from the original range is a hot favourite, but again if you like your liners matte, then the choice is easy.
If there’s one brand that nails high performance waterproof makeup every time, it’s Make Up For Ever. The Aqua line in particular is even used by synchronised swimmers because it’s so vibrant and waterproof! The shade Mat Black is the most popular of these liquid liners, and we know how hard it can be finding a liquid eyeliner that dries completely matte. So if you hate glossy looking eyeliner, then add this to your list for consideration.
The latest liquid liner from L’Oreal Makeup is more than a little mind-blowing. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen such an impressive drugstore liquid eyeliner. It’s crazy black in one swipe, and as soon as the liner sets it is absolutely locked in. You’d have a very tough time trying to rub off the ink. The liner stays on all day, and has a very comfortable felt tip that lets you create both thin and thick lines.
These pot gel liners were a lot more popular 10 years ago, but they’re still the eyeliner of choice for beauty buffs on Youtube when it comes to creating more dramatic eyeliner looks. This one from L’Oreal is something of a cult favourite for how pigmented, long-lasting, and black it is with an affordable price tag. It also doesn’t dry up as easily as some, and when you’re done you get to keep the neat little brush! Bobbi Brown also has a great gel liner if you’re looking for a more high-end option.
We daresay this is one of the most hyped-up and best-selling liquid liners of all time. It’s tough to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes it so popular, but it makes drawing your eyeliner really simple and has a brush tip that is unusually easy to control. It stays put, lets you get super-fine with your liner, and anyone I have gifted this to has fallen in love with it. The black shade Trooper is absolutely the most popular but you also have the option of a lovely medium brown shade as well.
The most pricey of the lot, this recent addition to Hourglass’s repertoire is ultra thin, seriously long-wearing, and super dark. The brand only has one shade in its liquid liner range, but that’s simply because it’s dedicated to only putting out things that have been painstakingly perfected.
If a retractable crayon liner is your favourite type of eyeliner, try this waterproof long-wearing one from Estee Lauder. It comes in many shades (including black variants like Concrete and Black Pearl), and has a built-in sharpener in the base so your crayon is always on point for more detailed liner work.
It’s got a slightly thicker than typical pen shape that looks glossy as heck and it’s one of the most sleekly packaged liquid liners we’ve ever encountered. It’s really easy to control, feels luxurious, is incredibly pigmented (I mean you get your ideal level of black in one swipe), and stays put. The original shade is more of a glossy looking black, but if you want something a little softer the brown cocoa shade is a lovely change. I’ve swatched it next to my most highly rated liquid liners and it does just as well if not better. It definitely deserves more love and screen time than it gets!
If you’ve been playing with Urban Decay makeup for years, you’ll be familiar with the original Glide-On Eye Pencils (I know the sparkly black shade Oil Slick was one of my first eyeliners I ever bought with my own cash). They’re smooth, glide on easily, stay put, and come in so many shades.
The Waterline pencils on the other hand are new, all matte, and are created specifically for your waterline which means they’re softer and even more dedicated to staying put all day (through constant contact with your tears) without irritating your eyes. The shade range is great if you don’t want just a boring black eyeliner, with brown-black, green, blue and grey. There’s also a nude one for brightening up your eyes.