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The best Clinique eyeliner

Which Clinique eyeliner is best?

Founded in 1968, Clinique has become a household name in the beauty industry for its never-fail skincare and makeup formulas. The trusted brand is also known for its broad range of eyeliners that boast a diverse shade range, among other attributes.

Finding the right Clinique eyeliner means exploring the beauty brand’s entire collection, which now includes several varieties from pencil to liquid formulas, including Clinique Quickliner for Eyes, which offers high color payoff and is suitable for everyday use. 

What to know before you buy a Clinique eyeliner


Clinique eyeliners are now available in pencil, liquid, cream and cake formulas. They vary considerably in terms of application, wear time and blend-ability.

Pencil liners by Clinique are available in regular and mechanical pencils. They’re a versatile option because they can create lines of varying thicknesses. Pencil liners are also suitable for blending and creating smokey eye looks.  

Clinique has one liquid eyeliner on the market known for its ultra-fine point for precision application. Liquid liners are appreciated for their clean, sleek lines for tight line and cat-eye looks. They’re also smudge-resistant and boast all-day wear times. 

Clinique’s cake liner formula is unique in that it has a water-activated application. Users simply dip a wet brush in the pan and paint it on the eyelids. While it’s considered a gentle formula, it has a long wear time and is reasonably smudge-resistant. 

Clinique currently has one cream eyeliner on the market. It offers a smooth, soft application that doesn’t tug on lids or irritate sensitive eyes. It has an intense color, the formula is long-lasting and it photographs well. 


Clinique is known for its high-quality makeup and skincare formulations, and its eyeliners are no exception. Because the formulas are non-irritating and fragrance-free, Clinique eyeliners are suitable for sensitive eyes. Many contact lens wearers find success with these formulas as well. 

Water resistance

Several Clinique eyeliners are water-resistant, in which they won’t smudge or bleed when exposed to humidity, moisture or splashes. They’re less prone to fading throughout the day and only require occasional touch-ups. For that reason, they’re considered ideal for commuting, traveling and everyday wear. 

What to look for in a quality Clinique eyeliner

Shade variety

Black is the most common shade of Clinique eyeliners, followed by brown. Other Clinique eyeliners are available in as many as 11 shades, including purple, olive, slate and blue. While Clinique doesn’t have an exhaustive shade range like other cosmetics brands, there is at least one color available to complement every eye color. 

Wear time

On average, many Clinique eyeliners have a wear time of up to eight hours before they require touch-ups or re-application. Some of Clinique’s liners, namely those with water-resistant formulas, offer wear times close to 16 hours. To extend wear time even longer, Clinique often recommends using their bestselling eyeshadow base


Certain Clinique eyeliners have unique components that eliminate the need for other tools. Some eyeliners, for example, have built-in smudgers at one end of the pencil. Others, like Clinique’s cake formula, come with mini-application brushes. Some of Clinique’s pencil liners have caps with built-in sharpeners. 

How much you can expect to spend on Clinique eyeliner

Clinique eyeliners range in price from $12-$23, mostly depending on the formula and wear time. Clinique occasionally offers bundled eyeliner sets, which cost $20-$35. These include trial or full-size eyeliners as well as an eye makeup remover, mascara or eye cream. 

Clinique eyeliner FAQ

Is it worth buying the Clinique Quickliner eyeliners if I don’t intend to use the smudging tool?

A.  It depends on your color needs. Many shoppers gravitate toward the Quickliner collection since it offers more shades than other Clinique liners. However, if you’re fine with using black or brown, you’ll get more bang for your buck with Clinique’s other pencil liners.

Which Clinique eyeliner is best for those new to wearing makeup?

A. While most Clinique eyeliners are considered user-friendly, it’s a good idea to opt for the Clinique Kohl Shaper, a classic pencil formula. Besides offering versatility in line thickness, it’s a forgiving formula that is easy to tweak after application. 

Do I need to wear eyeshadow with Clinique eyeliner?

A. Not at all. Clinique eyeliners are often worn on their own or with clear or colored mascara. However, if you intend to apply Clinique eyeliner overshadow, keep in mind, it may impact application. 

What’s the best Clinique eyeliner to buy?

Top Clinique eyeliner

Clinique Quickliner For Eyes Eyeliner

What you need to know: A versatile option, this Clinique liner offers transfer-resistant color in a self-sharpening barrel. 

What you’ll love: It’s available in a diverse shade range. The smudger tip is effective at blending color and creating smokey looks. It has a silky application that is considered easy to apply. 

What you should consider: Some users reported the pencil broke and fell out of the barrel. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora, Macy’s and Ulta 

Top Clinique eyeliner

Clinique High Impact Custom Black Kajal Eyeliner

What you need to know: Appreciated for its high-pigment color, this black kajal pencil is considered the ideal go-to liner for many wearers.

What you’ll love: It offers 12 hours of staying power and resists humidity, sweat and smudges. The formula is considered appropriate for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

What you should consider: It is only available in black, and there’s a slight learning curve with the self-sharpening mechanism. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s, Sephora and Ulta

Worth checking out

Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen Eyeliner

What you need to know: This liquid liner is a crowd favorite for creating sharp wings and liners. 

What you’ll love: The tapered brush offers precision application. It provides 24-hour, budge-resistant wear time that holds up well to splashes and humidity. The pen doesn’t dry out or fade until it’s gone.  

What you should consider: It requires a steady hand to apply, and only comes in black and brown.  

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s, Sephora and Ulta


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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