We love this eyeliner's dual tips – liquid and gel – that make creating numerous looks a breeze. Contains minerals and Amazonian clay for smooth application and long wear. Available in several colors.
Gel tip may break if you push too hard during application. Gel also doesn't wear quite as long as the liquid for some consumers.
Highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. Fine tip makes it easy to draw thin or bold lines, and it goes on smoothly without dragging, pulling, or skipping. Has a built-in smudging tip.
May smudge before 12 hours of wear, especially on consumers who are prone to oily skin. Rare reports of irritation.
Cream formula goes on easily without any tugging or pulling. Blendable but also dries quickly. Deeply pigmented color is ideal for those who like dramatic looks. Brush included.
Takes time to learn how to apply it properly. Difficult to remove, and the tube can be a bit messy.
Gel formula can be used for sharp cat eyes or a soft, smudged line. Can also be blended across the lid as a creaseless shadow. Formula is oil-free, so it doesn’t budge or smudge. Available in matte and shimmer options and 7 shades. Ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearers.
Some users find the liner can dry out within a few weeks. Formula isn’t the same across all shades.
A liquid liner with a fine point that's ideal for cat-eye looks. Color is dark and bold and lasts for hours on most users. Easy to control and goes on smoothly.
The exception to its long wear may be if you have oily skin. Product dries out fairly quickly in the tube.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
With the right eyeliner, you can define your eyes with a sleek, dramatic wing or go for a sultry, smudged line. If you want a range of liner options for achieving any eye look, you’ll definitely want to give Tarte eyeliners a go. You can opt for liquid liner for perfect cat eyes, pencil liner that’s ideal for smoky looks, or gel liner that offers the versatility to do both winged and smudged liner looks. Best of all, the brand is known for using innovative natural ingredients, and most Tarte eyeliners are cruelty-, paraben-, and phthalate-free.
But choosing a Tarte eyeliner can be difficult precisely because of all the options. You have to decide what type of liner you like best, what shade you prefer, and how long you need the liner to last to find the best Tarte eyeliner for your makeup bag.
Our buying guide breaks down exactly what you need to consider when shopping. For our top five Tarte eyeliners, take a look at the matrix above.
Tarte offers eyeliners in several different formulas, so you can find a liner that’s perfect for whatever eye look you have in mind.
Pencil eyeliners are probably the most classic. All Tarte pencil eyeliners are retractable. That means you don’t need to sharpen the liner. Instead you simply twist up the bottom of the pencil to expose fresh eyeliner. Tarte pencil liners are perfect for everyday wear because they offer a softer look. They’re also ideal for smoky looks because they’re easy to smudge.
Liquid eyeliners have a thinner texture than pencil liners, so they offer more precision. That makes them ideal for winged eyeliner, and the liquid formula gives a bold, dark look. Most Tarte liquid liners have a felt-tip applicator, which makes it easy to apply the liner and create the perfect cat eye with one swipe.
Gel eyeliners have a texture that’s a cross between an eyeliner pencil and a liquid liner. That means you can use these eyeliners for simple everyday looks, smudged smoky looks, or precise cat eyes. Gel liners are easier to control than liquid liners. Some Tarte gel eyeliners come in a pot or a squeeze tube and require a brush to use. Tarte also offers gel eyeliners in convenient pencil form.
Tarte offers eyeliners in a variety of shades. Most people use black or brown, but you can choose an eyeliner shade based on your eye color to create contrast that brings attention to the eyes.
A versatile eyeliner for those who want options
Can’t decide between a sharp liquid liner and a soft pencil? The Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner is the product for you. With dual ends, you get a waterproof liquid liner on one end and a gel pencil liner on the other. That means you can pull off a fierce cat eye with the liquid end and sultry, smoky liner with the pencil end. We also love that the pencil end is self-sharpening, so it’s always ready to use.
The eyes can be extremely sensitive, so you want to be sure that any makeup you use on your eyes won’t irritate them. Most Tarte eyeliners are ophthalmologist-tested, which means they don’t contain ingredients that are likely to cause irritation. That also makes them safe for contact lens wearers to use.
Like any makeup, eyeliner can smudge, flake, or fade over the course of a day. Most Tarte liners last for six to eight hours, so you can get through an entire work or school day. But if you need an eyeliner that goes even further, opt for a Tarte liner with a 12-hour formula that can take you from morning to night.
Most Tarte eyeliners have a matte finish, which works well for everyday wear. However, for special occasions, you might prefer a metallic liner that offers a more dramatic look. Tarte even offers some eyeliners with a glitter finish. These liners are ideal for parties, date nights, and other special occasions because they catch the light and draw attention to your eyes.
Some Tarte eyeliners are waterproof, so they’ll stay put even when exposed to moisture like sweat, humidity, or rain. You can also wear them to the beach or pool without worrying about the eyeliner running when you take a dip.
Many Tarte eyeliners feature cruelty-free, vegan formulas.
Eyeshadow primers: Smashbox 24-Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer
Even if you’re wearing your Tarte eyeliner on its own for a simple eye look, starting with an eyeshadow primer can help keep the liner locked in place all day. We really like this primer from Smashbox because it resists sweat and humidity to keep your eye makeup crease-free for hours.
Eyeshadow palettes: Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette
If you want a complete eye look, you need a quality eyeshadow palette to go with your eyeliner. One of our favorites is this neutral option from Tarte that offers 12 shades in a mix of matte and shimmer finishes that work well for everyday and evenings out, too.
Mascaras: Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara
Whether you want a simple look with just eyeliner or are going all out with eyeshadow and liner, no eye look is complete without a good mascara. This formula from Dior is a favorite because it lengthens, thickens, and darkens lashes without any clumping or smudging.
Not all Tarte eyeliners are safe for the inner rim of the eyes, so make sure that your liner is approved for that use if you plan to use it on the waterline.
Using a light or bright eyeliner shade like nude or light blue on the inner corners and lower waterline can help your eyes appear brighter.
Tarte eyeliners vary in price based on size and type, ranging from $12 to $24. The most affordable Tarte eyeliners are travel-size liquid and pencil varieties. They’re usually ophthalmologist-tested, contact lens-safe, and cruelty-free. They cost between $12 and $15.
Mid-range Tarte eyeliners are mostly pencil liners. They’re typically ophthalmologist-tested, contact lens-safe, cruelty-free, and waterproof. They cost between $15 and $20.
The most expensive Tarte eyeliners are liquid liners and gel liners. They’re usually ophthalmologist-tested, contact lens-safe, cruelty-free, waterproof, and can last 12 hours. They cost between $20 and $24.
An intense black liner for anyone who wants to make a statement
If you’re looking for the blackest of black eyeliners, the Tarte Sex Kitten Eyeliner definitely tops the list. That’s because it features triple-black pigment for the most intense black color you can get. Its soft comfort-glide tip also prevents tugging or skipping, so you always get perfectly smooth lines with this gel pencil. We love that it’s made with natural waxes for a vegan formula you can feel good about wearing, too.
Tarte makes plenty of high-quality eyeliners that add definition to the eyes, but we couldn’t include them all on our shortlist. The Tarte Fake Awake Eyeliner is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a brightening liner. It comes in a universally flattering nude shade that can be applied to the lower waterline or the inner corners of the eyes to make your eyes instantly appear brighter and more awake. It also features a built-in smudger on the end, so you can easily blend the liner.
We also love the Tarte Maneater Liquid Eyeliner if you’re a fan of winged liner. Not only does it offer 12-hour wear, but it’s also quick-drying and waterproof. Its micro-brush tip glides smoothly along the lash line for easy one-swipe application.
Q. How long can I expect my Tarte eyeliner to last?
A. Like all makeup, eyeliners have an expiration date. Tarte pencil eyeliners are usually good for about two years, Tarte gel liners are typically good for a year, and Tarte liquid liners can dry out after six months. These are just guidelines, though. If you notice that the color, texture, or smell of your eyeliner has changed, it’s likely gone bad. You should also toss any eyeliner you used when you had an eye issue, such as pink eye or a stye.
Q. What type of brush should I use with Tarte gel eyeliner?
A. It depends on what type of look you’re going for. If you want a tight, thin line, opt for a skinny liner brush. For a small wing at the end of your liner, a bent liner brush is a great option. For bold, dramatic winged liner, you’ll have more luck with an angled liner brush.
Q. What’s the best way to remove waterproof Tarte eyeliner?
A. You’ll have the easiest time removing waterproof eyeliner if you use an oil-based eye makeup remover. Apply some to a cotton pad or swab and gently wipe at the liner until it’s removed. Then wash your face as you normally would.
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