This waterproof liquid eyeliner is famed for not running, fading, or melting no matter what you put it through. Easy to use and goes on smooth. Super-thin applicator also makes it easy to build a subdued or dramatic line. Brush tip will not fray.
The eyeliner needs to be replaced more often than some other brands, as reviewers noted that it dries out fast.
The smooth velvety matte shade has great staying power. Features intense pigmentation at an amazing price. Reviewers said it was easy to apply and lasted even through intense crying sessions.
Reviewers noted that the tip will break if you apply your eyeliner with a heavy hand.
Reviewers loved the creamy consistency of the liner, as well as the range and intensity of color options. Lasts all day, even through swimming. Glides on easily.
It is a pencil, and you'll need to be careful while sharpening the tip.
Thin tip is easy to use. Doesn't skip or pull, making it easy to draw straight lines. Color is rich and stays on without feathering, running, or smudging. Reviewers said it was still easy to wash off at night. Available in a variety of colors.
Some reviewers said it was not as waterproof as other brands they tried.
Eyeliner glides on easily. Angled smudge brush allows you to easily create smoky eye looks. Stays on all day through sweat. Available in several colors.
Reviewers said it's not as easy to get thin, straight lines with the kohl tip versus a liquid eyeliner.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
The right eyeliner delivers a dramatic touch for bold daytime or evening wear. But a quick wipe of the corner of your eye can be enough to completely ruin your perfect cat eye. If you’re concerned about your eye makeup rubbing off, choose a long-lasting waterproof eyeliner.
Power through the day without worrying whether your striking look is fading, running, flaking, or transferring with a waterproof liner. Avoid touch-ups with a waterproof formula that has staying power even when faced with watery eyes and teary moments. Just because you decide to spend the day at the beach or the pool doesn’t mean you can’t dive in looking your best.
Our guide has everything you need to know about choosing, using, and removing waterproof eyeliner. And our matrix has our top five picks for the best waterproof eyeliners money can buy.
There are three main types of eyeliners, each available in waterproof formulas.
Flawless results every time
The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is truly the best of the best in the world of waterproof eyeliners. The formula glides on smoothly, and the thin, brush-tip applicator is ideal for drawing on bold lines or creating the perfect flick. The liner definitely lives up to its name. It’s like a temporary tattoo for your eyelids.
What kind of look are you aiming for? Do you want to create the perfect cat eye? Do you prefer a more natural makeup style? Your liner choice may also vary depending on whether you want to create a daytime or nighttime look.
Liquid liner is the perfect choice for sharp winged eyeliner. Pencil liners are your best bet for smoldering smoky eyes or for simply defining your lashes. A gel liner is ideal for graphic liner looks since you have a lot of control over the product.
Don’t forget to remove your eye makeup before you head to bed. Leaving it on may lead to irritation and in severe cases may cause an eye infection.
Waterproof liquid eyeliners come with different applicator tips. A brush tip has bristles and is more flexible, while a felt tip is a solid tip like a marker. Both are ideal for drawing precise lines, and the type you prefer usually comes down to personal preference.
Some liquid liners have an angled tip, which is useful for nailing the winged line, while others are literal stamps, allowing you to stamp a shape or line on your lash line for effortless application. These are less versatile than brush or felt tips, though.
With gel liquid liners that come in pots, you will need an eyeliner brush, either an angled brush or a precision eye brush.
Not all eyeliners are explicitly described as waterproof in their names. Check packaging or product descriptions to verify that you’re buying a waterproof formula. The best way to find out about a particular eyeliner’s waterproof prowess is to read through user reviews. Certain waterproof eyeliners are easier to smudge than others, and some are tougher to wash off after a long day.
Don’t share your waterproof eyeliner. That’s a good way to get an eye infection.
Black is the most popular eyeliner color. It’s also the most dramatic. If you prefer something a little more subdued, there are plenty of options from charcoal to chocolate brown. There are also brands that offer an array of fun, bright colors. If opting for non-classic color choices, think about your eye color and skin tone. Purple-toned eyeliners, for example, pair well with green or hazel eyes. Liquid liners tend to feature the fewest color options compared to other types of liners.
Prices for waterproof eyeliners depend mainly on the brand in question. Pricing varies from drugstore selections for under $10 to high-end eyeliners that cost up to $40.
Applying eyeliner brings attention to the eyes. Experiment with different liner colors, liner shapes, and the thickness of the line to change up your style.
Easy application on a budget
The NYX Retractable Eyeliner is a low-cost alternative to high-end waterproof eyeliner and features a long-lasting, creamy formula. This super-bold pencil liner creates a matte look that won’t smudge or run, even if you’re dealing with allergy season. The retractable design means there’s no need for a sharpener.
The IT Cosmetics Superhero Waterproof Eyeliner is a liquid formula that features a fray-proof brush tip for smooth application. We love that the liner is free of parabens and even contains lash-friendly ingredients like keratin and collagen. The Sephora Collection Hot Line Brush Tip Liquid Liner has an intensely pigmented liquid formula that is also vegan. The Shiseido Kajal Ink Artist Shadow Liner is a four-in-one option for all your eye makeup needs. The long-lasting pencil liner is available in eight gorgeous colors, and it can also be used on your brows and as eyeshadow. Finally, the Benefit Cosmetics Roller Liner is a waterproof, felt-tip liquid formula that’s the perfect all-around liner for your makeup bag. It’s virtually smudge-proof and easy to apply.
Q. I’m still having trouble drawing a winged line. It’s messy and uneven. How can I perfect this look?
A. Practice makes perfect! Check out YouTube for a myriad of excellent eyeliner application tutorials. A useful trick is to use tape or a business card as a guide to help you create a straight line. Be sure to angle the wing toward the end of your eyebrow for results that will flatter your eye shape.
Q. Which type of eyeliner is easiest to apply for beginners?
A. Pencil eyeliners are the easiest to apply, but they don’t deliver the same bold look as liquid and gel liners do. They’re also more likely to smudge. A bit of practice is all it takes to master application with any type of liner, though.
Q. Is eyeliner safe to use?
A. Absolutely. Just be careful with sharpened pencil tips around your eyes. Otherwise, enjoy the vast array of looks you can achieve with the right eyeliner. Do avoid eyeliners with harsh ingredients like parabens and phthalates, though, and choose liners that are ophthalmologist-tested. This type of testing is done to ensure a product is safe to use around your eyes.
Q. How does waterproof eyeliner stay put?
A. Waterproof eye makeup features ingredients that repel water. These ingredients include natural or synthetic substances like wax or dimethicone copolyol. These emollient ingredients often result in thicker formulas compared to non-waterproof products.
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