The 22 Best Liquid Eyeliners for a Cat Eye, Oily Lids and Everything In Between

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

If you ask us, a flawless eyeliner application is worth its weight in gold. But mastering the perfect cat eye, reverse cat eye or even a great wing takes more than just a steady hand—you’ll have to use the best liquid eyeliner, too. Though it may take some trial and error, finding the right one for you is akin to finding the perfect pen: a small delight each and every time you use it. Luckily, we’ve vetted 22 options you can start your search with, no matter if you're going for a cat-eye or tightline, thick or thin, bright or classic black) or eye shape.

What Is the Best Liquid Eyeliner?

Makeup isn’t one size fits all, so the right eyeliner for your BFF might be totally different than the one that will make your heart sing. Depending on your makeup preferences and abilities, there are a few things to look out for when deciding which liquid eyeliner is best for you.

Applicator style: Each liquid eyeliner brand is tasked with figuring out a design that will allow the formula to glide on smoothly. Pen-shaped liquid eyeliners, for instance, are great when you’re looking to achieve a more precise application, while brush-style applicators can give you that perfect flick.

Ingredients: If you’re someone with sensitive eyes, the last thing you need is a liquid eyeliner that will cause irritation when you are about to head out for the day. Look for hypoallergenic ingredients that are specifically crafted for those with sensitivity. There are plenty of organic and hypoallergenic options that could be right up your alley.

Colors: Do you want a classic black or brown liquid eyeliner for the office? Or do you want to go wild and dip into a fun metallic glitter liner for a night out with friends? Your answer will help you narrow down your dream liquid eyeliner selection.

Read on to check out the best options below.

The Best Liquid Eyeliners at a Glance

Meet the Reverse Cat Eye The Latest Eyeliner Look That's Trending on TikTok

1. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Best overall liquid eyeliner

There’s a reason Stila’s All Day waterproof liner is hailed as a fan favorite—it has more than 20,000 glowing reviews on Amazon alone, for starters. It always delivers the sharpest, cleanest lines, the inkiest, richest color and it has a longevity that can withstand your sweatiest moments—even in peak humidity. Plus, the fine marker-like tip is easy to maneuver for beginners and pros alike.

best liquid eyeliner thebalm

2. Thebalm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner

Best matte liquid eyeliner

If it’s a quick-drying and totally stunning matte finish you’re after, look no further than this liquid eyeliner from theBalm. The conveniently thin felt-tip applicator is designed to create crisp, precise lines. Note that those with oily skin may need to reapply more frequently, but all in all, it’s a makeup bag staple.

3. Nyx Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liquid Eyeliner

Best drugstore liquid eyeliner

You don’t need to spend a boatload to get a great liquid eyeliner. This inky formula from NYX Professional Makeup has a flexible tip to allow for the perfect cat-eye or wing. It’s also completely cruelty-free, so you can feel good about your purchase.

4. Kaja Wink Stamp Wing Liquid Eyeliner

Best liquid eyeliner for a cat eye

If you haven’t quite mastered the cat eye yet, rest assured—you’re not alone. Thankfully, Kaja created a starter kit for any fellow novices that comes with a fine-tipped liquid liner and a double-sided flick stamp to give you a jumping off point. (There’s also a handy illustrated guide that shows you exactly where to put what.) Take it from us: Getting crisp, symmetrical wings has never been easier.

5. Uz Flowfushi Eye-opening Liquid Eyeliner

Best colored liquid eyeliner

You know that flutter of excitement you used to get when you were a kid opening a new box of crayons? That’s exactly how we felt when we first laid eyes on these rainbow liners from Japan. In addition to the brand’s neutral black and brown hues, you can choose from 13 vibrant shades that range from tangerine orange to sky blue to baby pink and khaki. The colors pop against your skin and become more vibrant with each layer you apply. The paint-like formula, meanwhile, is made with flexible polymers that can withstand sweat, humidity, tears and oil. The ingredients are completely cruelty-free, too.

6. Ilia Clean Line Liquid Eyeliner

Best natural liquid eyeliner

Ilia’s Clean Line liquid liner isn’t simply the “best natural” liquid eyeliner around—it’s just a darn good eyeliner. With a flexible felt tip and a satisfying formula that glides on easily and dries quickly, the fact that it’s also crafted with charcoal powder instead of carbon black (an ingredient that’s commonly used to create black pigment in the beauty industry) is a nice bonus. As one convert puts it, “I've found this eyeliner to far exceed my beliefs of possibility with natural makeup. It lasts all day ... and at the end of the day easily comes off. Cannot recommend enough.”

7. Kvd Beauty Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner

Longest-lasting liquid eyeliner

Those with oily lids love this liner’s high pigment and budge-proof formula, which fans say lasts “through tears, drunken nights and sweaty summer days.” The ultra-fine tip makes it easy to draw even the thinnest of lines. A word of wisdom? Store the pen tip-side down and give it a good shake before using it to get the smoothest flow.

8. Huda Beauty Life Liner Double-ended Liquid Eyeliner 

Best double-ended liquid eyeliner

Why choose between a liquid eyeliner and a pencil eyeliner when you can have both? This double-ended pen from Huda Beauty features a marker tip on one side and a creamy gel pencil on the other. Wear them on their own or layer them together for more impact (and longevity).

9. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liquid Eyeliner

Best liquid glitter eyeliner

Whether you want a glimmer of gold or a slash of silver, this glitter liner from Urban Decay makes it easy to sweep some sparkle onto your lids. The fine flecks are suspended in a gel base so that it doesn’t separate, and it dries down quickly without any fallout. As one fan shared on Sephora, “[This liner] is so easy to use, and you can create something high impact or simply iridescent. They add an instant boom to any eyeshadow look!”

10. Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner 

Best thick liquid eyeliner

For an impactful line à la the late Ms. Winehouse (may she rest in peace), this chunky tipped pen from Eyeko lays down a thick layer of jet-black pigment more efficiently and effectively than most. Adjust the width of your line by using the side of the brush for maximum impact and the pointed tip for finer details. As if that wasn’t enticing enough, it’s also formulated with algae extract to condition the delicate skin around your peepers and make the color glide on smoother.

best liquid eyeliner charmcode

11. Charmcode Liquid Eyeliner Set 

Best liquid eyeliner set

If you're the kind of person who couldn’t possibly choose just one eyeliner, there’s this bright set that will be every bit as colorful as your personality. With 14 different shades that range from vibrant neons and earthy browns to classic bold black, there is enough variety here to create a new fabulous look every day of the week. Each pen also has a soft, fine brush tip for smooth application

12. L’oréal Infallible Flash Cat Eye Liquid Eyeliner

Best liquid eyeliner for shaky hands

This clever and satiny liquid liner from L'Oréal will help you to achieve the perfect flick every time thanks to the detachable stencil that comes with the cap. Simply slide the stencil off the cap and lay the cutout flat against the outer edge of your eye before filling it in to get your wing. Then remove the stencil and use it to guide the rest of your line and before repeating the process on the other side. Voila! You’ve got the purr-fect cat eye.

13. Maybelline Hyper Easy Liquid Eyeliner 

Smoothest liquid eyeliner

Between the hexagon shaped barrel of this find, which ensures a firm grip, and the flexible brush tip, you’ll get a super smooth line each and every time you use it. Happy buyers say the satin-like formula glides on easily and doesn’t seep into fine lines around the eyes or transfer onto your lids, making it a solid option for those with mature skin or hooded eyes.

14. Inika Organic Liquid Eyeliner 

Best organic liquid eyeliner

Designed with delicate eyes in mind, this midnight black liquid eyeliner is certified organic. It's made with aloe vera and black tea extract along with pure mineral pigments that make it suitable for even the most sensitive of eyes. An easy-tip applicator makes executing a gorgeous liner shape a breeze, too.

best liquid eyeliner koh gen

15. Koh Gen Do Liquid Eyeliner Pen

Best waterproof liquid eyeliner

The last thing anyone wants to do after spending all that time perfecting their eye makeup is to have it melt away as soon as they step out the door. With its ultra-pigmented waterproof ingredients, this formula by Koh Gen is specially designed with botanical T3 oil and seven types of extracts to repel sweat and oil from your skin, making runny, smudgy eyeliner a thing of the past. It also boasts a fine quality brush as crafted by a Japanese master brush maker.

16. Velour Lash & Go Liquid Eyeliner And Lash Adhesive 

Best lash adhesive liquid eyeliner

Raise your hand if you find lash glue to be sticky, messy and annoying to use. That’s exactly what Velour Beauty sought to troubleshoot the process with this genius liquid eyeliner that doubles as a non-sticky lash adhesive. According to Sephora shoppers, who say it has “phenomenal hold,” it definitely gets the job done. To apply false lashes with it, simply draw on your liner and pop on each strip while the liner is still wet. You can also just draw this satin cruelty-free formula on as a normal liquid eyeliner.

17. Lancôme Artliner Precision Liquid Eyeliner 

Most precise liquid eyeliner

If your approach to eyeliner is more subtle and sleek, this classic pick delivers. With a felt-tipped applicator that reminds us of a calligraphy pen, it bends to fit the curve of your eyes, so you’ll get a precise application, time and time again. Plus, it stays put without smearing thanks to a double film-forming set of polymers in the formula. As one longtime user shared, “I have used this eyeliner for the past 15 years. I use it every single day. I have tried SO MANY different eyeliners but I keep on coming back to this one because it is so good.”

18. Haus Laboratories By Lady Gaga Liquid Eye-lie-ner

Best non-skid liquid eyeliner

We definitely don't need to give you a million reasons why this liquid "Eye-Lie-Ner" from Lady Gaga is worth a try. The punk jet-black formula runs smoothly across the eyes to ensure it won’t skip and mess up your application—or tug at the ultra-delicate skin around your eyes. The company also boasts that its liquid matte finish has a 24-hour wear time, which means that it will stay with you throughout the workday—and beyond.

19. Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Liquid Eyeliner Serum 

Best 2-in-1 liquid eyeliner

Who doesn’t love a good two-in-one? This Physicians Formula eyeliner and eyelash serum will not only give you a nice fluid line, but it will nourish your lashes at the same time. As one reviewer reported, “I wasn’t expecting this at all. Originally, I have very, very, very sparse lower lashes, and this definitely increased the number of lower lashes.” One tip: If you prefer an inkier color payoff, go for the “ultra black” over “black,” which some people said reads as more gray.

20. Honest Beauty Liquid Eyeliner  

Best vegan liquid eyeliner

It's a pretty fantastic fact that you can be conscious about the environment while still looking great. For all the eco-warriors out there comes a product that is free of parabens, silicone, carbon black and petrochemicals. How so, you ask? It’s made with plant-based ingredients instead. This Earth-friendly formula is also hypoallergenic and vegan, yet reportedly still lasts up to eight hours without smudging or flaking.

21. Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner

Best hypoallergenic liquid eyeliner

Calling all eye rubbers! This gentle liner from Neutrogena is made for you: the watery-eyed folk. Made with honey and coconut and paired with a soft tip applicator, this hypoallergenic formula is comfortable going on and dries without leaving any flaky residue—aka the nemesis of itchy eyes—behind.

22. Pinkiou Double-headed Liquid Eyeliner Pen 

Best cheap liquid eyeliner

If you’re looking to infuse some whimsy into your daily makeup routine (or are starting to plot easy Halloween looks), this double-headed eyeliner pen from Pinkiou is up for the task. One end features a classic eyeliner while the other is a stamp that comes in heart, star, crescent moon or flower designs, which you can use for a bit of added flair. The inky formula goes on (and comes off!) easily to boot.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...

purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor

Desirée O is a freelance writer who loves to track down the best products and share the hottest deals. She's written for Adweek, Best Life, Brit+Co and more. When she's not doing...