When it comes to eyeliner, we really just want three things: ease of application, good pigmentation and lasting color that won’t get all over our face the second we sweat. These ten picks deliver on all fronts and then some. Also, because we know everyone has different preferences when it comes to pencil, gel or liquid, we included our favorite tried-and-true choices across all three formulas.
The Best Waterproof Eyeliner, from Liquid to Pencil
1. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
We call this liquid eyeliner “old faithful” because we can always count on it to deliver the sharpest, cleanest lines, the inkiest, richest color and longevity that can withstand our sweatiest moments—even in peak humidity. Plus, the marker tip is easy to maneuver for beginners and pros alike.
2. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-lasting Eyeliner
If pencil is more your speed, look no further than this long-lasting liner from Chanel. The pointed tip ensures you get precise lines, and the smooth formula doesn’t drag or skip across your lids. Plus, it comes with a built-in sharpener on the opposite end so you can keep the pencil sharp at all times.
3. Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’n’ Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil
Whenever we want a sultry rock star vibe, we reach for this kohl pencil from Charlotte Tilbury. The velvety formula glides on with zero effort and blends like a dream. And despite its initial easy-to-smudge texture, it sets like no other. Case in point: The last time we wore this was on New Year’s Eve at a club, where we danced for hours, and our eye makeup stayed miraculously put.
4. Nudestix Magnetic Matte Eye Color
If you’re someone who always applies makeup on the go or is looking for ways to streamline your morning routine, we recommend this chubby eyeliner crayon that doubles as eye shadow. The creamy formula glides on smoothly and blends with a quick smudge of your fingertip; it’s essentially a ten-second smoky eye. Plus, the highly pigmented color doesn’t fade or smudge throughout the day. In fact, it’s so long lasting that we typically need to use an oil-based remover or micellar water to whisk it off at night.
5. Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner
Why choose between liquid and pencil when you can have both? This double-ended pen features a flexible marker tip on one side (for when you want to rock a dramatic cat eye) and a creamy gel pencil on the other (for when you just want a little definition). Either way, you’re set—figuratively and literally, as this stuff won’t budge until you take remover to it.
6. Bareminerals Lasting Line Long-wearing Eyeliner
For those of you whose eyes water at the mere thought of liner, you need a long-wearing formula that also won’t irritate your eyes. Luckily, this pencil checks both boxes. Infused with nourishing minerals and soft, buildable color that doesn’t flake or feather, it’s our top choice during allergy season. Bonus: The cap has an angled tip for blending and a built-in sharpener.
Buy it ($17)
7. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
Pretty confident with your eyeliner technique? We love this gel pot and brush duo for creating painterly strokes across your lids. The jet-black color is highly pigmented and transfer resistant, so you get a defined line that doesn’t smear throughout the course of the day. Tip: If you have oily skin, pat a blotting paper over your lids beforehand to sop up any excess sebum.
8. L’oréal Infallible Flash Cat Eye Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Got wobbly hands? This clever liquid liner helps you achieve a perfect flick every time thanks to the detachable stencil that comes with the cap. To use, simply slide the stencil off the cap and lay the cutout flat against the outer edge of your eye. Fill it in to get your wing. Next, remove the stencil and sweep the liner across the rest of your eyelid to complete the look before repeating on the other side. The brush tip is firm yet flexible so you get a clean line in one fell swoop, and the inky black pigment dries to a satiny finish.
9. Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner
If you’re a fan of gel eyeliner, you’ll love this crayon that has the bold pigmentation and smooth application of a gel with the ease and simplicity of a pencil. The malleable formula is very forgiving when you first put it on (so you have a good 30 seconds if you need to soften a harsh line or fix any mistakes). Once it sets, it’s on for the rest of the day. Choose from matte, shimmer or satin finishes and tons of eye-catching colors—including “Blue Me Away,” which is the prettiest sky blue that brightens up your entire face.
10. Jillian Dempsey Eyeliner
Created by a pro makeup artist, this pencil liner features clean ingredients like organic jojoba oil and shea butter, which lend to its smooth delivery. As one reviewer puts it, “It smudges easily, but doesn’t smear,” so you can get a nice sultry effect without a side of panda eyes. Tip: Try it in deep burgundy, which is a beautiful plum color that looks especially flattering against green or hazel eyes.