The Best Eyeliner

Updated on 15 September 2022

After spending 6 hours comparing 57 currently popular eyeliners and testing 10, we concluded that NYX Epic Ink offers the best value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

NYX Epic Ink

Ideal for beginners but also for the more experienced, this ultra-pigmented waterproof eyeliner offers very convincing value for money.

£ 9.00 on Amazon

NYX Epic Ink

It’s easy to use even if you’re new to eyeliner, as we were when we tried it. It has a fine, flexible tip that is quite precise, allowing you to create any look, from the simplest to the boldest. It’s well pigmented and waterproof… unless you get teary-eyed for several minutes. On the other hand, this eyeliner may not satisfy you if you are intransigent about the composition of your cosmetics, as its composition is clearly reviewable (PEG, sulphate, synthetic polymers…).

 

 

Best budget

Essence Super Fine

This eyeliner allows you to draw very thin lines thanks to its fine marker-like tip. In addition, it has great hold and is water resistant, even though it is not waterproof.

£ 5.21 on Amazon

Essence Super Fine

This product is the one that drew the finest line of all the eyeliners we tested. So, if it is a bit complex to apply for novices, it will delight the regulars who want to make precise lines. We found it to be very long-lasting as it didn’t move all day, even though we sometimes rubbed the inner corner of the eye a little. As far as water is concerned, it also surprised us by hardly moving. On the other hand, although its composition is not totally catastrophic, it is far from perfect.

 

Best high-end

Lancôme Grandiose

If its matte, intense, and long-lasting has everything to please, it is above all the flexible and ultra-fine tip that makes it an extremely practical product for drawing fine, symmetrical lines.

£ 41.00 on Sephora

This eyeliner stands out from the competition because the tip can be rotated up to a 35° angle, making it ideal for easily reaching the corners of the eyes and drawing symmetrical lines. In addition, it is an intensely pigmented matte black and has very good all-day wear. However, once again, the composition is not exemplary.

 

Mid-range alternative

Avril Bio

If you are looking for an effective and eco-friendly liquid eyeliner at a low price, you should like this one. With a very fine brush and good intensity, it is recommended for experienced users.

See the price on Amazon

Avril

It is distinguished by an extremely thin and flexible tip, ideal for fine and discreet lines. However, it is a little more difficult to handle for some beginners, and you may have to use more product to finish your line. Its fluid texture is easy to work with and ensures an intense rendering but also a good hold. During our tests, it has proven to be water-resistant as long as it doesn’t rub off. In addition, the eyeliner is certified organic, is made in France and has an attractive price tag.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endMid-range alternative
NYX Epic Ink Essence Super Fine Lancôme Grandiose Avril Bio
Ideal for beginners but also for the more experienced, this ultra-pigmented waterproof eyeliner offers very convincing value for money. This eyeliner allows you to draw very thin lines thanks to its fine marker-like tip. In addition, it has great hold and is water resistant, even though it is not waterproof. If its matte, intense, and long-lasting has everything to please, it is above all the flexible and ultra-fine tip that makes it an extremely practical product for drawing fine, symmetrical lines. If you are looking for an effective and eco-friendly liquid eyeliner at a low price, you should like this one. With a very fine brush and good intensity, it is recommended for experienced users.
£ 9.00 on Amazon £ 5.21 on Amazon £ 41.00 on Sephora See the price on Amazon

 

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How did we test?

In order to test the eyeliners, we first applied each of them to check their daily wear, but also the quality of their line (thin, thick, pigmentation…) and their ease of application.

We also judged their water resistance by applying them all to our arms and then running water over them. Finally, we took a look at each formula composition.

 

How to choose your eyeliner?

Whether it’s a subtle cat-eye, colourful contouring, 60s chic make-up or an intense Amy Winehouse look, eyeliner is as useful for enhancing the eyes and accentuating the look as mascara. However, it can be tricky to find the right product for everyone, with so many different products on the market.

NYX Epic Ink

To guide your choice, here are the different types of eyeliners and the main characteristics to take into account:

  • Liquid eyeliners: their formula is usually very intensely pigmented, so remember to shake the product before applying. They usually have a very fine felt tip or brush and can be used to create lines with great precision. However, you will need some experience for a flawless application (or practice!).
  • Sketch markers: technically, these are also liquid eyeliners, but they come in a much easier to handle bottle. This is usually the type of product recommended for beginners. The lead usually allows you to draw thicker or thinner lines, depending on your preference.

Eye liner

  • Gels: they usually come in a jar. With the right brush, you can enjoy a pleasant modularity – with the necessary dexterity, obviously. Although they are less practical for quick touch-ups in the office bathroom, for example, they are still popular for their precision and hold.
  • Pencils: there are more and more pencils with gel-textured leads that are often very easy to handle. They have the advantage that you can use them on both eyelids and mucous membranes, and are ideal for a smokier look. They are also available in retractable packaging. And, of course, there are also the classic wooden sharpening pencils.

Once you have established your favourite type of eyeliner, we recommend that you consider these few criteria before making your final choice:

  • The rendering: eyeliners can be declined in a multitude of different finishes. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer a matte or more shiny effect, or even metallic or glittery. And if classic colours get in the way of your creativity, many brands offer more vibrant eyeliners. Finally, it is ideal to be able to get information or test the products to estimate the pigmentation and coverage.

Eye liner

  • The staying power: if you want to be sure your make-up stays put throughout the day, you can opt for waterproof eyeliner. Ideally, find a product that dries quickly enough, but can be easily corrected in case it smudges during application.

Eye liner

  • The ease of application: as mentioned above, it depends on your skill level and the type of eyeliner used. Also, not everyone has the same preferences: while some people like a fairly stiff tip, others get better results with a soft tip. What is true is that the perfect eyeliner line usually takes a bit of practice.

Eye liner

PS, since doe eyes go hand in hand with well-groomed eyebrows, be sure to check out our selection of the best eyebrow pencils.

 

Other eyeliners we recommend

Lavera Liquid Eyeliner (£8.37 upon publication): a second eco-friendly option. This eyeliner allowed us to draw fairly fine lines during our tests. In short, it’s an eco-friendly product with relatively good staying power. Of course, it does smudge a bit, especially if you tend to rub the inner corners of your eyes, although we’ve seen much worse with this type of composition. As for its water resistance, it’s not ideal, but it’s not catastrophic either.

Maybelline New York Liner Express (£9.25 upon publication): easy to apply, but you have to use too much. This eyeliner has a fairly thick tip. Therefore, we found it a little easy to apply than the others we tested. However, it tends to deposit a lot of product. It’s ideal in most situations, but not so much with water. It is best avoided at events with strong emotions.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (£21.00 upon publication): a truly a reference among liquid eyeliners. It is appreciated for its long-lasting waterproof formula, its excellent pigmentation and its ultra-fine tip, which is very easy to use. However, its effectiveness seems to vary depending on the version chosen. Its worst flaw? Its composition. 

 

Other eyeliners tested

Essence liquide ink (£4.84 upon publication): it is not very practical and wastes a lot of product. During the test, we had to stop for a while because too much product came out during the second application. Also, the colour is more greyish than black and the packaging is not very practical to open and close.

Rimmel Exaggerate (£4.24 upon publication): a line that is too thick. In our tests, we found out this eyeliner doesn’t hold up very well: it runs off during the day, doesn’t hold up to a little water and cracks on the skin. It also offers the thickest line of all the products we had in our hands.

PuroBio On Fleek (£9.25 upon publication): a fleek brush that don’t always fit very well. In addition to not holding on at all and revealing a catastrophic result during a crying fit, this eyeliner was not practical. The cause? Its bristle brush doesn’t necessarily make clean lines depending on how the bristles are applied.

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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