Makeup Wars: The Best Black Eyeliners

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The Best Black Eyeliners

I looooooove eyeliners. Remember my eyeliner drawer? (Yes, I have a whole drawer.) So when we decided to showcase our favorite black liners for Makeup Wars, I knew I'd have a huge list. I think I've tried most of the formulas that major brands (aka, brands you can buy at places like Walgreen's, Meijer, Sephora and ULTA) have to offer. I haven't tried as many department store brands, in large because I don't really shop at those stores. (Something about the women in their tunics intimidates me.)

So, here are the brands and formulas that I have in my drawer and have repurchased multiple times!

Gel Liners
I like to use a stiff angled brush to apply these liners, and they're usually pretty long lasting. I featured 3 products here, but there's also a great version from Bobbi Brown (I haven't bought it in a few years, so it was left out of the collage), and L'Oreal makes a good one that I just couldn't find on-line.

1. Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio Gel Eyeliner: This is a great drugstore version of the gel liner. It isn't quite as pigmented as the Urban Decay and MAC versions, but it is close and a fraction of the cost!

2. Urban Decay Super-Saturated Ultra Intense Waterproof Cream Eyeliner: This is a new product from UD, it's sitting on my vanity waiting to be reviewed. I think it is more pigmented than the MAC, and for me it is longer wearing.

3. MAC Fluidline: What would a post about black liners be without mentioning MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack? It's the gold standard of gel liners, the one that most makeup artists and many of my friends swear by. I do think it's pretty great, though I have smudging after about 10-12 hours. So, for me this is a night out liner, not great for a full day at work.

Liquid Felt Tip Pens
Putting liquid liner in a felt tip pen makes it much easier for me to deal with than a pot and brush! I've tried 30 or 40 different kinds of pens, but these are the 3 (!) that make the cut. I want the felt tip to be longer and very pointed, and a little bit flexible. I need the tip to have very pigmented liquid that applies easily from the pen, none of those mostly dry pen tips for me! I should note that I've heard great things about NYX's The Curve liner as well, but I just bought it and haven't tried it out yet.

4. Urban Decay Ink for Eyes Waterproof Precision Eye Pen: Again, another new product from Urban Decay! This is the darkest of the 3.

5. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner: This has long been my "go-to" liquid liner pen.

6. CoverGirl Bombshell Intensity Liner: Very similar to the Stila, this pen is a fraction of the price and I love the smaller size! It fits right into the palm of my hand very easily.

Pencil Liners
As much as I love the other types of liners, these are the ones that I tend to reach for the most often.

7. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil: If you want black, Perversion is the darkest black from UD. There are some amazing colors in this formula as well.

8. Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner: This is my favorite for lining my waterline, it seems to apply the easiest and stays put all day.

9. CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil: A great drugstore find! It's just soft enough to blend easily from the lash line.

10. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Smoky Eyes Pencil: If the Too Faced is too soft for your waterline, the Elizabeth Arden is the way to go. It also stays put all day for me, and the formula is just a tad harder (which can mean fewer smudges).

Automatic Pencils
11. Smashbox 'Always Sharp' Waterproof Kôhl Liner: I discovered this pencil when a makeup artist at Nordie's used it on me in Chicago, and I think I've repurchased it about 4 times in the last year. My favorite part is that if you twist the cap, it sharpens the pencil! That's super easy, and it saves space when you're traveling. I have it in black, brown and my favorite is actually Penny Lane.

12. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner: I stock up on this pencil in Black and Damsel. It is great for in the lash line and it smudges just enough with a brush for a pretty smoky look.

13. CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Self Sharpening Eye Pencil: My go-to drugstore pencil, it's very similar to the Stila but smudges a little less.

What's your go-to black liner? I'm always looking for a new one!

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  1. Oh man! I totally forgot to add the Bombshell one from Covergirl.

  2. Blacktrack is definitely the one I've used the longest. I still have 2 left!

  3. I always forget that Stila makes really good liners!!

  4. So many great choices!! Love this!

  5. I like the Physicians Formula waterproof eyeliner in black for the water line. It's good for sensitive eyes and stays put.

  6. I want to try the drugstore ones you have here!

  7. I will definitely keep the Smashbox always sharp in mind! Great suggestions!

  8. I forgot about that Maybelline Gel liner - it doesn't budge!

  9. I knew you'd have some Stila love going on. I am so out of it without UD on my list. I hope I don't get drummed out of Makeup Wars!

  10. Very rarely does eyeliner stay on my extremely oily lids :( I've found that K-Palette makes a great long-lasting liquid one, and it's a handy pen-type too.

  11. Now that is a lot of black liners!

  12. Great listing! Can you add a list of waterproof eyeliners to the list too?

  13. Blacktrack is such a classic. I totally forgot about the Maybelline creams - those are fantastic, especially for the price.

  14. @Paol, the waterproof liners would just be a subset of this list. Numbers 2, 4, 5, 11 and 12 are all waterproof!

  15. Great choices! I love so many of these and see a lot more I need to try!

  16. Inglot has an amazing gel liner!!

  17. Have you tried and tested youniques ? What did you like / dislike about it. Thanks for all your information. I've learned a bit reading this. B-)

  18. @Anon Yes, I've actually purchased and tried most of Younique's line. I refrain from posting about it because I mentioned somewhere once that I hadn't found a Younique product that I like and the amount of backlash that I got (in email and over Twitter) was way over the line. But, I thought it didn't wear evenly, didn't last all day and wasn't well pigmented.


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