7 Iconic Eyeliners and the 7 Affordable Dupes You'll Love Even More

Regardless of whether you're a liquid, gel, or kohl type of person, if you frequently ride the liner train (translation: you rely on it to look awake each morning like your life depends on it), you know how pivotal finding the absolute perfect formula is. Once you've found your holy-grail pot, pencil, or what have you, chances are you're never letting go Jack and Rose–style. But there is a but, or rather, a budget

Eyeliners fall into that annoying category of beauty products that seem like they should only cost $5 but typically manage to run us upward of $15, $20, even $30. Uh, not cool! Previously, we've grinned, purchased, and born it, but what if we were to tell you this little place called the drugstore plays home to formulas that are identical to, if not better than, some of the best eyeliners in the business? 

Hung Vanngo x Elsa Hosk Elvis Premiere

(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

What To Look For

Part of our jobs as beauty editors is to test and review endless products; setting apart the ones that reach and exceed our expectations from those that don't even get close. Before investing in any eyeliner (no matter the price point), it helps to identify your goals in using a particular product. For example, is longevity the name of the game or does color payoff and versatility matter more? Would a multipurpose product that doubles as an eyeshadow be helpful in your makeup routine or get in the way of your creativity?

Taking the formula of particular products into consideration can also hugely impact your experience with your eyeliner. While liquid eyeliners since they often deliver pigment and control, gel pencils are easy-to-use and super practical. It all depends on what you want from your product so it's smart to shop accordingly. Now, we love our Stilas, Laura Merciers, Bobbi Brows, and Kat Von Ds just as much as anyone, but when you have bills to pay, Postmates to order, and highly salted overpriced margaritas to sip, your enthusiasm for extremely expensive eyeliners starts to wane.

Thus, in the spirit of saving money without sacrificing our perfectly eyelined prerogative, we set out to find the seven best dupes to match the seven best eyeliners. Ahead, the crème de la crème of drugstore pencils, pots, felt tips, and, yes, even rollerballs, that give cult-status eyeliners a serious run for their money performance-wise and completely whip their bums price-wise. Keep scrolling! 

If you love…

Our Overall Best Choice…

If you love…

Try…

If you love…

Try…

If you love…

Try…

If you love…

Try…

If you love…

Try…

If you love…

Try…

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for Parade.com as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, Itsmayalala.com. When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.