I've always been so envious of people who have mastered flawless eye makeup. The perfect smoky eye. A dramatic cat eye. Heck, even an effortless everyday natural look. You see, I've always struggled in the eye-makeup department. Maybe it's due to a lack of patience, not knowing the right techniques, or not having the right tools, but I've never been 100% confident in my abilities. Sure, I've gotten by with some pretty decent eye makeup looks, but there’s always been room for improvement.
A few months ago, I decided to mix things up and add some new tools and products to my makeup bag. One change was experimenting with waterproof eyeliner, and all I can say is why didn't I try this before? The first time I used the eyeliner in my routine, it was life-changing.
Since then, as I've continued using it, my eye makeup has had better staying power, which is a given because it's waterproof. I don't have to worry about putting in all this time to line my eyes just so only to see smudges or raccoon eyes a few hours later. It also makes putting on makeup so much more fun. I actually want to put in the time to perfect my look.
With the right eyeliner, it's so easy to apply, too. In my case, I am obsessed with Marc Jacobs Beauty's Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner. It goes on so smoothly and lasts for up to 12 hours. I would buy it in every color, but for now, I have it in black and dark brown.
Now that I've opened my eyes (quite literally) to the benefits of waterproof eyeliners, I'm here to spread the good news to those who aren't in the know. Take a look at some of the best waterproof eyeliners below, based on reviews.
This liquid eyeliner has intense pigmentation for a very dramatic eye. The brush tip makes it easy to define, while the formula lasts for 24 hours and can withstand humidity.
What the reviews say: "I love the precision of the pen tip and how bold the black color remains once it has dried on the skin. I have brown skin and some liners dry dull on my skin tone, but this one manages to make a statement with one easy stroke of the pen."
You won't encounter any smudging or running with this über-popular waterproof eyeliner. Makeup novices will appreciate the thin, marker-like tip for easy application.
What the reviews say: "I've tried a ton of liners and this is the one I always go back to. Smooth, easy to use, long lasting, excellent precision. Get this one!"
With over 7000 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon, this is probably one of the best-reviewed and most affordable options out there. It's long-lasting and leaves a matte finish.
What the reviews say: "It basically fits all of the requirements I would want in my perfect eyeliner. It's affordable, extremely black, opaque, easy to use, waterproof, stays on for a long time, and the tip is quite thin so you can get wings as sharp as a sword. I also usually have to use makeup remover and concealer to clean up my lines, but I barely need to do any maintenance with this. My cat eyes have been turning out so clean and beautiful."
This Sephora eyeliner's creamy texture makes it so easy to glide on. It comes with a built-in sharpener and smudge tip. Plus, it comes in your standard black and brown but also in fun colors like jade green and magenta.
What the reviews say: "This is honestly the best eyeliner for those who tightline your eyes. The eyeliner lasts all day and is true to color. You can’t go wrong with purchasing this because it’s affordable and lasts quite some time!"
Fenty Beauty's liquid eyeliner has a flexible felt tip so it's easy to apply smoothly in one swipe. The intense color dries quickly and lasts for a long time.
What the reviews say: "I am not really good with liquid eyeliner, so I am not sure why I bought this but when I got home and used it... it worked. It was easy to use and the liner stays filled with the makeup that it applies nicely from all angles that you could hold the pen. It doesn't dry out and the completed look is very vivid. This is a new favorite for me!"
Another cult favorite, this creamy pencil goes on easily and will last you from day to night. It also contains nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil to hydrate and condition the skin.
What the reviews say: "I have been using this eye pencil exclusively for the last 12+ years from college to now my early 30s and it still provides everything I need! It glides on easily, provides even color and smudges nicely if you go for that effect. One application will last me all day. I have never wanted more or strayed. Great pencil for the price!"
This is another good drugstore option. The hexagonal shape on the pen makes it easy to hold for better control when applying. It also has a flexible brush tip for precision.
What the reviews say: "This is my new favorite liquid eyeliner... I've tried so many brands (many higher-end) but this one is by far the easiest to use and the best. It doesn't tug or skip when used properly and resists running when my eyes water. My eyelids are slightly 'crepey' and have fine lines and slight wrinkles which tend to mess me up when using liquid eyeliner on my top lid, but this one actually works well for me."
Too Faced's liquid eyeliner is also a classic for many beauty insiders. The long-lasting liner is an intense black, perfect for a cat or smoky eye. Plus, it's free of parabens and phthalates.
What the reviews say: "I wear winged eyeliner just about every day, and this product is absolutely incredible. It is smooth, pigmented, opaque, and wears really well. The tip is super super fine, and also flexible enough to give optimal control. If you are new to using eyeliner, this one is a life saver and makes it so much easier to get a perfect and sharp wing. I have never had a problem with it smudging, and am overall very impressed by everything about it. If you haven't tried this yet, would 12/10 recommend."
Rimmel's eyeliner is the cheapest one on our list at just $4, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work as well as the others. It's got over 1300 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon. Use it for winged, smoky, or natural looks.
What the reviews say: "I've used a lot of eyeliner and a lot of cheap eyeliner and this is by far the best I've used, glides on very nice and has a dramatic effect. Stays in place amazingly and I used it on my water line and it made it through a day of hiking, swimming, and showering before I wiped it off."
This one is another favorite with the beauty set. The creamy eye pencil goes on so smoothly, yet intensely. You can also use it to smudge for a smoky look.
What the reviews say: "Best eyeliner for tightlining and waterlining! I have very oily eyelids, and I have monolids, so typically products just slide around and make a mess. This really stays put!"
This one is so easy to use, leaves you with rich pigment, and can stay in place for up to 14 hours. It also contains crushed pearl powder to hydrate and smooth the eyelid surface.
What the reviews say: "This is a great pencil. It is lovely and smooth to apply, soft enough that it can be smudged, I like to use it in the inner corner of my eye, which gives a nice brightening effect while still looking super natural. The application lasts really well and so the pencil itself lasts ages. I have sensitive eyes and it has always been fine."
Another longtime favorite, this eyeliner is a two-in-one since it's both a waterproof liquid and pencil liner. And since it does double duty, you can use it for any look, from dramatic to natural. It also contains mineral pigments to soften and smooth the skin.
What the reviews say: "I got this eyeliner a couple months ago and it is pretty much life-changing. It glides on the eyes super smooth and you don't have to keep gliding over it to make it darker. It is really amazing and I 100% recommend this product. The longest I have ever kept it on my eyes was about 12 hours and it never faded. It is truly amazing!"
L'Oréal Paris's pencil liner gives you 24 hours of uninterrupted wear. The formula is smudge-resistant with intense pigmentation, and it comes in six different shades. Just a note: You'll need a sharpener for this one.
What the reviews say: "I love this eyeliner. I was looking for a good waterproof eyeliner—something that would last all day. This one is perfect! I have oily skin and I have allergies. Some days my eye liner is gone by 10 a.m. Not this one. This one goes on super smooth and stays put until you wash it off. And it doesn't bother my eyes."
You won't experiencing any creasing, smudging, tugging, or skipping with Glossier's liner. It also comes in 12 shades that range from your normal black and brown to adventurous green, yellow, and wine-red.
What the reviews say: "I am eyeliner-challenged but I LOVE this eyeliner! I have 'Pretty Penny' and the color is wonderful. It does need some pressure for the best color payoff but I'm obsessed with the way it looks. I ordered the trio today and will definitely be back when they run out."
This eyeliner will stand up to sweat, humidity, and tears. You'll be able to glide this long-lasting pencil easily, and it can be used for tightlining, too.
What the reviews say: "I have tried so many eyeliners, and this is the first that doesn't run! I have dry eyes and use drops throughout the day, and it stays on without running. Definitely my favorite!"
It Cosmetics' waterproof gel eyeliner is another industry favorite. In addition to its staying power, it's also infused with collagen, peptides, and antioxidants.
What the reviews say: "This is a great eyeliner. I didn't realize that other eyeliners tugged (pulled at your skin or got caught on eyelashes) until I used this. The application is very smooth, it goes on dark the first time, and it lasts a long time. Very good buy."
Benefit's matte liquid liner has an easy-glide felt tip and is quick-drying. The formula lasts up to 24 hours without flaking or smudging.
What the reviews say: "This is my current favorite liner. It stays where you put it, doesn't run, and has a rich vibrant color. Personally I'm happy it doesn't bother my eyes, as I haven't terrible allergies and also wear contacts. Would highly recommend."
Dior's eyeliner has a hybrid tip that's like a felt tip and a brush in one, so it's super easy to use with precision. The super-pigmented formula can last up to 24 hours.
What the reviews say: "Love this eyeliner. It goes on smoothly and I can easily control the thickness of the line. The main reason I love it is because it stays put—even after a long 10-hour day. Other liners would bleed, crack, and wear off—not this one."