There are so many eyeliner options these days. Pencil liners are great for smudging (think smokey eye) but tend to have poor staying power and need to be set with a eyeshadow, liquid liners stay on forever but require expert, steady application and gel liners provide a perfect balance of ease-of-use (pencils) with staying power (liquid liners). These, however, require a separate brush to apply.Here are my favorite liners from pricey department store brands to some drugstore faves.
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The makeup artist's secret (Angelina Jolie's makeup artist Matin uses this to get her famous cat eye), this matte gel is applied with an eyeliner brush and stays on longer than pencils while providing a line that's not as harsh as a liquid liner. Line the upper lids and dot in between lashes for the perfect cat eye.
This also happens to be the most-reviewed eyeliner on Makeupalley. Of the 1,520 reviews at the time of this writing, more than 85 percent of reviewers would buy it again. That speaks volumes about the quality of this product.
Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners are popular on Makeupalley.com and are an InStyle magazine "Best Beauty Buy." Although pricier than a liquid liner you might get at a drugstore, the product in this little pot lasts forever -- as does the line it makes on your lid. It's known for staying put until you wash it off. Also, gel liners go on more smoothly and stay on longer than pencil liners but are less harsh than the lines created by liquid liners. The only downfall is you need an eyeliner brush. I like MAC and Sephora brands.
Perfect for drawing in thin, barely-there lines on upper lashes. Goes on smooth, clean and precise and won't budge. Because liquid liners require a steady hand, they can be a pain for newbie users or non-professionals, however Artliner works well because if you smudge, simply put a Q-tip in some water and swipe over lid to remove. Some users report it's not a great liner if you like to layer shadows over the line (for a smoky eye, for example). The liner apparently "peels" away when shadow is layered over it. But it's perfect for that thin line so many love.
One of the benefits of shadow eyeliners is you can smudge the line. If you don't like a harsh line, a pencil liner is a good bet and MAC's Kohl pencils are a great buy. Keep the line from melting onto your lid by dotting eyeshadow over the line once it's in place. This pencil also works great smudged underneath the bottom lashes. Use your finger or a Q-tip to smudge.