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The 10 Best Drugstore Eyeliners of 2019

Drugstore Eyeliners: The Best of 2019

Cat, puppy, winged, natural: these are just some of the different ways you can line your eyes. Depending on your makeup look, eyeliner can be used to change your eye shape, draw attention to your eyes, or make your eyes look more defined. Eyeliners come in different colors and application types for this reason. Bold looks can be achieved easily with just a swipe of brightly colored eyeliner. You can change your eye shape from downturned into almond by strategically lining the edges of your eyes with black eyeliner. Want an eye makeup look that’s easy, natural, and fresh? A swipe of brown eyeliner can do the trick.

There’s no need to shell out a ton of cash for the best eyeliners. High-end brands are associated with top-quality products, but some of the best drugstore eyeliners are just as good at a fraction of the cost. Luckily, there is a variety of drugstore brands out there that you can find one that fits your budget and makeup preferences. But with so many drugstore eyeliners available in the market, it can be tough to find what’s right for you. Luckily, we’re here to help you find the best drugstore eyeliners for your makeup needs.

Editors choice

1. Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner

9.30 / 10

Looking for natural ingredients in makeup used to be very difficult. If you have sensitive or highly allergic skin, many eyeliners will be a pain to wear. Fortunately, more and more brands are incorporating natural ingredients in their makeup. Even drugstore brands are formulating their products to be kinder towards skin and sensitive areas of the face, like the eyes. Enter the Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner, a hypoallergenic eyeliner made with honey and coconut. If you have sensitive skin but don’t want to pay a ton of cash for eyeliner, this one might be the perfect one for you. Its formula is smooth and highly pigmented so that you can line your eyes with ease and no irritation. This also contains castor oil, which is supposed to help promote hair growth. So this is an eyeliner that not only defines your eyes but can also help your lashes grow. When it comes to wear-time, it’s understood that makeup with natural ingredients don’t last as long. But the Neutrogena Precision Liquid Eyeliner is water- and smudge-resistant and can hold up for at least 5 hours. It does pretty well in humid or wet climate, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin in the summer or during the rainy season. The brush’s tiny point allows you to draw thin lines exactly where you want it. Due to the shape of the brush, it’s harder to get thicker lines. Pressing on the brush as you apply can slightly thicken the line it makes, but it can look uneven. This liner is not for more dramatic looks.

Key Features
  • Made with honey and coconut
  • Hypoallergenic
  • For sensitive skin
Specifications
  • Waterproof: No
  • Wear Time: 5 hours
  • Product Form: Mechanical eyeliner pencil
  • Weight: 0.48 ounces
Pros
  • Natural ingredients
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Good color pay-off
Cons
  • Hard to draw thick lines
  • Not long-wearing
  • Only for natural makeup looks
Premium pick

2. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner

9.45 / 10

Many liquid eyeliner pens can be tricky to use because of their super soft brush tips. These types of eyeliners are harder to control and require a lot of practice. On the other end of the spectrum, felt tip brushes can be too firm that they don’t produce smooth lines or sharp wings. Finding the balance between both among drugstore eyeliners used to be impossible. But with the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner, your lining dreams could come true. This eyeliner still has a felt tip but the way it’s shaped allows for easy and precise lining. The tapered tip can draw super fine lines as well as semi-thick lines in just one swoop. If you’re not an expert with eyeliner but want something more dramatic, this felt tip liquid liner is for you. It’s easy to control and work with as the formula is not too runny or too dry. The formula is paraben-free and packed with intense color. It’s not waterproof, but it does stay put and doesn’t smudge on primed and oil-free lids. It’s also easy to remove and you won’t have to rub on your eyes to get all the product out. Eyeko’s Skinny Liquid Liner is also enhanced with an algae extract meant to condition your lashes. It’s great for everyday wear, whether you’re going for a sultry cat eye or a naturally defined look. Having a versatile eyeliner like this in your makeup kit saves time, energy, and money! Drying out is the ultimate enemy of felt tip liquid liners, so be sure to keep the cap on for no mishaps.

Key Features
  • Thin felt tip
  • Paraben-free formula
  • Smudge-proof
Specifications
  • Waterproof: No
  • Wear Time: 12 hours
  • Product Form: Liquid eyeliner pen
  • Weight: 0.48 ounces
Pros
  • Just-right felt tip
  • Good for beginners and pros
  • Contains conditioning algae extract
Cons
  • More expensive
  • Not waterproof
  • Can dry out quickly

One of the good things about shopping for drugstore eyeliners is that you can find many mechanical eye pencils that don’t need a lot of sharpening. Sharpening is often messy and difficult, leaving a lot of product wasted. With twist-up pencils, you can have a sharp eyeliner point anytime, anywhere. CoverGirl is a drugstore staple, and they’ve got their own mechanical eye pencil for your eyeliner needs. While the brand claims that the CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner maintains a sharp tip with its self-sharpening design, it’s not quite the case. The tip doesn’t stay as sharp as it is when first opened, but this can be a pro for those who prefer thicker lines. The pigment is nice and rich and glides on smoothly. However, this is not the pencil for very dramatic and bold looks. It’s great for achieving very natural makeup looks, even when using the black shade. If you’re looking for an everyday eyeliner that is easy to use and defines the eyes without overdoing it, the CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner is a good choice. It comes with a built-in smudge tip that has an angled flat edge. This unique shape can be hard to use for beginners, but it smudges out the eyeliner fairly well. The shade range is also good with 7 colors available. The interesting shades like deep burgundy and grey khaki might look intimidating to use, but they could easily add a subtle pop of color to your daily makeup look.

Key Features
  • Angled smudge tip
  • Twist-up sharpening
  • 7 shades
Specifications
  • Waterproof: No
  • Wear Time: 5 hours
  • Product Form: Mechanical eyeliner pencil
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces
Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Interesting shade range
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Not for dramatic looks
  • Doesn't sharpen well
  • Hard to use smudger

Rimmel is a popular drugstore brand with high-quality and fashion-forward products. While they do know how to keep up with trends, they’ve also mastered the basics. The Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer is a retractable eyeliner pencil with a built-in smudger. The twist-up design keeps the point always sharp for those super precise and highly pigmented lines. Want an even sharper point? The Exaggerate Eye Definer also comes with a small sharpener under the smudger. Its formula is soft and creamy so it goes on smoothly and will stay on your eyes for up to 10 hours. While branded as waterproof, this eyeliner is water-resistant at best. It can be applied to the waterline but results in a little smudging or transferring. Any tears, sweat, or oils mixed with rubbing will turn this eyeliner into a highly pigmented mess. The point may be too soft and can sometimes break under slightly too much pressure. This pencil works for some with oily skin, but it performs best on dry, primed lids and in cool weather. When it comes to pigment, the Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer wins. It goes on very dark in just one swipe, making very defined eyes easy to do. With 5 shades to choose from, you can create an entire eye look with just a couple of the Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer pencils. The blue and green shades are great for bringing out lighter colored eyes. Smudge out the color for a more blended and softer look, or keep the lines sharp for precise definition.

Key Features
  • Built-in smudger
  • Self-sharpening
  • Highly pigmented formula
Specifications
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Wear Time: 10 hours
  • Product Form: Mechanical eyeliner pencil
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces
Pros
  • Value for money
  • Highly pigmented
  • Glides on smoothly
Cons
  • Only water-resistant
  • Not for hot weather
  • Not for oily skin

Maybelline is synonymous with great and inexpensive makeup. So when it comes to getting a liquid eyeliner that does what it’s supposed to do without hurting your wallet, the Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise All Day Liquid Eyeliner could be your best bet. The Eyestudio Master Precise All Day Liquid liner comes in three shades: black, brown, and blue. The navy blue liner is a great way to start experimenting with bolder looks without looking so over-the-top. It’s a fun and cheap way to update an otherwise drab office look while still remaining professional and put-together. This eyeliner pen also features a shaped grip that makes it easier to hold and control. You can achieve super fine and steady lines with this feature. The Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise All Day Liquid Eyeliner also boasts up to 12 hours of waterproof wear, making it great for long days at work or nights out with friends. But it’s not the best in a humid climate or for those with oily skin. In hot weather or on oily lids, this eyeliner can smudge and fade easily. The eyeliner’s felt tip pen is easier to work with than a brush tip pen, so it’s perfect for beginners and eyeliner newbies. The eyeliner goes on smoothly with no need to layer on for an opaque line. However, felt tip pens tend to dry out faster than brush tips. The lifespan of this eyeliner can be shorter than others, but its reasonable price makes up for this.

Key Features
  • Easy control grip
  • 3 shades
  • Felt tip
Specifications
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Wear Time: 12 hours
  • Product Form: Liquid eyeliner pen
  • Weight: 0.2 ounces
Pros
  • Comfortable grip for more control
  • Good for beginners
  • Opaque lines with one swipe
Cons
  • Dries out quickly
  • Not good for humid conditions

Eyeliners usually come in pen or pencil form. This can make them a bit hard to maneuver around the eye, especially if you’re drawing on a small area. If you want real precision, try out the NYX Professional Makeup Vinyl Liquid Liner. This super glossy liquid eyeliner will define your eyes and make them pop. The super fine brush applicator is perfect for drawing on the sharpest of cat eyes and winged eyeliners. Use the point to make a clean and sharp flick, or use the sides to draw on thicker lines across your lid. The brush dips into the product bottle that contains 0.068 fluid ounces of jet black, glossy formula. It is not matte so it won’t work for some, but it will work wonders with glittery and bright eye looks. It can also add oomph to your look on its own! Once this eyeliner is on, it stays on. It’s a long-wearing eyeliner that will stay put on your lids all day. As soon as the eyeliner dries and sets, there is no smudging or transferring. This eyeliner is great for those even with oily skin, as it is resistant to fading, flaking, and smudging. This quality can be good for when you’re working all day and then dancing the night away, but it can be a pain to remove. Micellar water or oil-free makeup removers won’t be effective against this Vinyl Liquid Liner. You’ll need to soak your lids with makeup remover to gently wipe away all of the product.

Key Features
  • Fine-tip brush applicator
  • Glossy finish
  • Long-wearing
Specifications
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Wear Time: 12 hours
  • Product Form: Liquid eyeliner with brush
  • Weight: 0.068 fluid ounces
Pros
  • Precise brush applicator
  • High shine and glossy finish
  • Long-wearing
Cons
  • Hard to remove
  • Not for beginners
  • Not matte

Eye pencils are a staple for any makeup user because of their versatility. You can use them to draw on hairs, moles, or freckles, or to smoke out your lids for a dramatic eye look. But it can be difficult to find that truly waterproof and longwearing eyeliner pencil—that is, if you haven’t tried the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner. This mechanical pencil is great for those living in warmer climates or who sweat a lot through their makeup. The Colorstay Eyeliner is waterproof and won’t even come off after a dip in the pool. This eyeliner comes in 8 vibrant shades. There are the usual eyeliner colors like black, blue, and brown, but this line also features black violet, jade, and teal. If you’re looking to update your makeup routine, a richly colored eyeliner like the Revlon Colorstay pencil is a good way to go. Revlon’s Colorstay Eyeliner lasts for 16 hours but still has a soft and smooth formula. This pencil comes with a built-in sharpener and smudger, making it a very convenient tool for those with little room in their makeup bag. The good thing about this twist-up pencil is that you can also retract it. In case you twist up too much product, there’s no need to break it off. Just twist it back in and you’re good to go. The sharpener included can be found in the end where the smudger is. This small tool is handy but it can easily be lost because of its size.

Key Features
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Built-in smudger
  • Opthalmologist-tested
  • 8 shades
Specifications
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Wear Time: 16 hours
  • Product Form: Mechanical eyeliner pencil
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • 8 vibrant shades for different looks
  • Retractable pencil
Cons
  • Small sharpener
  • Tip can break off easily
  • Not smudge-proof

Liquid eyeliners are the go-to for many who love sporting a winged eyeliner. But when it comes to lining the lash-line or smoking out the lid, you’ll need a good eye pencil with a waterproof formula. Enter the Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner, a mechanical pencil-type eyeliner that features a self-sharpening tip. There’s no need to invest in a messy, hard-to-use sharpener for this eyeliner. The Unstoppable Eyeliner always keeps a sharp point so you can draw on a precise flick, or tightly line your waterline. The self-sharpening tip and twist-up function makes this eyeliner perfect for travel or quick makeup looks on-the-go. All shades are highly pigmented so you can easily apply bold, dark lines onto your eyes. The formula goes on smoothly, but is still firm so that you can draw precise lines without smudging. This mechanical pencil is easy to use and perfect for those who are just starting out with makeup. Whether you’re going for a more-defined natural look or a dramatic smoky eye, you can reach for the Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner. The sharp point can draw super-fine lines, while angling it a bit can result in thicker and bolder lines. While the color payoff is high, this is not the most long-wearing of eyeliners. High humidity, oil, and unintentional rubbing of the eye can smudge the eyeliner or cause it to transfer. The pencil can also dry out quickly if left unused for a while. To soften the tip, draw lines on your hand and warm up the eyeliner.

Key Features
  • Self-sharpening tip
  • Smudge-resistant
  • 5 shades
Specifications
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Wear Time: 6 hours
  • Product Form: Mechanical pencil eyeliner
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
Pros
  • Self-sharpening tip
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Versatile for many makeup looks
Cons
  • Not for oily skin
  • Not that long-wearing
  • Can dry out and crumble

There are several factors that determine a good eyeliner. Things like the finish, wear-time, and pigmentation are very important. If you’re looking for a drugstore eyeliner that does the trick for less, the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Eyeliner may be for you. This liquid eyeliner in pen form comes with a super-fine soft brush tip for the most precise winged eyeliner look. The formulation of the eyeliner is incredibly fluid for seamless and highly pigmented lines in just one swoop. It’s not incredibly glossy, perfect for those who want just the right amount of shine in their eyeliner. With a soft and flexible tip, you can create a variety of looks with just one eyeliner pen. This liner allows you to draw fine lines with its pointed tip, or bolder ones with just a hint of pressure. Be sure to take care when placing the lid back on, as this eyeliner’s bristles can get caught in the cap. The NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner claims to be waterproof and stay on your lids despite any sweat or tears. But just splashing this with water can leave it looking faded and less pigmented. Also, due to the product’s runny formula, it’s not that beginner-friendly. You need a steady hand to get this eyeliner right where you want it, otherwise you’ll be left with an epic inky mess. So while the NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner is a great budget liner, it’s definitely one for those who are more experienced when it comes to lining eyes.

Key Features
  • Felt tip
  • Vegan
  • Liquid eyeliner
Specifications
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Wear Time: 6 hours
  • Product Form: Liquid eyeliner pen
  • Weight: 0.48 ounces
Pros
  • Long-wearing
  • Pointed tip for precision
  • Can be layered
Cons
  • Runny formula, prone to leaking
  • Hard to apply for beginners
  • Not for oily skin

Who has time for eye pencils that need to be sharpened, resulting in a lot of wasted product and a total mess to clean up? Thankfully, there are drugstore eyeliners like the L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Never Fail Pencil that give you hassle-free eye-lining. This mechanical pencil comes with a built-in sharpener for an always-sharp tip, and a smudger on the opposite end. This makes it the perfect tool for your on-the-go makeup kit in your purse or travel bag! Use the pencil alone for sharp and precise lines, or smudge it out for more dramatic definition. Thanks to the L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Pencil, you can achieve a sharp cat eye or a glam smoky eye with just one makeup tool. This eyeliner also comes in a wide variety of shades depending on your desired look. Want defined eyes but not the harshness of a carbon black liner? You can use the black-brown or the brown shades instead. The Infallible Never Fail Pencil also comes in a navy blue shade, slate, and white for those editorial looks. The formulation of this pencil is creamy so that it glides on the lid smoothly, but it also sets quickly so that you get less smudging and transferring. The L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Pencil Eyeliner has a rich crème formula for highly pigmented lines that don’t skip. But the soft formula can result in a liner that is flimsy and won’t hold up in higher temperatures. Always store in a cool, dry place!

Key Features
  • Built-in sharpener
  • Built-in smugder
  • 7 shades
Specifications
  • Waterproof: No
  • Wear Time: 16 hours
  • Product Form: Mechanical pencil eyeliner
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
Pros
  • Many shades
  • Sharpener and smudger included
  • Sets quickly
Cons
  • Soft formula can break easily
  • Not smudge-proof
  • Fades quickly

Eyeliner was first seen used over 12,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The use of makeup was seen as a status symbol—those in the upper class had more means to acquire more makeup than those in the lower classes. Back then, both males and females used eyeliner to define their eyes as well as protect them from the harsh sun, bugs, and disease. The ancient Egyptians used cosmetics for religious and magical purposes.

Nowadays, makeup isn’t just for the upper class—but it can still be a magical experience. There are many brands that can give you the best drugstore eyeliner you need at a fraction of the cost of high-end eyeliners. While high-end makeup brands usually have better packaging and higher-quality ingredients, that doesn’t mean they’re the only options for amazing makeup looks. With the best drugstore eyeliners, you can easily find a dupe for popular high-end brands without breaking the bank. One of the good things about sticking with the best drugstore eyeliners is that you won’t feel bad when you have to get a fresh one after a couple of months. Because of how you use liquid and gel eyeliners, they should be tossed out within a year at most. For the least risk, liquid eyeliners and gel pots should be updated every 3 months. By choosing drugstore eyeliners, you’ll have more bang for your buck! At the low prices, you can buy a duplicate to tote in your travel bag.

Nowadays, you can also find eyeliners at the drugstore that are vegan, cruelty-free, or made of all-natural ingredients. With so many wonderful options to choose from, who wouldn’t choose a drugstore brand product? Some of the best drugstore eyeliners can even outperform high-end brands for less money—making it a win-win situation. Whether you need a pencil for a smoky eye or a pot of jet black gel for more creative freedom, drugstore eyeliners are there for you.

Of course, they also come with their cons. The most common complaint of drugstore eyeliners would be their lack of pigment, requiring you to layer on the eyeliner for a nice opaque line. Sometimes the packaging can be faulty or damaged, leading to leaks. It could also be difficult to find the right finish, as some eyeliners aren’t truly matte nor glossy. But like with most eyeliners, the trick is to perfect your technique. Any eyeliner will look shoddy if you haven’t mastered lining your eyes. Once you have that down, you can draw the sharpest wing with any brand of eyeliner!

Resources — Instyle, Bellatory

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