The 15 Best Drugstore Eyeliners Makeup Artists Can’t Live Without
Kick your expensive makeup habit to the curb and try one of these picks instead.
As one of the most frequently used items in your beauty arsenal, eyeliner is something you’ve got to get right. However, getting it right doesn’t mean you have to spend the big bucks. (And when department stores sell liners for upwards of $30, who’s got the budget for it?!)
Fortunately, you’re in luck. Your local drugstore doesn’t just sell eyeliners you’ll feel OK about—they sell fabulous eyeliners that even the professionals swear by. Whether you’re looking for a waterproof liquid liner or a smudgeable gel, we’ve rounded up the best drugstore eyeliners that are on the market in 2019. The next time your liner is in need of replenishment, try your luck at your nearest drugstore. We guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The Best Drugstore Liquid Eyeliners
1. The Best Liquid Eyeliner For Tight-Lining
Wet n Wild MegaSlim Skinny Tip Eyeliner
$5; buy now at Walgreens
Wet n Wild’s liquid eyeliner is guaranteed to land a spot on your list of drugstore beauty essentials. Its ultra-skinny tip (emphasis on the skinny) makes it the perfect tool for tight-lining or filling in your waterline. Even better? It’s $5, which means no more buyer’s remorse.
2. The Best Liquid Eyeliner For Beginners
Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner
$9; buy now at Walgreens
If you’ve ever felt like lining your lids was as difficult as painting a Picasso, then this one’s for you. Maybelline’s easy to use, crazy affordable liquid liner is one of the brand’s top-selling items for a reason. Seriously, you don’t need to be makeup savvy at all to use this one-stroke wonder.
3. The Best Waterproof Precision Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner
$18; buy now at Walmart
Although it may cost a bit more than the other items on this list, Stila’s Stay All Day liner is the best of the best. Come rain or shine, this bad boy will stay right where you put it. What’s more, this waterproof necessity is also great for mastering looks that require lots of precision.
4. The Best Smudge-Proof Liquid Eyeliner
E.l.f. Expert Liquid Liner
$2; buy now at Target
When it comes to smudges, you know the drill: One minute you’re taking selfie after selfie of your stunning look and the next it appears as though you’re still rocking last night’s shadow. Say goodbye to the dreaded raccoon eye and hello to E.l.f.’s smudge-proof liquid Liner.
5. The Best Liquid Eyeliner For a Wing
L’Oreal Flash Cat Eye
$8; buy now at Walmart
So you’re new to the whole cat-eye thing? L’Oreal’s Flash Eyeliner is the beginner’s tool you need. Not only does it come equipped with a stencil, but it’s also got a precision brush tip that will help you achieve the perfect flick.
The Best Drugstore Pencil Eyeliners
1. The Best Pencil Eyeliner For a Flawless Smoky Eye
CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner
$5.00; buy now at Walmart
If there’s one makeup bag essential, it’s this one. Although pencil shavings can be a pain, CoverGirl’s Perfect Blend Eyeliner makes them worth it. Give your eyes the sultry, smoked-out look you’ve been waiting for with this two-in-one dual-ended liner. Just draw and then blend using the handy smudge brush.
2. The Best White Pencil Eyeliner
NYX Slide On Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner
$6; buy now at Target
Having a good white liner handy is more makeup savvy than you might think. For example, apply it to the waterline to make your eyes pop, as makeup artist Sarah Redzikowki did here.
3. The Best Smudge-able Pencil Eyeliner
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner
$10; buy now at Walgreens
While smudge-free liners have their place, sometimes a not-so-neat eyeliner is key to creating the ultimate smoked look. Get makeup-artist results with L’Oreal’s Smoldering Eyeliner and rock the I-tried look without really having to. It’s as simple as one, two, apply and smudge.
4. The Best Pencil Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes
Burt’s Bees Nourishing Eyeliner
$10; buy now at CVS
The struggle to find makeup for sensitive eyes is real! With Burt’s Bees ophthalmologist-tested Nourishing Eyeliner you can feel good and look good.
5. The Best Pencil Eyeliner For Your Waterline
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil
$21; buy now at ULTA
Called 24/7 for a reason, this creamy pencil is one you can count on to stay put all day (and not rub off onto your eyeballs—ugh). It’s highly pigmented, completely waterproof, and is guaranteed to create the intensified look you desire. The verdict? It’s worth the price.
The Best Drugstore Gel Eyeliners
1. The Best Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner
L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner
$9; buy now at ULTA
L’Oreal’s Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner goes with virtually every look and, dare we say, may even last longer than the pricier options out there. Smudge it—or don’t—and enjoy 16 hours of lasting perfection.
2. The Best Gel Eyeliner For Your Waterline
Milani Stay Put Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil
$8; buy now at CVS
This may just be the holy grail of gel eyeliners. Milani’s Stay Put Waterproof Pencil is sure to give you a picture-perfect look every time. When it comes to lining the sensitive inner rim of your eyes, you want something that’s going to look and feel amazing—and this liner is able to do both.
3. The Best Waterproof Gel Eyeliner
Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer
$7; buy now at CVS
Your hunt for the perfect waterproof gel eyeliner is over. No matter what life throws at you—a rainy day or a Netflix and cry kinda night—you’ll be prepared with Rimmel’s Eye Definer.
4. The Best Long Lasting Gel Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
$8; buy now at Target
You shouldn’t have to settle for an eyeliner that’s going to do almost everything you want it to. Maybelline’s Lasting Gel liner is crazy pigmented, has insane staying power, and is versatile enough to help you achieve a range of looks. Whether you’re going for sleek and simple or exaggerated and drawn out, this gel is your best bet. Expect long-lasting results that’ll keep you from having to reapply.
5. The Best Smudge-Proof Gel Eyeliner
Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner
$7; buy now at Walgreens
For a look that’s really going to stand out, try Revlon’s ColorStay Eyeliner. Its creamy formula allows for an effortless application, while its waterproof technology means it’s smudge-free. Go from work to happy hour to dinner… it still won’t budge.
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