There are numerous eyeliner options to consider depending the texture, boldness, and application tool you prefer. In order to make the Best Products list, an eyeliner should:
- Beautifully enhance the eye area
- Apply easily without skipping or tugging
- Set to a long-wearing finish that resists smearing and flaking
- Offer classic and flattering shades
One of the easiest ways to line eyes is with a matte-powder eyeshadow, used wet or dry (with wet application producing a more intense effect). We also love the various gel-type eyeliners available (these are a must-try for anyone struggling with oily eyelids).
The gel eyeliners on this list apply easily and should last all day without smearing, flaking, or fading. Always make sure you recap the product tightly after each use so that the formula doesn’t dry out and become unusable. In some respects, gel eyeliners are similar to liquid eyeliners, but they tend to dry faster, are easier to apply, and the effect is softer. There are, however, some incredible liquid eyeliners to consider, especially if you are looking for a liner that allows for precise control.
When it comes to eye pencils, those rated as standard tend to have more similarities than differences. We did not rate any pencil that needed routine sharpening a Best because there are enough excellent automatic (no sharpening required) pencils available. If you don't mind the routine sharpening, these types of pencils are worth considering, though for the most part they did not receive better than an average rating. The eye pencils on this list have quick, smooth applications and a long-wearing finish. They tend to be creamy but don't smear.