photo by andrew stinson


liner notes

the 10 liquid liners that won’t budge, smudge, or fade.

by liza darwin

Listen, we don't have to tell you about how awesome liquid black eyeliner is as a thing--you already know that. But what you might not know yet is which versions of the beauty essential are worth splurging on, which ones are most foolproof, and which ones will last from your dance party until the sunrise. This is where we come in.

Our editors have put (almost) all the liquid black eyeliners out there to the ultimate test, and have rounded up the absolute best of the best. From tiny brushes to push-up pens, these products might all be different, but one thing they have in common? Besides the fact that they're all safer than running a permanent marker across your lids, they're all equally awesome. So check out our liquid eyeliner superlatives below, then vote for your favorite in the comments.

Best alternative to using a Sharpie: Urban Decay Ink for Eyes, $20 

Easiest one-step liner: Sephora Smart Liner, $14 

Most metallic (but not in a cheesy way): Kat Von D Lightning Liner, $20 

Most likely to last through a swim, a shower, or a sweaty dance-off: Makeup For Ever Aqua Liner, $23 

Most precise: MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Waterproof Eyeliner, $30 

Most foolproof: Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner, $20 

Most lash-hugging: Benefit They're Real Eyeliner, $24

Best Value: Maybelline Ultra Liner, $7.29

Best for a retro cat eye: L'Oreal Infallible Liner, $9.49

Most versatile: Alexa Chung for Eyeko, $19