10 Best Long-Wear Eyeliners

10 Best Long-Wear Eyeliners

Check out the stay-put eye makeup our editors tested and approved

You're already well aware that the quantity of beauty products available is borderline obscene and if you're anything like us, you don't have the time, patience, or resources to try every long-lasting eyeliner that hits the over-saturated market. As beauty editors, we come across so many products claiming to be game-changers. So we decided to put a ton of long-lasting eyeliners to the test. Here are the ones that didn't end up in our trash bins:

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $18
Tester: Kristen Oldham Giordani, Senior Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: Confession -- before I tried this "Tattoo" brush tip pen liner I was a bit nervous it might never come off. It is created by tattoo queen Kat Von D after all. But, after doing a few test swipes on my hand, it easily wiped off reassuring me that I wouldn't have to live with my eyes lined in a vibrant navy hue for the rest of my days. Phew. It did make me question whether it would last though. But … it did. Normally any liquid or gel liner I wear transfers onto the creases of my eyes by midday or evening -- I have combo skin and lids that disappear when I open my eyes -- a bad environment for any liner. But to my surprise, this didn't budge and the color lasted all day. The pen-like applicator also makes it easier than most liquid liners to apply -- though it still takes a steady hand and some patience. And the liner did wash off easily, with my go-to cleanser (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, $24.50) and water.

Almay Liquid Liner, $6.75
Tester: Anna Jimenez, Assistant Editor
Rating: 9.5
What she thought: I don't know why the average woman would need an eyeliner that lasts 16 hours like this one claims and does, but I appreciate the fact that it goes the distance. This eyeliner has been an all time favorite of mine for a while now due to the fact that it is highly pigmented, perfect for creating a dramatic look and never smudges off. It even lasts through a long night of dancing -- many of the others I've tried melt off. It has a felt tip applicator and a pot, which makes it easy to apply and prevents it from running out of product or drying up like many pen style felt-tip eyeliners do. And the price? So affordable.

Tarte emphasEYES, $18
Tester: Molly Roemer, Associate Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: First off, this automatic pencil liner goes on super smooth like a liquid. Since it yielded a nice, thick line, I went for an Audrey Hepburn-esque, top-liner-only look. And it really did stay put all day -- I put it on around 8am, and when I went to wash my face around 10pm, it was still in tact.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, $21
Tester: Sharon Yi, Editorial intern
Rating: 9
What she thought: I've heard so many good things about this magical little smudge pot -- and they’re all true! The one annoying thing about it is that you have to buy a separate brush to use it, but once that’s taken care of, all you need is a tiny amount of the product to create any style line you prefer -- thin or thick. And because it’s not liquid, it’s very easy to line the waterline (inner rims) of your eyes without fear of getting black ink drops on your contacts (if you have them, which I do). The gel liner is definitely long lasting, but it does fade a bit after a few hours, so it doesn’t hurt to reapply to keep it looking fresh. Overall though, it's a keeper.

Almay Amazing Lasting 16 Hour Eye Pencil, $6.49
Tester: Jane Kim, Assistant Editor
Rating: 7
What she thought: I love how soft this eyeliner feels -- it glides right on, and is the perfect consistency for smudging, ideal if you're going for a smoky eye look. It did smudge under my eyes after a while, which forced me to clean them up a bit toward the end of the day. But my upper lids were still well-defined after eight hours of wear, and I didn't have to reapply my liner at all, which is good enough for me.

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner, $28
Tester: Susan Yara, Associate Editor
Rating: 8
What she thought:
My absolute all time favorite eyeliner is Chanel Le Crayon Kohl in Noir because it's richly pigmented and glides on nicely ... plus, it gives a bit of a slick look when I apply it the bottom inner rims of my eyes. So I was excited to try this one because my usual tends to fade midday on my bottom lids, and it often settles into the corners of my eyes. This definitely doesn't do that -- it glides on smoothly and stays put. In fact, I had to remove it with eye makeup remover wipes at the end of the day to get the last of it off. And bonus -- this pencil doesn't have to be sharpened.

NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker, $9
Tester: Anna Jimenez, Assistant Editor
Rating: 8.5
What she thought: Anything that claims to be "supermodel skinny" makes me want to immediately hate it out of jealousy, but this liquid eyeliner rocks my world. Its felt-tip pen makes application so easy, and the pigment is super rich and dark. I honestly think anyone can apply this liner (shaky hands and all). What's even better is that I can do a cat eye in the morning before work, go out the same night, return home and the lines are still perfectly in place -- no smudging. It also washes right off with face wash and water, which I appreciate because I hate having to bust out the eye makeup remover. Only problem I've noticed (and why I didn't give it a 10) is that the shelf life is limited due to that fact that it is a pen -- after about a month of everyday use, it's dried up and ready for retirement.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Eye Pencil, $19
Tester: Susan Yara, Associate Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: I like wearing brown eyeliner during the day [because it's less intense] and this pencil glides on smooth and really does stay put. It never ended up smearing or settling into the corners of my eyes. It definitely lasted all day and was not hard to remove at night -- just used my normal face wash and it slid right off.

tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner, $16
Tester: Jane Kim, Assistant Editor
Rating: 9
What she thought: This felt-tip liner glides on like a liquid. It is extremely waterproof -- once dry, it was hard to smudge. Depending on how you like to wear your liner, this can be a pro or a con. (It was a con for me, since I prefer a smudged, not-so-precise look.) But it has amazing staying power and doesn't smear -- at all. It definitely lives up to its long-lasting claim, as it didn't budge after eight hours of wear.

Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner, $24.50
Tester: Sarah Carrillo, Senior Associate Editor
Rating: 7
What she thought: This automatic eyeliner was more like a thin crayon than a pencil. It was easy to apply, though it gives you a softer, smoky look rather than a pencil-thin line (which I was fine with, but if you like a more exact line, you may not be). Applying it to my inner rims was a little tricky, since the waxy texture didn't quite want to stick to the area. It finally worked though and I liked the smoldering look I created. By the afternoon, most of the liner had faded from my upper lashline (no creasing though, which is typical with any liner or shadow I wear) and the liner in my waterlines had slipped down to my lower lashlines. But while it didn't last all day, it also never looked bad, it just slowly faded and transferred, but without smudging or flaking. At night, I was able to remove it with eye makeup remover, although there were traces I had to clean up the next morning. Bottom line: I liked this liner and would use it again, I just won't expect it to last perfectly all day, but with my oily eyelids, makeup rarely does.

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Older comments

Good article. Thanks for the advice. I have used Maybelline Expertwear in black for years for eyebrows and sometimes as eyeliner, but hard to find in stores now. Also, Avon Glimmerstick (for eyebrows) is very good, but the dark brown is more like Auburn. The black is good, though. They also make Glimmersticks for eyeliner and lipliner.

by BeverlyJean Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 07:27PM Report as inappropriate

I am a big fan of the Tarte liner. Right now, I am addicted to Physician's Formula liner which helps lashes grow as well. It's easy to use and beautiful.

by GigiSD Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 10:58PM Report as inappropriate

very helpful, since I'd like to try a new eyeliner brand

by gloria_e_ramirez Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 02:14PM Report as inappropriate

Nice choices. I also like the waterproof marker-type liner from ELF Cosmetics. It comes in a nice range of shades and is easy to work with.

by Pege Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 07:16PM Report as inappropriate

Sweet thank you. Bobbi Brown is my favorite I have used but really like Maybelline's Lasting Drama. For the price it works really well

by Alana_Danes Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 06:01AM Report as inappropriate

This was pretty cool! I know which ones I'll be buying soon!

by NillaButterfly Friday, January 25, 2013 at 06:58PM Report as inappropriate

The Almay is resonably priced. Will get this one for my daughter!

by EricaF123 Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 04:14PM Report as inappropriate

might try these

by LittleBunny Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 03:47PM Report as inappropriate

I would have liked to seen more drugstore products mixed in with these high end products.

by pLayehAtah Friday, January 18, 2013 at 08:14PM Report as inappropriate

Thank you for the great advice... I really want to try Kat Von D's Tattoo liner -:)

by WeddingPlanner Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:43AM Report as inappropriate

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