I've Tried Over 100 Eyeliners—These Are the 6 That Last Through Pretty Much Anything

Whether your look is smoky, feline, or winged, there's a liner here for you.

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Real Simple / Sabrina Jiang

If you're a diehard liner freak like me, your cateye is basically just an extension of you—and you probably wouldn't be caught leaving the house without it. This also means I'm a true loyalist to the eyeliners that work. Through multiple years of trial and error, I've probably swiped just about every liner on the market on my hooded eyelids—and most of them suck. If you also have lids that disappear into your brow bone, you know that you have to get creative when applying eye makeup—and pickier about which products you use. This is especially true for your liner, which tends to move, smudge, and smear throughout the day. Either they bleed into a murky line across your lid, rub off on your crease when you blink, or leave a scattering of black specks on your face.

With long-lasting waterproof formulas at the forefront of my search, I've whittled it down to a standout selection of the best liquid eyeliners that make lining easy. Fair warning: They've stayed put through sweaty workout classes, tearjerker Netflix sessions, and balmy 105-degree days in NYC, so you'll probably want to invest in a pretty solid makeup remover to get them off.

Best overall: Tarte Tarteist Double Take Liner

Tarte Tarteist Double Take Liner

I can confidently say that you can't really go wrong with an eyeliner from Tarte. The formulas have never failed me, and unlike other black liquid liners, they don't flake throughout the day (how it manages to do this task is a mystery, but it works). Another beauty editor once asked me what I would choose if I had to pick one eye product to have with me on a desert island, and I opted for this dual-ended gem: It has a clay-based pencil tip on one end for a softer look, and a satin-finish felt tip on the other end for a more precise finish. Regardless of the side you choose, you'll get a budge-proof line every time.

Best pen eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner

Since I started wearing black eyeliner, I've stocked up in bulk on these felt tip eyeliners from Stila. Its razor-thin tip produces angles so sharp that your friends will think you used a protractor, yet the marker-like application (don't worry, it looks nothing at all like a magic marker) gives even the shakiest-handed chicks a steady line.

Best eyeliner crayon: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner

There's no finish quite like the unique sheen of a matte gel, and these twist-up waterproof crayons come in a slew of high-impact colors for every mood and eye color. Apply it close to your lashes (the formula slides on like butter) as a dramatic, smudgy liner or sweep it all over lids as a buildable cream shadow.

Best liquid eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

This liner once went viral for staying put during a car accident and a subsequent ride to the hospital (yes, seriously). Not that we would ever expect you to encounter a car crash—and sincerely hope you don't—you will appreciate the reliability of this eyeliner inspired by tattoos. It's the next best thing you can get in terms of pigment and staying power—you know, without the needles, pain, and permanent factor.

Best drugstore eyeliner: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Liner

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Liner

If you're an eyeliner newbie (welcome!) and looking for a cost-friendly tool to start with, think of this eyeliner as the training wheels of liquid eyeliners. The tip is sharply angled from thick to thin, which gives you the ability to either tightly trace your lash line for a subtle finish or hold it on its side for a thicker wing.

Best waterproof eyeliner: Milani Stay Put Matte 17HR Wear Liquid Eyeliner

Milani Stay Put Matte 17HR Wear Liquid Eyeliner

Facts: The invincible pigment would probably be able to withstand a monsoon. Although I can't verify that with firsthand experience, I can say that I've fallen asleep in my makeup after a pool party (don't tell anyone) and my cateye still looked on point come morning. When applied, the raven-black pigment dries down to a semi-matte finish that doesn't bleed or feather whatsoever. Seriously, it's freaking magical.

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