Cat-eye, graphic, smoky—the list of looks you can create with eyeliner is seemingly endless, as is the array of products you can use to achieve them.
But even a simple sweep of pencil for subtle definition adds major polish. The takeaway? A good eyeliner is a must-have in your beauty bag. To help you decipher which formula is best for you, we’ve compiled the definitive guide. Line it up!
Good for: Eyeliner novices who want subtle definition during the day. This is the best option for the bottom lash as it looks the most natural.
Tip: To fake fullness, tightline your upper lash. For added drama, apply to your lower waterline as well. Avoid lining only the lower lash—doing so can create the illusion of droopy eyes.
- , Urban Decay
- , Dior
- , Revlon
Good for: Cat-eye aficionados—the calligraphy-inspired brush creates a precise line while the flexible hairs allow easy control.
Tip: Use the Scotch tape hack to create the perfect symmetrical winged eye.
- , Eyeko
- , Kat Von D
- , Clinique
Good for: Sexy, smoky eyes—the inky, ultra-pigmented crayon glides on and blends easily with the help of a smudging brush.
Tip: Avoid getting pigment all over your face by applying eyelid primer first, then rimming the bottom lash line and outer corners of the eyes. Layer on a lightweight concealer and set with translucent powder. This will create a barrier for the color to stay put.
- , Sonia Kashuk
- , Laura Mercier
- , Guerlain
Good for: A polished, matte upper lash line that can be dialed up or dialed down thanks to the felt-tip pen applicator.
Tip: Don’t use this to line the bottom rim—the liquid can smudge and look harsh.
- , NARS
- , Make Up For Ever
- , Ardency Inn
Good for: A thick, dramatic, long-lasting cat eye.
Tip: Spritz the gel pot or eyeliner brush with a makeup spray before use for a creamier consistency that makes for easy, buildable application.
- , NYX
- , MAC
- , Bobbi Brown
Good for: The illusion of thicker fringe—it fills the gaps between the roots of your lashes with color.
Tip: Start from the outer corner and stamp the liner in between your lashes as closely as possible. Apply before mascara so you can see exactly where the gaps are.
- , Clarins
- , e.l.f.
- , Too Faced