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The Best 10 Liquid Eyeliners Your Money Can Buy


Benoît Peverelli/Chanel

When it comes to putting on eyeliner, I'm as nervous and shaky as one can get. Eyeliners are basically the MVP of eye makeup, and one wrong move can result in a slew of black marks ruining the flawless mug you spent nearly two hours creating. As the star of your makeup bag, eyeliners work to accentuate the eyes, darken the space between sparse lashes and adds drama.

If there's anyone on this earth that can speak to the beauty of eyeliners, it's Scott Osbourne Jr., the celebrity makeup artist known for his whimsical, intricate, hand-drawn makeup looks that have become synonymous with rapper Rico Nasty's equally whimsical style. Blue eyeliner drawn right under the eyebrow? Yellow eyeliner used to create a star on the side of Rico's face? Pink eyeliner brushed against the cheekbone? Scott has done it all.

Ahead, Scott takes us into his makeup kit to reveal his favorite liquid eyeliners—and I throw in some of my favorites, too.

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Best Drugstore Liquid Eyeliner

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Liquid Liner NYX Professional Makeup ulta.com


According to Scott, NYX's Matte Liquid Liner is suitable for all skill levels. "This liner is super easy to use, for beginners, intermediate, or even advanced," he says. "The thin brush creates the perfect stroke for that nice, dramatic wing or a simple subtle liner." 


My Drugstore Pick

L'Oréal Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner L'Oréal ulta.com


As someone who wears eyeliner religiously, I needed an eyeliner that was affordable, precise, and pigmented. L'Oreal's Infallible Super Slim eyeliner did not disappoint. Our relationship has been going strong for years now and no matter how many new eyeliners may try to take its shine, I'll never part with this gem. 


Best High-End Liquid Eyeliner

Magic Marc'er Liquid Eyeliner Marc Jacobs Beauty net-a-porter.com


"This liner is super sexy and sleek," Scott says. But what he loves most about it is its staying power. "This liner is waterproof, smudge proof and it really doesn’t budge after you apply it. I applied on a client at 7am and at 11pm, her eyeliner still looked fresh as new." 


My High-End Pick

Eye Defining Liquid Liner Pen Tom Ford nordstrom.com


What's better than one liquid pen? Two, especially when it's a dual-ended liner with two different applicators that can give you a precise fine line or meticulously winged tips.


My High-End Pick

Intense Longwear Eyeliner Pen More details chanel.com


The super soft tip and bendable, tapered shape makes it easier to create a quick thin or thick line in just one swipe. 


Best Eyeliner for Cat Eyes

Tattoo Liner Kat Von D sephora.com


Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner does all the legwork so you don't have to. "The shape of the felt tip applicator makes it so effortless to apply," Scott adds. "The felt tip helps you control how thick or thin you want your cat eye."


My Waterproof Pick

Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Stila ulta.com


This one's for those who want a reliable eyeliner that will stay put through an all-day Grey's Anatomy binge (I should know).


Best Eyeliner for Beginners

Waterproof Eyeliner Stamp LA PURE amazon.com $13.97

$9.97 (29% off)

Creating a winged liner just got a whole lot easier. "This liner is super easy [to use] because it has a left stamp and a right one. It’s also smudge proof, and waterproof, after you stamp the wing you can easily tight line to your own preference," Scott adds.  


My Beginner's Pick

MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner Wet n Wild ulta.com


Wet n Wild's MegaLiner is one of the first eyeliners I ever used. It's the perfect liquid liner to practice with because it costs you less than a green juice, is super pigmented, and dries down to a matte finish. 


Best Colored Eyeliner

Vivid Liquid Eyeliner Trio FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna sephora.com


"The colors are super vivid and bright," Scott says of Fenty Beauty's fan-favorite colored liners. "One swipe gives you a lot of pigment." 

Nerisha Penrose Assistant Editor Nerisha is the assistant editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty and fashion.

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