Let me just start by saying that I love my eyes.
I love my eyelids, and how just a little dab of glitter or light eyeshadow can bring out the elegance in them. I like how they can somehow make the rest of my features seem both sharp and delicate, innocent but conducive to a very convincing RBF. For sure, I appreciate my monolids…
…but my waterline is where all eye makeup goes to die. On good days, I’ll take a quarter of an hour drawing into them with black, only to have it all roll up like a set of annoying blinds whenever I fully open my eyes.
The one upside to this conundrum is that I’ve become rather good at achieving the bold, uber-thick liner look. You can’t miss smears that broad, whatever my eye shape tries to do with them. But I’m not being modest when I say that a perfect eyeliner job is 50% skill and 50% the product you’re using. A good technique can always be acquired, whether through trial and error, YouTube tutorials, or simply frequent practice. So, in my case, I just needed to find the right item to add to my makeup collection. I knew it would have to be water- and smudge-resistant, nicely pigmented, and easy to maneuver. Since my eyelids were notorious for swallowing up and moving around product, I wanted to find something I could sleep in, dance in, bawl in, swim in–all of it.
Now let me tell you which ones made the cut. I think pretty much everyone, monolidded or not, values eye makeup that sticks with them through thick and thin. And if they work that well on my eyes, imagine how great they would look on creased, more product-friendly eyelids. If you’ve experimented with cosmetics for long enough, you’ll know that not all so-called “24-hour” eyeliners get the job done…
1. Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner by Eyeko ($22)
The Eye Do liquid eyeliner is waterproof and carbon black. It has a relatively thick tip that makes drawing broad, bold strokes a breeze. To top it all off, it even contains ingredients that thicken the lashes with continuous use!
In my personal experience, a little bit of the eyeliner does tend to transfer around the corners of the eyes with time. However, I love how dark and strong the color of this product is, and how easy the brush is to control. It applies smoothly, like a kind of marker or light acrylic paint.
2. Woodbury Stay 24 Eyeliner ($9.90)
The Stay 24 pencil eyeliner is waterproof, smudge-proof, and sweat-proof, and comes in a variety of different colors, including brown, golden brown, luxe brown, and black. The product also has a very creamy texture, and is highly pigmented.
As with the Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner, I did experience a small bit of smudging and transferring with this product. Overall, the eyeliner was good at staying put, even when I rubbed my eyes. I also liked how some of its color variations had glitter incorporated into them.
3. Hourglass Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner ($34)
The Voyeur liquid liner is waterproof, long-wearing, and smudge-resistant. The product is equipped with a precision felt tip, and is highly pigmented in an ultra-black shade.
I like that a lot of product spills out of the tip in just one stroke, and how the ink has the consistency of slightly diluted acrylics (kind of like with the Eye Do eyeliner). It’s a little stickier (i.e. it clings better to the skin) and deeper in shade than the Eyeko product. In addition, the brush is exceptionally sensitive and easy to wield, perfect for building up your strokes into bold, defined shapes. Again, there might be some minimal transferring throughout the day. Another downside is that you sometimes need to apply more than one layer of ink to ensure that different areas don’t get chafed away by blinking or with time.
4. MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline Gel Liner ($18)
The Pro Longwear Fluidline Gel Liner is waterproof, smudge-proof, and long-wearing. It comes in a lot of different colors, including Blacktrack (black), Dip Down (light brown), Lowlights (dark brown), Macroviolet (purple), and Midnight Snack (gray), and has a very silky texture to it.
I like this eyeliner because although a special applicator could be bought for it, you could technically substitute this with any brush of your liking: thin, thick, angled, and so on. It’s also very hard to mess up, since you’re transferring a thick, non-liquid pigment onto your skin, ideally with a rigid and reasonably-sized tool. I personally found this eyeliner to smudge a little bit more than the other products listed here, but it does have a nice, matte look to it.
5. Too Cool For School Artify Quick Drawing Tip Liner ($20)
The Artify Quick Drawing Tip Liner is a waterproof, carbon black liquid eyeliner.
While it doesn’t have many other remarkable features, this is one of my favorite products because of how dark and long-lasting the ink is. It has also been truly and amazingly smudge-proof, at least in my experience. Being the most similar to the Hourglass liner, it does share its potential limitations, namely the flaking and the chafing. However, I don’t think this is anything that layered application and after-use drying time won’t fix.