An eyeliner that stays put in the waterline is one of the hardest makeup items to find. Sure they all say they’re waterproof, or wear for 12 hours, but do they really? I put 8 eyeliner pencils to the test to see which wears best in the waterline, which is easiest to apply, and which wears best on the eyelid. The results show once again that more expensive doesn’t necessarily equal best product.
Here are the results from Worst to Best:
Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner ~ $19 ~ Pencil ~ 6 shades
Claims: A waterproof, long-wearing eye pencil that provides bold color that won’t smudge or budge for up to eight hours. The creamy, easy-to-apply formula contains vitamin E and jojoba oil to moisturize and protect. The cap houses a unique built-in sharpener—so you’ll always have the most precise application. Paraben free.
1st Impressions: Waterline: Really good at getting color in the waterline. Easy to apply. Eyelid: Glides on easily, but doesn’t leave the neatest line… kind of crayonish, the line was a bit lumpy & bumpy.
Wear: Very disappointed. Lots of smudging below the eye, some black tearing at outer corners. All worn off in waterline and collected in inner corners. Upper eyelid line has settled into creases and smudged.
CoverGirl Liquiline Blast ~ $7-8 ~ Silver Sparkle ~ Pencil ~ 6 Shades
Claims: The intensity & staying power of a liquid with the ease & blendability of a waterproof pencil.
1st Impressions: Creamy, glides on & makes a nice thin line above lashes, less even application when tightlining, clumps at base of each lash, doesn’t adhere to waterline skin as well, a lot of glitter. Made a perfect thin line on top lid! Easy to get it right. (Wood of pencil is very jagged after a couple of sharpenings and can scratch, also hard to sharpen.)
Wear: Smudged below both eyes. Tightlining completely worn off. Top lash line – good on 1 eye, worn off on other.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ~ $20 ~ Pencil ~ 40 shades
Claims: Created with 50 percent moisturizing ingredients suspended in a sophisticated waterproof formula, this brilliant collection of eye essentials offers long-lasting color and a dreamy, creamy feel when applied. Paraben, Sulfate, & Phthalate Free
1st Impressions: Tightlining was easy but color deposit not very strong. Has glitter. Not as creamy as some and not as easy to draw a perfect line. Color payoff not very good.
Wear: Waterline: 50/50. Worn off unevenly. Eyelid: a little smudging below eyes, about half worn off above upper lashes. Glitter sparkles all around eyes.
Laura Gellar Eye Care ~ $20 ~Charcoal ~ Mechanical Pencil with smudger ~ 20 shades
Claims: Soft, smooth, and super long-wearing, water-resistant. Its treatment-like formula contains beneficial and nourishing ingredients perfect for the delicate eye area. Specifically formulated for contact lenses and sensitive eyes. The highly smudge-proof formula helps to perfectly line the inner eyelid.
1st Impressions: Easy application in water line, smooth & soft, no need to rub hard. Sadly, the opposite on skin of eyelid. Hard to draw on, hard to get a smooth line, tugs at eyelid, clumped up in lashes. Good color payoff, especially in water line.
Wear: Very uneven, all worn off on one eye, semi- in place on the other. But not smooth on the one with some product left… Slightly smudgy, but not too bad.
Maybelline Unstoppable ~ $ 7.50 ~ Pewter ~ Mechanical Pencil ~ 5 shades
Claims: Smudge-proof, stay-put, waterproof formula won’t budge until you want it to. Self-sharpening packaging swivels up and down so point is always sharp and ready to define . Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, ophthalmologist-tested.
1st Impressions: Tightlining: Went on well, very smooth. Eyelid: Really nice and easy to draw on, no skipping or tugging, felt good! Creamy. Matte, no sparkle.
Wear: Waterline: worn off in waterline, but still on in base of lashes, just a little smudging below eyes. Eyelid: in pretty good shape, hasn’t smudged, faded a little, but overall, good. Product broke after 1st week & eyeliner falls out of holder.
Revlon Colorstay ~ $ 7.99 ~ Charcoal ~ Mechanical Pencil ~ 5 shades
Claims: Wears up to 16 hours, waterproof, Softflex Technology glides on smoothly.
1st Impressions: Kind of a hard forumula that needs warming to glide smoothly. Not easy to put on at first, but after warm it did make a smooth even line. No sparkle or glitter, but the finish is glossy, not matte. Color is good a nice medium grey.
Wear: After 12 hours is still good on eyelids, didn’t fade, or smudge, a little settling into creases. Worn off and spotty in water line. A little smudged below eyes.
Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12 Hr Wear ~ $10 ~ Pencil ~ 35 Shades
Claims: The silky formula is resistant to water, heat, and humididty, ensuring up to 12 hours of smudge-less wear. Paraben, Sulfate, Phthalate free.
1st Impressions: Creamy and easily applies in water lines. A pleasure to draw with, goes on my older eyelids as though they’re young! The line is crisp with smooth edges & no feathering. This color has lots of glitter, but it also comes in 3 finishes, matte, shimmer, and glitter. Glitter gets in eyes, so if you’re sensitive, be sure to avoid the glitter colors.
Wear: 11 hours- glitter everywhere. Waterline wear is pretty good, a little splotchy. Eyelid wear is perfect. The line looks just the same. Lower lid smudged a bit.
Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes ~ $19 ~ Pencil ~ 26 shades
Claims: Creamy, long-lasting eye liner for intense non-stop color
1st Impressions: Has shimmer. Very soft, a little hard to control. Have to tight line upper & lower separately. Glides on with no tugging, a pleasure to use. Easy to make a perfect line with crisp edges!
Wear: Good in waterline and good on lid, but one eye smudged off and one was good (Amazing concealer on smudged eye, Smashbox BB Concealer on non-smudeged eye). Stayed in place 11 hours! Best in waterline overall.
There was a tie for best between MUFE Aqua Eyes and Sephora Contour Eye Pencil. Sephora was easiest to apply and made the most perfect line on my older eyelid skin that lasted all day with no smudging. MUFE Aqua Eyes lasted longest in the waterline.
So the search continues…
Do you have a long wearing favorite pencil?