Why is eyeliner so difficult to apply? From the time we are little kids (years before we would wear any makeup), we’re taught how to use a pencil, so it should be pretty simple by the time we are adults to draw a clean, smooth line. But it doesn’t always work out this way.
Maybe we shouldn’t blame ourselves so much as the eyeliner. A pencil that constantly dulls or doesn’t quite have the right texture can feel incredibly frustrating to apply. And if you wear contact lenses (raising my hand here), that adds a whole new level. Is it time to make your life (and by that I mean your makeup routine) a bit easier? Here are the easiest liners to apply.
1. Charlotte Tilbury The Feline Flick
I’m terrible at applying liquid liner, but Charlotte Tilbury’s The Feline Flick is the only one I can apply without going through an entire box of contact lenses or accidentally poking myself in the eye. (We've all been there, right?) The felt tip is very flexible and generously sized. It’s super easy to control, whether you want something subtle or a full-on Amy Winehouse winged look. It’s also the perfect shade of black.
2. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
If you like a classic pencil with a slightly soft edge, Urban Decay’s 24/7 checks all the boxes. While some pencils can hurt or feel hard, the texture of this product is ideal for sensitive eyelids and waterlines. Plus, there are over 40 different colors to choose from in both matte and shimmery finishes.
3. Beth Bender Gel Eyeliner Frosting And Stencils
If you want a liquid look, but absolutely can’t put on a traditional liquid liner and get it right, Beth Bender’s Gel Liners can easily be applied with a brush. Several colors are available including standards like black and grey, as well as less traditional shades like yellow, turquoise, and hot pink (yes, hot pink!).
If you need extra help (no one is judging), try using the brand’s stencils to get the look completely perfect. Choose from cat, smoky, or winged.
4. Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner
Influencer and host Stuart Brazell turned me onto Tarte’s Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner. Designed for travel and on-the-go use, this liner has two sides. One is a self-sharpening pencil and the other is a waterproof liquid tip. If you’ve ever tried to shove a big liner into a small case (and had it stick out anyway) or handbag, having a smaller pencil can be incredibly convenient.
5. Wet n Wild Color Icon Kohl Liner Pencil
For around a buck, you can’t do better than drugstore classic Wet n Wild Kohl Liner Pencil. It’s an old school product that doesn’t self-sharpen, but it’s easy to apply and goes on smoothly. This liner might be older than you are, but there’s a reason it’s still sold at virtually every drugstore.
6. Doll 10 All Eye Need Eyeliner Collection
The water-resistant formula of Doll 10’s Gel Pencils has a plush feeling like a cream with the precision application of a pencil with the pigment of a liquid. These smudge-proof pencils are designed to last twelve hours, which is great for those days where you’re going straight from work to the gym or happy hour.
If you’re starting with a sharp pencil and you still fail, it’s probably your liner and not you. Try any of the products mentioned here and see if things change.