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10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2020

With the invention of liquid and gel eyeliners, pencil liners almost seem to be obsolete. However, they still produce one of the best smokey-eyes, giving those windows to the soul a more dramatic look. A good black pencil liner is hard to find, let alone the best eyeliner. Since there is often an overabundance of options out there, weeding through them all and finding the best one can be tough. But luckily, we did the work for you.

Eyeliner pencils that stay on don’t smudge, and create the perfect cat eye, are considered the best. Let’s take a look at what we have come up with.

View The Best Pencil Eyeliner Below

1. L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Mechanical Pencil Eyeliner

L'Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Mechanical Pencil Eyeliner

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Infallible indeed, this eyeliner is smudge-proof and glides on as easily as gel eyeliners. They line your eyes for up to 16 hours, eliminating the need for any sort of touch up. The sleek tip is what reduces inaccuracies and makes this one of the best liner pencils. You won’t need to sharpen your new eyeliner pencils with a handheld sharpener. Just twist the cap a few times and voila – a sharp tip!

Pros:
+ Self-sharpening cap
+ Glides on easily
+ Stays on for 16 hours
+ Multiple colors

Why We Like It – We’ve used eye liner pencils with built-in sharpeners, and we believe that all the best ones should endeavor to incorporate this convenience!


2. Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon

Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Crayon

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The Marc Jacobs Highliner gel eye crayon is a coveted product in the beauty world. It’s easy to glide on, and it never overstays its welcome. When you want to remove it, it cleans easily with one swipe of your cotton pad. Not only that, but it doesn’t smudge or run when it’s applied. Get a very rich and deep liner color with this eye liner that possesses more pigment than competitors.

Pros:
+ Glides on easily
+ Removes easily
+ Doesn’t smudge or run
+ Very pigmented

Why We Like It – An eye pencil that does exactly what we want? That the definition of the best eye liner to us!


3. NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil

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Nyx is a professional makeup brand that can be found in drug stores. Release and retract it using the twist pencil design. The creamy gel-like formula stays on for as long as you permit and also comes with a built-in sharpener. When the tip becomes dull, just twist it closed a few times to sharpen the tip. If you care about animals, Nyx is proud to announce that all their products are cruelty-free!

Pros:
+ Built-in sharpener
+ Retractable design
+ Cruelty-free
+ Highly pigmented

Why We Like It – One of the best things about this pencil eyeliner is the fact that it’s PETA certified to be cruelty-free. If you want to help the environment and our furry friends, then a cruelty-free product would be best for you to get.


4. Burt’s Bees Nourishing Eyeliner

Burt's Bees Nourishing Eyeliner

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This Burt’s Bees Eyeliner won’t fade, and it won’t smudge. It’s nourishing and made with 99% natural ingredients. This eyeliner pencil is created with the likes of jojoba, mango oil, and meadowfoam seed. It’s safe and formulated just for the sensitive area around your eyes. It’s available in three different shades. Not only that – it’s opthalmologist tested, cruelty-free, and made without harmful additives, just like Burt’s Bees’ other products.

Pros:
+ Ophthalmologist-tested
+ Cruelty-free
+ 99% natural ingredients
+ Three different shades

Why We Like It – This pencil eyeliner is natural, safe, and available in three different shades to compliment your hair and eye color.


5. Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner Pencil

Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner Pencil

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Neutrogena is known for removing dirt and oils from your face with their renowned face washes, but now they’ve released a product that stays on your skin – their eyeliner. The nourishing olive oil and shea butter formula are safe and easy to use, even close to your lash line. The built-in sharpener keeps the liner sharp and precise. The diffusers in the pencil will offset the whites of your eyes to make your peepers seem even brighter!

Pros:
+ Lasts for hours
+ Doesn’t fade or smudge
+ Built-in sharpener
+ Diffusers

Why We Like It – Eyeliner shouldn’t just enhance your eyes, but give you a whole different look. An amazing eye pencil will emphasize your eyes with diffusers.


6. Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner

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Not only is this eyeliner named Unstoppable, but it will also give you the feeling of being unstoppable once you apply this long-lasting eyeliner. Feel confident in cold or hot weather with this smudge-proof formula. It also features a built-in sharpener that twists to activate to always give you ultimate control and precision. The formula is harmless for contacts-wearers, as well as those with sensitive eyes. So get this product if you need a little more sensitivity!

Pros:
+ Smudge-proof eye pencil
+ Built-in sharpener
+ Glides on easily
+ Good for sensitive eyes

Why We Like It – These best eyeliner pencils can be used close to your lash line or on your waterline without irritating your eyes.


7. Vasanti Cosmetics Kajal Waterline Eyeliner

Vasanti Cosmetics Kajal Waterline Eyeliner

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If you are looking for the ultimate dark and dramatic eye pencil, these pencil eyeliners will more than live up to your expectations. They are creamy, glide on easily and wear comfortably throughout the day. It’s a perfect solution for sensitive eyes and includes no harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process. Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, Vasanti Cosmetics are made in Canada and will give you that perfect cat eye look.

Pros:
+ Dark pencil eyeliners
+ Get a dramatic look that lasts all-day
+ Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
+ Made in Canada

Why We Like It – Made for sensitive eyes, this liner will not irritate, and it stays on comfortably for long-lasting wear.


8. Covergirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner Pencil

Covergirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner Pencil

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If you’re looking for a good, affordable option, the Covergirl eyeliner pencil comes with a bendable tip and a blending brush on the other side for more versatility. You can smudge the line for a quick, smokey-eye effect for a day to night transition. No matter what shade you’re looking for, there’s one that will complement your eyes and complexion. It’s a good and traditional pencil design for those who aren’t too fond of the twist pencils and built-in sharpeners.

Pros:
+ Traditional pencil design
+ Comes with a blending tip
+ Easy smokey-eye
+ Many shades

Why We Like It – It’s not only able to glide on easily, but it can be manipulated into different looks. This is what the best eyeliner should be able to do!


9. Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer

Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer

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Define your eyes with this eye liner pencil. It comes with a built-in sharpener as well as a smudger. Smudging your eye pencil isn’t always undesirable, especially for those sultry looks. Depending on the color, you can enjoy a smooth matte finish or an exaggerated metallic one. There are many shades to choose from, and it can last up to 10 hours without fear of rain or water droplets.

Pros:
+ Built-in sharpener
+ Built-in blender
+ Long-lasting
+ Waterproof

Why We Like It – The best part about this eye pencil is you can choose when to smudge it, and it won’t come off in the rain!


10. NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

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For those looking for exotic colors, NARS has a wide selection that even includes shades of blue and purple! The highly pigmented formula is easy to apply and lasts throughout the day. Even with super greasy and oily skin, this eyeliner clings on for dramatic effect. There’s no smearing or uneven lines. It blows the competition out of the water with impressive 12-hour long wear!

Pros:
+ Comes in a variety of shades
+ Highly pigmented
+ No smearing
+ Can wear for 12 hours

Why We Like It – Other than the colorful assortment of colors, Nars pencil liners are long-lasting.


Pencil Eyeliner Buyer’s Guide

There are so many ways an eyeliner can go wrong. It can smudge, run, barely show up, or leave a residue. The materials and your skin type have a lot to do with how well the best eyeliner will perform, so let’s look at what contributes to a good pencil liner.

Smudge-Resistant/Waterproof

shadows eye and eyebrow set on table

You don’t want your eyeliner to run, and, with the right formula, it won’t! You want the liner to apply easily but not smudge. Unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for, and that’s when a blending brush comes in. A lot of options are waterproof, too, to ensure the invincibility against smudging.

Pigment

We’ve all had liner pencils that barely leave a mark on the skin, let alone a line. By definition, this is not what you want in the best liner. You want rich and deep color in one single stroke, and that’s where the pigment comes in. A highly pigmented formula leaves a very obvious mark, while ones that aren’t will require you to retrace your lines. This reduces the precision of your eyeliner and can look messy if you aren’t a pro.

Creamy Formula

 

A creamy and waxy formula, such as the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon and most of the other options on our list, apply very easily. It presses on smoothly and won’t pull at your skin as you drag it across your lash line. A liner that draws on easily is the best option for that perfect cat-eye. And you don’t need a gel eye product to achieve this look!

Built-in Sharpener

Red pencil for makeup and sharpener. Macro. Closeup. Isolated on a white background.

Coming from someone who has lost their fair share of handheld sharpeners, having one built into the lid of the eye liner is a very smart and convenient invention. It’s also incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is twist the liner a few times while the cap is closed. This reveals a sharp tip again.

Ingredients

It’s vital that the ingredients used are natural and, possibly, organic. Jojoba oil and shea butter may sound good, but make sure there are no parabens, sulfates, added fragrances, and any other harmful additives you can think of.

Cruelty-Free

Woman is doing the make up

This is more of personal preference, but we appreciate that more and more people are opting for cruelty-free and vegan options. Exercising your purchasing right by refusing products that test on animals will help make the world a better place.

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good eyeliner pencil. You need excellent precision to produce clean-cut lines for any look. One thing is for sure – no one wants an eye pencil that will run, smudge, or smear. Not only will that make a mess, but it will surely ruin your carefully applied makeup look. If you follow our guide of all the important features to look for, and also consider our top 10 choices, you are bound to find a liner pencil that complements your overall complexion and enhances your beautiful eyes.

Did You Know?

Pencil liners are great for people who aren’t confident in the application. Your errors can be easily rectified, and they’re versatile. They work great above the lash line, for tight lining, and on the waterline.

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