Updated 9 March 2022

Top 11 Best Eyeliner of 2022

Is eyeliner part of your daily make-up routine? If so, you know how hard it can be to find one that’s easy to apply but stays put all day. We tested eyeliners and name The Balm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner as our best in test.

Top 9 Best Eyeliner of 2022

How we did the test

Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.

We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. We tested eyeliners over several weeks and in different types of situation. To get a good idea of how the eyeliners perform in different climates, they have been tested outdoors in cold weather, indoors during calmer activities and during exercise to evaluate how the eyeliner copes with sweat. We have taken the following parameters into account when assessing the products:

  • Colour: How well pigmented is the eyeliner? Does the eyeliner produce a nice black right away, or do you have to apply several layers?

  • Durability: How well does the eyeliner last during the day? Does it stay put, or does it smear or flake?

  • Use: Is the eyeliner easy to apply? What’s the tip of the eyeliner like? Is it hard or soft and flexible? Is it easy to get an even line? Is the packaging convenient?

All eyeliners were tested by at least two different people, including a make-up artist. They were tested during both winter and spring weather, and often during an exercise session too. We tested black liquid eyeliners.

1. The Balm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner – BEST CHOICE EYELINER 2022

Type: Dipliner Price class: Medium Tagline: A soft and flexible brush and fantastic durability

The Balm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner Black

You could be forgiven for wondering whether The Balm goes too far with its product graphics, as there’s a fine line between retro and dated. But that said, the kitschy surface often conceals very good products. And that’s also the case with The Balm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner.

The Balm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner is what’s known as a dipliner – in other words, you dip the brush into the tube. The tip is very soft and flexible. Together with the formula, this means the eyeliner glides nicely over the eyeliner. It never catches, producing a good even line.

This is a well-pigmented, very black product, and you only need to apply one stroke to get an intense colour. The line is sharp and you can be really fussy about the result.

The durability is really good. Sometimes the product becomes slightly blurred in the corners of your eyes towards the end of the day, but it just fades away. It never smears or flakes. Even in the tube it lasts well. It doesn’t dry out or get more difficult to use over time.

The Balm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner is an eyeliner that all regular eyeliner wearers should at least try. You can get a durable and accurate result, and never involuntarily look like a panda.

Easy to usegreat accuracy with a brushdurable formuladoesn’t smear
Outdated graphic design on packaging

Price Comparison

Compare all prices
iHerb Logotype

theBalm Cosmetics Schwing Liquid Eyeliner Black 0.06 fl oz (1.7 ml)

£10.50
Amazon.co.uk Logotype

theBalm Schwing Eyeliner 1.7 ml

£13.50
BeautifiedYou Logotype

theBalm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner

£13.66

2. IsaDora Glossy Eyeliner – BEST BUDGET CHOICE

A really good value for money eyeliner that produces a glossy result

Type: Dipliner Price class: Budget

Isadora Glossy Eyeliner Chrome Black

IsaDora Glossy Eyeliner is a firm favourite with many eyeliner users and is often described as a product you wouldn’t want to be without. It’s easy to understand why.

This is a classic dipliner where you dip the tip of the brush into the eyeliner tube. It has a felt tip that narrows towards the top. It’s easy to work with and helps you create both thin, exact lines or impressive cat’s eyes in the style of Amy Winehouse. This eyeliner stands out when it comes to the final result. Because just like the name indicates, it produces a glossy finish. It’s important to emphasise that it isn’t glittery, just glossy. This may sound weird, but it actually looks really nice.

Durability is excellent. This is a waterproof eyeliner, and in general these last a bit better and resist moisture from your eyes and the weather better than a normal eyeliner. Of course it also means it’s more difficult to remove the eyeliner before bedtime. To remove IsaDora Glossy Eyeliner effectively, we recommend a two-phase remover and cleansing pads. If you still can’t remove the final traces, a little micellar water may do the trick.

If you have oily eyelids, the eyeliner may dissolve slightly over the day. So if you know this is you, it’s a good idea to use primer before you start doing your eyeliner. This actually applies for all eyeliners – if you have oily eyelids, it’s always best to apply a base of eye primer. This is an incredibly good value for money, easy to use and good eyeliner. A clear budget favourite.

Stays really welleasy to applygorgeous glossy result
Hard to remove

3. Clarins Graphik Ink Eye Liner – BEST PREMIUM CHOICE

An easy to use eyeliner that stays put

Type: Pen format fibre tip Price class: Premium

Clarins Graphik Ink Eye Liner #01 Black

Clarins Graphik Ink Eye Liner is a liquid eyeliner that comes in pen form with a fibre tip. After a quick shake, the pen is ready to use. The tip is soft with a thin top and a slightly broader bottom, reminiscent of more upmarket felt tip pens.

This eyeliner is relatively easy to use, particularly if you've been accustomed to it for a while. But even beginners will quickly learn the right technique with Graphik Ink. It produces good colour instantly, but if you're after a dramatic black you’ll need an extra layer. In most cases it doesn’t run at all. But if you have a tendency to have oily eyelids, it’s a good idea to use a primer first anyway.

The tip may feel a little too hard for some people. But at the same time it’s easy to create a thin and discreet look or really substantial wings. This is an eyeliner that stays put. When it starts to disappear towards the evening, it becomes a bit blurry but doesn’t smear at all. However, it’s not at all easy to remove. It takes a couple of goes with the cleanser before all the black disappears, and even then you wake up with a light shadow the next day.

But this is an excellent eyeliner that gives attractive results without loads of problems. That said, it would benefit from a tip that was a bit more flexible and a formula that was a little easier to remove.

Practical pen formatthin tip on the brusheasy to use
Hard to remove

4. Lottie London Wing Woman Eyeliner

Very easy to use and precise eyeliner, perfect for anyone who wants maximum durability

Type: Liquid eyeliner with felt tip Price class: Budget

We love the name of Lottie London’s coal black eyeliner, Wing Woman. Because what else would you draw with an eyeliner but wings? But a wing woman is also the person who helps you get together with someone you fancy. And the fact is that with Lottie London Wing Woman, you get such attractively painted eyes that you instantly get maximum self-confidence.

The eyeliner comes in simple but attractive packaging, with a cap that’s easy to open but still stays on well enough for you to be able to chuck the pen into your bag without worrying. You get a good grip of this eyeliner, but the best thing of all is the perfectly pointed felt tip. It glides so easily over your eyelids, creating sharp lines.

The black you get from Lottie London Wing Woman is a real knockout. One layer is enough, but if you really want to deepen the wing, you can paint on an extra layer. It lasts well in the tube too – despite a period of only sporadic use, Wing Woman still maintains its quality a few months later.

And the durability of the eyeliner once it’s been painted on is also good. In fact it’s really good. If you rub your eyes hard, or you’re walking into a gale so your eyes are really running (or you just have a shit day and need to have a good cry) the wings will smudge a bit.

But the rest will stay put along your lash line. And on a normal day at work, the wings will look great for many, many hours. Even the edges don’t get blurry or smeary. In this regard, Lottie London Wing Woman Eyeliner is one of the better eyeliners on the market, particularly given the price.

The only downside with the product is when you have to remove it. It doesn’t say that it’s water resistant, but even mild facial soap struggles to remove the eyeliner from our testers’ eyelids. This could be irritating, but because Lottie London Wing Woman Eyeliner is so good in other ways, we can live with the fact that you have to put in a bit more effort to remove it.

Good glideeasy to be precisevery good durability
Difficult to get off

5. FACE Stockholm Precision Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner for exact lines

Face Stockholm Precision Eyeliner

FACE Stockholm Precision Eyeliner has become something of a classic amongst eyeliners. With its flexible tip and durable colour, it’s a favourite with many eyeliner fans.

One of the main qualities that makes so many people love FACE Stockholm Precision Eyeliner is that it really is easy to draw with precision. The tip of the eyeliner is soft, flexible and narrows nicely to a point. This makes it amazingly easy to paint thin lines and more substantial cat’s eyes.

The black is also good. You get an immediate result and don’t need to build up the colour in layers for it to look even – you get a good black straight away and don’t have to go through a couple of stages of grey on the way.

Durability is generally pretty good – at least if you aren’t going to be indulging in extravagant late nights or sweaty outdoor parties. But it does have a tendency to slip or crack a little towards the end of the day. And that’s a shame, because if it had stayed put a bit better it could easily have scored full marks. But because it does slip our testers still have to keep an eye on the mirror to make sure their eyeliner doesn’t wander off on an afternoon journey of exploration.

Very good tipnice black
Cracks and slips a bit too often

6. L’Oréal Super Liner Perfect Slim

Eyeliner with a thin tip for precision work

Type: Pen format fibre tip Price class: Budget

L'Oréal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim Eyeliner Black

L’Oréal's Super Liner Perfect Slim comes in a stylish and classic pen format. It’s ready to be used immediately – you don’t need to shake or press it for the colour to reach the tip.

And just like most liquid eyeliners in pen format, it has a fibre tip. It’s soft and narrow, which gives good flexibility, and it’s easy to create an attractive eyeliner wing. Because the tip is so narrow, you can be really accurate. At the same time, this is a really forgiving eyeliner because the line is so thin. So it doesn’t matter if your hand isn’t quite steady.

It’s not a bad idea to add an extra layer to get a really well pigmented black. The result after one layer is good enough, but it’s more intense with two. The colour lasts well throughout the day, although it may become a little blurred around the corner of your eye. It never smears, however, which is a very important characteristic in an eyeliner.

Another advantage is that, despite its good durability, L’Oréal Super Slim is easy to remove. So you don’t end up with panda eyes, just effective and quick removal – which we love.

Durableconvenient and narrow tipeasy to remove
Can run a little on oily eyelids

7. NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner

Attractive and durable results despite a very hard tip

Type: Pen format fibre tip Price class: Budget

NYX Epic Ink Liner #01 Black

NYX is a brand that offers very good quality for very reasonable prices. In other words, we have high expectations when we’re testing NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner.

NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner is a liquid eyeliner that comes in pen format with a fibre tip. This has become an increasingly common style for liquid eyeliners. But there’s a lot of variation between the tips on the different brands, and sometimes a product is let down completely by a bad tip. The Epic Ink Eyeliner’s tip is narrow and relatively hard, which makes it easy to draw a fine and precise line. But it wouldn’t have hurt if the tip had been a bit longer and a touch softer.

The eyeliner is well pigmented and gives a good black line straight away. Because the tip is so narrow, however, you often need several strokes of the product to build up to the desired effect. This isn’t a negative – instead it’s a good opportunity to get exactly the thickness you want for your look.

It also lasts well. Whether it’ll still be in place after a night at an outdoor party is anyone's guess, but after a tough day at work it still looks good. Perhaps a bit blurry in the corners of your eyes, but no smears or flaky bits scattered across your face.

It’s worth knowing that the tip of this eyeliner is very delicate. You have to be careful when you put the lid on, because if you damage the tip there’s no way back. The tip goes all bristly, and a bristly tip on an eyeliner pen that’s supposed to draw fine lines is impossible.

Other than the fragile and rather hard tip, this is a really good eyeliner. It doesn’t smear on your eyelids and it’s easy to create an attractive line with it. An extra plus for being relatively easy to remove, because nobody wants to spend half the night taking off their make-up.

Nice sharp lineswell pigmentedlasts well
Fragile and rather hard tip

8. Maybelline Master Ink Waterproof Eyeliner Matte

Quick drying eyeliner that’s quite difficult to get off

Type: Dipliner Price class: Budget

Maybelline Master Ink Matte Eye Liner Black

Maybelline Master Ink Waterproof Eyeliner Matte stands out amongst the other products in this test. It comes in what we think is particularly ugly packaging. Of course appearance isn’t everything, but if you’re trying to choose an eyeliner from a range of products on a shelf you probably won’t go for this one.

After a good shake, this eyeliner is ready to use. The consistency is liquid but not runny – in other words, quite a classic formulation. This is a dipliner, where you dip a brush in a liquid product. Here the brush isn’t a classic brush with bristles but instead a fibre tip. The tip is soft and easy to bend, which makes it easy to paint lines and sweeping cat’s eyes.

The pigmentation is excellent – you get plenty of black at one go. The colour dries quickly and if you continue building up your eyeliner the new layer won’t disturb the old one. It just sits nicely over the top.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay put reliably. Some days this eyeliner stays in place really well, while on other days it disappears completely, without any obvious reason such as sweat or rain. On the whole it lasts well, but the overall durability has to be seen as less good than that of several other eyeliners.

Then again, this eyeliner doesn’t smear easily – you don’t look like you're auditioning for an Alice Cooper video. But it’s hard to remove all of it. Regardless of how carefully you cleanse your face, there always seems to be a thin line right up against your lashes.

Easy to paint withfantastic black
Hard to removeinconsistent durability

9. L.A. Girl Line Art Matte Eyeliner

An eyeliner with an impossible lid

Type: Pen format fibre tip Price class: Budget

L.A. Girl Line Art Matte Eyeliner Espresso

L.A. Girl is a budget brand that often offers surprisingly good products. This eyeliner promises intense pigmentation, thin lines and long durability. Does it deliver what it promises? Well, yes and no.

The design shows that it isn’t a premium brand, and you immediately notice the triangular lid. Not only is it awkward to hold, it also turns out that the lid can only go on one way. This means you have to fiddle with it when you’re trying to put the lid on again, particularly if you’re used to a lid that just screws on without you having to think about it. And who isn’t?

Just like many other liquid eyeliners today, this one comes in a pen format with a felt tip. The tip is long and narrow, rather like a thin brush. It glides easily over your skin and is easy to make long, sweeping lines with. The pigmentation isn’t great, however and you need several layers to get a really black result.

When you apply L.A. Girl Line Art Matte Eyeliner, your immediate impression is that it’s a bit dry. This doesn’t always have to be negative, but it does make it hard to get a sharp result and it’s prone to running, which isn’t a particularly useful combination when it comes to an eyeliner. But does it last throughout the day? Sadly, L.A Girl doesn’t impress on this point either. Our testers don’t manage to use this eyeliner a single time without it ending up around their eyebrows by the end of the day.

And after using it for a while the tip begins to lose its shape. It spreads out a bit, which means it’s even more difficult to draw sharp lines. And if you add the incredibly stupid lid that’s so difficult to get back on that the product dries out while you’re trying, you really do have an eyeliner that doesn’t live up to expectations at all.

Glides easily over your skineasy to make sweeping lines with
Poor packaging designsmears during the daytip doesn’t last well

10. L'Oréal Super Liner Tattoo Signature

Rather poor eyeliner with dubious durability

Type: Pen format fibre tip Price class: Budget

L'Oréal Paris Tattoo Signature Liquid Eyeliner #01 Extra Black

It’s easy to suspect that the inspiration for naming this L’Oréal eyeliner came from Kat von D’s incredibly popular product. The question is whether or not it lives up to its name. Particularly as the packaging looks rather cheap and immature.

This is a liquid eyeliner in felt tip format. The tip itself is extremely narrow, which makes possible very precise application. You can draw really thin lines and then build them up or angle the pen for a more flamboyant look (it might be time to dig out your calligraphy skills).

One of the things this eyeliner promises is that it stays put for up to 24 hours. It doesn’t. In terms of durability it’s OK, but this is definitely not an all day eyeliner.

But the durability of the product as a whole raises a bunch of questions. After just a short time, the eyeliner seems to dry out a bit in the tube. This makes it much more difficult to draw neat lines than when it was more liquid.

As long as the product hasn’t dried out in the tube, this is a reasonable eyeliner. But given how quickly it does dry out, it’s just not worth investing in when there are so many better alternatives.

Thin tippossibility of precise lines
Dries out quickly in the tube

11. Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner

An innovative tip that sadly produces clumsy eyeliner

Type: Pen format fibre tip Price class: Budget

Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner #15 Charcoal

Sometimes innovation is good and leads to fantastic new products. Sometimes the results are less impressive – and that’s the case with Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner.

At first glance this looks like any other felt tip format eyeliner, but on closer inspection the tip is shaped like a little paddle. According to Max Factor, this tip makes it easy to create both thin and discreet but also thick and dramatic lines. Spoiler alert: this isn’t the case. If you haven’t read the advertising blurb for this eyeliner, it’s difficult to even understand the point of the tip shape – in fact not even the experienced make-up artist in our test could see why it was this shape. The fact that it’s also hard and far from flexible is yet one more problem. In fact it’s so bad that it drags the skin with it, causing small interruptions in the line. In other words, you can forget neat, accurate lines. The tip is also too clumsy to be able to draw elegant wings.

There’s plenty of pigment and you get a good black with just one layer. Unfortunately the eyeliner has a tendency to bleed and if you have lines around on your eyes, you immediately run into problems as a result.

However, once you’ve got your eyeliner in place, Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner does stay put well throughout the day, with perhaps a little flaking towards the evening.

If you’re using an eyeliner for theatrical make-up or something where precision isn’t important, this one might work. But if you want an easy-to-use eyeliner that gives an attractive result, you need to look elsewhere.

Good durability
Poorly designed tip makes doing your eyes difficult

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