You’d be forgiven for thinking that you don’t really need a waterproof eyeliner – after all, you probably don’t actually place your face in water on a regular basis throughout the day. However, there’s a whole host of factors that threaten to smudge your painstakingly applied feline flicks in the blink of an eye – humidity, sweat, oily lids and accidentally rubbing your eyes included. When you’ve spent half the morning trying to make those points symmetrical, you may as well ensure they stay put for the rest of the day.
But while plenty of liners claim to stick with you through thick and thin, the reality is that many fall short of expectations, leaving you with panda eyes by lunchtime. That’s why we’ve tested all the most-hyped formulas on the market, to bring you the ones that really hit the mark.
These hardcore formulas will withstand pretty much anything you throw their way, from a sweaty morning commute to a high-humidity holiday, and even that time you ‘got something in your eye’ at the end of an emosh Netflix film. Scroll down to discover the 7 formulas we actually use...
1. Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner - NARS
*Best for: brightening tired eyes
This kohl-style pencil dries to an intense matte finish and lasts an impressive amount of time, even on the waterline. There are plenty of bold shades to choose from, but we love the creamy, warm-beige Rue Bonaparte for opening up the eye – it’s much for effective than a white pencil, which can look unrealistic.
2. Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner- Hourglass
*Best for: longest-wearing formula
Ok, so this liquid liner is pretty much life-proof. It’s quite inky, so application requires a steady hand, but the result once dry is a jet-black line that really doesn’t bleed, smudge or fade. The felt-style tip is ideal for precise flicks, and the opaque liquid stays perfectly matte and opaque throughout the day.
3. Epic Ink Liner - NYX Professional Makeup
*Best for: on a budget
Budget eyeliners often fall short on their promises, but this one excels on all fronts. The paintbrush-style tip is effortless to control (and doesn’t fray after a couple of uses,) while the liquid is highly pigmented, drying to a matte-black finish. We’re seriously impressed.
4. Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner - Marc Jacobs
*Best for: a smokey finish
We’re obsessed with this brand-new shade of Marc Jacobs’s cult Fineliner. A spring-ready alternative to classic black, the cool burgundy creates a wide-eyed effect when drawn along the top lashline. It’s the easiest way to embrace a pop of colour in time for summer, but most importantly, the gel-style stick is a cinch to apply ands stays put from sunrise to sundown.
5. Mr. Big Marker Eyeliner- Lancôme
*Best for: a bold wing
Essentially a marker pen for your lids, this chunky liner features a larger-than-usual tip that’s ideal for drawing dramatic cat-eye flicks. It boasts a jet-black, almost vinyl-like finish, so is ideal if you don’t get on with super-matte formulas.
6. Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner Micro Tip - Stila Cosmetics
*Best for: tightlining the lashes
Stila’s legendary Stay All Day eyeliner now has a little sister. This scaled-down version of the iconic original features an ultra-slender tip that’s perfect for tightlining lashes and drawing slender, precise lines. Just like the original, this one will resist sweaty commutes and unexpected downpours with ease.
7. Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner - Pat McGrath Labs
*Best for: an ultra-sharp flick
At the launch of her game-changing Perma eyeliner, Pat McGrath used the actual product to sign autographs, illustrating just how brilliantly sharp and smudge-proof it really is. There’s absolutely nothing we don’t love about this jet-black formula, from the sharp felt-tip style nib to the enhanced control that the slender packaging affords. It’s love.