If you have oily eyelids, you probably know the struggle of trying to prevent your shadows and liners from creasing, fading, and transferring. But what if I told you there are actually some liquid eyeliners that are totally budge-proof, regardless of how oily your lids become? Yeah, I was pretty shocked too. See, I was desperate to find the longest-lasting liquid liners on the market, so I put a bunch to the test. And I have to say, as someone who requires very specific eyeshadow primers to get more than a couple hours of wear out of a product, I didn't have very high hopes going into this experiment.
So after rounding up some cult-favorite and some new liquid eyeliners, I gave each pen one day to see how long it would last. After freshly washing my face, I applied a wing to my hooded eyes sans primer (a very scary thing to do, BTW), and waited. I didn't do anything active like go to the gym during these tests, but just let my natural oils slowly coat my lids. Most of the liners only lasted about three hours before transferring to my upper lid, leaving me looking something like this:
But to my utter surprise (seriously, I cannot express just how shocked I was that anything could survive more than a few hours on my lids), three liquid liners actually lasted 12 hours on my unprimed, oily eyelids without any blotting or touchups. Three! And yes, I tested them all twice because I couldn't believe my, well, eyes. So for all of my severely oily-skinned ladies and gents, if you're looking for a liquid liner that will actually last, these three are the ones to try:
This eyeliner is a cult-favorite for a reason. Although it needed a little building up to appear opaquely black, once it was on, it was on. After the five-hour mark, I kept looking in the mirror what seemed like every 10 minutes to make sure my liner was still there. I seriously could not believe that it hadn't budged at all. (And you can clearly see there is a veil of oil over my whole lid— including my brow in the below "after" picture.) Sure, by the 12-hour mark, there was some flaking and fading towards the top of the wing, but it was hardly noticeable from a normal distance. This liner easily outlasted the rest of my makeup.
Before and after 12 hours: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner In Intense Black, $22, Amazon
This is the only brush-tip liner of the bunch, and I have to say I enjoyed it more than the felt-tip liners. The brush tip had more flexibility which gave what I thought to be a more controlled and precise wing. Regardless of your applicator preference though, this liner gave the same results as the Stila: After 12 hours of no primer, blotting, or touchups, this liner had only ever-so-slightly faded and flaked off at the edges, and basically looked freshly-applied from a normal distance.
Although this liner had slightly more flaking and fading than the previous two options, there was still no actual creasing or transferring even after 12 hours of wear. In fact, that tiny bit of black that flaked under my eye and into my crease in the below "after" photo was easily wiped away. And of the three liquid liners, this option bled into fine lines the least during application and is the most intensely black.
While I admit it was slightly disappointing to learn just how many liquid liners out there don't stand a chance against oily eyelids, I was elated to learn that there are actually some options that can be worn even without a primer. And if you too have the oiliest of lids, try one of these three liners. That way you'll always be able to wing it out without a doubt.
Images: Miki Hayes