The 6 Best Waterproof Eyeliners

ByMaria Del Russo
Amazon/Bustle

Waterproof eyeliner is essential for any long-wearing makeup look. What's the point in sketching on the perfect cat eye if you're just going to sweat it off in two seconds? But not all waterproof formulas are created equal, and they can vary widely. While some love a liquid liner, others prefer the smudging capabilities of a chubby pencil. Whatever the case, you should definitely peruse this list of the best waterproof eyeliners; consider it your official guide.

Since waterproof formulas set pretty quickly, it's important to choose a liner you feel comfortable using. And since they're meant to last all day, be prepared to commit to your look. So when shopping for a waterproof eyeliner, keep in mind how you'll primarily be using it, as well as your level of expertise. If you're interested in a sharp line for cat eyes or thick, graphic shapes, then reach for a liquid formula with a precision tip. If smudged smoky eyes are more up your alley, then a pencil or kajal is going to be your best bet. Liner newbie? There's an option below that was specifically formulated for beginners or people with shaky hands.

So without further ado, here are the five best waterproof eyeliners on the market.

1A Best-Selling Liquid Liner With A Precision tip

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner is one of the most beloved, bestselling eyeliners on the market. This smudge-proof formula boasts a major cult-following because it really does live up to its name. In addition to staying put all day, the precision tip makes it super easy to create all types of designs, especially cat eyes. The sweat-proof, smudge-proof and waterproof formula glides on easily — no pilling, tugging, or clumping — and dries quickly. Choose from 12 colors including moss green, cobalt blue, and periwinkle.

2A Similar, Cheaper Drugstore Alternative

If $22 for an eyeliner is a little steep for you, NYX Professional's Epic Ink Liner is a solid alternative. It features a similar formula to the Stila liner and also has a precision tip — with one minor difference. The felt tip on NYX's version is a little more flexible, which can be difficult for folks without a ton of liquid liner experience to work with. But if you're a makeup pro, you should be fine. The other downside is that this liner is only offered in black, but if you're looking for a basic, no-frills liquid formula for everyday use, you can't go wrong with this budget-friendly pick.

3A Chubby Pencil With A Built-In Sharpener For Smudged, Smoky Looks

Chubby sticks, like this Get Wings Glide-On Shadow Liner, are an amazing option for creating smokey eyes. This thick pencil offers the ability to blend and smudge in a matter of seconds, as the formula doesn't dry down immediately. But once it does dry, it doesn't go anywhere. The formula, which claims to stay put up to 24 hours, is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. The best part is, it comes with a built-in sharpener and is offered in three colors.

4Another Liner With A Built-In Sharpener, But This One Has A Precision Tip

Another amazing option with a built-in sharpener is Sephora Collection's Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner. But this one isn't chubby; instead, it has a pointed precision tip and comes in a retractable casing. This liner stays put all day and, because of its creamy formula, is incredibly easy to apply. It also comes with a small sponge on the other end so you can easily create smudged, smoky looks, in addition to tightlining and waterlining.

5An Option For Folks Who Can't Choose Between A Gel & A Pencil

One of the most annoying things about pencil liners is how tacky the formulas tend to be. While pencils are easy to use, they tend to tug on your eyelid and are less creamy than gels and kajals. But the NYX Professional Slide-On Pencil fixes that issue. Its formula is decidedly gel-like, meaning it glides on with ease. But instead of being finicky, it stays put once it's dried down. Choose from 18 colors, including vibrant metallics.

6An Innovative K-Beauty Find For Beginners Or Folks With Shaky Hands

If you're new to liner or have particularly shaky hands, then Clio's So Simple Waterproof Pencil Liner is the pencil for you. It has a teeny-tiny tip that measures just 2 millimeters. The genius thing about this liner is that it comes in an anti-shake tube, so there's less of a risk of making mistakes. The small tip is also amazing for tightlining, and since it's retractable, you'll never have to worry about sharpening it. It's offered in four neutral colors; three shades of brown and one black.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.