I’ve found four eyeliners that make me think that even if I won the lottery or wrote a wildly successful book trilogy that turned into a three-movie deal (oh, dreams), I probably still wouldn’t stray into high-end makeup territory:
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner: My favorite department store gel liner was MAC’s Fluidline for a while, but $15 is a bit steep. The Maybelline gel liner comes with a surprisingly soft, effective, and long-lasting brush, too.Â I usually don’t have a lot of faith in brushes that come with products because a lot of them tend to be scratchy, but this one impressed me. It’s soft and thick compared to others, but the line is opaque and clean.
The thick, creamy color just glides on and I don’t really have to put that much effort into it. With a thinner brush or product, I’d be drawing lines over and over, trying to fill in the area so it’d look opaque. The packaging states that this is “24-hour” eyeliner, and I’d say it comes pretty close (I’ve slept in my makeup a couple of timesâ€”oops).
Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama: This is from the same line, but it’s completely different. It’s smudgy, but still has very rich color. I’ve repurchased this a few times, and that’s rare for me. The color is very intense, but you can blend it up with a brush, sponge tip applicator, or even a cotton swab for a really easy smoky eye.
It works well on the waterline, too, though I’m not sure if you’re really supposed to use it there. As far as application goes, I think it compares to Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners. Both liners last all day on me.
L’Oreal Lineur Intense: Liquid liners are perfect for getting a defined line or a retro makeup look, but sometimes the brushes can just ruin it. I’ve tried the felt tip version of this liner in carbon black and it’s my #1 pick for liquid liner because the brush is firm enough to place the color where you want it, but not so firm that it’s scratchy. There is also a brush tip version.
Milani Eye Tech Liquid Eyeliner: This is very similar to the L’Oreal liquid liner in terms of application, but I feel like you get more control when you use this one because the tube is shorter. It also takes up less space in my makeup stash.