Is it just us, or does purchasing the right eyeliner feel like a crapshoot? You can walk down the beauty aisle, money in hand, perusing the shelves, reading every description on every product before settling on one that you hope won't smudge when the temperature rises. The truth is you never really know if you'll get a return on your investment until you take it home and try it for yourself, and by then, it could be too late. To make sure you never get stuck with another subpar product again, we tried them for you in the dead of summer. Ahead, shop the 17 best smudgeproof eyeliners, from pencils to liquids, that you won't regret spending your hard-earned money on.
Best Liquid Metallic: Deck of Scarlet Dual Drama Liquid Eyeliner
Deck of Scarlet Dual Drama Liquid Eyeliner ($28)
If you're not the type to settle for a basic black liner, this metallic formula is the shade-shifter you need in your vanity. Available in four smudgeproof iridescent shades, these colors transform shades depending on how the light hits them. But for the days when a classic black can't be beaten, the opposite side also boasts an inky liquid liner to give you a crisp cat eye.
Best Metallic Pencil: Dior Diorshow Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner
Dior Diorshow Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner ($33)
This creamy, waterproof liner pencil glides on without tugging, skipping, or pulling and packs major pigment with each stroke. Use it to create a crisp wing or smudge it with the included tool for a smoky look. But work quickly because once it sets, it's there for a full 24 hours.
Best Drugstore Pick: Nyx Professional Makeup Epic Wear Liner Stick
Nyx Professional Makeup Epic Wear Liner Stick ($8)
Who said you can't get quality for less than the price of your morning Starbucks? This $8 liner is smudgeproof, waterproof, and fade-proof and comes in an impressive range of 28 hues from matte neons to shimmer neutrals.
Most Versatile Formula: KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow and Brow Pigment
KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow & Brow Pigment ($21)
This one-pot wonder is more than just a super-waterproof, long-wear eyeliner. Formulated to also be used on the brows and lids, this creamy, extra-pigmented pot will stay put no matter how hot it gets this summer. It's available in 17 colors, from bright white and naturals to vivid magenta.
Best Pencil: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil ($22)
This has long been our go-to pencil for long, hot summer days. The waterproof formula, packed with jojoba oil, vitamin E, and cottonseed oil, glides on with maximum color payoff. Plus, it comes in 40 summer-friendly shades to boot.
Best Applicator: Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner
Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner ($22)
Inspired by the art of calligraphy, this paintbrush-like applicator gives you the smoothest precision, making it easy to paint on the thinnest lines or the boldest strokes. The vegan formula is made with vitamin B5 to nourish lashes as you wear it.
Best Matte Liquid: Benefit Roller Liner Matte Liquid Eyeliner
Benefit Roller Liner Matte Liquid Eyeliner ($22)
If you're looking for a shine-free liquid finish, consider this matte formula your new go-to. It glides on easy (like roller skates on a wooden floor) and won't smudge, fade, or flake no matter how many moves you bust out on the dance floor.
Best Kajal: Victoria Beckham Beauty Satin Kajal Liner
Victoria Beckham Beauty Satin Kajal Liner ($28)
Best Felt Tip: Haus Laboratories Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner
Haus Laboratories Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner ($18)
This long, flexible, tapered felt tip gives you a choice between thick, bold designs and thin, classic looks. Glide on the ultra-dark pigment without tugging or skipping, and wear it all day without smudging or flaking.
Best Cream Liner: Tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner
Tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner ($24)
While we love a potted gel product, this creamy clay liner comes in a squeezable tube that dispenses product into a built-in palette. Dip your brush into the thick, pigmented cream, and then draw on a super-dark line that's sure to stay on until you're ready to wash it away.
Best Bang for Your Buck: Milk Makeup Kush Liquid Eyeliner
Milk Makeup Kush Liquid Eyeliner ($22)
There's nothing worse than losing that crisp, sharp point on your eyeliner before the formula even runs out. When this felt tip needs a refresh, remove the applicator from the pen, flip it, and replace it, giving yourself a brand-new tip without investing in a brand-new liner. As far as the formula goes, the clean, hemp-derived cannabis-seed oil and blackest-black pigment will stay put for a full 24 hours.
Best Liquid: Bite Upswing Longwear Eyeliner
Bite Upswing Longwear Eyeliner ($25)
Infused with passionflower, this vegan liquid liner tube makes it easy to pick up just the right amount of product you need for thin or bold lines. The jet-black shade goes on smooth and won't fade or smudge when the day gets steamy.
Best Clean Formula: NakedPoppy Clean Liquid Eyeliner
NakedPoppy Clean Liquid Eyeliner ($22)
This ophthalmologist-tested clean formula won't irritate even the most sensitive eyes. Vegan, EWG-verified, and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, this liquid liner provides major pigment that lasts all day.
Best Liner Duo: Valentino Twin Liner
Valentino Beauty Twin Liner ($44)
On one end, you get a semi-matte liquid liner, while the other boasts a retractable gel eyeliner pencil—both of which glide on smooth and promise 16 hours of wear. We like to use the liquid on the lid for super-sharp cat-eye looks and the gel pencil on the waterline for a bolder look.
Best Neutrals: Patrick Ta Major Dimension Precision Gel Liner
Patrick Ta Major Dimension Precision Gel Eyeliner ($26)
This four-piece collection of neutral tones is just what you need to open up the eyes and make them pop. Use the full-coverage cream-colored gel pencil in the waterline to brighten up the eye and a darker shade along the lash line for a wider look.
Best Latinx Brand: Treslúce Beauty Intenso Liner
Treslúce Beauty Intenso Liner ($12)
Founded by Latina actress and singer Becky G, Treslúce Beauty is inspired by the Latinx heritage and culture. The Intenso Liner is smudgeproof for 13 hours and available in 15 shimmer and matte shades inspired by the colors of Mexico.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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