Best Drugstore Eyeliner Products Of The Year

Best Drugstore Eyeliner Picks on the Market

What do you want to find when you look for the best drugstore eyeliner products? Is it color and pigmentation? Is it the waterproof and smudge proof features? Alternatively, maybe a low price coming together with high quality and long-lasting hold is your top priority.

Is the ease of use that interests you? When it comes to a drugstore eyeliner, all these factors are equally important. However, as we all know, when it comes to choosing the best eyeliner, you may find yourself trying so solve a puzzle. There are too many options, too many brands, and too many eyeliner varieties to pick from.

Some women prefer pencil eyeliners, while others go for liquid or gel ones. While there are many differences between these types, they all should offer you an incredible look and last for hours, stay put (as they should be waterproof, smudge proof, and tear proof). If you also consider they should also be cruelty free, easy to use, affordable, and lacked of side effects, you know you will have a hard time to find the best product.

Luckily, for everyone, we tested and tried a handful of drugstore eyeliners. Some were better than others were, while some were downright amazing. Today, we will offer you our conclusions regarding the best drugstore eyeliner products of 2017. They come in all types: pencil, gel, and liquid.

What you should know is that each of these types has its advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, you should know what eyeliner mistakes you should avoid and how to apply any type of eyeliner for the best results. But enough with the introduction! If you are searching for the best drugstore eyeliner on the market, check out our top ten picks below!

Top 10 Best Drugstore Eyeliner Picks of 2017

In the chart below, you will find my top 10 rated best drugstore eyeliner products on the market. For a more in-depth review of each product, please click on the "Read Review" link.

Best Drugstore Eyeliner Types

Before we begin, we have to mention a few things, so you can make an educated choice when it comes to the best drugstore eyeliner for you. First, when choosing an eyeliner, you need to know a few things about the eyeliner’s base: pencils are solid formulas and use a blend of waxes, silicones and/or oils. Liquid liners use a blend of water and polymers to help form a "film" on the skin. Gel eyeliners usually have a creamier consistency and you need to use a brush for application.

Pencil eyeliners go great anytime, especially when you are on a hurry. Gel eyeliners will offer you a more glamorous and dramatic look, but they need patience. Same goes for liquid ones – besides a very steady hand, you also need to make sure this is the look you want (clean, edgy, neat, precise, and bold). Eyeliners are also specific to eye color, so make sure you chose one that works best with your coloring.  

You also need to master the application skills when it comes to gel and liquid eyeliners, as the brush and the liner's felt tip can make or break your look.

Now that we touched the subject of eyeliners’ types, let us delve into the details, shall we?

Type 1: Best Drugstore Eyeliner – The Pencil

As we said, the pencil eyeliner is your go-to choice when you are on a hurry and you want to complete your makeup with no fuss. However, the pencil eyeliner is the one helping you get those sexy smoky eyes you always wanted. Pencil eyeliners are the most seductive choices you have when you want to achieve that wild, sexy smoky look.

The best drugstore pencil eyeliner will also help you get gorgeous eyes even if you have some wrinkles and fine lines. As we know, age comes with wrinkly eyes. If this is a concern for you, pencil eyeliners are the answer to your worries.

However, when it comes to picking the best drugstore eyeliner, each type comes with its own drawbacks. Let’s see the best drugstore pencil eyeliner pros and cons!

  • plus
    Longer lasting
  • plus
    Dramatic, precise look
  • plus
    Easier to apply than gel
  • close
    Smudges easily
  • close
    Needs frequent sharping
  • close
    Does not create a precise look

Type 2: Best Drugstore Eyeliner – The Liquid

Liquid liners usually look like pens and work almost like them – with small differences. However, some liquid liners come together with a small brush in the lid, which is what you use to create the line. Regardless, the formulation of a liquid liner is usually more watery than a gel liner and is not as creamy upon application. If you want to compare liquid liners with pencil ones the main difference is that the former requires precise application skill although the main result is real statement and a dramatic look.

You have to be very careful when you buy a liquid eyeliner: it may be runny; it can sting your eyes if you accidentally interacts with them, and it can need hours of trial-and-error until you become an expert of using it. Let us see a short recap on the pros and cons of the best drugstore liquid eyeliner.


  • plus
    Longer lasting
  • plus
    Dramatic, precise look
  • plus
    Easier to apply than gel


  • close
    Needs very steady hand
  • close
    Dries out quick
  • close
    ​Heavy look if improperly applied

Type 3: Best Drugstore Eyeliner – The Gel

It seems that gel eyeliners bring the best of both worlds: they do need a steady hand and some practice, but they are also easy to use and help you create a sexy, unforgettable look. Gel liners usually come in a little pot/bottle. Gel eyeliner has a thicker, creamier consistency in comparison to liquid eyeliners. You need a small brush to apply the liner to your lids and create your winged line – should you desire a bolder, more dramatic look.

Gel eyeliners are often easier to use for first timers. They are more versatile than liquid ones as well: you can choose the size of brush, the intensity of the color, and the thickness of the line. You also need to know how to correctly pick the brush for a gel eyeliner and practice with the application.

Now let us see the pros and cons of the best drugstore gel eyeliner on the market!


  • plus
    ​Easier to use for beginners
  • plus
    ​More control over the outcome
  • plus
    Creates different effects


  • close
    Low shelf life
  • close
    Can tug on skin
  • Needs perfect Brush

Common Features of our Best Drugstore Eyeliner Picks

In order for us to find which the best drugstore eyeliner products of 2017 are, we tested and tried quite many. We went for classic office looks (simple lines, defined, precise looks); we went for dramatic bold club-going looks (smoky eyes and cat-eyes); we went for demure, mid-day, errand-running looks; we went for opera night feminine looks. After we changed our appearance plenty of times, we were capable to pick these ten best drugstore eyeliner products and recommend them to you wholeheartedly.

One of the first things we want to recommend is that you pick the color that best matches your eyes and skin tone. You do not necessarily need to use only black eyeliner. On the contrary, there are many colors and tints to try to emphasize on your blue, green, or hazel eyes.

One factor we insisted on was pigmentation vs. hold. After all, what is the point of wearing a fabulous eyeliner if the color fades after a few hours due to sweat? We found that these eyeliners do hold well during office days and night-outs; many of them are smudge-proof and many of them are waterproof.

We also found a handful of eyeliners coming with enhanced formulas that nourish the skin and cause no irritations even if they interact with your eyes.

​After a careful consideration of each eyeliner, we reached the following conclusion: all the best drugstore eyeliner picks on this list share the following common traits:

  • check-circle-o
    Mildness - By mildness we understand the effects of the eyeliner on your skin and eye. We found that these products cause no irritation, dryness feelings, runny eyes, extra tears, or allergies
  • check-circle-o
    Excellent pigmentation - While we chose black liners, we are confident to say that no matter what color you prefer, these brands will offer you the glamorous tint and pigmentation you want. The rich color will give your eyes an amazing feminine look, no matter if you want a demure office one, or a dramatic black-tie event one.
  • check-circle-o
    Ease of use - Even the liquid eyeliners we tested – which are known for needing steady hands and skills – were easy to apply and use.​​​​
  • check-circle-o
    Versatility -  While we recommend you have at least one eyeliner of each of the three types in you cabinet, we found that one single eyeliner, be it pencil, gel, or liquid, can offer you a versatile and different look depending on how you apply it.
  • check-circle-o
    Hold​Some eyeliners will hold you more than others, granted, but since we talk about the best drugstore eyeliner picks of the year, we have to say we were impressed with their holding times. Add the fact that most of them are waterproof, smudge proof, and tear proof and you will be more able to make the right choice.​​​
  • check-circle-o
    Affordability​Even if one or two products on this list may seem pricy, we vouch for their excellent value for money they bring. You will not be sorry.​​​

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Drugstore Eyeliner on the Market 

No matter how safe, mild, and tested these products are you still need to take into account a few thing before buying one or more of them. While we have focused on many such things when writing each individual review, we still need to sum them up to help you make the best choice.

1. Application Skills

As you can understand, each eyeliner comes with its pros and cons. However, before you go shopping for any of the drugstore eyeliners on this list, you need to be aware of your own application skills. While the pencil seems the easiest to use, keep in mind that you need to practice to get perfect results.

For instance, when you apply gel liners, make sure you pick a brush that is not too think but not too thin either. Also, you should also try resting the inside of your wrist on your cheek (or lower down if you need more room) to keep your hand steady as you draw your line from your inner corner out when you use both gel eyeliner or liquid one.

If you are using a pencil, try to apply your eyeliner first and then go over the line with a matching powder shadow. You can also use an eyeliner sealant mixed with your shadow for even more staying power.

​In other words, first you need to make sure you know how to apply the eyeliner. It would be a shame to dismiss any of these products simply because you do not have enough practice to avoid smudges, runny lines, and other inconveniences.

2. Eyeliners’ Side Effects

Keep in mind that your eyes are some of the most sensitive and vulnerable organs. No matter what products you bring into their proximity and what products actually touch your eyes, they need to be the safest things you ever bought.

The base of an eyeliner – even a drugstore one – is FDA approved. There is no compromise when it comes to this issue. However, people can react differently when using eye makeup in general. Make sure you read the package/box carefully. If you know you are allergic or sensitive to some of the ingredients, try finding another product. Also, make sure the product’s expiration date is something you are comfortable with. While pencils do not spoil as fast as liquid and gel eyeliners do, it is still a good idea to avoid the pencil once it passes its expiration date.

​Eye redness, excess tears, eye dryness, eye-skin dryness and discomfort are among the main symptoms telling you the eyeliner is not good for you. Make sure you test a few before deciding which one offers amazing results and the lowest of negative consequences for your eyes and skin.

3. Eyeliners Colors and Shines

While you may think that black is just black, the cosmetic industry is more than willing to offer you an infinite palette of color choices. Read the labels and descriptions carefully – you may pick a raisin black instead of a pearl black just because you were not attentive enough. You can also make mistakes out of hurry or poor attention: some eyeliners work better for brown eyes and brown hair, while others make better options of you have fair skin, blonde hair, and green eyes.

You should also read the label in order to learn more about the eyeliner you want to buy: is it matte or does it show a light shimmer? Do you want a product with a deep dark pigmentation, or you need a softer tint?

​Before choosing your eyeliner, make sure the color is the one you want and that you will get what you have been promised.

Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying the Best Drugstore Eyeliner on the Market

​We emphasized on many important things while we assessed and rated each individual product, but you still need to ask yourself a few more questions before you start shopping. There are many FAQs answered on each of the reviews linked here, but let us resume some of the most important inquiries people have in relationship with these drugstore eyeliners.

1. Q: Are these products smudge proof?

A: Yes, they are. However, if you want a product to be smudge and smear proof after a week, you will probably be disappointed. These products hold on some women better than they hold on others – the type of skin is an important factor to consider at this point. Women with oily skin are more prone to eyeliner smearing. The same goes for women who sweat more than others do.

2. Q: Am I going to get a good look after using these products?

A: Definitely yes. If you know how to apply the eyeliners and build on your makeup with powders and sealants, you will achieve an amazing look every time. Achieving an amazing look also depends on the steadiness of your hand, the skills you have and on how much you hurry.

3. Q: Are these eyeliners good for all ages?

A: Yes. We picked age-independent eyeliners. Even if you have some wrinkles, you should not worry; we have some amazing pencil eyeliners for you on this list. If you are a teenager, or you have a teenage daughter you introduce to the world of cosmetics, the gel eyeliner options on the list are good for beginners. Moreover, no matter your age, these eyeliners will not negatively affect your skin.

best drugstore eyeliner products on the market

Why are These Best Drugstore Eyeliner Picks Awesome/Valuable?

These best drugstore eyeliner products are awesome and valuable for a great number of reasons. We mentioned such reasons on each individual product review, but we are more than glad to summarize our top favorite awesome reasons why everybody should give these eyeliners a chance.

1. Looks and feel

These drugstore eyeliners do exactly what you want them to do. They offer you rich colored lines, precision (or the smoky smudge if you want to), beautiful long-lasting results, and a feminine, elegant look. In addition, we all know that looking amazing means feeling amazing, so you will rock any outfit and any social encounter – be it the 9 a.m. business meeting or the 9 p.m. cocktail party.

2. Ease of use

Even if you need to master some skills when it comes to liquid eyeliners, they are still easy to use. We picked the eyeliners that have good consistency and good brushes/tips, so you can achieve your desired look in no time.

3. Affordability

When it comes to eye makeup, you need to aim for the best products. You need to find high quality in those pens or bottles no matter what. After all, your eyes are some of the most important treasures you hold, and you need to keep them safe at all costs. You will be glad to learn that all the products on this list come with very affordable prices. The price-quality ratio is balanced and on your side.

Recommended Best Sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
SaleBestseller No. 2
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner, Black, 0.04 Fluid Ounce
  • Ultra smooth and creamy formula that glides on easily
  • Waterproof, smudge-proof, sweat-proof, heat-proof, humidity-proof
  • Safe for sensitive eyes

Common Questions

Before reaching the conclusion of this best drugstore eyeliner products top ten list, we have to focus on three more questions that are common among customers. We noticed people are preoccupied with some issues. While we touched these topics on each individual review, we feel it is important to summarize them here as well.

Q: Are the gel and liquid eyeliners dry or runny?

A: They certainly should not be. If you find that your liquid eyeliner is runnier than water, you should request a product return or at least check the expiration date. Same goes for dry products. Liquid eyeliner should be liquid but not water. Gel eyeliner should have a creamier texture, but it should not look and feel like a sticky goo.

Q: Are these eyeliners cruelty free?

A: We found it important to mention that these drugstore eyeliners are cruelty free. If you want to learn more about the manufacturing and testing process of these products, we wholeheartedly recommend you ask the manufacturers. They are more than willing to answer such questions, since more and more people are interested in cruelty free cosmetic/beauty products.

Q: How much do expiration dates matter with these eyeliners?

A: Expiration dates matter a lot, no matter what type of cosmetic product you use. They matter even more if we talk about eye makeup and products that you use near on inside your eyes. In other words, make sure you read the labels and the expiration dates twice before buying any product. Pencils hold more on your cosmetics’ shelf. If they go past their expiration point, they might get dry. Usually, they do not become toxic or irritating, but it is better to avoid them if you are past their expiration date.

​Expired and spoiled liquid and gel liners get dry. They have lower shelf lives. Since they are more likely to interact with your eye, it is better to avoid them if they are past their expiration point. Besides the fact that they will not offer you the same results as fresh products, you also risk an irritation or some level of eye/skin discomfort.


This was our best drugstore eyeliner products top of 2017! If you want to have a different look each and every day, then these are the eyeliners you were looking for!

One of the biggest advantages of these eyeliners are their mild and mindful formulas. They are not irritating (unless you have extremely sensitive skin or health conditions) and some of them come with natural skin-care ingredients such as argan oil. However, before jumping at the opportunity, make sure you do a skin allergy test, just as you should do with all cosmetic products. Since we are talking about your eyes, you can never be too careful.

These products bring a lot of value from a quality-price balance point of view. You may find some products that seem too good to be true, but they are bestsellers in their categories. Some may be a bit pricy than others, but the quality-benefits balance is perfect.

We also picked age-independent eyeliners. Some slide smoothly on wrinkly skin and other are the answer to all beginners’ prayers. Just look carefully at our list and get the product that best suits your needs.

Always factor in your skin tone and type. Oily skin is a bit more problematic, as it makes eyeliners (and eye makeup in general) run down more often. You should also mind sensitive dry skin as well – you need moisturizer and a skin protector before using any type of eyeliner or eye makeup for that matter.  

Do you want to know what the best drugstore eyeliner on the market is? Check out each individual review we offered for each of the products on the list! If you have more questions, concerns, suggestions or feedback for us, do not be hesitant to leave us your thoughts in the comments section below!

External References & Citations