15 Best Black Eyeliners To Perfectly Define Your Eyes – 2024

Get a sleek, even, & defined look with these smudge-proof, easy-to-use, long-lasting eyeliners.

Reviewed by Kerrin Jackson, Makeup Artist Kerrin Jackson Kerrin JacksonMakeup Artist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English) Priyam Gupta MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
 • 

It is essential to focus on your eyes when you begin your makeup regime since it makes an excellent first impression. Of course, the best black eyeliners are made for those who want to create such neat first impressions. Well, when you start with lining your eyes, it also helps create a balanced look. A statement-making eyeliner is one of the vital makeup tools that we cannot miss, no matter what. It is something we can’t do away with! This simple yet essential makeup tool pulls attention to the eyes and enhances their shape while improving their appearance.

Black eyeliners are suitable for every eye color, and picking one for yourself is pretty easy. Defining your eyelids with a sharp, black eyeliner completes your eye makeup. Applying it on the waterline defines your eyes beautifully. This classic color is a universal choice among makeup lovers and gives a unique depth to the eyes. We are sure that you must be thinking of buying one now. So, let us help you with some of our black eyeliner reviews and top choices that keep your eyes sharp and attractive for long hours.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall: NYX Professional Makeup Retractable EyelinerPrice on Amazon
Best Ophthalmologist-Tested:Maybelline Hypereasy Brush Tip LinerPrice on Amazon
Best For Contact Lens:Rimmel Scandal’eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal LinerPrice on Amazon
Best Smudge-Proof: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail EyelinerPrice on Amazon
Best for Beginners:Mary Kay Eyeliner BlackPrice on Amazon
Best Long-Wear:Wunder2 Super-Stay LinerPrice on Amazon
Best Clinically-Proven: Julep Long-Lasting EyelinerPrice on Amazon
Best Easy-To-Use:Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye PencilPrice on Amazon
Best With A Built-In Sharpner: BareMinerals Lasting Line Absolute BlackPrice on Amazon
Best With A Felt-Tip:theBalm Schwing Liquid EyelinerPrice on Amazon

Top 15 Black Eyeliners To Complete Your Eye-Makeup

1. Best Overall: NYX Professional Makeup Retractable Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.4

Let your eyes do the talking with this black eyeliner pencil from the celebrity-endorsed brand NYX. It gives you a super-defined and sharp look to complement your entire makeup. The smudge-proof retractable eyeliner enables professional makeup artistry within a budget. It glides on your lash line effortlessly for an easy application. The creamy formula of the black eyeliner is made with synthetic beeswax and citric acid among other ingredients. These key ingredients help it stay put all day long through heat and humidity. It also does not require any sharpener and hence, you need not dig into your bag every now and then, searching for a sharpener. The highly-pigmented twist-up liner is certified cruelty-free. Take a look at this video to learn more about the product and help you create black eyeliner styles.

Color: Black | Product Dimensions: 0.25 x 0.25 x 5.62 inches | Weight: 0.35 Ounces

Pros
  • Water and smudge-proof
  • Lasts an entire day
  • Cruelty-free
  • Intense color
  • Easy application
  • Moisturizing formula

Cons
  • May not be as richly pigmented

My Personal Experience

"This sunscreen has earned a stable place in my sun protection arsenal. It is smooth and applies seamlessly. The premium lasting power are good for all-day wear. I also like that the formula is non-irritating and gentle. It doesn't smudge and is a good affordable choice."


worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 82,828 great reviews on Amazon.

2. Best Ophthalmologist-Tested:Maybelline Hypereasy Brush Tip Liner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.3
Maybelline Hyper Easy Brush Tip Liner Image: Maybelline New York

You need not struggle to rest your elbow on your dressing table and hold it steady while you glide this waterproof black eyeliner on your eyelids. This expertly crafted liner has a unique flex tip brush and custom hexagonal grip, making it super easy to apply. The liquid liner is smooth to apply with no slip and no skip formula. Its smudge-free, intense, and pitch black color can help beautifully define the shape of your eye and lasts for as long as 24 hours. Ophthalmologist-tested, it is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lenses too. Watch this YouTuber’s honest review to get a better idea about the product and its features.

Color: Pitch Black | Product Dimensions: 5.51 x 1.81 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Smooth application
  • Lasts up to 24 hours
  • Intense color
  • No skip, no slip formula
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lenses

Cons
  • May not glide easily on oily eyelids
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 48,684 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

3. Best For Contact Lens:Rimmel Scandal’eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.2
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner – Black Image: Rimmel

Walk in and out the gym without worrying about smudgy or runny eyeliner as this sweat-proof black eyeliner pencil locks in the intense color to stay put for extended hours. The waterproof liner gives a smooth finish and is smudge-proof. The creamy formula glides on easily to give an instant impact. The ophthalmologist-tested product is suitable for sensitive eyes and is also safe to use if you wear contact lenses. You can wear it alone or add several shades for a scandalous look and explore an edgier you. As the brand says, embrace self-expression and your unique personality with this kajal black eyeliner. This video details a tester’s experience with the product. Watch it to gain better insight into its formula.

Color: Black | Product Dimensions: 5.47 x 0.31 x 0.31 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros
  • Rich color
  • Smooth and creamy formula
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Heat and sweat-proof
  • Stays put in humid conditions
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes
  • Safe for those who wear contact lens

Cons
  • Some may find it slightly difficult to sharpen the pencil.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 24,491 reviews claiming its efficacy.

NYX Professional Makeup Retractable Eyeliner
Best Overall
Maybelline Hypereasy Brush Tip Liner
Best Ophthalmologist-Tested
Rimmel Scandal’eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner
Best For Contact Lens
Color Black Pitch Black Black
Dimensions 0.25 x 0.25 x 5.62 inches 5.51 x 1.81 x 0.5 inches 5.47 x 0.31 x 0.31 inches
Weight 0.35 Ounces 0.32 Ounces. 0.32 Ounces
Rating
Reviews82,82848,68424,491
Price$4.99$7.98$3.99

4. Best Smudge-Proof:L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.4
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner Image: L'oreal Paris

If you are looking for a long-lasting black eyeliner that does not fade or smudge, let us break the news to you that you have finally landed on the right product. This black eyeliner pencil is fade-proof and smudge-proof, and lasts for up to 16 hours. The mechanical liner is formulated with hydrogenated olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and candelilla wax. It comes with a built-in sharpener for the pencil tip to help you draw beautiful and defined strokes on your eyes. Its smooth application makes it easy for you to get ready quickly for work or any special events. Reviewers have suggested pairing it with a black mascara and letting your eye makeup stand out.

Color: Carbon Black | Product Dimensions: 7.06 x 1.9 x 0.35 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros
  • Smudge-proof
  • Rich color
  • Lasts for up to 16 hours
  • Built-in sharpener
  • Fade-proof
  • Celebrity-endorsed

Cons
  • May not be suitable for sensitive eyes

protip_icon Quick tip
Use your eyeliner around the handle or the curve of a spoon to achieve an angled line for dramatic eye makeup.

5. Best for Beginners:Mary Kay Eyeliner Black

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.6
Mary Kay Eyeliner Black Image: Mary Kay

Mary Kay Eyeliner is formulated for beginners and professionals. It glides very smoothly onto the eyes. It is infused with the goodness of treated pigments to help maintain color for long hours. This eyeliner also contains antioxidants to help fight free radicals and prevent the product from drying out. It has a lightweight formula, which allows beginners to ease their way into a dramatic cat-eye eyeliner look. It lays down an ultrathin black coat with every swipe and dries quickly to reduce the chance of messing up. Many reviews indicate that this crayon-like retractable pencil liner is integrated with a sharpener to help you create the outline you desire.

Color: Black Noir | Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.4 x 0.4 inches | Weight: 0.35 Ounces

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Glides smoothly
  • Clean application
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Highly pigmented
  • One-swipe application

Cons
  • Not the most long-lasting

6. Best Long-Wear:Wunder2 Super-Stay Liner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.1
Wunder2 SUPER-STAY Eyeliner Pencil Image: Wunder Brow

It can become a nightmare to use eyeliner that is not as pigmented, especially if you need to apply a couple of layers to just have decent eye makeup. Well, your prayers for the best black eyeliner have been answered. Now, get smooth and beautiful-looking eyes in just one stroke. Moreover, the smudge-proof eyeliner comes in 3 finishes— essential matte, glitter, and metallic. The eyeliner glides easily and blends well to give you a perfect and full lash line. Its creamy, cruelty-free formula sets well as it is waterproof and stays put for as long as 24 hours. So, pick it up and add it to your makeup kit.

Color: Essential Black | Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.4 x 14.1 inches | Weight: 0.04 Ounces

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Cruelty-free
  • Rich color
  • Transfer-proof
  • Lasts for up to 24 hours
  • Comes in 3 finishes

Cons
  • Some may find it slightly difficult to sharpen the pencil.

7. Best Clinically-Proven:Julep Long-Lasting Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.1
Julep Beauty Pencil Image: Julep
Now 14% Off

If you are planning to try a gel formula, you might as well start off with this black gel eyeliner option. It is very smooth to apply on your eyelids and easier for use even for those who feel intimidated by eyeliners. This black eyeliner does not tug and sets in 30 seconds to give you intense and highly pigmented color in blackest of black. This eyeliner has been clinically proven to last for over 10 hours and deliver exceptional results. Its creamy, paraben-free formula does not smudge easily, maintaining a defined look for longer durations.

Color: 01 Blackest Black | Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.25 x 0.25 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Lasts for over 10 hours
  • Sets in 30 seconds
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben and SLS-free

Cons
  • May not be suitable for waterlining

protip_icon Pro Tip
Rub the sharpened tip of your eyeliner on a tissue to get a more rounded thick tip with a desired level of pigment.

8. Best Easy-To-Use:Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.3
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil Image: Urban Decay

There is a good reason why this eyeliner has been a cult favorite with endless positive reviews streaming in periodically for a long time. This award-winning cruelty-free product is made with moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil. This thick black eyeliner hydrates your lash lines while softening the skin. Its creamy and blendable formula comes in 5 different finishes — matte, creamy, shimmer, metallic, and glitter. It offers long-lasting results by preventing running and smudging. It does not budge once it dries and moves effortlessly on the lids without dragging or skipping.

Color: Perversion (matte blackest black) | Product Dimensions: 0.83 x 0.83 x 4.33 inches | Weight: 0.04 Ounces

Pros
  • Matte-finish
  • Darkest black
  • Smudge-proof
  • Waterproof
  • Long-lasting
  • Blendable and creamy
  • Hydrating formula
  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • Some may find it slightly difficult take it off.

9. Best With A Built-In Sharpner: BareMinerals Lasting Line Absolute Black

Being great at getting the cat-eye technique right gets easier when you lay your hands on the best black eyeliner. So, pick up this intense black eyeliner for a stress-free eye makeup experience. Made in the USA, its smooth and creamy formula glides on your eyelids easily, drawing a precise line with its rich pigments. The gluten and toxic-free formula is enriched with minerals and vitamin C that help soothe and nourish your lids while defining them. This black eyeliner gives a smooth finish that lasts long without any smudges, smears, or fading too soon. It comes with an in-built sharpener so you can nail finer strokes with a sharp tip.

Color: Black | Product Dimensions: 2.75 x 0.85 x 5.75 inches | Weight: 0.4 Ounces

Pros
  • Gluten and paraben-free
  • Toxin-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Free of artificial fragrances
  • Soft, creamy texture
  • Highly-pigmented color
  • Contains minerals and vitamin C

Cons
  • May require primer before application

10. Best With A Felt-Tip:theBalm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.2
theBalm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner Image: The Balm

Now carry the secret to beautiful eyes wherever you go. This cool and compact liquid black eyeliner helps you create impressive looks with subtle strokes and bold lines. The highlight of this bold black eyeliner is its thin and tapered felt-tip applicator that makes nailing iconic celebrity-inspired eye makeup looks possible. It features a smudge-free and non-flake formula that does not take too long to dry. Its key ingredients include glycerin, and citric acid that help make it suitable for all skin types. The fine-tipped eyeliner pen will definitely get you all the attention in the room.

Color: Black

Pros
  • Matte-black finish
  • Thin and tapered felt-tip applicator
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Smudge-free
  • Does not flake
  • Moisturizing formula

Cons
  • Contains xanthan

protip_icon Quick tip
Add a few drops of warm coconut oil to the dried-up eyeliner container and let it rest overnight to get a clump-free consistency for smooth application.

11. Best Waterproof: Benefit Roller Liner Black True Matte Liquid Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.6
Benefit Roller Liner Image: Benefit
Now 14% Off

Benefit Roller Liner Black True Matte Liquid Eyeliner is the perfect choice for creating a sharp, whisker-thin winged liner. The formula of the pen liner is quick-drying and thus instantly dries to a natural-matte finish and lasts for long hours. It is lightweight and dark enough with one swipe application. It doesn’t fade, flake, or smudge easily, thus allowing you to enjoy good times all day and night. This matte eyeliner is ideal for creating a thin line to a dramatic cat-eye look with its easy-glide precision felt tip or it can be the best-winged eyeliner technique.

Color: Black | Product Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 4 inches | Weight: 0.2 Ounces.

Pros
  • Smooth application
  • Waterproof
  • Long-lasting
  • Smudge-proof
  • Settles quickly
  • Can be used to create versatile looks

Cons
  • Doesn’t allow you to correct mistakes

12. Best Water-Resistant:Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.3

Redefine your eye makeup with this long-lasting black eyeliner that can be a compact addition to your on-the-go makeup pouch. This liquid black eyeliner will impress you with its well-pigmented color, smooth application, and stay-put wear. Inspired by traditional calligraphy, the water-resistant eyeliner can help you achieve those perfect and beautiful cat-eye looks. It features a precise brush tip, glides on easily and lasts for almost 24 hours without smudging or fading. The enriching formula of the precision eyeliner pen is made with hydrogenated castor oil, citric acid, and glycerin providing long-term lash care apart from instantly beautifying your eyes.

Color: Carbon Black | Product Dimensions: 5.25 x 0.75 x 0.75 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces.

Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Fade-proof
  • Long lasting
  • Has a precise brush tip
  • Matte-black finish

Cons
  • Contains alcohol

13. Best In Budget:Avon True Color Glimmerstick Eyeliner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.6

There is definitely no point taking all the trouble to perfect your eyeliner strokes if they’re going to vanish by afternoon. That is why trying this long-wearing black eyeliner that stays put for at least 10 hours is the right choice you make if you’d like to avoid retouching every now and then. The creamy, smooth ink glides on easily on your eyelids and does not pull or tug on your eyelids. This eyeliner is tested clinically for safety, is vegan, and paraben- and sulfate-free. Now, get a perfect, blackest of black shade for well-defined eyes as you pick this amazing product.

Color: Black | Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.25 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.01 Ounces

Pros
  • Smudge-free
  • Easy to remove
  • Smooth application
  • Retractable
  • Clinically-tested
  • Paraben and sulphate-free
  • Vegan

Cons
  • Not water-resistant

14. Best For Sensitive Eyes:Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner

star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating
4.3
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner Image: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner

Sometimes, it gets extremely difficult to find that one perfect eyeliner that checks off all the boxes. Well, fret no more. This is definitely a thick black eyeliner that deserves to be a staple in your vanity as it can help you achieve timeless beauty looks. One of the darkest black eyeliners, it has a flexible applicator tip that enables it to glide on easily. Ophthalmologist-tested, the waterproof liner is suitable for sensitive eyes and also those who use contact lenses. The longwear product with rich and intense color lasts for up to 16 hours. It dries immediately after application and is smudge-free.

Color: 251 Blackest Black | Product Dimensions: 1.94 x 0.75 x 5.75 inches | Weight: 0.21 Ounces

Pros
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to remove
  • Smudge-free
  • Lasts for 16 hours
  • Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers

Cons
  • Contains parabens

15. Best With IntenseColor:NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Via Veneto

Have a larger than life appeal like the A-list celebrities with the rich and intense color of this black eyeliner. It adds an intense and dramatic look to your eyes that stays on throughout the day. Its long-lasting formula is easy to apply and gives a smooth and budge-proof finish. The black eyeliner pencil stays on your greasy eyelids easily too. It makes for simple and clean strokes, and can be perfect even for those who are not a huge fan of makeup but like to wear it occasionally.

Pros
  • Budge-proof finish
  • 12-hour wear
  • Rich and creamy color
  • Smooth application
  • No smearing or caking

Cons
  • Some may find it to be slightly scratching on the lids.

You must have gotten an idea about the best black eyeliners available in the market. Here’re the factors you need to keep in mind so that you can make a more informed choice.

How To Choose Best Black Eyeliner

  • Type

There are mainly 3 types of eyeliners that you can try that include pencil, liquid, and gel. Pencils can be easier to use than liquid. You can try pencils, especially if you want smokey eye makeup with black eyeliner. Liquid eyeliners give you more intense and highly-pigmented color. Gel, on the other hand, gives you the best of pencil and liquid with better stability and pigmentation and helps nail finer strokes like no other.

  • Long-wearing eyeliners

You should always opt for eyeliners that stay put for long without smudging or fading because reapplying eyeliner frequently would take too much effort. Also, waterproof ones can be a great pick so that your eye makeup isn’t ruined due to sweat or rains. Look for formula that helps you avoid flakes and peel-offs.

  • Applicator

You can check the applicators and pick one that glides on easily. A thin and tapered felt-tip applicator or an appropriate brush will aid in better control and grip for smooth application. You can look for a long brush for an ideal stroke.

  • Finish

You can pick eyeliner in a certain finish as per your preference. You can go for matte, metallic, glitter, or shimmer. One with matte finish can be ideal for regular office wear. The metallic one would be perfect for a formal event. If you are looking for something to wear at parties, you can go for shimmery black eyeliners. But if you have a liking for a certain finish, don’t shy away from instantly choosing an eyeliner that offers you just that.

Infographic: Tips To Choose The Best Black Eyeliner

A single swipe of a good eyeliner can change your look from no-makeup to party-ready. Most girls start their makeup journey with a pencil eyeliner, and the black one is an all-time favorite. We have different needs for buying black eyeliner, from daily application to creating elaborate winged looks. Check out the infographic below for some quick cues to help you choose the best-suited black eyeliner for your purpose.

Tips To Choose The Best Black Eyeliner (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Smudge-proof black eyeliners can be your best friends when it comes to accentuating your eyes with a dramatic appeal. Many people prefer black eyeliners that are super easy to apply and glide effortlessly. For instance, the NYX Professional Makeup Retractable Eyeliner has a creamy formula and is highly pigmented while the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil stands out for its long-lasting formula, smooth application, and 5 different finishes. In addition, theBalm Schwing Liquid Eyeliner offers a precise application, bold look, and matte finish.

Kerrin Jackson, a 4-time Emmy-nominated film and television makeup artist, says, “With such a range of eyeliner types and costs available, if something doesn’t work or look good, try a different product. There are so many affordable eyeliner products on the market that there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t mix it up and experiment with finishes and techniques with your eye makeup.”

There are several black eyeliners available in the market that are ophthalmologist-tested and extremely suitable for sensitive eyes as well. While choosing eyeliners, you should choose the ones that can stay in place even in humid conditions. It is always recommended to choose eyeliners that stay for a longer period of time, no matter what the weather condition is. Moreover, there are many eyeliners that are also safe for people who wear contact lenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does black eyeliner suit everyone?

A black eyeliner may not suit everyone. You can definitely try it on if you are a person of color or have deeper skin tone. But if you have a fairer complexion, you can buy a shade that is slightly lighter than dark black to create the right impact, unless you’re aiming for a dramatic effect.

Does black eyeliner make you look older?

Black eyeliners seldom make one look older. They’re quite versatile and can suit every age group as they primarily work to define and beautify your eyes.

Can you use black eyeliner as lipstick?

A black eyeliner may not serve the purpose of a lipstick as it is not formulated to be worn on lips. However, if you’re keen on picking an eyeliner for your lips, you may have to pick a waterproof pencil eyeliner so that your lips do not dry out and one that is free of any harmful chemicals.

Is black eyeliner good for brown eyes?

Though black eyeliner is a common choice for all women, it is better to go for brown or amber colors if you have brown eyes.

Is black eyeliner too harsh?

While black eyeliners are not too harsh unless they’re formulated with an ingredient that could cause irritation, they definitely create a lot of impact and help you stand out, especially if you have a very light skin tone.


Kerrin Jackson

Kerrin JacksonMakeup Artist

Kerrin is a 4-time Emmy-nominated film and television makeup artist. She has worked on TV shows, such as The Walking Dead, The Mandalorian, and Our Flag Means Death, and films, such as Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars - Attack of the Clones, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, The Hobbit Trilogy, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead...read full bio

Latest Articles