Waterproof eyeliners can keep your cat eyes in place through rainstorms, sweaty gym sessions and summer days spent swimming in the sea. In this buying guide, we share our expert tips and tricks to choosing the right one to make sure your makeup stays looking great.
We've compared the best smudge-proof, flake-free and water-resistant eyeliners in the UK, to bring you our top 10 favourites on Boots, Amazon, and John Lewis. With liquid liners, eyeliner pencils and cruelty-free options from drugstore staples and luxury brands alike, after reading this article you can guarantee your winged liner won't budge! Moreover, we have partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver you the best information.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
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As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
Liquid liner is best for creating sharp, bold wings and structured lines. The felt brush is dipped into a liquid-filled pot and applied directly to the lid. Depending on the size of the brush you can create thin to thick lines of rich pigment that will dry down for long wear. Liquid liners are the most popular for creating a feline flick or simply outlining the natural shape of the eye for extra definition.
Different colours of liner are available but the most popular are black and brown. This type of liner takes time to perfect as mistakes are obvious and hard to remove, making it tricky for beginners. Practice makes perfect and once the waterproof liner is positioned; you can guarantee it’ll stay all day.
As the liquid needs time to set be mindful of smudging if you have particularly hooded or textured lids. An oil-based remover is required to break down the rich pigments, so ensure you have the right cleanser ready and don’t irritate the delicate eye area by rubbing too hard.
For the most accurate application, choose a pen eyeliner for the best results. It's shaped like a felt tip pen and offers a mess-free way of doing your makeup. An easier-to-use alternative to a traditional liquid liner, you can simply draw the liner onto your lids.
A downside of these applicators is that they can run out quickly as the tips will dry out when exposed to heavy coats of eyeshadow. To avoid this, we recommend that you remove the eyeshadow from the edge of the lid where you'd like to put the liner, to allow for a smoother application.
For a blended or smokey eye, a pencil eyeliner will produce a soft line that fades naturally at the edges. It doesn't smudge easily and can be applied to heavily hooded eyes without catching on the lid and making a mess.
Much like the pen applicator, a pencil is super simple to use and can be mastered quickly by anyone. This type of liner is commonly used along the inner waterline and on the upper edge of the lid to accentuate the eye shape. Waterproof pencils are designed to last in the waterline so you can guarantee your make-up will look fresh all day and night long.
If you always find yourself struggling to get the perfect cat-eye, these eye liner stamps will be a godsend!
Waterproof eyeliners can be a tricky find as some of them are completely water resistant, whereas others can only do the basics of protecting your makeup from smudging and smearing throughout the day. Before you buy, check how waterproof your chosen eyeliner is to prevent panda eyes.
Smudge-proof liners will stay in place, even if you sweat or your eyes start to run, whilst waterproof eyeliners will hold up better against water based activities like swimming. Finally, flake-proof liners can stop your makeup from chipping off once it's gotten wet and dried up again, which is especially useful for impromptu rain showers!
You should also check to see how long your eyeliner will last. Longevity varies from a few hours to a whole day, so we recommend that you choose a liner that lasts a little bit longer than what you need, just to be safe. That said, be sure to have a cleanser to hand as long-lasting liners can be stubborn to remove.
An eyeliner that won't budge is great, until you have to take it off at the end of the day! Check out our top 10 eye makeup removers for removing stubborn makeup.
Black and brown liners give a natural look that suits any make-up style. A subtle way to Inject colour into your look is through a liner. You can use a pencil for a subtle, smudged outlook. There aren’t any set rules with make-up, but some colours look more flattering than others.
Complementary colours opposite the colour wheel will give the most impact. For example, hazel and green eyes would suit purple, brown eyes suit all colours, but blue would be a good place to start. Blue eyes would benefit from an orange or copper colour to really stand out.
Browse our suggestions for more coloured eyeliners here!
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The Most Colourful Choice of All
NYX Professional Makeup
Epic Ink Eye Liner
Take It Back to the Basics
Exaggerate Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
A Long Lasting Liquid Eyeliner
Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer
The Best Budget-Friendly Option for the Perfect Smokey Eye Look
H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen
A Handy Drugstore Find
Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
A Popular Choice for Natural Wings
Master Ink Matte Black Eye Liner
Mega Waterproof Liner for Summer Vacays
Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner
A Luxurious Pencil Liner
Barry M Cosmetics
Eye Define Longlasting Liquid Eyeliner
An Affordable Liner With a Long Wand
MINI Roller Liner
You're Sure to Love the Benefits of This Liquid Liner
This liner has been popping up all over social media recently for several reasons. In particular, for its mega stylish packaging and wide range of colours. For a queen who loves to add a splash of colour to any outfit, this pencil will work wonders for you.
Too Faced is one of the leading beauty brands for eye makeup for a number of reasons, including their cruelty-free ethics. The pencil formula is smooth and glides across the eyelids with ease, to make your makeup routine as simple as possible.
This liquid eyeliner pen is off the charts! It's super pigmented formula is incredibly smudge-resistant, which is great for sweaty sessions at the gym. As it's designed for creating bold, fine lines across the lid, the width of the brush makes it perfect for a tapered wing.
The pen applicator is chunky yet easy to hold, so you can keep a good grip when drawing on your liner. Bets of all it gives similar top-brand eyeliners a run for their money, except at a quarter of the price!
An affordable liquid eyeliner with a fine felt tip is exactly what you need to create that dramatic full-coverage wing. The maximum control handle allows you to create a smooth, precise line in one swift movement.
It's a handbag essential to back you up on any occasion where you need long-lasting glam. It's smudge-proof, flake-proof, and you can rely on it for any occasion, whether you are indoors or outside.
You can't get more budget-friendly than this pencil eyeliner from Rimmel! The pigment is super blendable, which you can use to create the perfect smokey eye look, drawing out your liner across the lid and smudging it up towards the brow.
Best of all, it's guaranteed to stay all day as it is smudge-proof, transfer-proof, and waterproof! In addition to this intense black shade, this product is available in some other crazy colours so don't hesitate to get creative.
E.l.f is known for its high-quality cosmetics, especially at such affordable prices. You can find e.l.f eyeliners at almost any drugstore, but why go all that way when you can have your favourite liner delivered to your door?
This quick-dry, smudge-proof eyeliner pen creates a sleek line from start to finish, without sticking or dragging at loose skin. The colour is deep and bold, which is ideal for striking cat eyes and long defined flicks at the corner.
This eyeliner has been storming the market in recent months, taking first place on almost every beauty influencers must-have list. It's available in charcoal, brown and black, so if you're looking to experiment with a not too 'out there' shade, this is for you.
The pen is super slim, making it suitable for any purse or pocket for reapplication while you're out on the go. We also love that this product is cruelty-free, rounding it off as a top-quality choice.
This product consists of a slim precision brush wand that can be dipped into a long-lasting waterproof formula. Infused with black carbon pigment, you can be sure that this liner will give you bold, dramatic eyes no matter how wet
the weather is.
It's extremely waterproof, so it won't budge an inch, even if you go swimming with it on, or wipe your face after a run. The brush is super thin, but you can stack up as many layers as you like thanks to the rapid drying formula - ideal for last-minute glam retouches!
A luxury eye pencil, available in black, green and purple - what's not to love? This waterproof liner is great for creating the perfect smokey eye for a night out, and it won't smudge if you get caught in the rain.
It's a bit pricey in comparison to the other pencil eyeliners on our list, but sometimes you do get what you pay for. As with all Chanel products, this eyeliner is top quality with a silky formula that smoothes straight onto the lid.
Your search for a reliable liquid eyeliner, that won't break the bank, ends right here! This waterproof liner from Barry M. is designed to define the eyes to truly make them pop. It's no surprise that it has so many positive reviews online.
It's especially useful for watery eyes thanks to its fast-absorbing formula. This means that it won't leak or rub off throughout the day. Unfortunately, it can be hard to remove, so you'll want to have a suitable make-up remover on hand.
This waterproof eyeliner by Benefit brushes on like a dream! It's silky, long-lasting and dries almost instantly, lasting for hours on end. It's completely smudge-proof and is ideal for preventing your makeup from running on a warm summer night.
While it seems like a practical feature, the bulkiness of the pen can make it difficult to draw an accurate line as it distorts the angle slightly. This is something you can easily get used to, but it's worth bearing in mind if you're new to the game.
Written and Researched by Annie Speight
We partner with specialists across various fields to proof-read our buying guides to deliver accurate and reliable information. Our specialists do not endorse any products that we recommend.
- mybest UK
No. 1: Too Faced ｜Killer Liner
No. 2: NYX Professional Makeup｜Epic Ink Eye Liner
No. 3: Rimmel London ｜Exaggerate Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
No. 4: Rimmel London｜Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer
No. 5: e.l.f｜H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen
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