Going Pro: Which Liquid Liner is Right for You?


The cat eye trend for Summer is still going strong, (despite the makeup-melting heat) and with all the wing drawing practice we're getting in, you can bet our hands are steady enough to drive even the finest of brushes across our lids. But if you’re still a liner rookie, there is hope for you yet! Thanks to some of our favorite brands, there's a liquid liner on the market for virtually every skill level! See our picks and find the one that's made for you!

Beginner: The Pen

If you can use a felt tip marker, congratulations! You've just made the first step toward drawing the perfect cat eye. Companies like Jordana, Eyeko, and Anna Sui are making flawless strokes a possibility for everyone with mess-free, practically flub-proof pens. Even the least steadiest of hands will find comfort in using a pen format. Pop one in your purse for one-handed touch ups on the go (a good idea on a humid summer day).

Intermediate: The Sponge Tip

It may seem intimidating at first, but think of a sponge tip as an eye liner pen all grown up. Instead of the head of a pen, the tip has moved to the end of a wand instead. We find the sturdiness of the sponge tip to be reliable, giving us a clean bold line with every use. Try your skills with Maybelline’s Ultimate Precision liquid liner, or start with a shorter brush like that of MAC’s Superslick liquid liner. Once you get the hang of it, the sponge tip will become your new daily go-to.

Advanced: The Long Brush

Mastering the long brush is a bit like learning to ride a bicycle. Controlling the elongated bristles to draw the perfect straight line may seem like an impossible feat, but once you go long brush you never go back. The finest of lines are now possible. Multi wings? Under eye liner? Hand drawn lashes? You have the power. Swipe on one of Lime Crime’s inky Uniliners, or go detailed all day with Urban Decay's 24/7 waterproof liquid formula. The sophistication of the long brush will make you feel like a bit of an eye liner snob, but if you've made it this far you deserve to revel in your own mad skills.

Expert: The Pot

The potted liquid liner is the crowning glory of liner expertise. A commendable eye-lining option that oozes professionalism and invokes a kind of fanciness associated with a quill and ink. The mere fact that one must invest in a separate brush specifically for liquid liner application draws the line between you and everybody else. Dip into a Stila Smudge Pot—a versatile cream formulation that can also be applied as a shadow. Or try your hand at Inglot Cosmetic's AMC Matte Gel—a reader favorite for its creamy consistency and opaque application.

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