Why We’re Trading in Our Liquid Liners for These 6 Pencils

With all things Y2K making a comeback (think: claw clips and low-rise jeans), did you really think pencil eye liners would stay far behind? If you’ve been attached to your liquid liner for precise, clean lines, it may be time to embrace edgy, hazy looks and give pencils another go.

Photo: ©Liliya Rodnikova / Stocksy

Pencil eye liner looks are officially back—from subtle and diffused to raw and grungy and everything in between. Here are the 6 pencil eye liners we can’t stop using.

For classic and versatile looks

The right pencil offers rich, long-lasting pigment and versatile wear—all with plenty of blending and smudging time.

Wayne Goss The Essential Eye Kohl Pencil, $14
This classic pencil liner will take you from from a sultry smokey eye to crisp, clean lines with just a quick sharpening. Its precise tip gently glides over skin—without any scratching, tugging, or skipping.

For softer colors

If black liner seems too intense, don’t worry, warm reds and neutral browns are here to soften the look.

Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl, $29
Combining the silky-smooth glide of a liquid liner with kohl’s pigment-rich payoff, here’s the pencil for the perfect “bedroom eye”. Channel your inner rock ‘n’ roll muse with smudgy, smokey eyes that stay put from dusk 'til dawn. Did we mention it’s available in 8 shades ranging from beige to black?

Sisley-Paris Phyto-Khol Perfect Eyeliner, $63
Enriched with oils and waxes, this precise pencil softly glides on long-lasting pigment to enhance and intensify the eyes. It also comes in 10 beautiful shades and a built-in smudger.

Hindash Eye Tone - Intra, $19
Enhance your eyes with intense pigment in an extremely blendable, creamy formula. This creamy, wooden pencil easily blends and smudges, so you can line, define, and wing for endless eye looks. Bonus: Intra’s a warm, red-based brown that’s specially created to flatter all eye colors and skin tones.

For sensitive eyes

If you have sensitive skin, wear contact lenses, or are prone to allergies, you’ve likely struggled to find eye makeup that doesn’t irritate the eyes. Lucky for you, we rounded up formulas with soothing ingredients your eyes will appreciate.

Chantecaille Brightening Eye Kajal, $30
This classic eye-defining pencil is formulated with soothing aloe vera and safflower seed oil for a smooth gliding effect that’s gentle enough to apply to the waterline—without any irritation.

Kjaer Weis Eye Pencil, $30
This certified organic liner features organic coconut oil and carnauba wax, making it gentle on sensitive eyes without compromising pigment or payoff. The soft, velvety texture allows for easy and effortless application and control, setting to a rich, satin finish.