Eyeliners are one of the most useful makeup items in your purse at any given point, some of the best being waterproof eyeliners. They have a tendency to make dull skin come to life, tired eyes pop with energy, and generally bring some much needed contrast to the region where you might not have enough dark eyelashes to outline.
Eyeliners also come in different colors, types, and levels of water resistance. Which one is the best waterproof eyeliner for you? Here is a list of some of the best waterproof eyeliners we have come across of late. From 17 different versions and brands, you can easily find that which suits your needs when faced with a watery situation.
In this article:
- Our Picks of the Best Waterproof Eyeliners
- Why Pick a Waterproof Eyeliner?
- What to Look for in the Perfect Waterproof Eyeliner for You?
- How to Remove Waterproof Eyeliner?
Our Picks of the Best Waterproof Eyeliners
Happy events or sad tidings, beach fun or poolside lounging, storms and water fights, everything is so much better when your eyeliner isn’t running with the droplets on your visage.
1. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Notorious for her edgy-glam silhouette and long-lasting products, Kat Von D is the queen of sexy and unapologetic beauty street cred. We love this liner because it truly does sit on the eye like a tattoo! Perfect for long days and all-nighterss, this eyeliner is ideal for creating a flawless and pigmented line that won’t quit.
This product is crack-, melt-, and budge-resistant and comes equipped with a thin brush tip that creates fluid and intentional lines without fraying or losing structural integrity. Choose tattoo liner for your next evening soiree!
Winner of the Allure Reader’s Choice Award, this truly lovely waterproof eyeliner from Sephora offers a liquid product that is known for its high pigmentation, and long-lasting formula, applied precisely with a special brush tip. It is animal-friendly as well, for an added bonus.
2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
A fan favorite, this liquid eyeliner keeps its waterproof promise! Easy to apply and proven to last day and night, this product is amazing value. The eyeliner dries quickly and glides on smoothly. The marker tip is thin and smooth, which enables you to have control over the thickness and orientation of the application. Without pulling on the skin you can create a look as thick or as fine as you desire!
Highly rated and well-priced at $22 from Ulta Beauty, this sleek liner is available in 11 different colors, lasts all day and goes on nice and smooth with a thin brush. It’s great for a beginner with waterproof eyeliners!
3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner
A beautiful marriage of kohl eyeliner and gel, this crayon creates a deliciously smooth and silky line that won’t fade or tug on your eyes. This versatile pen comes in a wealth of colors and finishes: matte, satin, and shimmery. Glide on this pigmented pen and enjoy 12 hours of blissful wear.
The malleable formula allows you to create a dense line or a silky smokey eye that conjures up images of the gilded twenties. It includes a sharpener at its base and has been awarded an Allure beauty best product nod!
A rather interesting variation to the regular liquid liner, this gel option has enough colors for you to never need to shop for a new brand again. There is black in a satin finish, 12 matte finish gel crayons, and 20 shimmer versions that will surely rock your party look. It is paraben-, sulfate- and phthalates-free as well. Get your color from Sephora!
4. Chanel Stylo Yeaux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner
Waterproof often also means smudge-proof. Available at Nordstrom, this silicone-enriched formula also comes with a built-in sharpener for a smooth glide over your lids. There are 13 colors to choose from as well, meaning you can certainly enjoy your Chanel waterproof eyeliner.
5. IT Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner
IT Cosmetics has a unique claim to fame – its products are designed with plastic surgeons. The result? A product that targets women’s insecurities and ensures total beauty confidence! It looks like a pencil but glides on like a gel. Highly rated and at $22 on Ulta Beauty, it comes in 10 different colors and is best known for its anti-aging formula due to the lack of tugging on your skin that eventually leads to wrinkles. It also includes hydrolyzed collagen, silk proteins, and vitamins C and E for more anti-aging benefits. Furthermore, this waterproof eyeliner is paraben-, sulfate- and fragrance-free.
6. Givenchy Beauty Khol Couture Waterproof Eyeliner
We absolutely love the turquoise liner in this pack, while the tube itself is so very sleek and appealing. Available at Net-a-Porter, there are four colors to choose from, all of them highly pigmented and designed to give an effortless glide. One of the best colored waterproof eyeliners, it also comes with a built-in sharpener for a constantly pointy tip.
7. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
This product’s calling card? Its rich, densely pigmented texture and concentration! We love this smooth gel eyeliner for creating a black as night rock and roll look. It offers the precision and long wear of a liquid eyeliner without the learning curve. The product was designed to be resistant to sweat and humidity making it perfect for stressful afternoons or breezy days at the park. A cincher? This gel eyeliner has been voted an Allure Best of Beauty Winner three times!
While most waterproof eyeliners on this list come in a pencil style, this gel eyeliner requires an extra brush to apply onto your lids. Available in six lovely shimmers, from black ink to graphite to chocolate mauve, this Sephora piece can last up to 12 hours and will not flake or fade.
8. Charlotte Tilbury ‘Rock ‘n’ Kohl’ Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil
The warehouse glam package of this fun loving pencil eyeliner hints at its fabulous party cred. Not only is it waterproof, but also it combines the light creaminess of a liquid pencil with the delicate and pigment-rich impact of a kohl pencil. Crushed pearl powder creates a luminous sheen. This supple blend melts into the skin and then dries, remaining in place for fourteen hours.
This one is silky smooth and pigment-rich, available in 6 colors on Nordstrom. Paraben- and preservative-free, it is also the winner of the Allure Best of Beauty award for Best Black Eyeliner in 2015. It can stay put for up to 14 hours, with crushed pearl used to stimulate collagen production and a hydrating formula for top results. Truly one of the best waterproof eyeliner pencils on the list!
9. Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner
This luxe and gilded pencil eyeliner is a delightfully feminine addition to your makeup bag. Looks aside, it will revolutionize your beauty routine. The double-sided product comes equipped with a pencil, and a liquid waterproof formula. This is a double take of epic proportions and allows you to create a totally customizable and versatile wardrobe of looks with one perfect product.
Enhance your eyelashes subtly or go full diva with a thick swath of liquid eyeliner, and smudged kohl. When it comes to shapeshifting, this product has its competitors beat.
Truly practical and perfectly smooth, this double-edged waterproof eyeliner is paraben- and phthalates-free and available for $24 on Sephora. It is quick-drying and long-wearing, beautifully hydrating and perfect to create that sexy smokey eye look. It has also won the Allure Best of Beauty award. It is ophthalmologist-tested and safe to wear with contact lenses.
10. MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner
MAC is a favorite among makeup artists and beauty acolytes because of its high-powered products and long-lasting formulas. Long-lasting and creamy, this waterproof pencil liner is safe to use on your waterline, lasts up to 12 hours as waterproof eyeliner, and is safe for contact lens wearers. It is one of the top eyeliners MAC has to offer, available in six colors on Nordstrom.
11. Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner
With tons of positive reviews, one of the best pencil eyeliners comes from Smashbox. It’s a waterproof product that features an automatically-sharpening tip for a precise application. It’s long-wearing, hyper-pigmented, and cruelty-free – what else do we need to be sure this is the best ever kohl liner to try?
Available in six colors at Ulta Beauty, like so many other waterproof eyeliners on the list, this hyper-pigmented liner has a non-flaking formula that is safe to use on your waterline, and a built-in sharpener for a precise tip at all times. It is a great pencil eyeliner that is parable-, sodium lauryl sulfate-, phthalates-, oil-, fragrance-, talc-, alcohol- and cruelty-free. Definitely made for those of us who prefer reducing the use of harmful ingredients while also thinking about those living with us on this planet.
12. Eyeko Sport Waterproof Eyeliner
This waterproof eyeliner is made with a target audience in mind, and no amount of sweat in your eyes or water from your swim routines is going to ruin the absolute beauty that makeup has brought to your visage. It is meant for those who exercise often, and the coconut oil infusion ensures a very smooth application. You can go all day with ease, the built-in sharpener ensuring a precise finish. Get this waterproof magic from Net-a-Porter!
13. Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner
This eye pencil is a powerhouse! Resistant to tears, rain, and water, this formula will take you from early morning to late night. Not only is it reliable, but also it comes in a beautiful twist-up tube. Add on the petite smudging tip, and we have a user-friendly and elegant product perfect for touch-ups on the road.
We love that the smudging applicator allows you to create a smokier look without the use of other products. This pencil eyeliner is truly a standalone. This lovely double-ended waterproof eyeliner is designed to twist and sharpen without hassle, gliding on easy and creamy to prevent skips and streaks. It comes in 12 colors and is available at Ulta Beauty. The hydrogenated castor oil is a great addition to the ingredient base, while the smudge brush perfects the smokey eye.
14. Dior Crayon Waterproof Eyeliner
This waterproof eyeliner is truly a beauty, complete with a pencil crayon and the opposite end adorned with a foolproof smudge brush. It is long-lasting and meant to be precise in application. It comes in jet-black, navy, and brown black, and is available at Sephora.
15. Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen
It is a long name for a not-so-long waterproof eyeliner, but from the very start it remains clear that this is all about thin precision. The blacker than black lines last all day, and the free-flowing pen allows you to draw everything down to calligraphy on those lids of yours. It dries quickly and won’t smudge. It is also 100% cruelty-free. Positively delightful! Get yours from Ulta Beauty!
16. Hourglass Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner
Presented in a gorgeous pen-style tube, this waterproof eyeliner has a tip meant to draw the thinnest, most precise lines. It comes in black only, is vegan-friendly and free from sulfates, parabens and phthalates. It appears to be one of the best waterproof eyeliners that a fashionable woman simply must carry in her emergency makeup clutch. It’s also available at Sephora.
17. Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner
Much loved and available in some amazing colors, this positively perfect piece comes in 6 matte hues, 4 satin finishes, 1 metallic and 1 shimmer, all meant to make those eyes of yours pop. It is the longest-lasting waterproof eyeliner on this list, wearing for a good 24 hours, drawn on with an ultra-thin felt-tipped applicator for the best results. It is available from Sephora for $24 and well worth the price.
Why Pick a Waterproof Eyeliner?
Now, there are many of the best waterproof eyeliners in this article that one can choose from. But why go waterproof, anyway? What is it about this type of eyeliner that is so much more appealing than your regular?
There are many reasons really, with the most obvious being that one can be exposed to water at any given point, but the truth is that often, the waterproof formula is made to withstand just about all elements and obstacles without disappearing, smudging or running. Considering the fact that so many waterproof eyeliners on this list were quite good at blending in with your makeup as well, the age-old excuses against the use of this incredible product diminish and dissolve.
These days, waterproof makeup of all types can appear natural, without that fake drawn-on look. Plus, the fact that you can wear them for very long hours, particularly those without parabens, sulfates and phthalates, is a lifesaver.
Finally, if you have highly sensitive and dry eyes prone to irritation, you must ensure that the makeup you put on does not streak or smudge, causing more problems. Waterproof eyeliners, mascaras and similar other options are a great alternative.
Just remember that you will need a strong makeup remover to gently and effectively remove it when you are done.
You might have noticed that each of the waterproof eyeliners listed falls into a different category. While some are undoubtedly liquid, others or easy-glide pencils and some even gels. What is the difference between these different types?
Waterproof Eyeliner Pens
Waterproof pencil eyeliners are a beloved kohl that we are all too happy to see in the waterproof section. This is especially true when there are smudge brushes at the ends to give that truly lovely smokey look, above or under the eyes. Pencils are also quite easy to control and make practically no mess.
There are different types of pigments one can go for in pencil waterproof eyeliners as well. The best are those that do not require sharpening, meaning that a quick touch up on the go is easy and effective.
The downside of waterproof eyeliner pens is that those requiring sharpening are initially way too sharp, while the mechanical ones dull easily and are never sharp enough.
Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners
Waterproof liquid eyeliners are more precise but also require a lot more skill to get on right, especially when we are looking at the fact that waterproof would be hard to get off. However, they are available in matte, shiny or satin finishes, which adds a whole new level of texture to your lids.
The brushes come thick or thin, depending on what you plan to use it for, and because of the need to set quickly, utilize at least one type of polymer in its making.
Waterproof Gel Eyeliners
As for waterproof gel eyeliners, these are just perfect for the thicker, bolder lines you plan to draw on, appearing more intense than a pencil would and so much easier to control than a liquid formula. The problem is that you will need a brush for this and you should learn to use it well. Definitely not something you can do quickly at the red light in your car!
Makeup artists adore the gel version to waterproof eyeliners these days though, so you might probably fall in love as well!
How to Remove Waterproof Eyeliner?
Finally, it is important to remove your eyeliner, waterproof or not, every night. Do not sleep with it still on your eyes unless you want to develop irritation and other problems in the long run.
You also cannot remove a waterproof eyeliner, or mascara for that matter, with a simple or traditional remover. This one calls for something more heavy-duty. How do you do it?
- The makeup remover you choose should be made for the makeup you are wearing. Dual-phase makeup remover is available in stores, with the ability to remove nearly everything – just make sure that it is oil-based and will dissolve the hyper-pigmentation. There are some interesting oil-based makeup removers that come in the style of a cotton swab, where you snap off the end and gently run it over a few times to get the product off.
- If you decide to go the route without a store-bought remover, oils are your best option for getting rid of that waterproof eyeliner. Coconut, olive or jojoba oils are a good option. It also ensures your lashes are moisturized, and the skin is kept fresh.
- Just remember to use a different applicator for each eye, whether a cotton swab or a pad, ensuring there is no cross-contamination if one of the eyes has bacteria on it.
Photos via Instagram, Sephora, Nordstrom