Not Martha

seeking a new black eyeliner

MAC eyeliner pencils

It’s time for me to try a new black eyeliner. I like to smudge just along the top lashes but I’m often unhappy with the lack of intensity of color in pencils, and I’m too clumsy to apply liquid liners well. Right now I’m using L’Oreal Le Kohl Pencil in Carbon Black and it’s ok but I’m not inspired to buy it again.

Does anybody have a favorite black eyeliner pencil? Something that is very dark and matte and easy to apply and smudgeable but stays in place? You know, something that does the impossible? I’m happy to try either drugstore or department store brands.

· comments [134] · 04-9-2009 · categories:beauty ·

134 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dru // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Georgio Armani’s pencils are fantastic, they smudge just right, not too much, not too little, they are super easy, and look fantastic. They come in black and other wonderful colors. They sell them at some Nordies.

  • 2 MKH // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I just tried Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner by L’Oréal — I like it and it has a built in sharpener.

  • 3 NiNI // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I learned a trick at Sephora a few months ago. Get an eyeliner brush. It makes all the difference. I use MAC eyeliner (or other high-pigment makeup). You load the brush up with eyeliner, either by rubbing the pencil on the back of your hand, then picking it up with the brush, or you can swipe the brush over the pencil tip. Then run the brush over your lash line, gently pushing into your lashes.

    You can control the amount of liner so easily this way, and it’s even every time if you use your lashes as a guide. I thought it would be a tedious process, but it is so much easier than using a pencil.

    If you want more color, you can go over the line again, either with more liner or a matching shadow.

  • 4 Kate // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I picked up a black kohl pencil at the Body Shop a couple of years ago, and it remains the best pencil I have – I’ve used lots of more expensive brands, and this one beats them all. It has never dried out, goes on smoothly every time. Good luck!

  • 5 Lauren // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Have you tried the hybrid “turn to raise” crayon type – I find it much easier to apply than liquid or pencil and I’m SUPER clumsy/uncoordinated in the makeup department. Clinique’s version is called “quickliner” but many drugstore companies have their own, less expensive version.

  • 6 MP // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I walked into sephora one day a couple of years ago and asked the exact same question. they recommended “aqua eyes” by makeup for ever. love love love it. crayon-like, no sharpening. (kind of like the first week of a clinique eyeliner, but never dries out).

  • 7 emily // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I use Bare Essentuals eyeliner. Use a brush. It’s hands down the best out there. Takes a little practice at first but it looks so natural. Easy to blend too!

  • 8 Justine // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I’ve found that the crayons (I use one from CoverGirl in Kohl) are just the right amount of smudgeable if that makes any sense.

  • 9 Kate // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:34 am

    You said you want pencil, but I really like Stila’s liquid eyeliner. It has a felt tipped brush that’s virtually idiot proof. I’m pretty clumsy with eye makeup, most days I’m doing well to put on mascara without poking myself in the eye. But I always get a nice, clean line with the Stila one.

  • 10 Missy H // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I know you are looking for a pencil, but I absolutely love Smashbox’s cream eyeliner:

    So easy to apply with a flat brush like this one:

    You can achieve some pretty great looks with it – solid retro kind of line if you’re feeling Mad Men-ish, or you can get the smudge going super-easily.

  • 11 Kate // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I work for Nordstrom and have about every pencil known to man. I have many favorites that depend on what I need at that time.

    For the needs you are talking about, I suggest this Nars pencil in ‘Black Moon’.

    The color’s not too intense, there is good smudge-ability but it won’t run as much as say a kohl or kajal. This is one of the easiest pencils to use when you don’t want to use a brush.

    You can get it at Sephora, too.

  • 12 Jen // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I swear by Rimmel’s eyeliner. I love it! It’s smudgy but stays in place, and the color (I use a dark brown) is very dark and intense.

  • 13 Katherine // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Make Up Forever’s Aqua Eyes in Matte Black. It’s amazing, and comes of easily at the end of day with regular cleanser.

  • 14 Kate // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Also if you go the brush route as NINI suggested, I couldn’t live without Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. Pretty much everyone I work with has it.

  • 15 Meg // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

    MAC eyeliner is the bestest ever. The pigment is so intense and they go on so so so smooth. They also last forever, both in the pencil and on your eyes – no running or evaporating. I prefer the Eye Kohl but I’ve heard good things about their other styles.

  • 16 Deb // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencil is amazing. I get mine at Sephora. It’s waterproof yet goes on extremely easy. They have 1/3 pencil trial packs with 5 colors for a little more than one whole pencil color.

  • 17 Jessy // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I agree with Kate, a felt tipped liquid brush is worth a try anyway. I picked up a brand called Prestige from CVS that I like quite well.

  • 18 Rebekah // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I really like Laura Geller’s eyeliner called “powder pencil” (the one that has a smudger on one end). It stays on all day and is pretty reasonably priced, too.

    Another commenter mentioned the Stila liquid eyeliner, which I also have used and loved. You really can’t mess it up!

  • 19 Torrilin // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Eyeliner brush with black shadow (my current is Bare Escentuals)) always works. If you screw up, it’s very easy to fix. The nice thing about this option is it works with any eyeshadow. If you want more intense color, wet the brush.

    Otherwise, I use L’Oreal’s felt tip liquid liners. Yes I know you said no liquid… this is *easier* to use than a pencil, and is about on par with shadow/brush.

  • 20 cindy // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Oh, I agree with NiNI. But I use the gel eyeliner from Bobbi Brown. You can smudge it a bit too! It’s a bit pricey but it lasts me a long time… I don’t believe in that mascara rule – throwing it out after 3 months… I go as long as the mascara/eyeliner still works!

  • 21 LK // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I agree with Deb, Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliners are the best and will stay on and won’t smear down your face, and for $16 much cheaper and easier to apply than armani, stila, bare, bobbi.

  • 22 Sarah // Apr 9, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I’ve been using Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus for years. It goes one really smooth and smudges easily, but stays put. I notice a lot of eyeliners that smudge come right off -this one doesn’t!

  • 23 Kristin A. // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

    My fav black eyeliner is one by MAC called Phone Number. It’s a Kohl. It has lasted me forever! For everyday though I use Bare Escentuals dry and an eye liner brush. Works great and always gives that smoky smudged look.

  • 24 sam // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

    The Chanel one can’t be beaten. Lovely colour and just soft enough to smudge well.

  • 25 laura // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I agree with the eyeshadow approach…I use a stiff angled eyebrow brush with a dark brown eyeshadow (MAC handwritten). Easy to smudge, correct…put on while half awake.

  • 26 A.L. // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:05 am

    You could try Shu Uemura’s Drawing Pencils. They’re matte and stay put after you put them on. You can smudge them a little at first!

  • 27 ishi // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

    i actually switched to using black eyeshadow and applying it with a small angled brush. It looks much softer and it smudges nicely.

  • 28 Linda // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I like Rimmel’s Soft Kohl. It’s softer than most pencils so it glides on easier.

  • 29 holly // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

    i use NARS and i love it!

  • 30 Victoria // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

    MAC eyeliners are incredible. They go on smooth and stay put. I can’t imagine life without them. The colors are awesome too, I don’t know the actual names off hand but I have a black, a metal, green, purple, and gold.

  • 31 lacey // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I line my inner lids, so I’m really picky. I like MAC Kohl and also MAC Technakohl liners (and both last forever). I also have the liquid, but you have to have a really steady hand for that one.

  • 32 Maggi // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’m in the angled-eyeliner-brush camp, that’s all I use. It’s easy to apply, easy to fix if I mess up, and easy to make a very dramatic look if the brush is wetted with just a touch of water. Way easier than a wet liner, and even easier than pencils for me, which never seem to work well. I’ll show you what I’ve got when I see you this weekend?

  • 33 gemma // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I second the Urban Decay nomination. I use a few of their colours- black and a teal colour.

  • 34 elaine // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

    i’m partial to Nars, in black and dark brown. i think it works very well…

  • 35 girlrobot // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:30 am

    ok i totally have the eyeliner for you!! i did a lot of research on eyeliner because i really sucked at putting it on. try stila smudge pots and apply it using the pro platinum angled eyeliner brush #23 from sephora. just read the reviews on these two products. and after trying it myself i totally agree!

  • 36 Lana // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I swear by Rimmel exaggerate- and it’s a cheapy drugstore find! You twist the pencil just like lipstick so you don’t have to mess around with a sharpener (which I hate- you never get the same look/thickness twice and I always manage to poke myself in the eye) I have the black, sable (brown) and purple shock (not so shocking, just pretty) It smudges easily but also lasts. Wouldn’t go back to the $$$ kind.

  • 37 Sarah // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I use MAC technakohl liner in graphblack. It goes on like a cream (very easy for smudging) but dries like a pencil for long wear. It stays on me (I have oily eyelids so product slids off my eyes easily) all day. I also use the Powerpoint eye pencils they have in Buried Treasure. I love both of these!

  • 38 kirida // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I use the MAC black gel eyeliner and I think the #28 brush. It’s so foolproof it’s amazing. I used to have smudgy, goopy lines, but with this it’s perfect.

  • 39 Kelly // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:52 am

    i love Benefits BADgal liner – waterproof and perfect!


  • 40 herschel // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:02 am

    i agree with nini and laura — stiff, angled brush. i like clinique’s gel liner, dark as the dickens, doesn’t budge yet easily smudgeable.

  • 41 ivonne // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Giorgio Armani liner hands down.

  • 42 susaninfrance/texas // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    i have recently tried to switch to more organic makeup and the Physicians Formula Organic eye pencil is pretty good. I like one of their make up bases too but not the mascara or the blush. It’s certified organic and very reasonably priced and it’s at my grocery store, so its easy….it’s not a luxe brand but it works for me!

  • 43 stephanie // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I have the same problem – I’m not so good at putting it on and I’m always smudging it. As is my roomie – she’s always got eyeliner all over her face by the end of a long day at work.

    We’ve been using Almay and NO SMUDGES!

  • 44 megan // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Wow, thank you so much everybody for all the recommendations. I think I’ll have to use a dartboard to decide what to try first.

  • 45 Julia // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I know you have a ton of recommendations but I just had to chime in. I went through several different brands last year. Some were cheapy drug-store brands and others were more expensive high-end brands. The best one I’ve found is Clinique’s Quickliner for Eyes. The color stays put and doesn’t migrate. Plus, it comes with a build in smudger and doesn’t require sharpening. It’s only around $15 too so it won’t break the bank.

  • 46 sandra // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:51 am

    i have super oily eyelids or something, b/c my liner always runs. finally found use laura mercier shadow. wet an eyeliner brush slightly, load up the color, follow your eyelashes. can smudge it a bit before it dries completely, and it lasts all day!

  • 47 Valerie // Apr 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I bought a fine angle brush and after I put on pencil, I go over top with a powder shadow the same colour. I find that the liner lasts all day this way and you get the smudge when you put the powder over top.

  • 48 Malinda // Apr 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    MAC – Power Point Eye Pencil. I use stubborn brown. It stays pretty well even when sweaty, smudges but won’t run unless you are bawling your eyes out.

  • 49 Entropy's Bitch // Apr 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I have a couple extreme suggestions. Maybelline black brow pencil. The red one which requires a separate sharpener, sold in packs of two. Cheep cheep cheep, but damn. put a smutch of black/grey powder shadow over it and you are good.
    the other is Shu drawing pencil. Same idea, just 100 times the price.

    I would also experiment with WetNWild. That line is underrated, and it rocks.

  • 50 michelle // Apr 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    sorry to add one more to the mix: bobbi brown’s gel liner. la la looooove it!

  • 51 Jamie // Apr 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Benefit’s Bad Gal eye liner. It can be thin or thick, smudges easy, stays on and the stick lasts forever.

  • 52 stephanie // Apr 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I also like the Clinique quickliner. I don’t spend too much time in the AM, but this one works well with little errors. Good luck!

  • 53 Jen // Apr 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I’d have to second L’Oreal’s Infallible eyeliner. I’ve forever bought Revlon’s Colorstay Eyeliner (also great), but Infallible is better – smudgeable yet lasts all day. I have it in black and black/brown. Great price, too.

  • 54 Katie // Apr 9, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I’m going to add the nth vote for an angled brush with eyeshadow. It’s the ONLY way I can apply a good looking line. Pencils and liquid liner just look skeezy on me. Eyeshadow has enough smudge that it’s not a harsh line and it’s easy to apply if you push it into your lashline (if you drag it tends to leave a wider line – most of the time I push into the lid, lift up, and push into the next spot on the lid). I actually use an angled paint brush because I have a lot of those laying unused around the house.

    Although I will be trying some of the other suggestions listed here. I’d *love* to be able to master the art of pencil and liquid eyeliner!

  • 55 Sami Holloway // Apr 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Avon’s big color pencils– there’s a black one that goes on as smooth as any I’ve ever seen, and lasts all day.

    There’s other colors, too, and I’m addicted to the green, which can be like eyeliner or shadow.


  • 56 mare // Apr 9, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    personally, if I were wanting to find/try a product I’ve start with

  • 57 Anakalia // Apr 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    covergirl perfect point plus. easy to smudge with attached smudging sponge, stays in place, easy to apply and remove. i never leave home without it!

  • 58 Nicole // Apr 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I like the one by Origins. It even has a smudger at the other end of the pencil! (it’s not really a pencil, as it’s the roll up plastic kind)

  • 59 Amie // Apr 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I kid you not Victoria’s Secret liquid eyeliner is impossibly easy to apply. I’ve never been able to apply liquid eyeliner until VS Beauty Rush – and it’s only about $4!!! Worth even just a try at that price

  • 60 Amie // Apr 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    oh yea _ will have to 2nd, 3rd & 4th the wet brush, eye shadow option too, it creates the perfect line & you can have so many color choices.

  • 61 ASHLEY G // Apr 9, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Hands down M.A.C. eye kohl in smolder:

    their description:
    A soft-on pencil liner that lines, defines and shades the eyes with rich colour and a silky-smooth, matte/pearl finish. Ophthalmologist tested.

    And their $2 pencil sharpener is the best I’ve ever found

    If you’re looking for a brown their “teddy” is awesome. They are currently the only two eyeliners I own

  • 62 M.E. // Apr 9, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    The Urban Decay silicone pencils are good, and MAC kohl pencils are always good.

    I’d recommend a flat, angle-tipped eyeliner brush, dampened and loaded with the eyeshadow of your choice, though. Works better than anything sold as liner, pencil or liquid.

  • 63 nadarine // Apr 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I sought suggestions on this very same thing this winter- my MAC PowerPoint eyeliner tended to migrate unflatteringly to the corners of my eyes and drip down. Uncool.

    I, like Deb (#16), recommend Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliner. “Zero” is a black-black-black that stays on very well for me, and as a green-eyed lady, I also like the “Rockstar” shade for a bit of purply hit that brings up the green in my eyes.

  • 64 rachellake // Apr 9, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve been using Rimmel for years and love it – I have the waterproof and regular soft kohl pencil and both are excellent.

  • 65 Sami // Apr 9, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I’m with Sarah and Jamie – Cover Girl’s Perfect Point Plus is super cheap and effective, but the more costly Benefit Bad Gal is awesome with it’s thick line.

  • 66 hillary // Apr 9, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Put me down as another vote for Urban Decay’s liners. They’re absolutely creamy smooth and glide on like a dream. I’m pretty well past the age demographic for most of Urban Decay’s products, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll never outgrow the eyeliner.

  • 67 Star // Apr 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Ok I am super picky and hate the twist up crayon type. I have landed on Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Jet. It is awesome for smudging because it’s so soft for the first minute or so.

  • 68 Laurel // Apr 10, 2009 at 1:22 am

    I really like the eyeliner on Stila’s Convertible Eye Color stick. I use Onyx, and it’s very dark and smudgeable.

  • 69 Crystal // Apr 10, 2009 at 6:12 am

    I second what girlbot suggested, Stila smudge pots applied with a brush. It definitely has staying power and the option for a smudgy and non-smudgy looks.

  • 70 Monica // Apr 10, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I’ve used Cover Girl Perfect Blend “basic black” for years. Pencil on one end, “smudger” on the other. It’ll kill me if they ever discontinue it.

  • 71 nia // Apr 10, 2009 at 6:37 am

    I swear by the bobbi brown gel eyeliner it doesn’t budge and comes in great colors the black/brown is phenomenal. you HAVE to buy the brush though.

  • 72 sara jane // Apr 10, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I used to use the L’oreal kohl pencil.. like nia, I used the bobbi brown gel eyeliner and liked it a lot, though I just bought myself a nice artist paintbrush to apply it. I got tired of having to wash the brush out, and am now using L’Oreal Lineur intense liquid liner. It’s got a felt tip applicator, which is easier to use than the brush.. and is quite smudgeable when first applied. Wears really well all day, too.

  • 73 Courtney // Apr 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I like Revlon’s Colorstay eyeliners. The black is much softer than the other colors, but they all stay on really well and smudge well, too.

    Otherwise, I second the tip to use a dampened eyeliner brush dipped in black shadow.

  • 74 missy // Apr 10, 2009 at 7:39 am

    If you are not picky about it being a pencil, there is a great product at Avon – Satin Gel Eyeliner ( I love it and I can do so many things with the brush. I can control how much goes on and where to put it. Pencils tend to tug and pull on my eyelids. This just glides right across. Also, it stays on. Great stuff and a good price.

  • 75 Jessica // Apr 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I have to agree with several others, I have used Cover Girl’s Perfect Blend “basic black” forever. The little sponge on the other end is magic, and mistakes are easy to fix. Stays on all day. I’ve tried Rimmel but found they dont smudge as easily even though they have a nice color.

  • 76 Dana // Apr 10, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I second L’Oréal’s Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner — I was on the same quest and after using this eyeliner for a week I’m sold. Love love love

  • 77 j // Apr 10, 2009 at 8:27 am

    In my experience, wetting a small, angled eye shadow brush and using that to apply black/dark eye shadow gives a much cleaner look much more easily than any pencil. It gets in between the lashes to eliminate the weird white eyelid line between pencil and lashes, doesn’t pull the lid when applying, and can be easily applied as thin or as thick as you want.

  • 78 Marlena // Apr 10, 2009 at 9:12 am

    My search for black eyeliner ended, surprisingly, at Hot Topic. They have some sort of cheap house brand makeup there, and on a whim I picked up a black and a purple eyeliner. They rule! The black is super dark, very smudgable, but also capable of remaining in a thick black line after a night of dancing.

    On another note, I also thought I couldn’t manage liquid liner, but I bought some (again, pretty cheap) liquid liner at CVS by some company called Prestige, that went on so easily! Something about the size of the brush to the cap that made it easier for me to control. I bought the teal shade, which is great because it’s so bright and shiny… I like to wear it over black eyeshadow (by Jane… what can I say? I love cheap makeup!).

  • 79 lindsay // Apr 10, 2009 at 9:41 am

    lancome le stylo waterproof in noir:
    plenty of pigment, smudges perfectly, and waterproof.

  • 80 Tasha // Apr 10, 2009 at 9:45 am

    I dig Mary Kay eyeliners, actually. I usually think Mary Kay = old-lady makeup, but I really like their black and sable eyeliners. They go on well, smudge if you want ‘em to, and can be applied to the inner rim of your eyes, too. Otherwise, the angled brush/eyeshadow trick works really well, too.

  • 81 sassypriscila // Apr 10, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I was afraid to try liquid eyeliner but tried one from Lancome – the gal at the counter showed me how to use it. I love it – you kind of swipe it on the side of the brush rather than using the tip. If you ever want to try liquid, have someone at the makeup counter show you how to use it.

  • 82 Stephany // Apr 10, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I really enjoy Alamy mascara and eyeliner. But i’ve recently started using Garden Botanika’s eye shadows and eye base and REALLY like them – and their eyelines look pretty good! No harsh chemicals and such too to hurt your eyes.

  • 83 Spycandy // Apr 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Another vote for the Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes, they are incredible and stay on all day. The best eyeliner I’ve ever used, and I’ve tried a lot in the 13 – 14 years I’ve been wearing make-up

  • 84 JDW // Apr 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Another vote for the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner. Yes pricey (but long-lasting), and you need to buy the brush. Smudgeable when first applied only, and that stuff stays put even on my oily eyelids. Have the makeup counter person demonstrate it for you and you’ll be hooked.

  • 85 aha // Apr 10, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Bobbi Brown Gel eyeliner– it’s PERFECT

  • 86 Sarah // Apr 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Hi! my eyeliner smudges like crazy too, so i went to a typical desi/indian store and they have this eyeliner that comes in red or blue stick, its black eyeliner but the stick is a short thick red or blue case and its amazing! it stays and stays put! plus its nice and dark.

    any indian store will have it!

  • 87 Jessica // Apr 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I am a BIG fan of Ulta’s Smokey Eyes automatic eye liner. it’s very easy to smudge when first applied and really lasts BUT also washes off well. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it.

  • 88 amanda // Apr 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I haven’t seen L’Oreal HiP cream eyeliner mentioned. It comes in a little pot and I use a ELF studio angled or small brush to apply. You have time to fix it if it smudges yet it sets perfectly. You can also layer it to add the intensity that you want.

  • 89 stacy // Apr 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I tend to use eye shadow with an eyeliner brush over Urban Decay Primer Potion (magic, that stuff is!), but almost everyone I know swears by the already-suggested Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner.

  • 90 jill // Apr 10, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    i LOVE Stila’s Smudgepots.

    Soft, never hard cream that you apply with a brush.

    Beautiful colours, smudgy, stay put. Perfect.I’ll NEVER go back to a pencil.

  • 91 Carol // Apr 11, 2009 at 3:41 am

    I have been using Merle Norman Soft Touch Eye Pencils. I know Merle Norman lacks a “cool factor” but these are the best eye pencils! They don’t get that wierd dried out feeling when you apply them, they stay sharp, there is a window of time to smudge them in, and they DON’T move until you take them off. Sound perfect? They are,

  • 92 KarWar // Apr 11, 2009 at 4:31 am

    I already saw it up there on the list but the Origins pencil is the best combo of everything-kind of a gel in twist-up stick form, very creamy and has a smudger on the end

  • 93 Linda // Apr 11, 2009 at 5:17 am

    SMASHBOX wet set liner is a MUST! It comes in a smudgepot and stays on ALL DAY! You can put it on dark and then smudge to the amount you desire. I have always only used eyeliner on my lids and only used pencils but this is so incredibly easy!

  • 94 crayoneater // Apr 11, 2009 at 10:29 am

    yeah… I was a make-up tech for years. I am going to tell you the super expensive secret designer eyeliner I prefer…

    I love my eyes. It’s like 99 cents for two pencils. It’s sold right next to I love my nails clumpy purple nailpolish and I love my face lipstick tube concealer. it’s CLASSY.

  • 95 Lola // Apr 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Here’s another vote for the Avon Big Color eye pencil in Night Glisten. I also love the look of eyeliner but am horrible at applying it, and this is foolproof. Nice and soft, goes on easily, and smudges really nicely. I wear it just about every day, it’s not like a harsh black line or anything.

  • 96 jean // Apr 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I love MAC eyeliner in Smolder. It is a deep true black. I love it because it is a pencil that you can sharpen so that you can get as precise of a line as you want, so you can still achieve a natural look with it by keeping it right in the lash-line. Good luck!

  • 97 unithoRn // Apr 11, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Okay…I didn’t read all of the comments, and apologize for that, but I’m about to zip out the door and so I’ll toss you this idea:



    Put on eyeliner/shadow to desired intensity, then spritz it with a little bit of hairspray. If that freaks you out, you can always spray a bit on your finger tip and then (super gently and superquickly) dab onto your lids.

    Sounds a little crazy, but has worked for me, especially in just basic black. I have friends that go for the multiple layers of various colors, I-should-be-on-the-cover-of-Vogue look, and has mainly worked for them as well. Also helps to keep any sort of glitter from flaking away and making it’s way across your face.

    Hope this helps!

  • 98 Laura // Apr 12, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I use L’Oreal HIP (high intensity pigment) in a deep brown as eyeliner. I’m not a huge makeup wearer, so I just use the brush that came with the little pot and it works just fine. Probably if I were more invested in my “face” I’d purchase a higher quality brush. The HIP shadows come a wide range of colors and applying as an eyeliner is sooo easy this way. I always hated brushes–they were either way too hard or way too soft. And the liquid pens–not a good match for someone with less than 100% steady hands.

  • 99 Ariana // Apr 12, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I agree with the Urban Decay nomination. It’s easy to put on. Fabulous stay power too.

  • 100 christy // Apr 12, 2009 at 9:12 am

    This is a +3 for the L’oreal HIP cream eyeshadow. I have a dark purple-y color and use the brush that comes with it, too. It is the only eyeliner I have ever used that doesn’t creep up into the crease of my eye all day.

  • 101 Annie // Apr 12, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I can’t believe that out of 100 posts, only one other person mentioned Almay! I love their eyeliner. It’s one of those twist-up versions, so it doesn’t tug at my eye skin like kohl pencils do (ouch). I find it extremely smooth and easy to apply. The smear-ability of it is quite nice as well. Good luck on your eyeliner search!

  • 102 Sarah // Apr 12, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I gave up on pencils ages ago when a makeup artist took a wide, flat brush and wet it, dipped it into some powder, tapped it off and then pressed the tip of the brush in increments all along my eye lid.

    the line is great and i can smudge or not smudge as will.

  • 103 elysa // Apr 12, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I also use Covergirl perfect point plus it comes with smudgy sponge on the other end.

  • 104 Christine // Apr 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I recently strted using gel eyeliner. It can be made to look like liquid or smudgy like kohl, but with complete control. Many companies are making them now, one I like is Jane Mineral Gel Eyeliner. Give it a shot!

  • 105 Rach // Apr 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    MAC Fluidline plus the MAC 209 brush have changed my LIFE. I was using a 262 angled brush before then, and actually really hated it. I could never get a smooth enough line. But then I bought the 209 and it all changed. It takes all of two seconds to line my eyes in the morning, and it lasts all day without smudging.

    That said, my default daily face is a Joan Holloway-style cat eye with a defined brow and otherwise bare face, and I very, very rarely do a smudgey eye, so the 209 and Fluidline combination might not suit your purposes. But if you want to do a more defined line, you’ve go to get the 209 brush.

  • 106 Rach // Apr 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    As an aside, the best tip I ever learned for applying eyeliners is to start at the inner corner of your eye, rest your elbow on a counter and steady your hand by resting your pinky on your cheek. Then, instead of moving your hand, you turn your face. Makes applying liquids smooth, easy adn foolproof.

  • 107 Tammy // Apr 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Avon Glimmersticks. I draw it on, smudge a little if I want. And THEY NEVER COME OFF (until I want to, that is). The problem is, it isn’t available year-round, you have to buy bunches of them when you see it available. Call an avon rep & see!
    (And they’re cheap, too. And, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. This one works.)

  • 108 michelle // Apr 13, 2009 at 7:11 am

    I think I’m the fourth person to recommend Clinique Quickliner, but I love it so much that I had to weigh in.
    It’s easy and it always looks good.

  • 109 Kimberly // Apr 13, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I too love using an angled flat brush to line my upper lids. I use MAC’s kohl pencil to line and then the brush to smudge it in.

  • 110 Nana // Apr 13, 2009 at 9:01 am

    This is pricy, but well worth it: Permanent eyeliner (aka tattoo). I had it done eight years ago (both top and bottom) and just had it touched up. You can choose how thin or thick a line you want. [I went for subtle] Waking up looking awake is awesome.

    Love it soooo much that I just ‘invested’ in lip liner.

  • 111 Christi // Apr 13, 2009 at 10:37 am

    try Sephora’s slim line pencil
    for $5 it’s a steal
    goes on smooth, blends beautifully
    stays in place all day

  • 112 theresa // Apr 13, 2009 at 11:48 am

    love your blog! when you do find one that works fantastically (i’m sure that’s a word!), can you post a review on it?

  • 113 Jackie // Apr 13, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    L’Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner is great. It sounds like everything you are looking for in an eyeliner. You have to work a little fast if you want to smudge it, because it sets after a few seconds. It looks like a liquid eyeliner when applied, but the pencil is a lot like a felt tip marker. It lasts all day too.

  • 114 Rachel // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:49 am

    FWIW, I don’t wear a lot of make up. Stila’s smudgepots are awesome though and I always get compliments on it. I highly recommend investing in it. I use it everyday and haven’t made a dent in it yet. You can adjust the intensity simply by pressing harder or lighter on the brush when applying. One note: it dries quickly so if you want to smudge a bit, do it before going to the next eye.

    I have oilyish skin and don’t wear foundation or powder or anything so, most eyeliners tend to schmear by EOD. The stila stuff lasts all day (and into the next if you want). It also washes off easily.

  • 115 megan // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I am overwhelmed by all the suggestions. I will never run out of new ones to try at this rate.

  • 116 floridagal // Apr 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Please report in when you’ve tried something. :)

  • 117 Suniverse // Apr 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I love love love Clinique’s eye pencils. And the cream eyeliner is amazing – but it has a bit of shimmer, so not for you if you want matte.

    Great ideas from everyone else. I want to try them all.

  • 118 Stella // Apr 15, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I’m pretty happy with Ulta’s brand of eyeliners. I have the black and usually use it for evenings out. I use their Olive/Khaki one for everyday and it really brings out the green in my eyes.

  • 119 Mel // Apr 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Make Up Designory, a school in Burbank, CA…has a fantastic kohl pencil for under $10. moves great for smudging and is uber soft.

  • 120 Lisa // Apr 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Revlon ColorStay. I really like it. I found the MAC to smudge a little too much on my upper lid.

  • 121 Tempest // Apr 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I echo the Bare Essentuals suggestions. I use the powder eyeshadow in a dark brown, smoky purple or black color with the liner brush – dry (although wet works too). NO bleed into the crease – and that NEVER happens for me. Stays on all day long – again, not usual for me. I was stunned the first time I tried it. Figured it was a fluke. Has worked every time since.

  • 122 Karen // Apr 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Benefit’s She-laq is an amazing fluid that you paint/brush over whatever makeup you are wearing. When it dries (invisibly), that makeup is not coming off until you take it off. It comes in a little bottle with assorted brushes (mascara-type, lip brush, one for eyes). It adds some time to makeup application, but for special occasions it is perfect.

  • 123 PallasJay // Apr 16, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    The MAC “liquid” (ish) liner which comes in a pot, rather than a stick, is fantastic. You just use an eyeliner brush, rather than a built-in applicator brush, and it gives you a lot more control and precision (though not so good if you’re going for a smoky/smudgy look). It sounds a bit scary at first, but it really does work wonderfully well, and lasts forever.

  • 124 coco+kelley // Apr 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    wow – 122 comments, so you probably DON’T need another recommendation, and may have already had this one, but i adore the latest chanel liner. goes on like a dream, is totally smudgeable when necessary, has a bit of shimmer to it in some of the colors (i use the deep deep green with a bit of gold to accent my eyes). totally stays in place. it’s fantastic.

  • 125 Joanne // Apr 17, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Here’s another vote for Mac Kohl in smolder. It goes on like a dream & smudges nicely.

  • 126 Taryn // Apr 18, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I use Smolder from Mac, execellent for what you are trying to use it for. My fave was Too faced Lava Gloss Black pencil. I found that I would tear up every time I used it. But I have sensitive eyes

  • 127 Natalie // Apr 20, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Rimmel Exaggerate in Noir. It is inky black, smooth coverage and waterproof.

  • 128 jackie // Apr 26, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Aveda. super dark and smudgy (if you want it to be, stays put when you want it to) and it’s good for both you and the environment.

  • 129 Nichole // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I also have permanent (tattoo) eyeliner and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I got it done about 4 or 5 years ago and my bottom lids still look amazing. I need to have my top ones done again, but just haven’t gotten around to it. One of the best investments I’ve ever made! :)

  • 130 Charlotte // May 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Milani, true black pencil.

    Best I’ve ever used. Creamy, easily smudged, but stays in place.

  • 131 fbl // May 7, 2009 at 7:09 am

    #3’s comments are what I use except I run the brush(must get the right thin angled eye liner brush) under water first to make the liner stick to the eye better than a shadow.(it also makes it darker) i also use Mac and this way you can also use the shadow as a shadow! I’m 44 and have tried a thousand pencils. This is the best bet. I also don’t have the steadiest hand but this works fantastic for me. (I rest my palm on my chin when applying)

  • 132 fbl // May 7, 2009 at 7:11 am

    oops…in re-reading #3, they use a pencil, I use the actual eye shadow and dip the brush in it, not a pencil at all. sorry!

  • 133 Holly // Jan 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I don’t have enough attention span to read through 123 comments, so I don’t know if any one mentioned L’Oreal H I P creme eyeliner. It isn’t a pencil, however, it comes in a pot and you use a brush. But that stuff absolutely will not budge once it is on. Love it.

  • 134 Mae // Jan 13, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Hi! I know i’m a bit too late with this. But i’ve been using the AVON Glimmersticks Eyeliner and i swear by it. I’ve tried all the expensive brands, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Lancome, you name it. But this is cheap and it lasts. Also glides and is very easy and sturdy to use. I hope you give it a try.

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