I can't tell you how many times I've said, "I'm just looking for that one [insert beauty product of choice here] that really works." And it's partially true. If I could find that holy-grail mascara or toothpaste or eyeliner, I would be committed. I'd stop spending money on major makeup hauls. That is, until something brand new and totally awesome is invented. Such is the gripe of the beauty fanatic.
Recently, I've been on the hunt for the perfect eyeliner. I'm talking the entire package: tear-proof, opaque black, smooth application, and cat-eye friendly. I started my hunt on the Internet. I scoured sites like Reddit , Sephora , Ulta , and Amazon to read countless reviews and bestseller lists. In the end, I discovered these six formulas that have earned cult followings. The list includes both prestige and drugstore, liquid pens and smudgy pencils, waterproof and classic wear. So, it's safe to say that you'll find your new favorite eyeliner ahead.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black
This story could be an ode to just this particular Stila eyeliner. Seriously, this felt-tip pen is noted as a "holy grail" by many users on Reddit. Plus, it's a steady bestseller wherever it's sold, and thousands of users have weighed in. It's been praised as an all-day fix for oily eyelids, an easy-to-use product for beginners, and even a sweat-proof solution for women who love to work out. If you want to know the most popular eyeliner out there, Stila wins—hands down.
Get It: $22, amazon.com
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner has gained steam as another cult favorite. It's a bestseller on Sephora, and it has the Reddit seal of approval. Women with watery eyes swear by this long-wear formula, and some are even saying it tops Stila as a favorite. What makes the application unique with this product is that the tip is an actual brush. So even though it's easy to apply like felt marker, it gives that liquid liner effect.
Get It: $19, sephora.com
Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner in Black
Prefer a pencil? Turn to this Rimmel eyeliner. The kohl formula is great for creating a smudgy smoky eye. You can also apply this pencil to your waterline (the inside of the lower lash line), and once it's set it will stay put through tears or a sweat session. Reddit users are fanatics for the nude shade for brightening the eyes. Warning: Reading the reviews, you'll see this creamy liner can be tough to sharpen. Stick it in the freezer overnight before attempting to return this product to a sharp point.
Get It: $7, amazon.com
Maybelline New York Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner in Black
If you're not up for spending $20 on an eyeliner, Master Precise ranks as one of the bestselling drugstore finds and is often considered a great dupe for the top luxe liners. While this product isn't waterproof, it has that same inky liquid finish in an easy pen applicator. The felt tip allows you to get super thin lines or you can turn the marker to the side to get a thicker wing. Pro tip: Store your eyeliner upside down to avoid the product drying out.
Get It: $6, amazon.com
Urban Decay Cosmetics 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion
A fan fave on Ulta, this Urban Decay staple is perfect if you love pencil. You could go with a classic black color like Perversion, but this product comes in over 35 shades from hot pink to slate gray. While this is a longwear formula, you can still get a smudged, smoky look if you work quickly. Makeup artists rave about this pencil because it doesn't drag on the eyelid, meaning even a beginner can get a smooth line.
Get It: $20, ulta.com
L'Oréal Paris The Super Slim Eyeliner in Infallible
This liner makes the top three of bestselling eyeliners on Amazon. While it isn't as long-lasting as some of the waterproof formulas on this list, this is a favorite dupe for women with watery or sensitive eyes. And you won't have to poke your eye out trying to remove it either. The felt tip allows for precise lines and even wings. Many fans of this pen have been using it for years. So, it's a classic formula that still gets the job done.
Get It: $6, amazon.com