Eyeliner is something that most women love, own and experiment with. That handy-dandy pencil has so much more useful than just lining our eyes. Most of us associate eyeliner and Kohl as something that makes us look fresh, awake and put together - even on our worst days. With a weapon so handy, it’s only natural to want to have the best. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of eyeliners - some have stood the test of time and some have not. Some were expensive while some were unbelievably affordable. I’ve put together a list of eyeliners that will address whatever budget you might have. Whatever be your vice, formula or colour, you will find here some of the best eyeliners - drugstore as well as high-end available in India.
When it comes to lining your eyes, we’ve got so many possibilities. Maybe you like the precision of a pencil that needs sharpening, maybe you prefer to use a brush or you want something multi-purpose? We’re going to help you figure out what type of eyeliner is best for you!
If you’re just starting out with eye makeup, the simplest tool you can pick up is an eyeliner pencil. Eyeliner pencils come in two types, one is the pencil you have to sharpen and the other is a twist-up eyeliner. If you don’t want to struggle with sharpening your eyeliner every time you use it, buy a twist-up pencil. It’s easier to use however you might not be able to get that sharp cat eye once it’s original sharp tip wears off.
Liquid eyeliner is a great choice if you’re good with a paintbrush and have a little bit of artistic talent. It makes drawing the finest line along your eyes extremely easy! The upside of a liquid liner over a pencil or gel is that it doesn’t smudge and will stay put all day.
For all of you who would like more bang for your buck, gel eyeliner is perfect. You can use it as an eyeliner, kohl or even a base shadow for your smokey eyes. It’s versatile and easy to use and makes creating winged liner very easy too. Just get yourself a fine tip liner brush and you’ll be all set.
This is probably the best type of eyeliner you can pick up if you love creating sharp, cat eyes. It is essentially a felt-pen, remember those fun colours we used in school? Yep, it’s just that. Felt tip eyeliners come with a long, tapered brush-like tip. Some have dense bristles and some have a firm felt tip. Either one makes winged eyeliner effortless. Just place the tip of the eyeliner flat along the outer corner of your eye. This will create a rough guide for you to draw your winged liner. Easy peasy!
Now that you know what type of eyeliner you want, here are the best eyeliners to invest in!
Here's some celeb-inspiration for you! Check out these Bollywood actresses rocking the coloured eyeliner trend!
Wet n’ Wild makes some really great cruelty free makeup. This best drugstore pencil eyeliner is definitely value for money. Choose from 5 shades including a nude and a white - the formula is great too. While this might not last all day on oily eyelids or watery eyes, it’s definitely something worth considering because of the price.
Looking for fun eyeliner colours to experiment with? This range has glimmering black, gold, bronze, white and even lavender for you to play around with. It’s a twist up a pencil which means you don’t have to bother to sharpen it.
NYKAA Glamoreyes Eyeliner Pencil (Rs 450)
These are metallic creamy eyeliner pencils. They come in 11 stunning colours and the formula is really great. It glides on your eyes like a dream and stays put all day. You can even use it as an eyeshadow because the formula is pretty creamy and blendable.
This eyeliner pencil is dual ended, giving you the best of a felt tip and a pencil eyeliner. Toss it into your bag and you won’t need anything else to get ready! You can choose the colour you want on the pencil side of this from a black, gold or silver.
Lakme Absolute Kohl Ultimate Kajal (Rs 850)
If you’re looking for an eyeliner pencil that doubles up as fantastic, long-lasting kohl, this one from Lakme won’t disappoint. It’s got 5 shades for you to pick and choose and it comes with a silicone smudger on the other end. The formula is creamy and glides on very comfortably and won’t smudge all day. It stays put in your waterline too!
Lakme Insta Liner Eye Liner (Rs 110)
An oldie but a goodie, this nail polish bottle liquid eyeliners from Lakme is something most of us remember using or seeing our moms using. The brand has left the packaging the same and the formula untouched. The eyeliner dries down to a beautiful matte black finish and the brush is super fine. You can really control how thin or thick a line you draw with this one.
Nykaa GLAMOReyes Liquid Eyeliner (Rs 299)
If you love a good metallic eyeliner, you will enjoy using this. The range has 7 beautiful metallic colours to choose from and the brush tip is nice and short making precise application possible! At this price, you definitely can’t go wrong!
If you’re looking for a glossy black eyeliner, this one from Maybelline is really good. It offers a high shine finish and dries down quickly staying in place all day. The brush on this too is a short, fine, pointed tip.
If you’re looking for a liquid eyeliner to dazzle all your wedding and festive season outfits, this is what you need. It is a metallic eyeliner infused with tiny shimmer pigments that give your eyes the prettiest line of colour. It glitters under all the right light! Available in 5 shades, the brush tip applicator is nice and long - makes creating those dramatic cat eyes a breeze!
Colorbar All-Matte Eyeliner (Rs 700)
Love liquid eyeliner but hate the shine? This matte-finish liquid eyeliner is the solution! It’s available in 4 stunning shades and will leave your eyes perfectly lined minus the shine. It’s a great packaging, the brush is a felt tip and it’s definitely value for money.
Blue Heaven Sketch Eye Liner (Rs 225)
If you’re looking for a super affordable eyeliner, this one is great. It’s also waterproof and smudge-proof so if you’re planning to wear eyeliner on a day out and about in the rain or even on a sweaty day, this could perform well. You pay for what you get, while the quality might not be up to the mark it’s not a bad eyeliner.
Wet n Wild ProLine Felt Tip Eyeliner (Rs 399)
If you don’t mind spending a little more on eyeliner, I would recommend this wet and wild eyeliner pen. It does what it claims and it’s super easy to use. Bonus points for being cruelty-free!
A classic, cult favourite eyeliner from Maybelline is this Colossal one. The kohl pencil and this felt tip eyeliner have been around and among the brands best sellers for years now. It’s got a nice long tip to help you line your eyes quickly and the pencil really does stand the test of time. It’s not going to dry out very quickly, just don’t leave the cap open. The eyeliner has a glossy finish.
Colorbar Ultimate Eye Liner (Rs 550)
This eyeliner from Colorbar is just as good as the above Maybelline one. The only major difference here is the finish, while the Maybelline is slightly glossy - this one dries down to a matte finish. Both of the eyeliners stay put all day. So you can pick either one!
If you’re looking for a felt tip eyeliner in some fun colours, this one from L’Oreal comes in some funky blues and greens. The colours are intensely pigmented and almost pastel-like if you will. The brush is a brush-tip making precise application and artistic precision much, much easier!
One of the absolute best gel eyeliners at the drugstore is this one, no matter which other gel eyeliner you try, I assure you that you will keep coming back to this. It’s a matte black eyeliner and it’s smudge-proof. If you’re lucky you can pick it up during a sale for as less as Rs. 325. It comes with a brush and it can be used as kajal, liner or even a base for smokey eyes. This small pot will easily last you an entire year even with daily application.
Perhaps you want to do more than just some regular ol' coloured eyeliner. Bollywood will give you all the inspiration you need to step out of your comfort zone!
If you’re an experienced makeup junkie, you know some luxury eyeliners are totally worth the splurge. Here are some of the best luxury eyeliners that your money can buy.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (Rs 1,450)
Much like the Maybelline gel eyeliner, this one is essentially the high-end counterpart. This one is available in a wide variety of colours and finishes for you to choose from. It’s matte, long-lasting and can also be used as eyeshadow.
M.A.C Crayon Kajal Eye Liner (Rs 2,100)
If you’re torn up between buying an expensive eyeliner or expensive kohl, this product will solve both those problems. It’s a thick, creamy eyeliner in traditional kohl-like packaging. It’s available in a lot of fun colours so if you just like smudging liner on your lids, you will definitely enjoy this formula - It’s very malleable until it sets.
If you’re looking for an eyeliner that will stay on come rain or shine, this one is a great deal. It’s a gel suspended into a pencil. You have to twist and push to release gel out of the nib, much like one of those ink pens. The tip is slanted so if you want to create a small wing, this pencil makes it extremely easy! Make sure you have waterproof eye makeup remover handy or this is not coming off!
Smashbox Always On Liquid Liner (Rs 1,500)
This is a felt tip eyeliner with a relatively long tip and very flexible. It makes applying eyeliner an absolute dream. If you’re a beginner, I would definitely recommend you splurge on this. The formula is richly pigmented so your lids are going to be left with the blackest black line. And if you thought your cat eye is never even, this pencil will definitely help!
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This story was updated in March 2019.