Eyeliners are one of those things we all have in our make-up bags but use, whether it's a liquid, pencil or gel formula, in totally different ways. Whatever your eyeliner needs, find one you love in our pick of the 10 best and find out how to apply eyeliner with our must-watch videos...
Used correctly, an eyeliner can be the weapon in your make-up bag that allows you to conquer the world - or at least feel like you can. It’s easily one of the most versatile products you could own, and having more than one formula in your arsenal will diversify your look like that. Since its birth in Ancient Egypt (Cleopatra rocked her wings long before Alexa Chung), it’s developed into a tool of transformation for women all over the world.
For 2017, it’s not about flawless flicks - liner’s gone cool-girl graphic. Fendi showed us interrupted black liner, leaving centre of the eye completely blank to highlight an exaggerated wing; make your tribute to it wearable by downsizing the wing on each corner. Coloured liner is having a moment, too, with chalk white and cobalt blue emerging as millennial favourites. It’s not just sharp angles, though - sexy, smudgy liner’s had a major upgrade thanks to a slick of eye gloss, lending a vinyl-like finish.
With all the different formulas and colours to choose from, it can be confusing to figure out what exactly will suit you best. Our recommendation? Try as many as you can, be fearless, and keep practising. To make your life that little bit easier, we've broken down exactly what you can expect from every type of liner:
Liquid. Great for perfecting a precise line that won’t budge, but a disaster if you’re running late. Choose a dip-brush pot if you have a steady hand, or a nifty marker pen for foolproof flicks. Keep it on the upper lash line so it flatters your eye, and allow it to dry before blinking, else you’ll end up with a messy imprint all over your eyelid.
Pencil. Probably the most forgiving formula, it can be pushed around the lash line and blended out without looking messy. Some are very clever and lock into place a minute after application, meaning that perfectly smudgy liner won’t budge at all. Nestle it between your lashes for a softly defined eye, or diffuse a strong line for Bardot-bedroom eyes. For sharp, punchy impact, run it along your upper and lower water lines - just remember to check throughout the day for excess liner in the corners of your eye.
Gel. The perfect in-between of liquid and pencil, it glides onto your lids and stays put. It’s thicker than liquid, so you’ll need a slim liner brush to control the line and some liquid liner to perfect a wing. It dries quickly, so work on one eye at a time and try not to leave the pot open for too long. If you struggle with controlling liquid liner, then gel is for you.
Black. The most dramatic and classic hue, it makes blue eyes pop and defines your peepers like nothing else. It can look harsh on fair skin tones, so opt for a brown or grey instead.
Brown. It's so ideal for softly defining the eye, and gives your face impact that's beautifully understated. Run it along your waterline for some subtle impact.
Nude. If your eyes betray just how tired you are, then you need to make best friends with nude liner. Pick one a shade lighter than your skin tone and pass it over your waterline for some wide-awake, bright-eyed beauty.
Colours. They're so fun to play with, but can also magically bring out your eye colour. Brown eyes come alive with navy blues and forest greens, hazel and green-eyed girls should opt for burgundies and purples, and blue eyes stand out with reddish-oranges and rusty browns.
So you know what kind of eyeliner you want, but how do you master those elegant feline flicks? Our Beauty To Go video shows you exactly how to cheat your way to the perfect winged liner.
VIDEO: 2 Genius Tricks For Feline Flicks
With the festive holidays fast approaching, it's worth making the most of the shopping deals to make sure your cat eye is on point with the best tools. With the best Net a Porter deals, Black Friday Amazon deals, best Black Friday makeup deals and best Black Friday beauty deals on the horizon, there's an opportunity to snag better for less this month. If you're having trouble wrapping your head around the shopping chaos, we've also put together a Black Friday shopping guide and a Black Friday sales UK page where we'll be collating everything from Black Friday engagement ring sales to Black Friday clothing sales.
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Whatever your eyeliner needs, or trends you want to trial, find one (or three) you love in our pick of the 10 best...
For a budge-proof eyeliner recommendation tailored to you, new beauty site on the block will help.
1. Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner, £5.28
It's not the more expensive the better, as Rimmel's liquid eyeliner proves. The long wand makes for a controlled and easy application for a bold, precise line or cat's eye flick. It's long-wearing so will stay on all day without smudging or flaking but be careful to keep the lid on as the nib can get dry if not.
Available at | £5.28
2. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner, £25.28
This award-winning Chanel eyeliner pencil is perfect for on-the-move application. It's retractable and has a sharpener attached so you don’t have to worry about it drying out, breaking or getting blunt. Not only is it practical but it's seriously hard-wearing, smudge-proof and long-lasting meaning the smooth, defined lines will last all day long. We're loving the soft brown Marron Glasse for fair complexions, Iris, a luminous violet-plum blue for brightening up medium skin tones and the bold Bleu Metallique, an electric and radiant ultramarine shade, for dark complexions.
Available at | £25.28
3. L'Oreal Super Liner, £6.99
This is the first gel liner in a pen format from L’Oreal and they've nailed it. From the matte effect and dense colour to the easy application and seriously long-wearing formula, this one eyeliner earns its place in your make-up bag, and for under £7.
Available at | £6.99
4. Clarins 3-Dot Liner, £18.28
Clarins' revolutionary 3-Dot Eyeliner allows you to deliver fine, fluid lines with serious ease. It's perfect if you like a fine line to accentuate the lashes on the upper lid for a natural, wide-eyed look.
Available at | £18.28
5. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner, £22
A winner of our Best Beauty Buy Awards last year, Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliner is an industry favourite. Easy to apply and seriously long-wearing, draw on with a fine brush, which is more forgiving than a liquid eyeliner applicator, and it'll dry to a non-smudging, pigment-heavy line.
Available at | £22.00
6. Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner, £19.00
Benefit's They're Real Push Up Liner is ideal if you struggle to create a line super-close to the lashes. You just draw the long-wearing gel formula on to the lid and it won't budge until you take it off.
Available at | £19.00
7. Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Glide-On Eye Pencil, £13.99
If you are looking for a liner that is less liquid more pencil, but still creamy and blendable – look no further. This Urban Decay eye pencil is revolutionary as the formula can be perfected for about 30 seconds, then it dries to a pretty un-budgeable line. Ideal for your day to day colours as well as some party-ready metallic shades.
Available at | £13.99
8. Nars Liquid Eyeliner Stylo, £19.99
Super-quick and easy to apply, this NARS liquid eyeliner is easy to control and work into the perfect fine line or flick which lasts a whole day. We love.
Available at | £19.99
9. MAC Fluidline Eyeliner, £23.71
MAC's Fluidline gel liner is a real favourite. Smooth it on with a brush and you can make the line and defined or smudgy as you want, and it'll stay. The best thing is they come in an incredible range of colours and the pots last for ages.
Available at | £23.71
10. Guerlain Khol Me Kajal Creamy Eyeliner, £17.00
If you don’t want to pay for a new eyeliner, a new gel liner and a new eye shadow – look no further, as Guerlain have created this incredible 3-in-1 product. It’s does exactly what it says on the tin, so no longer will your make-up bag be overflowing with numerous products. Instead, you've got a versatile formula which will provide a tailormade look for day and night. We LOVE.
Available at | £17.00
11. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Liquid Eyeliner
This little beauty is perfect for anyone on the go. It's high impact, high performance formula gives you a beautiful matte finish that really will last all day.
Available at | £24.00