Staying stocked up on makeup essentials shouldn’t blow your budget. Sure, you might splurge on certain can’t-live-without favorites but when it comes to eyeliner, in particular, there are plenty of drugstore picks that are just as good as their prestige counterparts.
From liquid liners to creamy pencils to wing stamps (yes, stamps), the options can become slightly overwhelming. So how do you find the best drugstore eyeliner for you? It’s all about identifying your needs first, like the type of line you’re looking to achieve (thin and precise? smudgy and smokey?), how long you need your liner to last, and more.
Because time always seems to be in short supply, we’ve done the hard, sanity-saving work of identifying the best drugstore eyeliners. Best of all? They’re all under $15, so you can find your perfect pick without overspending. Feast your eyes ahead.
Anyone else fangirling over Eyeko London’s Fat Liquid Eyeliner? We love how easily this chubby pen glides on. Not only does the smudge-proof formula last all damn day (PRAISE) but it contains Algae Extract (s/o to those of you with sensitive eyes) and comes in the blackest carbon-black. Danielle on Amazon even recommends it for beginners: “The chunky handle makes this easy to hold since I have shaky hands, and helped me apply my first eyeliner look. I have oily lids, yet the product stayed on all day, and only came off when I wiped it off with a micellar water.” If you’re in the market for BIG drama—a rare date night with the hubs, perhaps?!—then allow Eyeko to work its magic. With this holy grail beauty product in your arsenal, you’ll be mastering the perfect feline flick in no time.
Precise application? That’s what we’re here for. Neutrogena’s felt tip liquid eyeliner might as well be flawless—just one easy stroke (no fraying) and voilà. Formulated with natural honey and coconut, this all-star water-resistant liner dries quickly and lasts hella long. We’re talking from a.m. to p.m. Being a busy mom means on-the-go touch-ups are 100 percent out of the question. Brandi W. on Amazon raves, “Great price and stays on. I’ve tried expensive and cheap eyeliners and after a few hours they smudge and start [looking like] raccoon eyes (I also have oily skin and do wing liner). This eyeliner stays on all day, which is a first for me.” If you have sensitive skin then you know what a pain in the ass it can be finding hypoallergenic makeup brands. Once again, Neutrogena FTW.
If there’s one clutch makeup product you absolutely can’t leave the house without, it’s a bomb eyeliner that makes you look (and feel) like a red carpet starlet. We don’t typically like to play favorites but when you find a liner that’s cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, vegan, and long-lasting (up to 8-hours of wear), you know you’ve struck gold. We personally love the flexible tip found on Honest Beauty’s liquid eyeliner that can be used to achieve any style you desire—whether you keep it simple with a straight-edge line or go glam with a bold wing. Bonus: All Honesty Beauty products are clean and made from plant-derived ingredients. Wilkey from Amazon says: “I’m in love with this eyeliner! I have sensitive skin to the point that I break out in hives if I use most traditional makeup. This eyeliner not only works amazingly, but does NOT cause any issues for my skin!”
Not a pro? Not a problem. An ergonomic design that fits perfectly into your palm and ensures a flawless line makes this the best drugstore liquid eyeliner for a beginner.
Almost every NYX eyeliner is a drugstore MVP, beloved by customers all over. In addition to thousands of positive reviews online, this matte-finish formula comes with an ultra-fine precision brush for building thin to thick lines, and can easily be crowned best drugstore liquid eyeliner.
This smooth, rich formula is long-wearing, waterproof, and allows for every look from smoldering and smoky to winged and defined. It also comes in a twist-up, self-sharpening pencil, because exactly no one wants to have to dig through her makeup bag for a sharpener.
Gel eyeliners are great for Type A personalities, thanks to their easy-to-layer application and the fact that the user can choose (read: control) brush size and line thickness. This creamy highly-concentrated option was designed to last up to 24 hours, so you can hold onto a dramatic look all day, if you please.
In addition to a wheel tip that allows for thin, precise lines, Revlon’s waterproof ColorStay Exactify liner is designed to last up to 24 hours, without smudging, smearing, or fading. Whether you’ve got a wedding, party, or long workday in your future, this drugstore eyeliner will go the distance.
For an ultra-fine, sleek look, opt for this liquid eyeliner pen. Measuring at .4 millimeters, the felt tip delivers a smooth, continuous, quick-drying line so you’re in total control (for up to 12 hours of wear, at least).
Meant to be used with magnetic eyelash sets, this waterproof, smudge-proof eyeliner goes on just like any liquid liner. It’s made with tiny magnetic particles to hold magnetic eyelashes, so you can skip the salon eyelash extensions in favor of an easy at-home method. (In case you were wondering, the liner goes on first, then the magnetic lashes.)
The perfect cat eye is at your fingertips, literally, with this winged eyeliner stamp. Smudge-proof and waterproof, it stamps an identical wing on each eye every time, and shaves time off your makeup routine!
White eyeliner is the tired-eyed woman’s secret weapon. To fake wider, brighter, awake eyes, line your waterline with this waterproof, pearlescent white that’s also smudge-proof and self-sharpening. You’ll instantly camouflage the side effects of sleepless nights, hangovers, allergies, and more.
Want to keep it natural? Burt’s Bees’ liner is made with 99.9% natural-origin ingredients including responsibly-sourced cedar, jojoba, meadowfoam seed, and mango oil. Free of parabens, pthalates, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and other chemicals, this drugstore eyeliner is also never tested on animals!
Aside from boasting a creamy, glide-on formula that has major lasting power, this retractable NYX eyeliner pen has a fine point tip that never needs sharpening. Just twist the tube up to use, then back down to keep it fresh (and protected from breakage) for next time!
In the mood for high-intensity color? Rimmel’s waterproof kohl liner is ultra-creamy, long-lasting, and makes a lasting impact. Use it along your waterline or smudge it across your lids for a smoldering look.
A great eyeliner that can create both precise lines and soft, smokey eyes is beauty-bag gold. Covergirl’s creamy Perfect Blend Pencil is blendable and stays put, and doesn’t skimp on pigment, either. Whether you want a simple, clean look or a sultry smudge, this drugstore buy gives you bang for your buck.
Found your go-to eyeliner and saved some money? Score! If you want to keep riding that budget-beauty high, shop these best drugstore eyeshadow primers.