If you ask us, waterproof eyeliner is a makeup bag must-have. And here’s why: No matter how quickly you’re able to do the rest of your makeup, eyeliner requires you to slow down a little bit. It’s precise, delicate work—especially if you’re drawing a cat eye or creating an exaggerated graphic liner look. And when you spend quality time (that could be spent sleeping in) perfecting your liner, you want to make sure it doesn’t melt off when confronted with a little moisture.
The best waterproof eyeliner formulas, of course, hold up to sweat, rain, and humidity. But for long-lasting wear, you’ll also want a formula that’s bold, easy to apply, and totally smudge-resistant. That may seem like a tall order, but we’ve got you covered. Whether you prefer pencil, gel, or liquid formulas, we have the smudge-proof eyeliner to fit your needs. Find all our favorites, ahead.
Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils
Pencil eyeliners are a classic for a reason: They’re super versatile and user-friendly. You can use these easy-to-apply formulas to subtly line your lash line, create a bold wing, or even define your waterline.
For bold and bright looks, try Epic Wear Eyeliner Sticks. Available in 33 shades (and both matte and metallic finishes), these long-lasting pencils offer up to 36 hours of waterproof, fade-proof color. Use your favorite hue to add definition to your upper and lower lash lines, or draw outside the lines to create one-of-a-kind graphic looks that won’t budge. Keep the pencil tip nice and sharp for each use with our double pencil Sharpener.
If you’d prefer a waterproof eyeliner pencil you don’t have to sharpen, try our Retractable Eyeliner. The creamy liner is housed in a twist-up tube—so it never needs to be sharpened. Just twist, apply, and enjoy long-lasting, high-impact color.
Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
For ultra-sharp wings and graphic accents, liquid eyeliner can’t be beat. And to ensure your look stands up against the elements (think: rain and humidity), you’ll want to reach for a waterproof liquid eyeliner formula. We have a few for you to choose from:
First up is our iconic Epic Wear Liquid Liner. The semi-permanent formula boasts a flexible brush tip for easy application and applies smoothly, without tugging or pulling. Once dry, it has a matte finish that won’t crack, bleed, or fade.
Another great smudge-proof eyeliner option is the award-winning Epic Ink Waterproof Liquid Liner. Available in two classic shades—pure black and rich brown—the felt-tip eyeliner allows you to create fluid, seamless lines with ultimate control. Use light pressure to create thin lines, or press down a touch for thicker, bolder strokes.
Pro Tip: A steady hand is a must for nailing a liquid liner look. If your lines are looking shaky, make sure you’re sitting down to do your makeup. Then, prop your elbow on a surface (like your vanity). This will help give you more control.
Gel Waterproof Eyeliner
Gel eyeliners are known for their creamy, ultra-pigmented formulas, which go on smoothly without tugging. They’re also very blendable, which can be great for creating easy smokey eye looks. Gels aren’t quite as thick as a crayon or pencil but far more solid than a liquid liner. And, usually, they come in a small pot and require you to use a thin brush to apply your liner. There are also some waterproof gel liners that are less traditional in their packaging, including options with built-in applicators. These tend to be our preference due to the ease and convenience.
Our Epic Wear Metallic Liquid Liner, for example, is a gel-liquid hybrid, with the brush-tip applicator built right into the cap. Each of the six intensely-pigmented metallic shades delivers up to 36 hours of fade-resistant wear with a bold, reflective finish. Use the waterproof eyeliner formula to add a pop of shine to your lash line, or draw on your body to create one-of-a-kind temporary tattoos.
Waterproof Eyeliner FAQs
What’s The Best Waterproof Eyeliner for Your Waterline?
Generally speaking, we recommend using a waterproof pencil eyeliner for your waterline (our Epic Wear Eyeliner Sticks are a great choice). The reason for pencil over liquid is simple: Liquid eyeliner takes time to dry, and it’s pretty difficult to prevent yourself from blinking while the drying occurs. Pencil eyeliners, on the other hand, have no dry time—so you can define your waterline and blink without worrying about the product smudging.
What Are The Best Waterproof Eyeliner Colors
Neutral colors like black and brown are a great option for everyday looks since they’re versatile and flatter pretty much everyone. But you can (and should!) wear any eyeliner color you want. Pink, purple, blue—even metallic!—all make for a bold and fun statement. If pastels are your jam, try Epic Wear Waterproof Liner Sticks in the shade Periwinkle Pop (a silver-flecked light purple) or Cosmic Yellow (a bright, lemony hue). For a metallic finish, we love Epic Wear Metallic Liquid Liner in the shades Teal Metal and Fuschia Metal.
How Do You Make Eyeliner Stay On?
If you’re reading this article, you’re already on the right track—the best way to ensure your eyeliner stays put is to opt for a waterproof formula. Other things you can do to help keep your eyeliner in place include priming your eye area before application and setting your look with makeup setting spray.
How Do You Remove Long-Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner?
A true smudge-proof eyeliner won’t come off with water alone—that’s the whole point. To remove it, you’ll want to use a dedicated makeup remover or micellar water. Soak a cotton round in the makeup remover of your choosing, then hold it over your eye for a few moments before (gently!) swiping it off.
Whether you use it to create ‘90s-inspired eyeliner looks, rock a classic cat eye, or experiment with different ways of wearing it, having a dependable waterproof eyeliner in your collection is a must. But to complete your look, you may need more than that. Check out our range of eyeshadows, false lashes, and mascaras for a head-turning eye makeup look you’ll love. Not sure what to buy? Test out our full range with our virtual try-on tool.
Got a waterproof eyeliner look you want to show off? Share a pic (or several) on social and tag us @NYXCosmetics