Black eyeliners are the LBDs of the makeup world—they’re simple, versatile, and can easily take you from day to night. But like LBDs, there are a lot of them out there, and it can be confusing to figure out which ones will make you look svelte and Charlize Theron–esque and which ones, well, won’t. Thus, we took it upon ourselves to ask the utmost experts on the matter: makeup artists. Ahead, you’ll find 10 black eyeliners that industry pros use and swear by—some you’ll recognize and some that are a wondrous new discovery.
Keep scrolling for the best black eyeliners, according to makeup artists.
The Makeup Artist: Sage Maitri
Clients: Erin Wasson, Judy Greer
Praise: “The intensity of the pigment is hands down one of the deepest and richest blacks out there. It super soft so it’s easy on the eyes, especially when going into the waterline.”
The Makeup Artist: Michael Anthony
Clients: Katy Perry, Tina She
Praise: “It’s one of the most carbon black pencils I have found, and it feels and goes on almost like a gel or cream liner. It’s super easy to use and works well with an angled brush as well! It also stays on extremely well and is water resistant.”
The Makeup Artist: Vanessa Scali
Clients: Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera
Praise: “It’s so hard to choose! This pencil is great for precision access at and in between the lash line.”
Scali’s praise: “This pencil is good for smudgy rock ’n’ roll eyes.”
Scali’s praise: “This pencil is great for dense, black, budge-proof lines.”
The Makeup Artist: Julie Harris
Clients: Julianne Hough, Rita Wilson
Praise: “The intense black pigment is amazing and it is smudge-proof, crease-proof, and waterproof. I love using it on clients for red carpet and press days because I know it will last! I’ve come home from work after washing my hands several times and realized I had black eyeliner still there. You have to use eye-makeup remover to clean it off.”
The Makeup Artist: Fabiola
Clients: Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank
Praise: “This is my favorite black eyeliner because it’s multipurpose. You can create a soft line by feathering it, or create a clean kitten flick or wing.
The Makeup Artist: Tina Turnbow
Clients: Laura Prepon, Keri Russell
Praise: “It's a great marker tip and goes on smoothly. The staying power is amazing, and it adds the perfect touch of drama and definition.”
The Makeup Artist: Rebecca Restrepo
Clients: Lucy Liu, Michelle Monaghan
Praise: “I created this pencil so that it could be used in a multitude of ways. My most important factor is that it have lasting power. It can be used in the waterline as a traditional eyeliner, and it has a angled smudge tip at the other end of the pencil. It makes it possible to smudge the line for a smoky look or to have a subtle effect when desired.”
Makeup artist: Nicole Walmsley
Clients: Claire Holt, Danielle Panabaker
The Praise: “The black is deep and rich in color with a creamy, silicone-enriched waterproof finish. The liner twists up when you need it and twists back down so it won’t dry out. It’s perfect for a smudgy, smoky eye that won’t budge. For a sharp, precise application, use the built-in sharpener at the end of the liner. Genius!”
Click here for the lipsticks Hollywood makeup artists swear by.
This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.