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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 the top 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.
Best Overall: Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner
“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!” - Nicole Walmsley
Best Liquid: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner
“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.” - Tina Turnbow
Best for Smoky Eyes: Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Precision Glide Eyeliner
“I created this pencil so that it could be used in a multitude of ways. My most important factor is that it has lasting power. It can be used in the waterline as a traditional eyeliner, and it has an 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.” - Rebecca Restrepo
Best for Waterline: Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Gel Pencil
“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.” - Sage Maitri
Best Pencil: Xtreme Lashes GlideLiner Long Lasting Eye Pencil
“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.” - Michael Anthony
Best Waterproof: Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel
“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.” - Julie Harris
Best Luxury: Givenchy Magic Kôhl Eye Liner Pencil
Scali’s praise: “This pencil is good for smudgy rock ’n’ roll eyes.” It's full of pigment and glides on like an absolute dream, thanks to the inclusion of silicone. Plus, it stays put all day without smudging.
Best Versatile: MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Fluidline Eye Liner and Brow Gel
“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." - Fabiola
Best Long-Wear: NARS High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner
Scali’s praise: “This pencil is great for dense, black, budge-proof lines.” We love it for its 12-hour wear time with no smearing or caking.