It's happened: You've officially created the perfect cat eye on both eyelids. And not the kind where the sharp flicks are "sisters, not twins" (if you know what we're saying) but rather perfectly matched up, editorial-worthy wings. You gasp at the sight of them in the mirror and proudly share on Snapchat for the world to see. But then, just as your ego has reached its peak, your eyelids begin to gloss over, as they always do, and your perfect liner is blurred.
It's a scenario that's all too familiar, even for us here at Byrdie HQ. And while we're all about quality lid primers (Nyx Proof It Eyeshadow Primer, $7, is a winner in our books) to mattify slick eyelids, having a no-slip liner that stays put and heavily pigmented all day long is even better. To learn which products we swear by, keep scrolling!
"This is the eyeliner to end all eyeliners for three simple reasons. First, the brush tip—it's flexible but not too flexible, and it makes tracing a precise flick or thick cat eye a breeze. Second, the formula is inky black and rarely requires retracing. And finally, the longevity: I've worn this eyeliner through rain and sleet and I've even fallen asleep with it on (oops), and it does not budge. As someone with naturally oily lids, these three things have secured it in my heart as my holy grain liner." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"L'Oréal's Infallible Smokissime is not a traditional eyeliner, but instead comes with a pillowy, teardrop-shape applicator that dispenses powder onto your lids for a super-smoky effect. Since the product is powder, it doesn't smear all over your lids but instead locks the oil in." — Amanda Montell, associate features editor
"This drugstore steal compares and even exceeds some of its much pricier counterparts. The flexible felt tip makes it easy to control exactly how thick or thin you want to draw your line and makes flicking cat eyes a breeze. Unlike other drugstore liners, the formula dries to an almost glossy black finish and doesn't flake or disappear throughout the day. At under $10, it's a total bargain—and a must-buy the next time you stop by the drugstore, trust." — Xue
"I have oily lids (not crazy oily but oily nonetheless) and small, hooded eyes. Which means it's nearly impossible to find an eyeliner that doesn't end up all over my lids within the first after application. But that doesn't stop me from trying. After years of testing, I've come to rely on a few key players. I skip kajal and kohl liners (great if you want a smudgy, smoky look, but not great for my eyes) and stick to gel-based and waterproof formulas. These I can confidently wear without feeling the need to rub my eyelids in an attempt to remove smudges all day." — Deven Hopp, beauty director
"I stumbled upon this liner one day when I had a Sephora gift card but didn't want to blow it all on one pricey product. Considering it was only $12, I figured I'd give it a shot. To this day, it's still one of the best liquid liners I've ever used. It doesn't even flick off after you try to wipe it away with your finger after you've made an (inevitable) mistake. I love it." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"If you like your eyeliner inky-black and dramatic, you won't find a better liner than this one from Soap & Glory. The felt marker tip disperses an insane amount of pigment in just one swipe, and then proceeds to dry and stay that way until you decide it's time to melt it away." — Xue
"Purple is a great complementary color for green eyes, and since I have said color eyes, I love playing with purple tones to make my irises pop. I've found that the best way to do so is by playing with purple liner. This pencil stays put on both my oily lids and my waterline while making my eyes glow like an alley cat's. I dig it." — Metrus
"This super-skinny liner is perfect for tracing along the waterline, and never smudges or fades—or, more importantly, irritates. The creamy formula glides on smoothly and the fact that it's a twist-up makes it the eyeliner you want to have on your person at all times, in case of emergency. My only qualm is that it's so good that you'll go through it quickly—and be forlorn until you re-buy." — Xue
Which liner have you found works best for your lids? Please tell us in the comments!