The Best Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners for a Makeup Look That Stays All Day

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No one likes spending 20 minutes in the morning perfecting their cat-eye, only to have those beautifully flicked ends disappear by noon. Enter our list of the best waterproof liquid eyeliners: fool-proof, sweat-proof, and basically, life-proof. These formulas don't just stay put. They're velvety-smooth, easy to handle, and totally transforming. They're ideal for the nights when you can't stop dancing (or sweating) and even better for days where you need to look presentation-ready. In other words: They'll literally stay on through it all.

Staying power aside, these liners are also user-friendly, making your A.M. routine a breeze. Plus, they come in a barrage of different formulas, ranging from liquid to gel, to make finding the perfect one for your lids as simple as can be.

Here are the top long-lasting waterproof liquid eyeliners that'll deliver clean lines, major color payoff, and eyes defined to perfection.

Best Overall

Fenty Beauty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in Cuz I'm Black

Fenty Beauty
What We Like
  • Highly pigmented

  • Designed for precise application

  • Doesn't smear or smudge throughout the day

What We Don't Like
  • Can be hard to get a good grip during application

Rihanna's much-talked-about Fenty line boasts a long-wearing liquid eyeliner that features a triangle-shaped, extra-long felt tip that deposits intense color in just one swipe, giving you the ability to create any look you want. Go for drama with a thick line or minimalism with a thin flick. The options are endless, especially with this formula that glides on like a gel and dries almost instantly.

Price at time of publish: $24

Type: Pen | Shades: 6 | Free of: Sulfates, oil, parabens | Size: 0.02 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Testers Say

"Luckily, Fenty Beauty's Flyliner was on my side and blessed me with a sleek yet dramatic look. I love the point of the eyeliner, which is pretty thin, similar to a writing pen. The product sits comfortably between my fingertips, and the design makes it easier for me to be more precise and have more control." — Celeste Polanco, Product Tester

Best for Sensitive Eyes

L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Precision Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner

L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Precision Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner


What We Like
  • Angled, ultra-thin tip

  • Flexible for easy application

  • Smooth finish

What We Don't Like
  • Can transfer onto lids

There's a reason the word precision is in this liner's name. With an angled felt tip, the application is not only seamless but almost effortless, which is key in achieving a smudge-less, super clean finish. The true black color delivers a gorgeous definition that's ideal for all eye shapes. There's a reason this eyeliner is almost always sold out: It claims to be ideal for sensitive eyes, fragrance-free, and ophthalmologist- and dermatologist-tested.

Price at time of publish: $9.95

Type: Pen | Shades: 3 | Free of: Oil | Size: 0.08 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Classic

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner


What We Like
  • Doesn't budge or smudge

  • Very pigmented

  • Precise tip

What We Don't Like
  • Dries quickly when applying

An oldie but always a goodie, this go-to eyeliner is a total people pleaser and editor favorite. The thin felt tip is easy to control and firm to the touch, depositing high-impact color with little to no pressure (you don't have to fuss too much with this one). And less fussing means less clean-up, so you can put those cotton swabs and cotton balls away when using this perfect pen. The best part: It's ideal for beauty rookies as the marker-like tip never skips or pulls on the skin when it's applied.

Price at time of publish: $23

Type: Pen | Shades: 6 | Free of: Sulfates, oil | Size: 0.02 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

Byrdie / Ashley Rebecca

What Our Testers Say

"With a high pigment deposit in just one application along with no smudging or smearing, this eyeliner will last through anything." — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester

Best for Oily Lids

KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Kat Von D

What We Like
  • Vegan formula

  • Long-wearing

  • Available in various shades

What We Don't Like
  • New formula dries out faster

Whether you're working out, poolside, or running to catch your train in the pouring rain, this inky liner claims to stay put no matter what the challenge. Its formula doesn't move an inch, even in extreme humidity or heat. That means no cracking, melting, or fading throughout the day. The tip is made of 300 (yes, you read that right) microscopic bristles that, when combined, create a flawless fine line. Bonus: It's 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free.

Price at time of publish: $23

Type: Pen | Shades: 3 | Free of: Sulfates, oil | Size: 0.02 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget

e.l.f. Cosmetics Intense Ink Eyeliner

e.l.f. Intense Ink Eyeliner

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Goes on smoothly

  • Easy to use for beginners

  • Doesn't budge or smudge

What We Don't Like
  • Formula can be dry

At such a great price, you could stock up and have the perfect winged look until the end of time—plus, their color Blackest Black is just that: a majorly pigmented jet black color that stays rich from morning to night, no touch-ups needed. Its one-swipe ability is perfect if you're on the go and especially if you like to oversleep. The formula smooths over the skin almost immediately, adding beautiful intensity to any eye shape.

Price at time of publish: $5

Type: Pen | Shades: 1 | Free of: Sulfates, parabens | Size: 0.09 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore

Almay Liquid Eyeliner

almay liquid liner

Courtesy of Almay

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Provides bold color

  • Ophthalmologist-tested

What We Don't Like
  • Thick, stiff applicator

Find yourself breaking out when it comes to certain formulas? Say hello to a water-resistant pen that claims not to aggravate or inflame finicky skin, meaning it may be applied over the lashes as well as under them with no irritation insight. The hypoallergenic formula provides fresh color at every application, thanks to the unique inkwell design. The base is filled with mixing beads, thoroughly blending the color when the container is shaken.

Price at time of publish: $7.89

Type: Inkpot | Shades: 2 | Free of: Sulfates, oil | Size: 0.1 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Innovation

COVERGIRL Perfect Slice Liquid Eye Liner

COVERGIRL Perfect Slice

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Unique applicator makes application easy

  • Goes on smoothly

What We Don't Like
  • Applicator takes getting used to

When it comes to innovation, this ingenious spinning wheel applicator from CoverGirl has you covered. It may take some practice, as it does with anything new, but once you get the hang of it, you'll have gorgeous, dramatic lines in just one stroke. The applicator works by gliding on color in one fluid motion—no pausing and no reapplying necessary. The formula dries quickly, so no waiting for your look to set. So, if you like to keep your makeup routine down to five minutes, this eyeliner is the perfect addition to your beauty lineup.

Price at time of publish: $5.45

Type: Soft wheel | Shades: 1 | Free of: Sulfates, oil, parabens | Size: 0.03 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Double Duty

Tarte Double Take Eyeliner

Tarte Double Take Eyeliner


What We Like
  • 2-in-1 liquid and gel pencil eyeliner

  • Great for travel

  • Safe for contact lens wearers

What We Don't Like
  • A bit difficult to apply

Who doesn't love a two-for-one? The same beauty powerhouse that brought you Amazonian clay has taken that famed ingredient and put it into a liquid and pencil duo. The dual-ended pen has two different textures to choose from, metallic and matte. Both claim to give an even application, clean finish, and long-wearing power.

It's recommended to use the self-sharpening pencil side first and trace it along the upper and lower lash lines to contour the eyes, then top the look off with the waterproof liquid liner for fierce definition.

Price at time of publish: $25

Type: Dual-sided pen | Shades: 3 | Free of: Parabens | Size: 0.02 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What to Look for in a Waterproof Eyeliner


Are you planning to wear your eyeliner to the pool, through intense humidity, or in the pouring rain? Make sure your eyeliner has the words 'water-proof', 'water-resistant,' or 'long-wearing' if you want a formula that'll last through it all. It'll prevent your perfect cat eye from smudging down your entire face, which is precisely what we don't want.


Opt to choose an applicator that'll work well with your skill level. Liners arrive with a variety of different applicators, ranging from felt tips to pens, so finding one that you love will make the task of applying eyeliner a bit less daunting. However, there is no need to fret since all are great for achieving a multitude of looks.

  • Is waterproof eyeliner safe?

    Generally speaking, waterproof eyeliner is considered safe. Make sure to apply and remove it correctly to prevent any potential problems. You can also opt to apply it onto the lid and not the waterline to avoid the eyeliner getting into your eye.

  • Does waterproof eyeliner smudge?

    Waterproof eyeliner should not smudge, thanks to its formula. However, you can also apply light moisturizer or oil-free products around the eye as it may reduce the risk of it smudging later in the day.

  • Can you swim with waterproof eyeliner?

    Yes, you can swim with waterproof eyeliners. They may not remain fully intact, but the formulas are intended to be used in the water—just make sure you remember to remove it before you go to bed.

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