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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, 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
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.
Best for Sensitive Eyes: L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Precision Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner
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.
Best Classic: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
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 (read: you don’t have to fuss too much with this one). And less fussing means less clean-up, so you can put those Q-tips 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.
Best for Oily Lids: KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner
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. It's 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% vegan and cruelty-free.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Intense Ink Eyeline
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 for the girl-on-the-go, and especially the girl-who-likes-to-oversleep. The formula smooths over the skin almost immediately, adding beautiful intensity to any eye shape.
Best Drugstore: Almay Liquid Eyeliner
Find yourself breaking out when it comes to certain formulas? Say hello to a water-resistant pen that claims to not 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, all thanks to the unique “inkwell” design. The base is filled with mixing beads thoroughly blend the color when the container is shaken.
Best Innovation: COVERGIRL Perfect Slice Liquid Eye Liner
When it comes to innovation, this ingenious spinning wheel applicator from CoverGirl has got you covered. It may take some practice, as it does with anything new, but once you’ve got 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’re the girl that likes to keep her makeup routine down to five minutes, then this eyeliner is the perfect addition to your beauty lineup.
Best Double Duty: Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner
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.
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 it's 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.