Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
It's no secret that eyeliner is one of the most widely used products in everyone's makeup bag, but with several options out there, it can be confusing at times to know exactly what kind we should be investing in, and which ones will give us the results we want. The easiest way to decipher through it all is to think about the makeup look you want to create, and then choose the type of liner that will give you the result.
While liquid, gel, and powder eyeliners are certainly popular, if you're wanting an intense finish with color payoff, kohl eyeliner is something worth trying. But what does kohl really mean exactly? Back in ancient times (think Cleopatra) people would grind up stibnite or charcoal to use as eyeshadow and eyeliner for the eyes to give them a more dramatic look. Fast forward to now, our practices have certainly gotten a makeover in production and the invention of eyeliner has made things much easier all around. Kohl eyeliner is soft enough to apply to the eye without tugging the skin, and smudge for more smoky and dramatic eye makeup looks.
Keep scrolling to shop the best kohl liners for any budget.
Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl Smoky Eyeliner
This kohl eyeliner from Lancôme comes in a handful of shades to help create an intense eye makeup look, perfect for a special event that needs a stunning smoky eye or something that will certainly draw some attention. The smooth texture of the pencil glides on easily, making it the perfect product to blend with your finger or brush should you need to smudge it up a bit, and you won't need to tug at the skin around the eye to blend. Line the top lashes, under the lash and inner eye line for best results, and follow up with a few coats of your favorite mascara.
Milani Supreme Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil in Blackest Black
Milani's Supreme Kohl Kajal Eyeliner helps tight line the inner rims of the eyes with ease while lasting inside the waterline (which is so key), not to mention the budget-friendly price tag is something we all love. The self-sharpening tip ensures you get a precise application every time without hassle (yes please!). You can pair it with a metallic cream eyeshadow on the eyelid for a look that's chic and easy to do at the same time. Apply a few times around the lashes and waterline alone for a quick and simple look that makes your eyes pop.
Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl Eyeliner
It's no surprise that makeup maven Charlotte Tilbury is known for creating some of the most beautiful, sultry eye looks, and the fact she released an amazing kohl eyeliner in her makeup line just seriously stepped up our eye makeup game. This eyeliner has a liquid-like glide-on effect that's so easy and zero fuss to apply which is key when you might be new to trying more intense eyeshadow looks. It's so easy you could do it with your eyes closed (literally). The soft pigment smudges to perfection to create any kind of drool-worthy eyeshadow look.
Tom Ford Eye Kohl Intense Eyeliner
Tom Ford's Eye Kohl Intense pencils are ideal for everyday use, and there's a really interesting trick to using the white toned kohl pencil that you might have not realized: When you apply white or nude color to the waterline, it helps the eyes appear larger and brighter, counteracting any redness or bloodshot effect you might have. This is a great and easy way to instantly make it look like you've had a few extra hours of beauty sleep when that might not be the case.
MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl Pencil
MAC Cosmetics Powersurge Kohl Eyeliner certainly lives up to its name, as it gives a generous surge of color in just one application, making it the perfect liner for those who have a time limit on their makeup in the morning or want a few, simple key steps for eyes. Apply to the upper and bottom lash line, and also on the eyelid for a creamy eyeshadow effect that can be worn by itself, or with a powdered eyeshadow or eye gloss on top depending on the look you're going for.
Wet 'n' Wild Beauty Color Icon Kohl Liner Pencil
Oh, the nostalgia Wet 'n' Wild brings back for all of us from our pre-teen makeup-wearing years. If you're on a budget, this kohl eyeliner pencil from Wet 'n' Wild is the least costly option in a long-wearing kohl eyeliner pencil you'll find. From a brand that's certainly stood the test of time, it's a great addition to anyone's makeup bag.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Pencil
Rimmel London has been serving us plenty of coveted beauty treasures over the years, and their kohl eyeliner pencil is one to try if you're wanting a to create a nice tight line (or turn it into something more smoldering). With a waterproof formula that's high-intensity color and a smooth gliding gel formula, you might find yourself wanting to snatch up all five shades to try some new color variations. Experiment with the navy hue if you're wanting to change things up from traditional black and brown.
What Our Testers Say
"I found the liner did not run or smear on me throughout the day, and I was impressed with how efficiently it stayed in the waterline." — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester
Make Up For Ever Kohl Pencil
Make Up For Ever's Kohl Eyeliner glides on smoothly and allows you to take looks from subtle to dramatic. It's safe for sensitive skin as the formula contains vitamin E, mango seed oil, and jojoba oil to ensure the delicate skin around the eye isn't compromised. When working with eye makeup, it's imperative we make sure that what we are using is nourishing as the skin around the eyes is a much more delicate tissue than that of the face.
Burberry Effortless Kohl Eyeliner
This highly pigmented kohl liner from Burberry has exceptional color release, and the application can be done in seconds. With a twist-up feature you're able to control just how much eyeliner you need for exact usage and precision, and you don't need to worry about having a pencil sharpener on hand. Safe to use on the inner lash and waterline, you'll find yourself reaching for this magic kohl liner every single day.
Sephora Long Lasting Kohl Pencil
As if Sephora needed to give us any more reasons to pay it a visit, its kohl eyeliner pencil has rave reviews from Sephora loyalists. The kohl pencil helps to create a brightening effect by creating a nice contrast so the whites of eyes appear bright and sparkly. Expect the liner to last all day with a smudge-free finish.
Flower Beauty That's So Kohl Eyeliner
The thickness of this stick allows for a better grip for those who fear they might not have the steadiest of hands. It's got a creamy formula that doubles as both a liner and eyeshadow. The pink shade featured here is perfect for illuminating and creating brightness around the eye, and the smudging tip on the opposite end allows you to blend in seconds without the need for any extra brushes.
e.l.f Cosmetics Kohl Eyeliner
E.l.f Cosmetics dual-ended Kohl Eyeliner pencil has a soft formula to help shade and define the eye, so you can use it as eyeliner or eyeshadow. Formulated with coconut, jojoba, cocoa butter, shea butter, mango, and sandalwood oil, your delicate eye area is in the best hands with this pencil. An added bonus? The cap has a sharpening component so you have a built-in sharpener to keep the pencil as pointy and precise as you need it to be.
Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil
Laura Mercier's Kohl Eye Pencil comes in a myriad of jewel-toned shades, which is perfect when wanting to create colorful looks that really make eyes stand out. From the emerald tone to the bronze and violet hues, this liner is ideal when wanting to experiment with more non-traditional shades. Formulated to specifically line the inside of the lid and eyelashes, you're guaranteed to get the most precise line with gorgeous color payoff each time.
Givenchy Magic Kôhl Eye Liner Pencil
Givenchy's Magic Kohl Eyeliner gives rich, long-lasting pigment in just one swipe. The innovative formula contains ingredients such as silicone, polyethylene hollow spheres, and kaolin which all work together to give the texture of the pencil its glide and pigment, creating a liner that's safe to wear on the eyes for an extended period of time. Give it a whirl when creating chic and couture-inspired makeup looks—you won't be disappointed.
Neutrogena Smokey Kohl Eyeliner
Neutrogena's Smokey Kohl Eyeliner allows you to effortlessly ace that smokey eye in seconds with its smooth-gliding formula infused with vitamin E. Apply it once, or build the color as you go depending on how much intensity you're going for. The liner can be blended for up to 30 seconds before it sets, giving you a long-wear liner that will surely turn heads.
Christian Louboutin Velvet Eye Definer
A zero-transfer eyeliner designed to give the most artful application, Christian Louboutin's Velvet Eye Kohl Definer Pencil glides on as beautifully as its packaging. Known for creating the most exquisite shoes, the stunning makeup line of the famous fashion house launched holds up to the promise that everything they make remains chic. The kohl eyeliner with its deep, sultry shades is certainly one to play with. You'll love the way you look after trying.
Lottie London Longwear Kohl Eyeliner
Lottie London's Longwear Kohl Eyeliner (try saying that 10x fast) helps to expertly define your eyes from every single angle while keeping its promise to stay put through the most important, activity-filled hours of the day. Its easy-to-sharpen tip allows precise application every time. Wear alone or with eyeshadow depending on the makeup mood you're in.
Kiko Cosmetics Lasting Precision Automatic Eyeliner and Kohl
With a wide range of beautiful shades to pick from such as "Mint", "Spicy Burgundy" and "Hot Pink", Kiko Cosmetics Lasting Precision Automatic Eyeliner and Kohl gives a seamless application with the ease of a twist-up pencil and a precise blending sponge on the other end. Simply apply liner as desired, and then if you want to make it smudgy, flip it around to use the sponge to smooth out. You can also try applying two different colors to the waterline and lash line, creating a different look with just eyeliner that's sure to stand out.