Budge-Proof, Budget-Friendly Eyeliners

April 16th, 2014 By  |  12 Comments   

How many of you can relate to this eyeliner sob-story? You go to so much effort to get the perfect cat eye or super fine line… only to find that it’s smearing and smudging within hours. Why let that work go to waste? Before heat and humidity throw another monkey-wrench into the mix, pick up a liner that can be applied with ease and that will last until you take it off. Check out these tried and true favorites that will suit any preference, and they’re all under $10!

Best Liquid: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Liner in Black Vinyl ($6.97, Walmart.com)

I’ve tried a lot of liquid liners, and this is by far the most long-wearing. The rich black color is totally waterproof! While the same can’t be said for all of the other liners in Milani’s Ultrafine line (see this blog post for more details), Black Vinyl is my holy grail. It quickly dries to a matte finish and the fine, felt-tip applicator will help you pull of winged liner with ease.

Best Cream/Gel Liner: Essence Gel Eyeliner in Midnight in Paris ($3.99, Ulta.com)

If you love gel eyeliner, you must check out this one from Essence! It gives you amazing black intensity in one stroke and will not smudge away until you make a point to remove it. It’s also not quick to dry up in the jar like a lot of the gel liners I own. At 3.99, it’s an amazing bargain. If you’re looking for a great liner brush to use with creams and gels, try the equally affordable Fine Liner brush from Real Techniques.

Best Color Selection: NYX Slide On Liners ($7.99, Ulta.com)

Featured shades- left to right: Jet Black, Tropical Green, Purple Blaze, Azure, Glitzy Gold

 How about some great pencil liners? Whether you’re looking for basic brown and black, or a whole rainbow of colors, the Slide On liners from NYX have you covered. There are 18 total shades available! Once you apply them, they set to a totally smudge-free finish. These pencils are so similar to the 24/7 liners from Urban Decay, but cost about $12 less!

Shown here: Essence Gel Liner in Midnight in Paris on upper lashline, and NYX Slide On Liner in Glitzy Gold on lower lashline. 

Hopefully this post gives you some ideas for liners that can outlast the busy spring and summer months ahead! While I love the black liquid or gel liners for my upper lashline, it’s fun to add a pop of color to the lower lashline with one of the colorful pencils. Feel free to experiment and have fun! And for more makeup reviews and tutorials, check out the Beauty Broadcast blog and YouTube channel. Have a great day! – Emily

12 Comments + Add Comment

  • I will have to check out the essence brand. I haven’t done so already. But I do like Milani and NYX but haven’t tried the eye liners. I’m not big on them..blame it on the small eyes


  • Have you tried the Avon brand mark eyeliner, called Get in Line? It’s only $6.50 and I’ve found it to apply so easily, and it doesn’t budge all day.


  • I wish the Milani eyeliner was a felt-tipped pen instead of that brush thingy. I find that so clumsy to use, but hearing that its pretty much budge-proof makes me want to try it regardless. Maybe I just need practice… but I do have to say, the Essence gel liner is my favorite ever! :-) I’ve been using it for months and I just love it!!

    • they have a felt tip pen version as well (not the curved shaped one though) I cant remember the name but i got it b/ of emily and omg it doenst budge as well…same long lasting power as this one… check out emilys videos she recommends and demos it

  • The Milani eyeliner is my holy grail for any water/beach activity where I still want some definition for my eyes. It’s the only liquid liner I own (typically I reach for gel liner) so it took a bit of practice to get it right, but if you’re looking for something that’s going to last this is it! I went jet skiing, swimming in the ocean, hot tubing, waterfall hiking, and anything else you could think to do in tropical paradise with this liner and it NEVER MOVED.

    Best part is that it’s not a pain to take off, just wash your face with any gentle exfoliating cleanser,and you’ll feel the second it comes off.

  • Is the essense gel eyeliner waterproof? I have the NYX Gel Eyeliner, is it waterproof?

  • Are there any suggestions for an eyeliner that says on the waterline? I heard Stila was great…but after about an hour or two….it’s blotchy and looks aweful:(

  • I love the gel liner Midnight in Paris. I have had it for about a year & it hasn’t dried up. The NYX liners I am not a big fan of because they don’t seem to stay on my eyes. I have a purple and a very pretty deep rose color with a hint of purple but I have to set them with eyeshadow. I will give Milani liner a try.

  • Kellie, Its not an inexpensive alternative, but the only thing I can get to stay in my waterline is the Urban Decay 24/7 in Perversion. (black). Its worth the extra money for me since it works and I kept purchasing others that were ok but still wore off. I love it.

  • I have ALL of these eyeliners in my arsenal … LOL … and I love each and every one of them!

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