7 Best Permanent Eyeliners

Close-up portrait of beautiful girl touching black eyeliner to her eyelid with closed eyes

The best eyeliner is one that lasts from day to night. Below we've compiled our seven favorite eyeliners that give an almost permanent effect (at home and without a tattoo).

What Is Permanent Eyeliner?

Permanent makeup is a craze that's taken the world by storm in recent years. Tattooing makeup onto your face means you'll save time every morning for the rest of your life. Originally developed in the 1980s (and also known as micro-pigmentation or cosmetic tattooing), the practice originally addressed alopecia or other conditions like cancer or burns. It expanded to patients who had trouble putting on makeup every day (i.e., because of arthritis or Parkinson's disease). Today, permanent makeup procedures are available to anyone who wants them, whether because of a health condition or disability or to make your morning routine more convenient. It's the ultimate natural makeup look — subtle enhancements that stay on your face for an extended period or as long as you continue to touch them up. There are procedures available to ink on fuller brows, shades of lipstick, freckles — anything you can imagine. Perhaps the most popular is microblading, a procedure that permanently fills in your eyebrows. The procedure is dermatologist-approved — some dermatologists even perform it themselves! The finer the hair stroke your professional can achieve, the more natural your brows will look. But microblading isn't meant to last a lifetime — the pigment will fade, and you can expect to get touch-ups every 12 to 18 months. Another popular, albeit more painful, treatment is lip blushing, which adds subtle color to your lips for a "blurred," just-kissed look. Lip blushing needs to be kept up with appointments once a year — and heed the warning that allergies to the red pigment are more common than most permanent makeup pigments. The most common permanent eyeliner procedure involves a tattoo directly on the lash line to give the appearance of fuller lashes. Other common procedures include scar camouflage, permanent freckles, and permanent blush. Nearly all permanent makeup procedures are not permanent and must be touched upon repeatedly.

Moreover, it's essential to consider the often steep cost and risks like infection or allergy. Permanent makeup procedures are an excellent option for some (i.e., those struggling with one of the conditions mentioned above), but the risks may outweigh the benefits for others. If you love the idea of a permanent full face of makeup but don't think the risks or the financial investment are worth it, don't fret! Various makeup products on the market last all day without budging and give a permanent-esque look and feel.

What to Look For in an Eyeliner

Eyeliner is a simple yet powerful tool for enhancing the shape of your eyes to bring out your natural beauty. There are various types of eyeliner on the market to suit an array of needs and styles. Choosing a liner depends on the eye makeup look you want. For instance, gel eyeliner contains wax, which allows it to stay put for longer without smudging, whereas cream eyeliner can smudge for a smoky eye effect. Liquid liners are perfect for bold statement looks, while eyeliner pencils are ideal for a subtle fine line. Most permanent-esque liners are liquid, but long-lasting pencils and even innovative tools like the eyeliner stamp exist.

Choosing the best eyeliner also involves checking the product's ingredients. Certain ingredients are federally banned, but others with varied restrictions (like mercury compounds or sunscreen) are important to watch. The safest eyeliner ingredients are natural, ethical, and sustainable. The more naturally-occurring minerals found in a makeup product, the safer it is for your skin.

Some factors to consider when researching your next eyeliner are durability, cost, texture, feel, and whether the product tends to slip, smudge, or transfer. While particular looks necessitate smudging, an eyeliner that truly feels permanent won't budge (some for up to 24 hours). The highest-quality eyeliners also won't dry up. Many come in various colors, making it easy for you to create multiple looks with the same product (and to choose a shade that matches or complements your skin tone). Whatever your needs, it's crucial to choose an eyeliner that's gentle on your eyes and skin (and wallet)!

7 Best Permanent Eyeliners: Our Top Picks

We've compiled a list of the seven best eyeliners with a "permanent" look and feel from home and without the tattoo. Below is everything you need to know about the seven best "permanent" eyeliners, including prices, shade ranges, what reviewers are saying, and more.

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11/28/2023 05:48 am GMT

Eyeliner #1: Maybelline Eyestudio

Maybelline Eyestudio's Master Precise All Day Liquid Eyeliner is made to last for 12 hours without smudging, meaning it's as close as you can get to a permanent eyeliner without the commitment of a tattoo. Winner of the Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2013, this liner features an ultra-fine tip for the precise application of fine lines and wings. Its felt-tip-marker feel means it's much easier to apply than other liquid liners, and it complements other Maybelline products. For example, with complementary ingredients and color palettes, Maybelline's foundations, BB creams, concealers, and highlighters can create a clean and dewy canvas, followed by a statement eye look using Maybelline's eyeshadows, brow pencils, and mascaras, and the Maybelline Eyestudio liner fits right in for the finishing touch. Dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested, this eyeliner is fragrance-free, gentle on sensitive eyes, and can be worn with contacts. It comes in black, matte black, forest brown, and cobalt blue, meaning it's perfect for everyday office looks and trendy looks for a night on the town. A Maybelline Eyestudio liner costs just $6.06, making it a steal compared to other eyeliners of similar quality. Reviewers compliment its durability (it takes much longer to dry out than similar liquid liners) and ability to stay intact even on a hot day.

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11/27/2023 08:38 pm GMT

Eyeliner #2: Maybelline HyperEasy

Maybelline's HyperEasy liquid pen offers easy application without the skips and slips that the average liquid liner fan knows. The liner's hexagonal grip and flex-tip brush are revolutionary, allowing even the most novice makeup artists to create the perfect line every time. The HyperEasy liquid pen comes in pitch black and pitches brown, and both last for up to 24 hours, meaning your perfect pigment won't smudge even on the longest of day-to-night adventures. It's like a permanent eyeliner, yet it comes off easily before bed with your favorite makeup remover. At just $6.64 a pen, this liner offers incredibly high quality at a bargain, even by drug store standards. It's a versatile addition to any makeup bag. Like the Eyestudio eyeliner, the HyperEasy liquid pen is a Maybelline product that complements any other Maybelline products you already own. It will add the perfect finishing touch to a look you've created with a Maybelline BB cream, highlighter, or eyeshadow. Reviewers praise the Maybelline HyperEasy pen for being easy to use and incredibly precise (it reaches the inner corner of the eye without skipping or smudging). They appreciate the formula is safe for sensitive eyes and the liner's ability to last incredibly long without smudging or bleeding.

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11/28/2023 09:14 am GMT

Eyeliner #3: Stila Stay All Day

Stila's Stay All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner is an incredibly versatile tool that allows you to create both thin, precise lines and bold, dramatic looks in various colors. Stila's #1-selling waterproof liquid liner, this eyeliner comes in an intense black, dark brown, alloy, intense jade, labradorite, smoky quartz, midnight, and snow. It's available with its original felt tip, a micro-tip for detailing, or a dual-tip pen with both (perfect for cat eyes and winged liner looks). At just $23, it's a steal for such a high-quality liner — this essential piece is used by both pro makeup artists and novices alike. The Stila Stay All Day eyeliner is certified as cruelty-free — Stila is a certified Leaping Bunny brand, meaning no animal testing occurs at any point in their supply chain. The Stay All Day eyeliner is also designed to be smudge-proof and fast-drying, which gives it its "permanent" feel. Reviewers praise this liner for how long it lasts and for its stubbornness against transferring or smudging. The intensity of the colors is another common complement — each of the shades goes on dark and stays that way all day, and the metallic and jewel tones add a unique touch to any look.

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11/28/2023 10:29 am GMT

Eyeliner #4: NYX Professional Makeup

NYX's Professional Makeup mechanical eyeliner pencil is waterproof and highly pigmented for bold, colorful looks. Its convenient twist-up design means you'll be spared the mess and hassle of sharpening it. This liner sets its range of shades, including white, black, aqua green, brown, silver, gold, gray, purple, deep blue, bronze, golden olive, deep purple, and more. And all 18 of these radiant pigment colors cost $5.50 or less! These liners are easy to apply, but they're also incredibly smooth in texture and stand the test of humidity. The small, mechanical tip makes these eyeliners ideal for tightening (a technique that creates an "invisible eyeliner" effect by lining just the upper waterline), and other waterline looks.

Moreover, you can rest easy knowing this product is also made ethically — all of NYX's products are PETA-certified as cruelty-free, and the company never tests on animals. Reviewers enjoy the liner's smooth application as well as its "permanent" feel (since it's designed not to smudge, this liner helps avoid the smudgy "raccoon" effect). With a texture described as "creamy," the NYX Professional mechanical eyeliner pencil will moisturize your eyelids while delivering a striking pigment color that lasts all day.

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11/27/2023 08:52 pm GMT

Eyeliner #5: Rimmel Scandaleyes

Rimmel's Scandaleyes waterproof gel eyeliner pencil offers smooth application and a high-intensity pigment range for bold, long-lasting looks. Shades include black, brown, blue, nude, and sparkling black. Ophthalmologist-tested, this liner is ideal for people with sensitive eyes or those who wear contacts. Its smooth and creamy formula provides easy application and moisture on your eyelids. This eyeliner is waterproof, but it's also smudge-proof and built to last against heat and humidity. Rimmel Scandaleyes has kohl, a substance made from pulverized minerals and passed down from ancient Egyptian civilization, which offers a smooth finish and is even thought by the Egyptians to protect one's eyes from the glare of the Sun. A staple in the toilette box of any wealthy ancient Egyptian woman, kohl eyeliner has made a comeback. It's worth considering making it your own 2022 makeup bag staple! Reviewers mention Rimmel Scandaleyes's ability to last all day, and some go so far as to claim this liner's application is far easier than that of higher-end eyeliners. They note that a little goes a long way and praise the product's smooth finish. At just $2.57 a pop, Rimmel Scanaleyes is worth trying out whether you're brand new to makeup or a seasoned eyeliner pro.

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11/27/2023 08:34 pm GMT

Eyeliner #6: NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink

NYX's Professional Makeup Epic Ink waterproof matte liquid eyeliner is vegan and PETA-certified as cruelty-free. It comes in black and brown and is available for just $7.97. This eyeliner is renowned for its matte, ink-like finish, which gives it a "permanent makeup" appearance. Versatile and easy to use, the NYX Epic Ink liner allows you to control the thickness of your lines with the lightest of pressure. It complements other NYX products. This liner will perfectly match NYX's eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, false lashes, etc. Recognized as NYX's #1 liquid liner, the Epic Ink eyeliner is known for its precise detailing abilities and intense pigmentation. This combination makes it perfect for sharp winged liner looks that will last all day. Even makeup newbies will be able to recreate professional makeup looks since the NYC Professional Makeup Epic Ink liner puts the user in control. Start by simply lining your eye as usual and outlining your wing, then build the line and fill in the wing with a broader stroke, and finally, define your line and wing using the very tip. It's as simple as that! Reviewers praise its impressive stubbornness against smudging and transferring and its ability to last all day, even on oily eyelids.

Eyeliner #7: The Flick Stick

The Flick Stick by Lovoir is a revolutionary cat eye stencil tool. One end of the dual brush head can stamp a wing onto the outer corner of the eye. Use the other end of the brush to line your eye as normal, perfect the details, and voila! Each liner includes both a left eye stamp and a right eye stamp. The Flick Stick comes in three sizes — 8mm (Mini), 10mm (Classic), and 12mm (Vintage) — so you can create a variety of looks for any situation. This eyeliner formula is also vegan and cruelty-free, built to last long. It's smudge-proof and built to withstand even the most intense heat and humidity. The Flick Stick's intense pigmentation means it goes on dark and stays dark all day. Reviewers are amazed — the Flick Stick's innovative design makes even the most complicated cat-eye and wing designs quick and easy. Many compliment the Flick Stick's resistance to dragging and skipping and its formula's durability, saying they'd anticipated needing to go over the stamp with a second eyeliner, but that extra step was unnecessary. Each Flick Stick is just $14.97, a bargain for such a revolutionary tool (and a price that leaves you room to stock up on multiple sizes)! With the ability to stamp the same perfect wing and long-lasting formula, the Flick Stick is just about as close as you can get to a permanent eyeliner from home.


Permanent makeup was originally developed as a cosmetic solution for those dealing with health conditions or disabilities (or even camouflaging scars or stretch marks). Still, it has since skyrocketed in popularity for those seeking to keep their look consistent and save time in the morning. From permanent eyebrow procedures like microblading to tattooed lip liner to semi permanent eyeliner, there are endless procedures to build your everyday full face using tattoos. Getting a permanent makeup procedure is an investment of time and money. There are also risks to consider, like infection or allergies (not to mention the potential for pain from the tattoo needle). Seeing a permanent makeup artist may be worth the investment for some, but achieving the effect from home is the next best thing for others. The seven eyeliner products listed above will help you achieve a "permanent-esque" look from home, with intense pigmentation that's smudge-proof and last for hours. Stencil and stamp products like the Flick Stick allow you to create the same look every time. Whether you're looking to create broad strokes or fine lines, these liners will offer you a permanent look and feel (but one that comes right off before bed)!

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