What liner stays put?

Not so long ago, me and my mom were discussing how some pencils just don’t stay put in the waterline for more than a couple of minutes.
Then why put them on in the first place right?
download (9)
Therefore I wanted to assemble a list of my highly scientific liner findings!

Oh by the way, before I get started let me just say how amazed I was when discovering my 18 euro Lancôme pencil I once bought was crap compared to my 2 euro Essence liner.
(You’d think with the work they put into testing on animals, they’d come up with a good formula at least.)
Really price does not promise anything.


99.9% of the pencils out there will not stay put on my waterline.
First of all look for waterproof ones, long-wear doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll stay put in your waterline. Apprently. -_-‘
But then there’s different types:


Perfect for smokey eyes as it’s easy to smudge and move around, and is extremely pigmented.
It should stay put really well, or so it always says on the packaging.
But often they’re too soft to stay put and melt off too quickly in my opinion.
You can however use these on the top lashline with a primer underneath.
That area doesn’t nearly get as much of a harsh treatment as the undereye!
My choice:
Gosh Kohl eyeliner, Kristien made me curious about the Gosh liners, and these Kohl ones are one of the more buttery ones i’ve tried.
cruelty free liner

Normal pencils

Usually not as easy to smudge around as Kohl, often less pigmented as well, and some stay put but a lot of them absolutely don’t.
At all.
This is such a giant hit or miss situation!
Again look for waterproof at least for the waterline, but the top lashline should be fine with a primer underneath.
My choice:
I used to go for the Urban Decay 24/7 ones, and those did stay put for a pretty long time on my lashline even.
However since that company can’t be considered 100% cruelty free anymore, I now use the Milani Liquif’eye pencil in black.
cruelty free liner
I’ve heard amazing things about the MUFE Aqua Eyes pencils too!
But haven’t tried those out yet.
cruelty free liner


Besides gel liners in a jar, there’s gel pencils out there as well.
You don’t see them that much, I know Avon carries them (Supershock) but those aren’t cruelty free.
Tarte carries some as well that are cruelty free, but no idea how those last.
I have no clue whether they’re as good as their jarred counterparts!
Do you?

Liquid liner

Easy to learn, tricky to master.
The fear of many. ;D
Look for a felt tip, those are a million times steadier than a brush.
Or those markers that are really popular right now, those are handy.
The preferred choice of a friend of mine (Hi Naomi!) when she does go for liquid liner every once in a blue moon.
However not all markers are created equal, by far, some just don’t give off any pigment.
Such as the Essence ones…
Especially over eyeshadow, that soils the tip and makes even less come out.
Liquid liners are mostly meant for the lashline, not the waterline.
And it all depends on the liner whether it’ll stay put or not!
My choice:
I LOVE the Essence liquid liners, not the Liquid Ink ones but the ones shaped like a bullet.
cruelty free liner
The short, stumpy felt tip gives me a ton of control and they stay put, check my proof on that here.
Even with my lid all oily, the liner was still there at the end of the day.

Cake liner

Water/liquid – activated!
There’s two ways to go about these.
Use water:
As soon as you sweat/cry/etc it might start dissolving, I never had any trouble with that but I have heard it from others.
So it might not be something worth risking on an important day.
Use a sealer or a mixing medium:
Because of the added barrier – agents, the liner will stay put a million times longer.
My choice:
I own the Kryolan cake liner and a MUD one:
cruelty free liner
cruelty free liner
The Kryolan I love, the MUD one I haven’t tried yet.
I’ll have to update you on that.
Besides that I know Ben Nye carries them as well.
Then I have the Kryolan sealant to go with it but that stings my eyes, so water will do for me!
cruelty free liner

Gel liner (!)

Working with a gel liner took some getting used to for me.
Because it has a little more slip, it doesn’t blend as easily and evenly as a Kohl would.
However this is THE holy grail product for billions of people!
Because it – stays – put.
No joke.
And it’s perfectly fine to use on the waterline.
Say I want a smokey eye, i’d use a pencil on the top lashline, but a gel liner to smoke out the bottom.
My choice:
Again, the Essence ones, they stay PUT.
They just refuse to go for a walk.
The texture hardens up a little and really grabs onto the skin.
cruelty free liner
I just wish they’d make more colors!!!
Come on! Get to it already!! :D
A white maybe? Or a purple.. Oehh..

Top easy tipss

Get your eye pencil, dip in in gel liner and use that on your waterline!
Using a gel liner under your eyeshadow makes it stay put longer and will intensify the color by a million, try it with a smokey eye!
Makeup Alley has combined scores for a ton of products, judged by people all around the globe. If you’re looking for a good judgement on liners, it might be worth checking out.
Let me know if you’d like to see any of these products in action as extra proof!! ;)


About LifeOfBun

I'm a student from Belgium, but raised in Holland. My life evolves around animals, games, traveling, make-up, and COLOR. I seek for cruelty free awesomeness & alternatives to my favorite things each day. ^_^

Posted on February 23, 2013, in Box o' appearance, Cosmetics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I used liner pencils for years and loved them. Then, BAM! I hit my late 40’s and noticed the tiny wrinkles and creasing, caused by the “drag” of the pencil when lining my eyes. I now use a brush to apply a cake liner and water. I am also much more gentle at removing my makeup. We never think about these applications and ways to remove makeup when we’re young. So, go lightly on applications… and go gentle on makeup removal. It’ll be worth it when you hit my age… unfortunately, at 51 the damage is done. I wish I had been smarter back then!

    • Hmm… Hmm.. I should keep an eye on that. I wasn’t brought up with “take care of your skin”, my mom is pretty rough with her eye-area. Then I came across some forums online where they said stop tugging at your skin!! + results, well that made me wonder.. I don’t pull at my skin for eyeliner in any case, i’d rather pull weird faces to get the job done. Now with you saying it, i’ll definitely watch it..
      Then when I have children one day i’ll tell them they can wear make-up IF they take care of their skin. “But mooom….” “NO BUTS!” :P

  2. Glad you like the Gosh pencils ^^
    I also like the Too Faced perfect eyes eyeliners, they’re waterproof, but they do take a little while to set (so when I put them on my lower lashline and blink right away, they smudge pretty easily
    but once they’re on there, I think they’re good :)

    Also love the Catrice gel liner ^^

    and liquid liner, well Illamasqua and Sleek are both good, but somehow I’m still liking Lancôme’s artliner just a little better :(

  3. gel eyeliner sounds great !!! …and I wish I had such a bird – he looks cool ;o)

  4. the one I use is not actually this one but another from this range but I couldn’t see it online 3-way liquid eyeliner is the one I use I got it as a freebie when I bought the mascara but as boots are cruelty free might be worth a look and they are not too expensive

  5. Hii :-p i’ll definitely have to try that essence bullet-shaped one! You keep raving about it and I haven’t tried regular liquid liner since high school so maybe it’s not as hard as I remember..

  6. I’d be happy with a bad day look like that :D

  7. Great in depth post!!! Kat

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