Best Drugstore Eyeliner

woman in white and purple hijab holding an eyeliner

Finding the best budget-friendly eyeliner is a task. Sometimes, you find a holy grail product. Other times, the adage you get what you pay for rings is accurate, and you can’t help but wonder if you should be spending the money on expensive luxury brands. Good news! You don’t have to spend a small fortune to enjoy eyeliner that looks flawless. These are tried and true eyeliners that you’re going to love! Your search for the best drugstore eyeliner has officially ended! We’ve rounded up the best drugstore eyeliners to ensure you can find exactly what you need. 

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L’Oreal Paris Flash Cat Eyeliner ($8.47)

This liquid liner is a must-have if you’re searching for waterproof eyeliner to help you nail the perfect cat eye. It’s a gorgeous, deep black color that makeup artists love, but that’s not the only reason you’ll fall head-over-heels in love with this bad boy. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Waterproof and sweat-resistant
  • Long lasting formula
  • Dries quickly
  • Cat eye stencil included on the cap for the perfect winged eyeliner

Check it out here!

Maybelline New York Master Precise Skinny Gel Eyeliner ($8.99)

This precise eyeliner delivers a nice color payoff and super-fine lines. The creamy formula glides across your lids, just as gel liners are known for. Then, it dries to a beautiful matte finish that lasts all day. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • This retractable eyeliner stays sharp
  • The creamy texture slides across the lids like butter
  • Available in black, brown, and charcoal

Check it out here!

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner ($17.99)

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner - Black Vinyl (0.03 Fl. Oz.) Vegan, Cruelty-Free Liquid Eyeliner to Define & Intensify Eyes for Long-Lasting Wear

This drugstore eyeliner is one of the more expensive on the list, but it’s one of the best drugstore eyeliners. Pick it up in a shiny or matte formula thanks to the two options available. Then, create the perfect look with the felt tip. Easily create thin or thick lines that stay all day. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Transfer-proof
  • Doesn’t feather as the day goes on
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Check it out here!

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner ($8)

Pencil Eyeliner by Revlon, ColorStay Eye Makeup with Built-in Sharpener, Waterproof, Smudgeproof, Longwearing with Ultra-Fine Tip, 204 Charcoal, 0.01 Oz

Revlon ColorStay Waterproof & Long Lasting Eyeliner gives the ease of application that you love in a pencil eyeliner with the superior staying power and waterproof formula that you love in a liquid eyeliner. It’s available in ten gorgeous shades to help you complete one flawless look after another. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Great for smudged eyeliner looks
  • Built-in sharpener included
  • Long-lasting formula

Check it out here!

Covergirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner ($4.79)

Covergirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner is your basic eyeliner that gets the job done. Instead of a built-in sharpener, it has a built-in smudger on the other side to create gorgeous smudged eye makeup looks. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Pigmented formula
  • Available in multiple colors
  • It can easily replace other expensive eyeliners that are pencils
  • Safe for contact lens wearers
  • One of the cheapest drugstore options

Check out this drugstore liner here!

Milani Stay Put Matte Liquid Eyeliner ($8.97)

Milani Stay Put Matte Liquid Eyeliner - Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Pen, Long Lasting & Smudgeproof Makeup Pen Black

If you’re tired of a satin finish, this waterproof liner will quickly become a staple in your makeup routine. The liquid formula glides on smoothly to form thick or thin lines. Then, the pigmented formula delivers all-day, waterproof wear. When it comes to liquid drugstore eyeliners, this is one of the must-have beauty products!

Why You’ll Love It

  • Rich pigment
  • The best waterproof option
  • Fast drying time
  • Up to 17 hours of smudge-proof wear
  • Cruelty-free

Check it out here!

L.A. Girl Shockwave Neon Eyeliner ($5.69)

This eyeliner pencil from L.A. Girl will give you so much pigment that you’ll never want to use another pencil eyeliner. The one complaint is that the color payoff doesn’t last all day, so you’ll need to use an eye primer and setting spray to ensure your liner lasts as long as possible. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Glides on smoothly
  • Water-resistant
  • Available in a wide range of colors

Check it out here!

Kiss Felt Tip Lash Glueliner Lash Adhesive ($9.99)

If you love your false eyelashes but hate applying eyeliner, check out this glueliner. The ultra-fine tip helps give you precise lines while giving you the perfect glue for your falsies. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Friendly for contact lens wearers
  • It comes in clear for those that love the lash glue
  • Travel-size for convenience

Check it out here!

NYX Epic Ink Liner ($10)

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Epic Ink Liner, Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - Black, Vegan Formula

NYX Epic Ink Liner is from one of your favorite brands, so no wonder it’s considered one of the best drugstore eyeliners. The formula glides smoothly across the lids without tugging hard. Then, it dries to a magnificent matte finish that lasts all day. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Waterproof
  • Great for thick or thin lines

Check it out here!

Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer ($6.75)

Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer, 212 Rich Brown, 1 Count

Rimmel is one of the best drugstore beauty brands, so you don’t want to sleep on this eyeliner. It’s easily one of the best drugstore eyeliner pencils, making it perfect for beginners. The waterproof formula stays put for up to ten hours, while the built-in sharpener ensures it’s always easy to apply. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Available in over five shades, including a classic black eyeliner
  • Easy to apply like a classic eyeliner pencil
  • Long-lasting

Check it out here!

E.L.F. Cosmetics Intense Ink Eyeliner ($5)

E.l.f. Cosmetics is another iconic drugstore brand you don’t want to miss out on. They offer loads of beauty products for under $10. One product after another goes viral, including this epic eyeliner. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Felt tip gives you precise lines
  • Blackest black is perfect for dramatic wings
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Long-lasting formula

Check it out here!

Wet N Wild Megaliner Liquid Eyeliner ($3.99)

It’s one of the cheapest eyeliners on the market, but don’t let that fool you! This mini-miracle will help you pull off one eye-catching look after another. The felt tip isn’t too flexible, making this an excellent idea for beginners. The long-lasting formula makes it remarkable for anyone experienced and ready to rock their amazing eyeliner looks all day long. Pick it up in classic colors like black and brown, or let your artistic side flow with cosmic black, blue, or purple colors. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Cruelty-free
  • Long-lasting
  • Plenty of pigment
  • Great for graphic liner looks
  • A wide array of colors is available

Check it out here!

Almay All-Day Intense Gel Eyeliner ($8.49)

This pencil liner is known for being a creamy liner, offering an awesome color range and lasting all day. The color is as pigmented as your average liquid liner, but this colorful liner dries so quickly you’ll be amazed. Use the color range to create artistic eyeliner looks or simply up your makeup game. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Fade-proof
  • Waterproof
  • Easy application
  • Enjoy the pigment of a liquid liner with the ease of a pencil liner

Check it out here!

What To Look For In A Drugstore Eyeliner

Drugstore eyeliners are always a great idea, but some are superior. There are drugstore eyeliners that will take your breath away and others that will leave you mad that you wasted your hard-earned money. Shopping online for drugstore eyeliners can be tricky, though. 

One of the most important ways to determine if a drugstore eyeliner is the best drugstore eyeliner is by reading reviews and knowing what to look for in a new liner. Carefully read product reviews before purchasing a product, and look for these things to ensure you’re not disappointed. 


The pigment is the color payoff that a liner offers. Some cheap liners will barely deliver color, so avoiding them is best. Instead, check out reviews that offer pictures to ensure you’re buying a liner with a lot of pigment. 


The formula is another crucial thing to look for. If you live in an area that gets hot and humid all summer, invest in a waterproof formula or one that advertises it is sweat-resistant to ensure it will hold up in a heat wave. Likewise, if you’re not searching for anything special, consider picking up a basic liner for a more affordable price. 

We recommend pencil liners for beginners because they are easier to use. This includes gel pencil liners. Once you get the hang of those, upgrade to a liquid liner to perfect your cat eye!

Dry Time

There’s nothing worse than waiting on your liner to dry before you rush out the door in the morning, except for realizing that it’s not dry yet and arriving at work with black liner smudged across your face. Pay attention to what other verified purchasers say about the dry time of eyeliners, predominantly liquid liners. 

How Easy Is It To Remove

Waterproof formulas are known for being challenging to take off at the end of the day. However, rubbing your eyes raw will irritate them, and you’ll eventually toss your new liner in the trash. Instead, pick up a liner that is easier to remove. It can be helpful to check out these tips for removing eyeliner, too!


Price is always a factor to consider. Why spend $20 for a basic eyeliner formula when you can get the same thing from a brand that’s a cult favorite, and the eyeliner has more benefits? You shouldn’t. Instead, make sure you’re not spending an arm and a leg for something that merely gets the job done, but you’re also getting a decent eyeliner. This will ensure that you get more bang for your buck. 

Wear Time

Wear time is another essential factor to consider when picking out an eyeliner. You don’t want your look to fade away by midday. Instead, pay attention to reviews to determine if a liner is as long-lasting as it claims to be. 

Tip: Wear eye primer and set your makeup with setting spray or setting powder to make your look last longer

Final Thoughts

Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise quality. These are the best drugstore eyeliners to help you pull off the looks you want without breaking the bank. Still searching? Check out our product reviews to find your future must haves!

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