Choosing the right brand of eyeliner is important as different brands react differently for different people, and the amount of pigment in the eyeliner is differs as well.
But before you choose your brand of eyeliner, you have to choose what the best eyeliner application method is for you.
There are four basic types of eyeliner: Pencil, Liquid, Gel or Cream, and Cake. Each type of eyeliner has its own pros and cons.
Pencil linersare the easiest of the types of eyeliners to use. They are easier to control and are usually more subtle than the other types. Because of it’s ease of use, these types are the best eyeliners for beginners or those without a steady hand.
There are different types of Pencil eyeliners: Powder-based, Wax-Based, and Kohl.
Powder-based pencil liners are the best for beginners. They are the easiest to handle because the tips of powder-based pencil eyeliners are harder. They can create a beautifully defined, natural looking lines. However, they’re less pigmented and over sharpening the pencil can hurt your lid.
Wax-based pencil liners have a softer tip. The wax in the pencil makes application smoother so it’s more difficult to use than powder-based pencil eyeliners. These liners are more prone to smudging. However, being more prone to smudging is not always a bad thing. Wax-based pencil eyeliners can create beautiful smoky eyes.
Kohl is a soft powder that’s been used for centuries (like in Ancient Egypt!). It’s softer than the other forms of pencil eyeliners (and it comes in compact and loose powder forms too!). Kohl eyeliners glide on more softly and smoothly while imparting a high amount of pigment. It also smudges more easily than wax liners. However, it’s imprecise and more difficult to get a natural look when using this. Rather than use it for daytime events, school or office, It’s recommended for nights out. the FDA (The U.S.A.’s Food and Drug Administration) warns against using Kohl because it may contain lead.
Pros: Easiest to handle, More natural, good for beginners, good for creating smoky eyes.
Cons: Smudges more easily, difficult to create clean lines, Less pigment than the others, You need to sharpen it.
Liquid liners are one of the most difficult types or eyeliners to apply. You need a steady hand or else your lined eyes will look like a mess. Even though it’s more difficult, liquid eyeliners can give you fine, clean, sharp and defined lines as well as high pigment. Once you get used to applying it, liquid liners can be applied very quickly and they can easily create tapered lines, much like a brush stroke.
Liquid eyeliners usually come in a bottle with an applicator. The applicator can be either brush or felt tip. Felt-tips are generally easier to use than brush tips but it’s more difficult to apply over eyeshadow.
Pros: Sharp and intense lines, Water Resistant, Usually Smudge-proof, Convenient, Fast to apply once you get used to it, Dries Quickly
Cons: Difficult to apply for beginners (especially for brush tipped liquid ners), Does not last as long as Gel liners, Cannot create smoky eyes, Flakes after hours
Gel or Cream Eyeliner
Gel or Cream liners are easier to apply than liquid liners because they aren’t as wet. Personally, I favor this type of eyeliner over the others because it’s easy to apply with practice, I can control the thickness of the line and it applies smoothly (I don’t hurt or tug my eyes when I apply this. Gel/Cream eyeliners give you a somewhat defined (not as defined as liquid), matte line. It’s one of the longest lasting liners (some don’t come off until you use eye make-up remover. Once it’s dry, it does not smudge and it’s usually waterproof. However, it’s less convenient to bring around as liquid liners because you have to bring around a brush to apply it. Also, you have to buy the brush to apply it.
Pros: Defined and matte line, Versatile, Easier to apply than liquid liner, Amazing staying power, Smooth application, Smudgeproof and usually water resistant
Cons: You have to buy a brush to apply It, not convenient to bring around, More difficult to remove than other liners, You have to clean the brush often.
Cake Eyelineris the liner many professionals use. It’s the most versatile out of all the liners. It can create clean, precise lines (depending on the brush), or you could blend it out before it dries (unlike liquid liner which dries much faster). Cake liners are water-activated powders that are packages in small compacts, much like eyeshadow. In order to apply it, you need to wet an eyeliner brush in water first then put it on like a liquid or pencil liner.
Pros: Versatile, Buildable, Vibrant, Stays on for a really long time, Does not flake off, Can create smoky eyes
Cons: You need to buy brushes, Might be difficult for a beginner to use, More difficult to find than liquid, pencil, and Gel/cream liners, Dries slower than liquid liners, you have to clean the brush
If it’s your first time using eyeliner, it’s best to start with a pencil. Once you get more adept with applying eyeliner, you can try to move to the other types until you find which is the best eyeliner for you.