Best Eyeliner for Beginners (#1 Complete Guide + Best Products)
From cat eyes to simple wings, eyeliner is a fun way to make your eyes pop, experiment with new makeup looks, and even make you look more awake in the morning.
But, eyeliner can be intimidating, and if you’ve never used it before, or you are just an eyeliner beginner, you might be wondering what eyeliner is the best for you.
If that’s you, then you are in the right place.
Today we will be looking at 12 of my favorite eyeliners for beginners, their pros and cons, plus a few of the most common questions beginners have about eyeliners.
Ready to up your eyeliner game? Let’s get started!
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In a rush? ✅ Our #1 best-recommended eyeliner for beginners is the Stila Stay all day waterproof pen eyeliner. It has a precise pointy tip that makes the eyeliner strokes so easy to make! PLUS is waterproof and long-lasting.
Best eyeliners for beginners: drugstore
I love saving money, and if you are in need of some of the best drugstore eyeliners that you can try without breaking the bank, check out a few of my favorites below.
Liner and Lash Glue in One: If you are hoping for some false eyelashes to go along with your new liner, this eyeliner is perfect for you!
This liner works double-time as a lash glue as well, so you can easily attach your lashes without purchasing a separate lash glue!
Fine Tip: Another reason why I love this liner is because the tip is so fine, so you have the freedom to do a thin line, or thicker design, depending on your preference.
No matter what you choose, you know it will look precise!
Very Difficult to Remove: Some customers struggled to remove this liner at the end of the day, and worried about it causing eye irritation from rubbing so hard.
So, if you are in love with this liner, make sure you have a strong makeup remover as well! An oil-based eye makeup remover should work fine.
- Waterproof: I love waterproof liners, and they are especially perfect for beginners. No need to worry about smudging or smearing with this NYX eyeliner here!
- Precise Tip: This is another liner with a precise tip, which means you have extra security as you make your on-point wings and cat eyes!
- Cruelty-Free: Another reason why I love NYX products is because they are vegan and cruelty free! This is especially great to see in a product that is so affordable!
- Tip is Flimsy: One thing to note is that while this brush has a precise tip, some customers struggled with it being a little too flimsy, so there wasn’t as much control as a beginner might need.
I personally have tried this eyeliner for years now and I don’t find the tip to be flimsy, it’s probably depending on what you are used to when it comes to precision on eyeliners.
- Easiest Wings EVER: I can guarantee you have never seen an eyeliner like this.
This liner in particular has been blowing up on TikTok because of its unique function. This liner comes with two items, a regular liner, and a stamp.
- This stamp creates a perfect wing, with no struggle required. This is perfect for beginners who want a wing but don’t want the extra hassle of trying to create two even wings!
- Waterproof: This liner is also waterproof and smudge-proof, so no need to worry about any smearing here!
- More Expensive: For a drugstore product, it is a little spendier than the typical eyeliner. However, many customers felt that the quality this eyeliner brings is well worth the extra dollars!
- Built-In Sharpener: I LOVE that this liner has a built-in sharpener. This makes it easy for on-the-go application, plus it works well and keeps your pencil tip sharp and precise.
- Subtle: Unlike a few liners on this list, this one is perfect if you want a subtle look. The colors are not harsh or extremely bold, so they are perfect if you want a lighter or a little more natural eyeliner look.
- Smudges: One con about this eyeliner is that it might smudge. A few customers complained about it smudging due to their lashes, so if you are going for a sharp look, it might be a little more difficult to achieve with this liner.
- but if you like the smudging look (I show how this is super beneficial for mature eyelids on this step by step mature skin eye lift tutorial), this is the perfect eyeliner for you!
Best Gel Eyeliner for Beginners
Gel eyeliner is especially fun for beginners, and while it isn’t the easiest to use, there is one that is exceptional for beginners. Check out my favorite below!
- Long-Lasting: This is another liner that will last all day without smudging or fading, so it is perfect if you have a busy day. Plus it is waterproof, smudge proof, and sweatproof. No matter what activity comes your way, this eyeliner is ready to play!
- Easy to Apply: This liner has the richness of a liquid liner, but the durability of a pencil, which means it is easy to apply. It is especially easy if you have a precise brush!
- Lack of Colors: While Bobbi Brown used to carry a wider variety of colors, now they only have a few to choose from. A few customers have complained that their favorite shade was discontinued, so now there are not as many options for this liner.
Best liquid eyeliners for beginners
Liquid eyeliner can sometimes prove to be a challenger for beginners, but if you are really hoping to find a liquid eyeliner you love, here are a few of my favorites!
Variety of Colors: One of the reasons why I love this eyeliner is because it has several colors to choose from, so you aren’t limited to just black.
This eyeliner comes in black, white, charcoal, two shades of brown, green, and blue!
All of these shades are gorgeous earthy tones, so you don’t need to worry about neon colors if that isn’t the look you are going for!
Waterproof: Having a waterproof eyeliner is a great feature for beginners because your eyes are going to water more at the beginning since they aren’t used to you using eye makeup.
This liner is authentically waterproof, and won’t smudge or smear if your eyes water.
- Tip: One con about this eyeliner is that the tip isn’t as sharp as some makeup lovers would like. I honestly feel like the tip is just right to make basic and more advanced eyeliner techniques.
- Stays in Place: This is called “tattoo liner” for a reason. This liner stays in place all day long, without smudging, smearing, or fading. It also dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about messing up your gorgeous wing right after application.
- Deep Pigment: Another reason why I love this liner is because of its rich pigment. This eyeliner is a rich black, and it stays bold all day long.
- Short Shelf Life: If you aren’t planning on wearing liner frequently, this is not the liner for you. It does not have a very long shelf life, so once you open it, I recommend shaking it every day to make sure it doesn’t break up in the bottle and go on patchy.
- Easy to Use: This liner had to go on this list because it is easily one of the easiest liquid liners to use that you’ll ever buy. The brush glides onto your eye without skipping or stopping, and the liner doesn’t look shaky or smudged, even for beginners.
- Lifeproof: One of the reasons why I love this liner is because it is truly lifeproof. It lasts all day long without smudging or fading. Plus, it is waterproof, sweatproof, and perfect if you have oily skin!
- Not a Rich Color: Some customers felt like the color for this liner is a little sheerer and doesn’t fit its “ultra bold color” claims. A few customers said it looked more gray than black.
- Smudge-Proof: This eyeliner WILL NOT smudge, and will stay on through just about anything. It is waterproof, sweatproof, and doesn’t transfer onto your lids!
- Easy to Use: This liner is easy to hold, so it makes doing cat eyes and wings easy, which is perfect for beginners!
- Not Long Lasting: A few customers complained that this eyeliner dried up after about a month of use, so if you are not planning on using eyeliner frequently, this is not the liner for you!
Best Pen Eyeliner for beginners
In between a pencil and a liquid liner, eyeliner pens are a great balance when it comes to trying out new eyeliners. Check out my favorite below.
- Multipurpose: This is a MAGNETIC pen eyeliner! Say what? YES! you just do your eyeliner as usual and pop in a pair of magnetic eyelashes on it. so easy to use for beginners! Check my complete tutorial on everything you need to know about magnetic eyelashes.
- Perfect with Lashes: This eyeliner is actually designed to pair perfectly with the glamnetic false lashes, and together, it looks amazing. All Glamnetic lashes have powergrip magnets that can stick to this magnetic pen for easy application!
- Lots of Control: Because this is a pen, you retain a lot of the same control that you would have with a pencil, but with a richer pigment!
- Pricey: While we have looked at a few higher-end liners, this one is particularly expensive. So if you are hoping for a cheaper liner, don’t forget about my list of drugstore liners above! Check the current price here.
Best Eyeliner Pencils
If you want an eyeliner pencil that is a little more high quality than a drugstore option, check out the Lancome and Urban Decay pencils below!
- Perfect for Waterline: This eyeliner is especially great if you want an eyeliner that you can use on your waterline. This liner will go on smoothly and evenly, without running or smudging!
- Bold Colors: Sometimes it is hard to achieve bold colors with a pencil, but not with this eyeliner! All of Lancome’s colors are bold and beautiful!
- Runs: While this liner is perfect for the waterline, some customers noticed that it runs a bit when you draw a wing or a cat eye. I recommend setting your liner in place with powder to avoid this!
- Variety of Colors: If you want to experiment with your eyeliner, this is the pencil to do it with. It comes in a variety of shades including blue, shimmer shades, several shades of green, and more!
- Gorgeous Finish: This liner has a stunning matte finish. Plus, it is long lasting, so your matte liner will stay on all day, without smudging or fading!
- Hard to Apply on Waterline: A few customers complained that this pencil was not precise enough for a waterline application.
Which type of eyeliner is best for beginners?
After hopefully falling in love with a few of the eyeliners above, you might be wondering, which is the best type of eyeliner for beginners.
The truth is, that a beginner can use any type of eyeliner. As you see above, I suggest a variety of both pencil and liquid eyeliners!
However, pencil eyeliner is a little easier to control, so if you don’t have a steady hand yet, I recommend sticking with a pencil eyeliner like this one.
This type of liquid eyeliner makes life so much easier and it’s the best way to go when you are starting with more precise eyeliner looks, like winged eyeliner.
Is liquid or pencil eyeliner better?
Honestly for beginners I prefer, liquid. Pen eyeliner to be specific.
Both liquid and pencil eyeliners are great for different reasons. Liquid eyeliner is going to look darker, and the lines are going to be a bit sharper than a pencil liner.
However, as I mentioned above, they are a little harder to use.
A pencil eyeliner will give you a softer look, and they tend to last longer if you properly applied it.
However, you have to sharpen them frequently, and your wings or more advanced eyeliner looks will probably not look as sharp as they would with a liquid liner.
Conclusion on the best eyeliner for beginners
Our #1 best-recommended eyeliner for beginners is the Stila Stay all day waterproof pen eyeliner. It has a precise pointy tip that makes any eyeliner stroke so easy to make! PLUS is waterproof and long-lasting.
Now that you know a bit more about eyeliner, I hope you were able to pick out a few favorites to try.
I suggest experimenting with both pencil and liquid liners to find out which one is the best fit for you. Plus, don’t forget that practice makes perfect.
If you can’t nail a perfect wing on the first try, keep at it, and don’t give up on your eyeliner looks!
What’s Next? Check these Eyeliner posts:
- Eyeliner vs Mascara: When to use each and pro tips!
- The best Drugstore WATERPROOF eyeliner for the perfect non-smudged winged eyeliner
- What are the different types of eyeliner? (A Helpful guide!)
- Hooded eyes? These are the best eyeliners for Hooded eyes/Droppy eyelids! + Tutorial