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Whether for defining, tight-lining, or smudging, pencil eyeliners are one of the most versatile, multi-purpose eye products out there. While liquid, cream, and gel eyeliners tend to be better formulas for creating more precise lines, like cat-eyes, french-flicks, and wings, kohl and pencil liners give you the ability to add definition to your upper and lower lashline, apply on the lid for a smokey eye effect, rim your waterline for a smoldering look, and well, the list of look options goes on and on. Pencil liners, however, often get a bad rap for smearing, burning, and fading throughout the day, resulting in an unwanted raccoon vibe, but with the right long-wearing and budge-proof product at hand, none these beauty mishaps have to be an issue.
Of course, pencil eyeliners also tend to be “frowned upon” for their juvenile (and kind of nostalgic) associations. Smearing stark black eyeliner all over your top and button lash lines is practically a rite of passage, and is almost certainly a trend coveted by those in junior high and high school experimenting with makeup for the first time. But pencil liner isn’t just for tweens—if you pick the right formula and master your technique, that is. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite, totally grown-up pencil eyeliners to try out for yourself.
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1. NYX Cosmetics Retractable Eye Liner
This foolproof retractable eye pencil doesn’t require an additional sharpener to get the most of the product. The smooth yet long-lasting formula glides on like a dream but stays put all day without smudging, smearing, or transferring.
2. COVERGIRL Perfect Blend Eyeliner Pencil
This dual-ended pencil features a built-in smudging tip, allowing you to get precise, crisp lines or a slightly smudged, smokey-eye look in just minutes. The creamy texture feels light and comfortable all day long, and the formula never leaves you with pesky raccoon eyes.
3. Maybelline TattooStudio Eyeliner
This ultra long-lasting eye pencil is designed with a super-precise tip, allowing you to define and enhance the shape of your eyes without flaking, smearing, or fading. It’s also available in nine different shades.