If you only wear black eyeliner, you’re really missing out! Beginners tend to shy away from colored eyeliners since they’re not sure how to use them. Even makeup artists sometimes stick with basic colors for fear of looking over-done.
The truth is eyeliner color makes a huge difference. Picking the right shade can add a subtle illusion of fuller lashes or the perfect complement to a bold eyeshadow. If you’re not the most skilled makeup artist, getting the right color of eyeliner can help compensate for a less-than-perfect application.
So how do you know which shade to choose? In this article, we’ll discuss four big-name lines of eyeliner that come in a variety of colors. We’ll also give you some ideas about how to use each one to match your style and enhance your beauty. In the reviews, we’ll also address these basic questions you should consider when shopping for eyeliner:
- What consistency do you need: pencil, cream, gel, or liquid?
- Does it come in colors that complement your complexion and style?
- Is it waterproof, smudge-proof or long lasting?
1. Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil
Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil lives up to its name by lasting from morning until night without smudging. This waterproof liner is a little pricier than other pencil eyeliners, but many customers say its quality is worth the price.
Urban Decay’s 24/7 pencil works best for filling in around your lash line, and because of this it’s a good idea to pick shades that will make your natural eye color pop. The 24/7 line comes in 35 colors including matte, glitter, and metallic hues. By choosing complementary colors, you can enhance the appearance of your eyes.
If you have blue eyes, consider:
- LSD (navy glitter)
- Corrupt (deep reddish brown)
- Goldmine (gold shimmer)
If you have green eyes, try:
- Smog (copper shimmer)
- Rockstar (dark purple)
- Empire (eggplant)
And finally, If you have brown eyes, you should check out:
- Smoke (matte gray)
- Vice (reddish purple)
- Chaos (cobalt blue)
As you can see, there isn’t one “perfect” shade of eyeliner for each eye color. Depending on the undertones of your eyes, some of these may look stunning while others won’t work at all. The good news is Urban Decay provides plenty of color options to try out.
2. E.L.F. Cream Eyeliner
Maybe you want more versatility than a pencil eyeliner allows. Cream eyeliner can be used for both the lash-line and winged looks. E.L.F. Cream Eyeliner is a great option for its value and staying power. It provides lasting color that doesn’t bleed or smudge, and at just $3, E.L.F. cream eyeliner is an amazing bargain.
E.L.F. cream eyeliner comes in a little pot with a brush. This may take some practice to master if you’re used to a stick eyeliner, as the techniques required for proper application are slightly different. However, happy customers say that this eyeliner is worth the learning curve.
Unlike the other makeup lines in this list, the color choices for the E.L.F. liner are limited to black, brown, jade green, and dark purple. However, these four colors can easily become any girl’s go-to eyeliner, regardless of her complexion.
Here are some general guidelines regarding picking an eyeliner for your skin tone:
If you are fair-skinned, step away from the black eyeliner! Black often contrasts too harshly with lighter skin. For the E.L.F. Cream Eyeliner, you should wear “Coffee,” a nice medium brown. The exception to this rule would be if you have very dark hair and eyelashes, in which case black may work with your coloring.
If you have medium or olive skin, you will look amazing in a classic black eyeliner. Congrats! Shopping for eyeliner will be a breeze. If you need a break from black, E.L.F.’s “Coffee” brown will also work when you want a subtler look.
If you have darker skin, you have the most options! You can use E.L.F.’s black cream eyeliner to create a subtle, natural look. If you want to play up the undertones in your skin or eyes, then you can also wear Teal Tease (shiny blue-green) or Punk Purple (deep plum).
All in all, E.L.F. Cream Eyeliner is a great value buy that exceeds many customers’ expectations. At just $3 each, there’s no reason why you can’t buy one of each and have fun experimenting.
3. Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Eyeliner
This gel waterproof eyeliner comes in 10 matte and 2 metallic shimmer shades. Thanks to the smooth consistency of this formula, the Tarte clay pot line can help you pull off dramatic looks like winged eyeliner. Additionally, the formula is also light enough that it can double as a cream eyeshadow.
We love this line for its eye-catching, trendy colors. The colorists at Tarte are obviously paying attention to trends in fashion. For that reason, Tarte eyeliner can actually serve as an accessory to add some extra pizzazz to your outfits.
Eyeliner in these rich, pigmented colors make a bold statement, so you’ll want to pick colors that match your personal style. Here are some top picks from the Tarte clay pot line that can play up your look:
If you have a classic style of dress, try:
- Rose gold
- Lucky penny (bright copper)
If you like to look glam 24/7, consider wearing:
- Crystal ball (shimmering plum)
- Blue moon (peacock blue)
- Spirit animal (metallic copper)
Finally, if your look is girly and sweet, consider:
- Unicorn kisses (light blue)
- Bubblegum (hot pink)
With these bright and beautiful shades, your eyes will be the focal point of any ensemble.
4. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner
Stila’s Stay All Day liquid eyeliner comes in 12 classic, easy-to-match colors. This clever product is applied with a sturdy felt-tipped pen, which even eyeliner beginners can easily use to create thin or thick lines.
Our discussion of eyeliner color wouldn’t be complete without talking about the ways that liner can be coordinated with the rest of your eye makeup. The Stay All Day line is a perfect candidate for applying these tips. First, the liquid formula and felt-tip pen make it possible to achieve a lot of different looks. Second, the colors are what you might call luxury basics: beautiful shades that elevate your everyday makeup.
If you’re wearing a neutral shadow, match it with Stila’s:
- Black (this liner has a huge cult following!)
- Alloy (rich steel-charcoal)
If you’re wearing a neutral shadow, contrast it with Stila’s:
- Indigo (deep peacock blue)
- Emerald (bright green)
- Cobalt (deep teal blue)
If you’re wearing a bold shadow, coordinate the color with Stila’s:
- Midnight (deep blue)
- Moss (forest green)
- Periwinkle (periwinkle blue)
Making unexpected but pleasing choices when pairing an eyeliner with shadow will make your look more unique, more you. Then, all you need to do is swipe on a few coats of mascara and you’re done.