When it comes to eyeliner, there are all sorts of different types: everything from tasteful winged eyeliner to full-on kohl-rimmed madness. It's easy to have some missteps along the way, but practice makes perfect. If you're ready to try your hand at adding a bit of dramatic flair to your eyelids, here are some affordable choices that you can purchase at your local drugstore. It’s easier than ever to experiment with different formulas and find what works for you. Even better: the following eyeliners are sold by companies that don't test on animals.
$0.99 via Wet 'n Wild
When money is tight and you absolutely need eyeliner, buy one of these tried-and-true eyeliner pencils. This bad boy is surprisingly durable and long-lasting. After a night of hard partying, you’ll likely have a bit of that post-party rock chick smudgy eye going on. For the price, you won’t find better. And if you're very worried about smudging, you can always use primer.
If you’ve mastered eyeliner pencils and want to move on to more advanced endeavors without blowing your budget, try Wet ‘n Wild’s cream liner. The precise angled brush makes application much easier than you would think and the waterproof formula means that the bold color stays right where you put it. This liner deserves to be the star of the show, and at $3.99 it's still quite a bargain. Pair it with a simple sweep of neutral eyeshadow to really make it pop.
$8.99 at Target
Liquid eyeliner makes for a polished look, but it can be a real pain to apply. This liner changes all that. The pen, which is thick enough to grip, and the slim tip make the liquid easy to control. This is the eyeliner you need when you want to create perfect winged liner in no time flat and enjoy a smudge-free look that lasts well into the night. Worth every penny.
$8 at CVS Pharmacy
Are you the type of person who would never consider swapping black liner for brown? MUA Makeup Academy may make a believer out of you with their Intense Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Brown. The rich color is just a touch softer than your everyday black liner but still makes quite an impact. Pair with a metallic shadow for a neutral smoky eye, or combine with the Wet ‘n Wild Studio Eyeshadow Palette in Coming in Latte. This liner is also resilient enough to withstand you accidentally rubbing your eye — who hasn't forgotten they were wearing eye makeup at least once in their lives? — even if you aren't wearing primer.
$6.00 via NYX
This liner, part of NYX’s Collection Noir eyeliner range, boasts beautiful sheen — something that is hard to get without resorting to liquid or cream liners. And it glides on beautifully for bold, saturated color. If you love that smudged, edgy liner look and want to amp it up with a bit more texture or like the look of cream liner but don’t want to deal with using an eyeliner brush, this liner is a great option. NYX warns that the velvety stick will not retract once you expose the tip, so use with care or you’ll have a sad, smushed liner. Prep your lids with primer and shadow to create a base that will help the liner stick. In addition to this formula, Collection Noir includes a matte version as well as classic kohl liner, liquid liner and a powder liner, so there really is something for everyone.