Best Long-lasting Eyeliner Pens: Expectations versus Reality!


There are so many eyeliners on the market and we are on the prowl for the longest lasting eyeliner pen on the market. We want our eyeliner to stay black, to resist smudging, and to resist skipping. This last point is especially important for women like me who are older than 30 and noticed more folds on my eyelids. Although I can "pull my eyelids" back to make it smooth, doing so will stretch the delicate skin around the eye, causing it to droop and fold even more! 

I've tested the following liners: Kat Von D Trooper, NYX Epic Ink Liner, Smashbox Always on Liquid Liner, and the Pat Mcgrath PermaPrecision Liquid Line against the claims made by these companies to see how they truly stand. 

Kat Von D Trooper ($20)



On the Sephora website, the product description for this Kat Von D Trooper pen is that it is a felt-tip pen with an ultra-rich, waterproof formula that withstands 24 hours of wear.


I dislike felt-tip applicators because they tend to dry out quickly and often while I'm in the midst of drawing a cat-eye. I usually have to stop halfway into my flick, cap and shake before continuing. I also notice that the formula is not as "ultra-black" as it claims to be. I would say the color is more of a gray-black and the formula is pretty watery. I think I might've gotten a bad batch of pens but I was not at all impressed with the liner formula. It held up okay until hour 7 when my eyelids got a bit greasy so the liner smudged. 


I think I will take back to Sephora and exchange for a different batch to see if I face the same issue with watery-ness and lack of pigmentation. Have you experienced this? Let me know if this abnormal or normal for you with the Kat Von D Ink Liners. If all the formulas are this way, I don't think I would reach for this liner. 


NYX Epic Liner ($8.99)


On the Ulta website, NYX Epic Liner says it is an intensely pigmented, waterproof eyeliner with a brush tip that gives you full control so you're able to draw lines that are thick or thin.


This liner is decently pigmented. I would say its more black than the Kat Von D Liner but not as pigmented as the Smashbox or Pat Mcgrath liners. The formula is a bit hit or miss with the watery-ness. Sometimes it'll glide on smoothly, other times it would just bleed and feather everywhere. I started storing my NYX Epic Liner with the tip side up so that gravity will pull the majority of the product away from the brush, preventing watery-ness and feathering upon application. I also like that this eyeliner pen has a brush tip, the tip really helps the eyeliner glide on the eye and prevents the product from skipping on my eye folds. The formula in the NYX Epic Liner is waterproof and quite long-lasting for those with dry eyelids. Because my eyelids tend to get oily by the end of the day, the eyeliner starts to smudge and slip by the end around the 9-10th hour of the day. 


This is one of my favorite eyeliner pens solely because of the brush tip applicator and long-wearing formula.  Brush tip applicators are great for winged liners because it doesn't skip. They are also mature eye friendly because the brush glides over the folds whereas felt-tip liners skip over the folds. Not to mention, this liner is super affordable. Because of the reasonable price and skip-free lining experience, I have quite a few of these as backups in my beauty drawer. 


Smashbox Always On Liquid Eyeliner ($22) 


On Sephora's product description, it says that the Smashbox Always On Liner is an ergonomically shaped eyeliner with a highly pigmented, waterproof formula that lasts for 24 hours. It also says that because of the sharpie-like point on the pen, there is no tugging, skipping, smudging, or flaking and it is also sweat resistant. 


Always on Liner lives up to the claim of being highly pigmented and "always on." I did find the pen to skip and tug on my eyelid folds so that detracts a bit from loving this product wholeheartedly and throwing away all my other eyeliner pens. 


 I think if they made this pen with a brush-tip, it could take over the world as the world's best eyeliner. Seriously, its that good, give it a try. I found that it lasted much longer than the NYX waterproof pen and was able to withstand by oily eyelids. I TRULY wish they made this with a brush tip. 


Pat Mcgrath Perma Precision Liner ($28)


On the Sephora page, Pat Mcgrath Perma Precision Liner states that its flex-tip brush delivers an intense, inky black, waterproof formulation that will last up to 24 hours. It also says that it dries quickly and is resistant to skipping, transferring, feathering or running. 


This liner had the most luxurious, velvety black color. That said, this pen skipped so much on my eyes that I found it extremely challenging to draw a smooth wing. The wear time was on par with Kat Von D Ink liner less than 8 hours. 


While I love how intense and richly black this liner is, I can't get past how often this pen skips on my eye folds. This pen is best for those who don't have mature skin or for those who are not drawing a wing. 


Final Thoughts

With all the pens that I've tried, I found the Smashbox Always on Liner was my overall favorite despite the fact that it did tend to skip. Overall, I found that this liner really stayed on ALL day and almost all night! 

Just a smidge behind is the NYX liner because of its great price point, long lasting formula and price point.  


I'm curious to know what your favorite liners are! List them in the comments. 



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