The first time we invited black eyeliner into our makeup routine was a life-changing moment. Ever since that initial awkward, hesitant, shaky swipe, we’ve counted our trusty liner as one our closest beauty companions – there for us during our grunge phase (shudder), cat-eye obsession (still going strong) and all of the crazy emotional mood swings in between. We decided to poll some of the top makeup artists to see what liner they count as their closest confidant – here’s what they said…
best black eyeliners
The Pick: Giorgio Armani  Eyes to Kill Waterproof Eye Pencil The Perk: Waterproof The Praise: NYC-based makeup artist Ashley Rebecca swears by this pencil: “It stays all day and doesn't smudge. Use it to line the inner rim of your eye for the perfect smoky look!”
The Pick: Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen in Blacquer The Perk: Precise The Praise: Perfect lines your thing? Celebrity makeup artist Melissa Walsh recommends Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen in Blacquer. “It's incredibly easy to apply,” she says, “The pen is like a tapered felt tip that is firm and not too long, so it's easy to control.” If you tend to end up with raccoon-eyes at the end of the day, this pencil will give you a “beautiful, shiny, deep black line that literally won’t budge until you take it off with eye makeup remover.”
The Picks: Stila Cosmetics Kajal Eyeliner, L’Oréal Paris Super Liner Blackbuster The Perks: Soft, Bold The Praise: When it comes to creating a smoky eye, makeup artist Brandy Gomez-Duplessis has two steps. “Stila Cosmetics Kajal Eyeliner is one of the darkest pencil eyeliners. The soft texture glides on very easy, giving you that sultry, smoky all-day wear,” says Duplessis. To take it to the next level, she goes over the eye with L’Oréal Paris Super Liner Blackbuster liner for an “intoxicating flirty eye. It gives you eight hours of rock star glam.”
The Pick: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama Eyeliner The Perk: Blendable The Praise: “This is such a versatile pencil,” says celebrity makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar, “It's essentially a cream liner in a pencil form.” He raves about this pigmented pencil’s ability to glide on smoothly and stay moist long enough for him to blend and smudge if needed. The best part? It dries to a matte finish for all-day wear. Take heed, smudge queens.
The Pick: Colorescience Crème-Gel Liner The Perk: Gel The Praise: Makeup artist Elle Leary raves about this gel liner: “It is not only really, really long-wearing, smudge-proof and the blackest black, but it’s also really easy to use. Goes on so softly and dries in a snap!!”
The Pick: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner The Perk: Liquid The Praise: If liquid liner stresses you out, listen up: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid might just change everything. “Liquid liner can be intimidating to use,” says makeup artist Tiffany Hall-Scarmana, “but [this liner] goes on in one fluid motion, is easy to control and stays on until you’re ready to take it off.” The patent-leather finish glams up your standard cat-eye and Scarmana says it’s a must-have for any beauty lover. Pro tip: Thin out your line to give the illusion of fuller, thicker lashes.
 
What’s your go-to black liner? Are you a liquid, pencil or gel fanatic? Sound off in the comments?