The Difference Between Kohl and Regular Eyeliner Pencils, Explained

March 15, 2022
Caitlyn Martyn
By: Caitlyn Martyn | by L'Oréal

The art of eyeliner application is a skill many of us have yet to master. Chances are you’ve come a long way from your first attempt, but it’s only natural if you still struggle with getting the lines just right. We’ll let you in on a little secret that may help you get one step closer to perfection, though: The type of eyeliner you use matters. 

To find out the difference between regular eyeliner and kohl eyeliner, including the pros and cons of each, we tapped celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern. Keep reading to see which eyeliner pencil you should be using and get product recommendations for each type. 

The Difference Between Kohl Eyeliner and Regular Eyeliner Pencils

If a smudgy, diffused line is what you’re after, kohl eyeliner should be on your radar. According to Stern, kohl eyeliner is easier to manipulate thanks to its softer composition, making it the best option for perfecting a smoky eye look. The creamy texture is also ideal for lining the wetline (also known as the waterline), she says. 

Traditional pencil eyeliner, on the other hand, is your best bet for a graphic eyeliner look (like this banana eyeliner look) as these types of liners produce a more defined line. 

Our Favorite Kohl Eyeliner Pencils

Our Favorite Regular Eyeliner Pencils 

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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