The 10 Best White Eyeliners for Every Need

Megawatt-bright eyes, right this way.

blake lively white eyeliner trend
(Image credit: Delphine Achard/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)

In a perfect world, we would all get at least eight hours of sleep each night. But with busy schedules, it can be nearly impossible to get the amount of shut-eye our body needs. But with the magic of makeup, we can at least fake the “I just slept like a baby” look. A few dabs of concealer on the undereyes and a swipe of mascara will work wonders for waking up your face, but if you truly want to achieve a brighter look, turn to the best white eyeliners. 

Sure, great eyeliners will define your eyes, but white shades specifically have a different effect. According to pro makeup artist Carly Giglio, white eyeliner acts as an instant eye-opener. “It can give a brightening look to the eye depending on how you use it,” she explains.

From liquid formulas to pencils, these are the white liners that are pigmented, long-wearing, and work well any way you choose to wear them. We even included a few favorites from pros and editors.

What to Look For in White Eyeliner

Before you run off to buy the first white eyeliner you see, we recommend paying attention to two qualities: pigmentation and texture. 

  • Pigmentation. If you want eyes that are megawatt-bright, then you’ll want a liner with high pigmentation. This rings especially true if you’re working with liquid liners, says Giglio (she also recommends a liner that doesn’t bleed when working with liquid formulas). When in doubt, it’s best to swatch a liner against the back of your hand to see how well the white shade shows up. 
  • Texture. Smooth and creamy is the way to go. A creamier formula won’t tug or skip against the lid, meaning there’s less chance of any irritation around the eye. A smooth and creamy liner is especially important if your working on the extra-sensitive waterline, too. Additionally, Giglio recommends a blendable texture if your working with a pencil liner, which will add versatility to your look. 

The Best White Eyeliners

How To Use White Eyeliner

White eyeliner is incredibly versatile, but if you’re wanting to look awake in an instant, you can run a white pencil in the waterline and along your lower lash line. This will also make your eyes appear bigger as it extends the white area of your eyes. For an even brighter effect, Giglio says she loves to use white liner “double stacked,” meaning layered on top of black or another dark color liner that hugs the lash line. “This can be done with pencil but to create a crisp line, I like to do this with liquid eyeliners,” she adds. 

Another great way to use white eyeliner? As an eye shadow base. “It can soften an eyeshadow color, creating a pastel look to a color you layer over the white,” explains Giglio. “It can also create an opaque base for a sheer eyeshadow.” If you go this route, Giglio says to make sure you diffuse the edges of the white liner with your fingertips or brush for a seamless blend.

Meet the Expert

headshot of Carly Giglio, pro makeup artist
Carly Giglio

Carly is a celebrated celebrity makeup artist and educator with a passion for color, glowing skin, and celebrating her client’s unique beauty. With over a decade of industry experience, including red carpet and editorial photoshoots, brand creative campaigns, and New York Fashion Week, Carly is all about the details when it comes to creating beauty looks. She is the Global Makeup Artist for bareMinerals and her celebrity clientele includes Naomi Osaka, Joan Smalls, Priyanka Chopra, Nicole Scherzinger, and Jamie Chung. 

Brooke Knappenberger
Associate Commerce Editor

Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.