The 12 Best Black Eyeliners Ever

The backbone of your favorite makeup looks.

black eyeliner
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot)

Have you done a makeup audit lately? If you can't remember the last time it happened, now's probably the time. We've been known to hoard, too, but there's a chance some of your makeup is dry, almost empty, or just plain expired. But when we do clean house, there's one makeup product we always end up needing a restock for: a solid black eyeliner (opens in new tab). It's the backbone of most of our favorite looks, and we run through them like crazy. In fact, it's the one product that tends to *disappear* from the Marie Claire beauty closet most often.

That said, we can be a little picky when it comes to finding a formula that really gets the job done. After testing so many, we know a good liner when we see one: it's got to be inky, pigmented, and last as long as the rest of our look does. There are a ton of options, and all of them are best suited for specific purposes. We love a creamy pencil for a sexy, smudgy look, and we tend to reach for a pot for a knife-sharp wing. And we're downright obsessed with liquid liners (opens in new tab), because they're so versatile, and can create a vintage cat-eye (opens in new tab) or even an avant-garde floating liner. So, in an effort to streamline your audit, we've curated a list of the best of the best, from felt-tip MVPs to classic pencils. Read on for your perfect fit.

Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, wellness, and more. If you need her, she’s probably roasting a chicken, flying solo at the movies, or drinking a bad Negroni at JFK.