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. 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, because they're so versatile, and can create a vintage cat-eye 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.