• Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2021 (Maybelline, Revlon, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2021 (Maybelline, Revlon, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2021 (Maybelline, Revlon, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2021 (Maybelline, Revlon, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2021 (Maybelline, Revlon, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners in 2021 (Maybelline, Revlon, and More)

Are you on the hunt for an eyeliner to help you achieve soft looks for the day, bold looks for the night, a sharp wing, or a tight-lined waterline for a dramatic look? Pencil eyeliners can help you with that! Pencil eyeliners are very versatile; the possibilities are limitless with this product. You can create a bold cat eye look or tight line your eyes for more definition.

To help you decide on a pencil eyeliner, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best. The first one on the list is Maybelline's Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil. It's a handy mechanical eyeliner pencil you can bring anywhere you go! Are you still struggling to decide? Read through our buying guide for more information on choosing the right kind of pencil eyeliner for you!

This article's specialists

Charlene Wiyarand
  • Last updated: 01-10-2021
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Pencil Eyeliners

We've put together various pencil eyeliners from retractable to non-retractable with different shades that can cater to all kinds of eye color and skin tone!


MaybellineMaster Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil


Amount0.0035 oz.
Available shades3

Pat McGrath LabsPermaGel Eyeliner Pencil


Amount0.042 oz.
Available shades5

RevlonColorStay Eyeliner Pencil


Amount0.01 oz.
Available shades8

Urban Decay24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil


Amount0.04 oz.
Available shades31

CliniqueQuickliner for Eyes


Amount0.01 oz.
Available shades5
HighlightsOphthalmologist tested, no parabens

NYX Professional MakeupJumbo Eyeliner Pencil


Amount0.18 oz.
Available shades13

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner


Amount0.008 oz.
Available shades7

e.l.f. Satin Eyeliner Pencil


Amount0.3 oz.
Available shades1
HighlightsVegan, cruelty free, no parabens, phthalates

JulepWhen Pencil Met Gel


Amount0.32 oz.
Available shades17
HighlightsOphthalmologist tested, cruelty-free, no sulfates, parabens

Marc Jacobs BeautyHighliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner

Mini size


Amount0.01 oz.
Available shades5
HighlightsCruelty-free, no parabens, sulfates, phthalates

Compare the Best Pencil Eyeliners

Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil 1


Pat McGrath Labs PermaGel Eyeliner Pencil 1

Pat McGrath Labs

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Pencil 1


Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil 1

Urban Decay

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes 1


NYX Professional Makeup Jumbo Eyeliner Pencil 1

NYX Professional Makeup

L'Oreal Paris  Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner 1

L'Oreal Paris

e.l.f.  Satin Eyeliner Pencil  1


Julep When Pencil Met Gel 1


Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner 1

Marc Jacobs Beauty


Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil

PermaGel Eyeliner Pencil

ColorStay Eyeliner Pencil

24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil

Quickliner for Eyes

Jumbo Eyeliner Pencil

Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

Satin Eyeliner Pencil

When Pencil Met Gel

Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner


Thin and Precise Retractable Pencil Eyeliner

Silicone-Enriched Non-Retractable Pencil Eyeliner

Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner With a Built-in Sharpener

Pencil Eyeliner Infused With Beneficial Ingredients

Double-Ended Pencil Eyeliner With Smudger

Multipurpose and Versatile Eyeliner Pencil

Retractable Eyeliner With Built-in Sharpener and Smudger

Non-Retractable Pencil With a Handy Built-in Sharpener

Opthalmologist Tested Eyeliner Pencil for People With Sensitive Eyes

Mini Gel Pencil Eyeliner to Take With You

Amount0.0035 oz.0.042 oz.0.01 oz.0.04 oz.0.01 oz.0.18 oz.0.008 oz.0.3 oz.0.32 oz.0.01 oz.
Available shades3583151371175
Highlights--Ophthalmologist-testedCruelty-freeOphthalmologist tested, no parabensCruelty-free-Vegan, cruelty free, no parabens, phthalatesOphthalmologist tested, cruelty-free, no sulfates, parabensCruelty-free, no parabens, sulfates, phthalates

How to Choose a Pencil Eyeliner - Buying Guide

Consider the type of pencil, the ingredients, and your skin tone before deciding on the perfect pencil eyeliner for you!

Decide Between Retractable and Non-Retractable Pencil Eyeliners

Decide Between Retractable and Non-Retractable Pencil Eyeliners

There are two kinds of pencil eyeliners: retractable and non-retractable. Retractable pencil eyeliners are pigment sticks in a mechanical plastic cylinder. The retractable feature keeps it clean even without a cap

They are convenient to use and bring on the go because you don’t have to sharpen them. Sharpening also wastes product, so a retractable one will let you get more for your money. However, retractable pencil eyeliners usually contain less product compared to non-retractable eyeliners.

Decide Between Retractable and Non-Retractable Pencil Eyeliners

Non-retractable eyeliners, on the other hand, will have to be resharpened every time the tip runs down. This might not be the most convenient when you are on the go.

They also might not be the most hygienic if the pencil doesn’t come with a cap or if you lose it. It’s a good thing that some pencil eyeliners are self-sharpening or have a built-in sharpener to make them more convenient.

Pick a Pencil Eyeliner That Complements Your Skin Tone

Pick a Pencil Eyeliner That Complements Your Skin Tone

In choosing the right pencil eyeliner for you, you can pick one that brings out the best of your skin tone. If you have fair skin, you can opt for brown, grey, or green colored eyeliners. These shades are warm, but they don’t bring a considerable contrast against lighter skin, unlike black eyeliners.

People with medium skin tones, on the other hand, can safely use black eyeliner. You can also go for shades of deep red, maroon, or bronze. These hues will compliment your skin tone.

Deep skin tones can pull off any color. The brighter the shade you use, the more it makes your skin color stand out. Shades of blue and purple will do the same. Moreover, shimmery and metallic shades like gold and silver will also look great with your skin tone. 

Find a Color That Enhances Your Natural Eye Color

Find a Color That Enhances Your Natural Eye Color

You can also choose your eyeliner shade according to your eye color. If you have blue eyes, eyeliners in gold or copper will make your eyes appear even bluer. Deep orange and champagne hues will do it too. If you want to achieve a bold look, dark blues will do the trick.

Green eyes can be enhanced with shades of red. Colors like mahogany or amethyst will surely make your eyes pop. But if you have hazel eyes, the hues to go for are golds and olives. These will highlight the green in your eyes. You can also go for a deep and warm brown if you’re looking for something bolder.

If your eyes are on the darker brown side, deep blue shades or amber will bring out the gold and light brown in your eyes. Other shades you can try are purple or dark grey. For bolder looks, you can go for cobalt blue.

Opt for a Waterproof and Smudge-Free Pencil Eyeliner

Opt for a Waterproof and Smudge-Free Pencil Eyeliner

If you want to keep your look on the whole day without smudging or running, you should go for a waterproof and smudge-free eyeliner. These will last you the entire day through all kinds of weather. 

These are especially suitable for warmer seasons or when you’re doing outdoor activities. Even if you tend to sweat a lot, you can trust your waterproof eyeliner to stay in place and keep you from panda eyes.

The only downside to these liners is that they can be hard to remove. You have to look for effective makeup removers like cleansing balms and oils.

Pay Attention to Beneficial and Harmful Ingredients

Pay Attention to Beneficial and Harmful Ingredients

When looking for the right pencil eyeliner, you have to be mindful of both beneficial and harmful ingredients. The eyelids are thin and delicate and therefore the most sensitive part of your face. Some eyeliners are safe to use for most people; these are hypoallergenic and have been dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested

If your skin is on the drier side, you should opt for hydrating and moisturizing eyeliners that contain shea butter, castor oil, or jojoba oil.

Pay Attention to Beneficial and Harmful Ingredients

Some ingredients to consider avoiding, especially if you have sensitive eyes and skin, are fragrances, sulfates, and pigments that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Fragrance can cause itching and irritation in some people. Sulfates can also be irritating and drying for people with dry or sensitive skin. It tends to strip away natural oils from the skin and cause it to dry up.

Most black eyeliners are created with a pigment named D&C Black 2. This pigment has been certified by the FDA as safe to use for cosmetics. Avoid black eyeliners with uncertified carbon black pigments.

Try Out Other Eye Makeup Products!

Try Out Other Eye Makeup Products!

Your eye makeup can change your whole look! There’s nothing wrong with investing and trying out other makeup products that make you feel and look good. Here are some suggestions.


Eyeliners accentuate and enhance our eyes' natural features. They bring attention to them and make them stand out. Whether you’re going for a natural everyday look or a bold night look, you can trust your pencil eyeliner to do that for you.

But before choosing one, you have to choose the shades that complement your eye color and skin tone. Going for waterproof and smudge-proof eyeliners might also be the move for you. You should also pay attention to both beneficial and harmful ingredients that might be in your eyeliner.

Author: Janina Maddatu

Set it and Forget it With an Influencer's Beloved Setting Spray

Whether you're trying to keep your makeup from transferring to your mask or just don't want your eye makeup to smudge, this effective setting spray will do the trick. It comes with the stamp of approval from Eye Charlene of Instagram's beauty influencer community!


Charlotte TilburyAirbrush Flawless Setting Spray

3.3 oz.


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