The 14 Best Drugstore Waterproof Eyeliners

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by Lauren Moison
Elite Daily/Amazon

For makeup that’ll hold up to daily activities and big events, the best drugstore waterproof eyeliners come in a variety of application methods, formulas, and colors to make finding your new go-to eyeliner a cinch. However, all will provide smudge-free wear, and everything on this list is less than $10.

What To Consider When Choosing A Waterproof Eyeliner

One of the main goals when choosing the best waterproof eyeliner is making sure it works in the face of humidity, swimming, and even tears. Of course, it’s hard to tell whether an eyeliner will truly live up to the hype on the packaging. This is where online shopping truly shines — product reviews can give you an inside look at how eyeliners really hold up over time.

Also, consider what kind of looks you’d like to create and the application methods you prefer. Liquid eyeliners are great for creating winged looks and never need sharpening, but a steady hand (and a little practice) is required for precise application. Pencil eyeliners tend to be a little easier to apply, and creamy formulas can be smudged to create a smoky look, but it might be harder to produce a super-skinny line like you’d get with liquid eyeliner. Another option? Some gel formulas come in little pots which you apply with thin brushes to give you control over the thickness of the line but can come with a bit of a learning curve. No matter which formula you choose, they’re also available in a variety of matte, satin, and metallic finishes to suit your style.

Scroll on for the best drugstore waterproof eyeliners available on Amazon.

This Matte Liquid Formula With A Cult Following

With over 65,000 ratings and 4.6 stars overall, it’s no wonder the NYX liquid eyeliner has developed a following. The felt brush tip and matte finish are ideal for creating cat eyes and super skinny lines that can be built into thicker, bold looks. The smudge-proof formula is vegan and cruelty-free and is loved by many reviewers for its waterproof staying power.

Colors: 2

One reviewer wrote: “I don't usually write reviews, but I had to rave about this eyeliner because it's amazing. [...] It basically fits all of the requirements I would want in my perfect eyeliner. It's affordable, extremely black, opaque, easy to use, waterproof, stays on for a long time, and the tip is quite thin so you can get wings as sharp as a sword. I also usually have to use makeup remover and concealer to clean up my lines, but I barely need to do any maintenance with this. My cat eyes have been turning out so clean and beautiful.”

A Liquid Eyeliner You Can Apply With Precision

For a waterproof eyeliner you can feel confident even swimming in, this liquid version dries to a Latex-like consistency that’s smudge-proof, sweat-proof, and tear-proof for up to 16 hours. It features a thin, angled felt tip pen applicator to deliver bold color that’s suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. In addition to this waterproof black formula, the eyeliner is also available in three non-waterproof shades.

Colors: 1

One reviewer wrote: “This is THE BEST eyeliner I've ever used. Like others have stated, once dry it has the consistency of latex and can actually be peeled off half the time. But this stuff does NOT move. You could go swimming with it, hang out all day at the beach, and as long as you don't vigorously rub your eyes, it STAYS PUT. In case you're now worried, it does come off with makeup remover. Just use gentle circular motions and it will come right off.”

A 36-Hour-Wear Gel Pencil In Lots Of Colors

The Maybelline TattooStudio eyeliner lives up to its name with up to 36 hours of wear. One reviewer even wrote, “I originally thought I might get 1 or 2 days wear out of this. Turns out, I ended up wearing it for 4 days without budging even after washing my face.” While you might not necessarily need it to last this long, you can be pretty confident that the smooth, waterproof gel formula will stay on until you’re ready to take it off. It comes in over a dozen shades, including deep onyx, bright pink, and bronze, in matte and metallic finishes.

Colors: 19

One reviewer wrote: “I have allergies and my eyes water a lot. I have tried all the waterproof eyeliners but they always come off. This one stayed on all day! It's amazing! I love it!”

This Self-Sharpening Waterproof Eyeliner Under $5

This convenient self-sharpening eyeliner pencil features a twist-up design that produces the perfect point without a sharpener. It’s available in eight matte and metallic colors, such as Deep Ocean, Earl Grey, and Blackest Black, and has a built-in smudger in the bottom of the pencil — perfect for creating smoky looks.

Colors: 6

One reviewer wrote: “Used this for years alongside Rimmel waterproof mascara. It really does work, doesn't come off when swimming or in gym but washes off easily with soap/cleanser with no residue.”

This Waterproof Formula In A Pot

For those who prefer the versatility and control of an angled brush application, this waterproof gel eyeliner comes in a little pot and includes a separate brush for application. To apply, dip the tip of the brush into the gel and wipe off any excess on the side of the jar before gliding it along your lid. The super-concentrated, oil-free formula is smudge-free, lasts up to 24 hours, and is available in both black and brown shades.

Colors: 3

One reviewer wrote: “This has staying power (I wear makeup all day long, even when I go to my martial arts class at night and it stays well). I was able to replace my normal liquid liner that dried up and flaked by the end of the day. The gel is MUCH more flexible and allows for a more precise line, allowing you to build, while still being waterproof.”

The One That Comes With A Stencil For Cat-Eye Looks

If you’re new to creating the coveted cat eye look, this liquid liner comes with a convenient stencil to help create even wings. “If I can create the wings using this stencil and liquid eyeliner to achieve the cat eyes, trust me, ANYONE can,” wrote one reviewer. The waterproof formula is delivered via a precision felt tip brush and is smudge-resistant for all-day wear.

Colors: 2

One reviewer wrote: “It really stays on all day! I love this liner so much, it’s a really great buy. Before using it, I put it on the back of my hand, as I would on my eye. I did dishes, washed my hand various other times, and the eyeliner never smudged or faded. I specifically purchased it for my Las Vegas trip so I could used the pools and endure the heat, and resulting sweat, and am completely satisfied with how it held up on my trip. It’s 100% waterproof. I love it!!”

A Waterproof Liner That’s Less Than $5

This drugstore liquid liner features a waterproof, cry-proof, and smudge-proof formula that uses a tank delivery system for an even flow of highly pigmented color. The ultra-fine tip brush is excellent for creating super-thin lines, and the metallic finish will add a touch of glam to the look.

Colors: 1

One reviewer wrote: “Favorite eyeliner ever. More than anything, I love how fine a line you can get with this eyeliner pen. It's so precise, and I can build up a thicker and more dramatic line or do a barely-discernable line that looks almost like I'm not even wearing any eye makeup. What's more, "waterproof" is an understatement. This stuff will stay on for days without budging if I don't take it off with oil-based makeup remover!”

A Creamy Gel Pencil With 11,000+ Reviews

The creamy consistency of this waterproof gel pencil provides a buttery application that’s suitable for both your top lid and for defining your waterline. It’s smudge-resistant and can provide up to 24 hours of wear. The ophthalmologist-tested formula comes in a range of colors, including black, purple, and cobalt blue. And with over 11,000 reviews, it’s definitely a popular pick for Amazon shoppers.

Colors: 11

One reviewer wrote: “This is the best waterproof eyeliner I have ever used. It takes a little work taking off, but does not smudge or fade and stays put all day!”

A Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner That’s Easy To Grip

Liquid eyeliners can seem a little intimidating at first, but this waterproof liner makes it easier thanks to the flexible brush tip and a hexagon-shaped pen for a more secure grip. The full-coverage wear lasts up to 24 hours, is available in two colors, and has a satin finish.

Colors: 2

One reviewer wrote: “this eyeliner brush actually helps draw a smooth beautiful line! Also it’s very waterproof and lasts a whole day without smudging on my oily lids/under eye area. I even swam with this on at the pool and it stayed put!! I’m very impressed with it so far”

An Intensely Pigmented Gel Pencil

This waterproof gel pencil features an intensely pigmented formula that lasts up to 16 hours and delivers an ultra-smooth application. The smudge-resistant formula comes in five colors such as glazed toffee and smooth charcoal, and can be easily sharpened with an eyeliner pencil sharpener.

Colors: 5

One reviewer said: “I’ve gone swimming in it, to the beach in it, slept in it (will smudge when you sleep though which is expected), and many other places. If you’re looking for a new eyeliner to try I would highly recommend this one!”

A Vegan Liquid Liner With A Felt Tip

For a nourishing liquid eyeliner with waterproof capabilities, this vegan formula with a felt tip is infused with vitamin E to help moisturize while you define. Plus, it’s smudge-proof, quick-drying, and highly pigmented for a dose of intense color.

Colors: 1

One reviewer wrote: “You won’t find a better eyeliner out there than this! I’ve tried every kind of waterproof eyeliner you can think of! High end and drug store and I always come back to this! For the price and the formula, doesn’t get better than this!”

A Creamy Gel Pencil For $4

For $4, this waterproof eyeliner is one to consider adding to your stash. The creamy gel pencil is smudge-proof, sweat-proof, and humidity-proof and creates bold, intensely pigmented lines that can be worn for up to 24 hours. It’s great for use on the waterline and comes in seven cool colors, including sparkling black, beige, and deep blue. Plus, the ophthalmologist-tested formula is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

Colors: 7

One reviewer wrote: “I use it for upper eyeliner & lower eyeliner & this glides on so easily, its like creamy magic! The water proof is a plus. The first time I wore this was for our wedding day & it lasted all day & night even thought the crying & dancing. Love this & I swear by this, I will never go to any other eyeliner. This is definitely my go to & I don't want any other liner because this does NOT tug on your skin which is always 100 times better! Plus its affordable.”

This Retractable Matte Crayon Enriched With Botanical Extracts

This moisturizing eyeliner is infused with nourishing botanical extracts such as aloe, safflower, chamomile, and jojoba seed oil. The crayon-like pencil is self-sharpening and available in nine colors, including ocean blue, plum, and pure black. It dries to a matte, waterproof, and smudge-proof finish and provides lasting all-day wear.

Colors: 9

One reviewer wrote: “It stays put all day no smudging, no smearing and very precise. Comes off easily with make-up remover wipes.”

This Self-Sharpening Pencil With A Natural Finish

For a more low-key look, this self-sharpening pencil eyeliner provides a waterproof and light-coverage formula that lasts for up to 12 hours. The rich cocoa color features a natural finish that’s easy to remove with soap and water but it also comes in three other shades with different finishes. Plus, the gel-like formula provides a silky smooth application.

Colors: 4

One reviewer wrote: “I didn't think I would ever find this eyeliner! It's everything it's advertised to be. I have had a problem, even with waterproof eyeliners, with eyeliners smudging onto my eyelids under my eyebrows. This is the first eyeliner to NOT transfer at all. Magnificent! Easy, smooth application. I will definitely buy again!”