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Whether you’re looking to go full on Euphoria or simply complement your eye color, a brightly colored eyeliner will become your new makeup-bag MVP. Though the best colored eyeliners come in various forms — like pens, pencils, and chubby sticks, to name a few — they all deposit intense pigment via a smooth glide, don’t flake throughout the day, and are sold in enough shades to offer you plenty of options.
Just like regular eyeliner, colored eyeliner can be used to line both your lids and waterline — this is the most subtle way to incorporate a bold shade into your eye makeup look. If you’re looking to get more experimental, you can draw your line in your crease à la Twiggy, rather than along your lid; pair it with a graphic line just under your lower lashes to keep the look feeling ‘60s, or wing it out for a more modern look. (For more inspiration, The Zoe Report has plenty of other ideas, here.) For something even more playful, try using your colored eyeliner to draw dots, stars, or — again, taking inspiration from Euphoria here — clouds.
However you plan on getting creative with your eyeliner, you’re going to need the right tool for the job — so scroll on to shop the best brightly colored eye pencils and pens.
1. The Best Waterproof Gel Pencil
This waterproof gel pencil from Julep glides onto your skin smoothly without skipping or tugging, and it stays put until it’s time to wash it off. (The brand estimates that it’ll last about 10 hours before it starts to fade, though one Amazon reviewer reported that “If you don't remove it, it will last for days.”) Offered in 19 shades, from deep jewel tones to light, shimmering metallics, this high-quality pencil rings up at a very reasonable $12 on Amazon, and boasts over 2,000 five-star ratings from satisfied shoppers.
- Available shades: 19
From Lady Gaga’s makeup line, HAUS LABORATORIES, comes this equally great gel pencil (though it will set you back a few more dollars, hence its “runner up” status). It’s waterproof, creamy, and dramatic in color — take your pick from 20 shades in matte, shimmery, and metallic finishes, and be sure to check out the brand’s image gallery for plenty of eyeliner inspiration.
- Available shades: 20
3. Best Retractable Pencil
If you can’t be fussed with sharpening a pencil, pick up this retractable liner from NYX. This isn’t sold in as many shades as the first two liners on this list, but it still has a creamy feel and smooth glide and — most impressively — a $6 price tag. Choose from both matte and shimmery finishes.
- Available shades: 13
4. Best Waterproof Liquid Liner
Liquid liner can be trickier to work with than a pencil, but it’s hard to beat the unwavering intensity and staying power that you get from stila’s cult-favorite Stay All Day liquid liner. The super-fine point allows you to draw on thin lines and wings with ease, while the waterproof formula ensures it stays on all day long without smudging, hence its name.
- Available shades: 9
5. A Cheaper Alternative
For a more affordable liquid eyeliner, check out this one from Palladio. Sold in eight shades, it comes housed in a cute, easy-to-grip bottle with a pointed felt-tip applicator, and the formula is waterproof as well. Some of the shades are matte and some are shimmery — you can view swatches here.
- Available shades: 8
6. Best Chubby Eyeliner
Chubby sticks are ideal for smudge-y looks, and they can also be applied all over your lids like eyeshadow, though the pointed tip still allows you to line your lids and waterline. NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil is so versatile that some of the shades — mostly the browns and golds — could even be used as highlighter. They ring up at just $5 per pencil and comes in 13 gorgeous colors, so it’s definitely worth stocking up on a few of these multi-use sticks.
- Available shades: 13