The Best Nude Eyeliners
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If you're into winged or graphic eyeliner, chances are you have more than one black liner (and maybe even a few colorful options) in your makeup collection. But don't underestimate the power of a nude eyeliner when it comes to enhancing your eyes and even making yourself look a bit more awake. The best nude eyeliner for you will depend on your skin tone — after all, nude isn’t a one-size-fits-all color — but since they’re typically applied on your waterline, you’ll want to use an eyeliner thats waterproof and long-lasting. You'll most commonly find that traditional pencils or gel formulas are best suited for this purpose, but if you’re experimenting with a nude wing or other graphic design, you can opt for a nude liquid liner in a color close to your skin tone.
To apply nude liner on your waterline, you'll want to first make sure your pencil is nice and sharp. Once you're ready, makeup artist Clarissa Luna previously told Elite Daily that it can be helpful to use one hand to hold down your lower lash line as you use your dominant hand to apply the liner. If you're in a hurry (or if the thought of drawing along your waterline freaks you out), you can help enhance your eyes by applying your nude eyeliner along the inner corners of your eyes only.
Of course, there are other ways you can use a nude eyeliner, too. The multi-purpose product can be used as a color-correcting concealer to cover up a blemish, or to fake fuller lips by strategically applying it along your cupid's bow. Keep scrolling to find the best ones to add to your collection.
Shop The Best Nude Eyeliners
In a hurry? Here are the best nude eyeliners:
- Best Nude Eyeliner Under $5: Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner
- Best Shimmery Nude Eyeliner: Maybelline TattooStudio Sharpenable Gel Pencil Longwear Eyeliner
- Best Prestige Nude Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil
- Best Retractable Nude Eyeliner: CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof Pencil Eye Liner
- Best Liquid Nude Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
1. Best Nude Eyeliner Under $5
This sharpenable pencil is a kohl kajal formula that glides easily along the waterline, depositing super-pigmented color that should last for up to 24 hours. Both waterproof and smudge-proof, it comes in beige, brown, and black nude colors to work with various skin tones. It's also the least expensive liner on this list — a quality that has helped it earn more than 15,000 five-star ratings on Amazon thus far.
Relevant Review: “This is by far the best nude liner I've ever used. It is kind of soft, so it goes on nicely without tugging, but can sometimes be tricky to sharpen without breaking the tip. The color is nice and pigmented, so it goes on opaque, and it's soft enough to smudge right after application. After a few minutes, it'll set in place and last all day!”
2. Best Shimmery Nude Eyeliner
If you prefer a shimmering neutral liner to brighten your waterline or add a bit of sparkle to your look, try this Maybelline TattooStudio Sharpenable Gel Pencil. The waterproof formula comes in metallic rose, bronze, and black options that complement various skin tones, though it does come in several matte shades, too. Great for the waterline, the sharpenable gel pencil has a thicker consistency than your average eye pencil, so it gives you more pigmented color without requiring any pulling or tugging at your eye.
Relevant Review: “This is the only eyeliner I will wear now. The color is strong and it stays in place all day long, even on my lower lid waterline.”
3. Best Prestige Nude Eyeliner
For darker skin tones, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil offers the most comprehensive range of nude eyeliners. You can choose from several black and brown colors in both matte and shimmery finishes, all of which are formulated with moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E and jojoba seed oil to give the liner a creamy, easy-to-apply texture. In addition to being cruelty-free, the long-wearing formula is also waterproof and smudge-proof once it sets.
Relevant Review: “This is, by far, my most favorite eyeliner! Gorgeous color, goes on smooth, mostly smudge proof. I am notoriously frugal, however, this is one of the few splurges I have because I love it so much! Worth the money!”
4. Best Retractable Nude Eyeliner
If you don’t want to have to deal with sharpening your pencil, pick up this self-sharpening pencil from K-beauty brand CLIO instead. Though it doesn’t come in any beige shades for lighter skin tones, it does come in six black and brown colors to serve as nudes for darker skin tones. The super-fine tip makes it easy to draw on precise lines and wings, and the waterproof formula should stay in place all day (or night) long without smudging or fading.
Relevant review: “I specifically purchased this liner to tightline and after trying so many different kinds that have failed over the years, I was not expecting great results. But I absolutely love this! It glides right on both top and bottom waterlines and stays all day long. I also wear contacts and have had zero issues with them with this liner. Love how it looks. One of my best Amazon purchases. Definitely recommend!”
5. Best Liquid Nude Eyeliner
Liquid eyeliners aren't great for the waterline because they tend to run, which is not only annoying but can also be irritating to your eyes. But when you want more of a subtle wing or you’re experimenting with graphic eyeliner looks, Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is a cult favorite that's available in several nude colors like black and two shades of brown (if you’re really pale, it comes in a snow white shade, too). Try the original marker tip when you want to create thicker lines, or opt for the micro tip if you need something more precise.
Relevant Review: “I've been using Stila eyeliner for years. It has a nice fine tip so you have excellent control over where it goes. Then, it STAYS where you put it! Once it is dry, it doesn't smudge at all and it is definitely resistant to water. There are many colors to choose from too. It is worth every penny!”
About The Author:
Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer and editor for nearly 10 years. Her pieces can be found across print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle.