BEST Drugstore Eyeliner Pencil in 2020 [Top 6 Brands Reviewed]

Are you tired of chalky, low-quality liner? Same here, girl. That’s why I decided to research and test the very best drugstore eyeliner pencil on the market. Because you shouldn’t have to overpay for high-quality, over-marketed eyeliner.

Whether you prefer a bold cat-eye or subtle smokey effect, there’s an eyeliner out there that’s affordable and will stay on all night long. I put together a complete guide to choosing the best drugstore eyeliner pencil to add to your makeup collection. Your girlfriends will be envious of your flawless wings, guaranteed.

Best Drugstore Eyeliner Pencil Comparison Table

PhotoProductEditor's RatingPrice
best drugstore eyeliner pencilL’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner4VIEW CURRENT PRICE
best drugstore eyeliner pencilCovergirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner5VIEW CURRENT PRICE
Master Precise SkinnyMaybelline Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil4VIEW CURRENT PRICE
Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting EyelinerPhysicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner5VIEW CURRENT PRICE
Revlon So Fierce Vinyl EyelinerRevlon So Fierce Vinyl Eyeliner3VIEW CURRENT PRICE
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering EyelinerL’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner4VIEW CURRENT PRICE

Best Drugstore Eyeliner Pencil Reviews


1. L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

best drugstore eyeliner pencil


L’Oreal is known for its creamy and luscious signature formulas and this liner is no different. What makes the Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner so amazing is the unique formula that doesn’t smudge or fade for at least sixteen hours.

This mechanical pencil is creamy and effortlessly glides across your lids. It features a versatile design that allows you to sharpen the point when necessary, and a built-in blender to smudge the perfect smokey eye.

There is a reason why this brand is considered one of the best in beauty.

  • Stays in place all day.
  • Doesn’t smudge.
  • Easy application.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to remove.
  • Comes in black, carbon black, brown, black-brown, slate, & navy.
  • The limited amount included in the roll-up design.
  • Difficult to sharpen into a fine point.


2. CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner

best drugstore eyeliner pencil


I know this looks like your basic pencil liner, but hear me out. CoverGirl has been delivering affordable makeup for over fifty years, and this liner is a classic.

CoverGirl’s Perfect Blend Eyeliner is a staple to any makeup bag. You can use it for a clean rim under the waterlines, or to blend on the top lid for a full lash effect. I love a good smudged, smokey look so I recommend this pencil’s plush blending tip when creating a fierce smokey eye.

Since this pencil is so affordable, go ahead and splurge on more than one color. They have four available, and I’m obsessed with the Taupe pencil.

Creamy enough to blend, pigmented enough to make a statement, and cheap enough to buy today.

  • Smooth application.
  • Ophthalmologist-tested and approved.
  • Versatile: easy to smudge and create clean lines with.
  • Comes with a blender tip.
  • Safe for sensitive eyes.
  • Comes in basic black, charcoal, black-brown, & taupe.
  • Will smudge after a long day of wear.
  • Doesn’t come with a sharpener.
  • Difficult to remove at night, I have to use an oil-based makeup remover.


3. Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil


Another trusted and acclaimed brand, Maybelline delivers timeless looks that always leave an impression. I consider this to be one of the best drugstore eyeliner pencils because I love how the gel formula smoothly glides across my skin without tugging, while still filling every wrinkle and crevice.

While I consider this pencil to be an absolute “must-have,” I have to note that if you have watery eyes, like me, then it won’t last as long. However, the waterproof formula option takes this pencil to the top of this list. Keep in mind that the tip of this liner is very skinny and fine, so don’t add too much pressure when applying, or the end will snap right off.

  • Super skinny, fine point for clean lines.
  • Winner of Allure’s Best of Beauty Award.
  • Automatic pencil for long-term use.
  • Comes in defining black, refined charcoal, and sharp brown.
  • Will break away if not used with light pressure.
  • Difficult to remove without a good cleanser.


4. Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner & Serum

Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner


Okay, so technically this isn’t a “pencil” eyeliner, but can you say “STEAL?” Because for less than twenty bucks, this lash serum/liner is an absolute dream come true. While this Physicians Formula liner is one of the most expensive on the list, its place is rightfully earned. It’s a liquid liner that dries quickly and stays on all day long without smudging.

It’s water and sweat-resistant (hello, gym selfies!), and it helps your lashes grow stronger and healthier! I’m usually hesitant to wear waterproof eyeliner because I hate how long it takes to wash it off at night. But, I have to say that even though this liner lasted all day, it came off immediately with some warm water and a makeup wipe. Color me impressed – this liner is worth every penny.

  • Has a fine tip to create sharp wings.
  • Can double as a brow filler.
  • Won’t run or smudge.
  • Helps your lashes grow longer and stronger.
  • Best drugstore eyeliner cruelty-free.
  • Comes in a water-proof version.
  • Comes in deep brown, black, and ultra black.
  • The black pencil could be darker, so I have to buy the ultra-black for a strong, dark line.
  • You need to shake it downwards to get the color to come out better.
  • If you don’t follow the storage instructions detailed on the packaging, it becomes very thin and watery.


5. Revlon So Fierce Vinyl Eyeliner

Revlon So Fierce Vinyl Eyeliner


A vibrant, glossy, high-pigmented pencil for under ten dollars? I can tell you that I am literally obsessed with the colors this liner comes in. I’ve used the Powerful Plum, Righteous Rum, and Royal Rules pencils for my most playful and daring looks. Revlon uses a gel-based formula that delivers crazy color intensity. I love layering the colors when my makeup is more adventurous, and honestly refuse to use any other brand when it comes to colored liners.

However, I have to be honest. I gave this liner three stars because you have to sharpen this pencil once it starts to wear down. And if you don’t have a good sharpener or don’t know how to sharpen your eyeliners correctly, then the tip will crumble and break.

  • Rich color with a lush, buttery formula.
  • Stays on all day.
  • Super glossy on your lids.
  • Comes in six colors: the force of steel, midnight mystery, mighty mocha, powerful plum, righteous rum, & royal rules.
  • Transfers on oily skin.
  • Doesn’t make sharp lines, even when sharpened.
  • Isn’t cruelty-free.


6. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner


When it comes to creating the sultriest smokey eye, you can’t get any pencil better than the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner. For this liner, L’Oreal serves up a unique formula that’s been used for centuries by women in India. So, it’s guaranteed to give you bold definition with effortless application. 

If you want to wear this liner with a daytime look, then I would sharpen the point down to a blunt edge because the pencil is so thick. But, I always use this eyeliner for really dramatic smokey eyes, because it’s just so easy to smudge and smear. For an edgy rock-and-roll vibe, I apply this liner and smudge it with my finger before layering on eye shadow.

  • Smudges perfectly for a smokey eye.
  • Glides on smoothly and doesn’t tug at your skin.
  • Safe for the waterline.
  • Stays on all day.
  • Comes with a sharpener.
  • Comes in black and brown.
  • Doesn’t work as a daytime, clean, simple liner.
  • Isn’t compatible with sensitive or watery eyes.


Best Drugstore Eyeliner Pencil FAQ’s

Are the liners in this article hypoallergenic?

Most eyeliners on the market aren’t necessarily hypoallergenic because your eyes tend to have a different reaction to makeup products. While you may not have allergies, your eyes can still experience irritation, redness, and sensitivity with certain products and application methods. The best thing you can do is apply a small amount to your skin or lids and wait a few minutes to see if you have a reaction to the ingredients.

Are the liners in this article good for beginners?

Practice makes perfect, and why not invest in a good liner right from the start? Beginners should definitely avoid the smudgier, thick liners; like the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner. The CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner and L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner is great to practice with because of their full coverage and fine tips.

What would you recommend for mature eyes?

The Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner & Serum is the obvious choice because it treats and conditions your lashes and lids while still giving you a bold look. However, the L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner has a gentle, creamy formula that won’t smudge. It also sharpens easily so that you can keep it at a fine point.

The Final Verdict

When it comes to choosing the best drugstore eyeliner pencil, I have to say that the CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner is the ultimate makeup bag essential. It’s super gentle on your lids and waterlines and will smudge easily with the built-in blending tip. It’s crazy affordable and comes in so many cute and playful colors, it’s the obvious choice for the hands-down best drugstore eyeliner pencil.

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