I’m a huge fan of felt-tip eyeliners. I feel like I have so much more control with a felt tip than I do with a typical liquid liner brush, making winged liner so much quicker and easier.
I have three felt-tip liners that I’m currently using, and I thought it would be helpful to do a review on each and compare them for you. Of course, this is only my personal experience with these products, and others may see different results or have different preferences than I do.
I’ll be sharing two drugstore liners and one high-end liner. You’ll notice that the high-end liner is a sample size, because I got it in a set a while ago, so it was actually reasonably priced in that sense.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
Packaging: This liner is very thin so it’s easy to get a good grip on it. The cap feels almost spring-loaded because there’s an extra layer in the cap that’s supposed to guard against the liner drying out (the photo below kind of captures this). The cap also clicks when it’s pressed down so you know that it is completely secured.
Application: This liner is definitely on the wet side, so it doesn’t have much forgiveness for mistakes. The tip is very long, which helps with changing the width of the line, but makes it difficult to get a very thin line over the inner part of the lid or control the brush all the way through. This liner also takes about a minute to dry completely. However, this liner has amazing wear time, so it’s worth the extra wait for it to set.
Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner (Waterproof)
Packaging: The pen has a grip near the tip to help application, but I don’t find it to be very helpful because it only curves in slightly and doesn’t provide extra comfort or anything like that. This liner wears well, but the application has become patchy over time. Something I’ve complained about with this liner before is that the cap doesn’t click shut, and it generally feels like it could fall off. That may contribute to the liner drying out/becoming patchy faster than other liners.
Application: This liner is on the dry side, with the tip being the most dry after a lot of use. This makes it difficult to get a precise line, but it does provide some forgiveness with the inevitable hand shaking and slips.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Precision Micro Eyeliner (Waterproof)
Packaging: This pen is thicker than the others with no grip. The cap clicks shut, but it does not have the same lid feature as the Stila liner.
Application: This liner has a significantly smaller felt tip than the other two. This is good for making a very thin line across the lid that can be built up, but it does add a little time to the process. The product is very pigmented and lasts all day, but isn’t impossible to get off at the end of the day.
Here are the swatches of all three liners: the Milani is on top, Rimmel in the middle, and Stila on the bottom:
This is what they look like under direct light (you can see that all three have a bit of shine to them):
You might have noticed that the Milani swatch is not a perfectly straight line. The tip seemed to dry out a bit not too long into using it, so in order to get full pigmentation, I have to use the side of the felt tip. As a result, the line is a lot more difficult to control.
Finally, I wanted to test how all three of these live up to the “waterproof” claim, and the results were a bit disappointing:
As I ran water over the three swatches, they held up fine, but when I rubbed my finger over them, all hell broke loose. The Stila liner is the only liner that seemed to hold up (but it still faded a little), while the Milani liner faded significantly and the Rimmel liner got everywhere. Granted, I rubbed the swatches pretty hard, but when they claim to be waterproof, I expect them to not budge. All three liners are a bit difficult to remove on the eyes, with the Stila liner being the most difficult to remove. After taking these photos, I had to work pretty hard with some makeup removing oil to get the Stila swatch off, and I was still left with a tiny stubborn dot that wouldn’t come off.
Even though it failed the waterproof test, I’m loving the Rimmel liner at the moment. I wouldn’t wear it to go swimming, but for day-to-day use, it has the best precision of the three in my opinion. It gives the most flexibility because you can start with a thin line and build it up to be thicker. I like the Stila liner as well except it seems to have a shiny finish, and the long brush can make application difficult (I always seem to make a mistake when I use it). There may be a matte black version, which is what I would get if I were to purchase a full size, but they also have a ton of colors that would be fun to check out. The Milani liner was great when I first bought it, but as I mentioned earlier, the tip dried out a bit, so even though it’s still usable, I don’t really reach for it.
I hope this post helped you check out what’s out there! Do you have a favorite felt-tip liner I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments!
* The Rimmel liner was sent to me by Influenster as a “challenge prize.” I am not receiving any compensation for this review, and all opinions of this product (and the others, for that matter) are my own.