Woman wearing eyeliner

Pencil, gel or liquid?

Eyeliner is a staple product in a woman's beauty tool kit. It'ss amazing how one quick swipe around the eyes can define their shape and give some sex appeal to your look. The choices are plentiful and dizzying, and each package promises something different, so how do you choose?

The silver lining

This one lasts all day without smudging. This one is waterproof. Hey, this one is the blackest black! As you survey the options of pencils, gels, creams, liquids, felt tip pens, retractable liners, angled brushes and smudge brushes, your head starts to spin from information overload. All this just to rim your eyes with a bit of color?

It really is a matter of what you need and what you're trying to accomplish. Take a step back and do a bit of an assessment. Do you want a clean, precise line? Do you want to perfect the cat eye? Do you prefer something soft and smoldering? Eyeliner has a lot of different ways it can be worn to achieve several different purposes.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On PencilsEyeliner pencils

These give you a lot of control with a firm handle that you hold like a regular pencil. While it's not going to give you the finest, most precise line, it will hold very steady. This is very helpful for using on the waterline (that bit of flesh just inside your lashes). It's also great for tight lining, which is done by lifting your upper lashes and lining between and just under the lashes. Tight lining is a great trick for giving the appearance of a thicker lash line. Try Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils or Milani Liquid Eye. They both go on creamy with great color and have a waterproof formula that won't budge throughout the day.

Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner Gels and creams

These liners come in small pots and give you versatile options for lining. With a good angled liner brush, you can get a very fine, precise line. This is especially helpful if you have small, hooded eyes or mono-lids and want just the slightest line to define your eye shape without taking up too much of your lids. Use a smudge brush with gels to get a soft, smoldering line. Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner has a great formulation and a range of fun colors. Wet N Wild MegaEyes Creme Eyeliner in black is hands down the best bang for your buck. It's a highly pigmented black that glides on smooth and has serious staying power — for a mere four bucks!

Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye LinerLiquids and pens

These tend to have a very dark, inky color that is highly preferred for winged liner and the always popular cat eye. They draw on like paint and allow you to customize the shape of your line. Try Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. In addition to a great black liner, they also offer fun colors like Indigo and Moss.

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Watch more: How to apply perfect eyeliner

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