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The best eyeliner pencils that won’t budge in heat and humidity

The simplest of beauty products seem to also be the hardest to nail?

Eyeliner pencils, like mascaras and concealers, are one of the few go-to items in makeup pouches that require a fair bit of testing before you find the perfect formula. Add humidity to the equation and your journey to finding the perfect one is easily fraught with a smudged, deranged look. Trust us, we know.

A good classic black eyeliner can awaken and define eyes, or can be used to create a dramatic feline flick or smokey look. But like the rest of your face, the eye area is delicate real estate, so you’ll want to make sure that whichever you choose not only glides like a dream but also stays put for the rest of the day.

Nearly every beauty brand offers one, but they’re not all created equal, so we’ve sussed out some of the best eyeliner pencils that you should be outlining your lash lines with for that sultry, come-hither look, even with your mask on.

14 Best eyeliner pencils that will be your best friend during humid climates

This story was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

Hero and featured image credit: George Milton/Pexels

As one of the world’s most sought-after makeup artists, Pat McGrath knows a thing or two about what a good eyeliner pencil should look and feel like. The Pat McGrath labs Permagel pencil has a slightly powdery yet still creamy texture that’s similar to that of gel liner, so expect a highly pigmented, smooth application with every stroke. Its formulation also allows for ample time to smudge and diffuse before setting into a long-lasting matte finish that works whether you’re angling for a smokey eye look or a crisp dark winged effect.


If you’ve always wanted to achieve that smouldering rock star eyeliner look à la Kate Moss, make the Rock ’N’ Kohl your best friend. Created specifically so you can achieve the perfect ‘bedroom eye,’ this pencil marries the silky-smooth glide of a liquid eyeliner with the sooty, pigment-rich payoff of kohl. The waterproof, long-lasting formula sets after 30 seconds and stays locked in for the next 14 hours too, so you don’t have to constantly worry about looking like you’re a dishevelled mess with raccoon eyes. As a little treat for your peepers, there’s crushed pearl powder within that stimulates collagen and smoothens the skin.


Trust Posh Spice to know what you really, really want. The Satin Kajal liner was made to excel whichever way it’s worn, whether it’s on the lash line, waterline, smudged or winged. The smooth, creamy formula glides on effortlessly without skipping or tugging, and has been made waterproof and long-wearing, so you can cry or party as hard as you’d like. The blend of Panthenol, chamomile extract and vitamin E within also calms, nourishes and protects the delicate skin around the eye. The pencil comes with a smudger for convenient blending anywhere.


Finally, an eyeliner that takes the word waterproof seriously. Known for withstanding even the hottest of workout sessions, the award-winning eyeliner has been known to not budge even when you’re drenched in sweat and swathed by extreme humidity. It’s also been thoughtfully formulated with as few waxes and oils as possible so it’s gentle enough to be used on the waterline. This product deserves a place in your makeup bag, whether you want to ace a cat eye or classic liner.


This is a favourite amongst celebrity makeup artists for good reason. This precision, wax-based liner glides on like silk and melts against the lash line like butter, filling in any creases before setting in after about a minute. For an ultra-glamorous look, extend the pencil eyeliner beyond the outer corner of the eyes or use the built in smudger to transform it into a smokey eyeliner to achieve glamorous eye makeup.


A genius combination of gel eyeliner with the ease of a pencil, the Highliner is an extreme-wear, waterproof eyeliner that delivers intense colour payoff with every glide. Although super-malleable, the pencil is still capable of flawlessly precise lines, with conditioning vitamin E and rosehip seed oil to keep the delicate area nourished. The series comes in an array of richly pigmented shades in shimmery hues or matte finishes. 


If it’s good enough for Riri, you know it’s going to be good on your lids, too. Released earlier this year, the Fenty Flypencil touts a smooth, creamy and comfortable finish that’s formulated to be water-resistant. It works on your waterline, lower lash line as well as the typical lash line without tugging — setting rapidly for a cleanly perfected wing, or you can go in quickly with the smudger for an easy sultry smokey eye. It’s available in 20 intense shades of matte and metallic hues.


Accentuate your eyes with flawless intensity with the Master Pigment Pro Pencil from Makeup by Mario. Crafted with a unique blend of waxes, this eye pencil gives long-lasting colour and a crisp line in just a single slide. The best part is that the pencil comes with a sharpener to get rid of excess shavings and ensure a pointed tip every time you use it. 

Looking for an eyeliner with matte finish? Well then, say hello to the High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner by NARS Cosmetics. Glide the pencil over once and let the colour set in. This gel-like formula sits comfortably on your water lines while leaving a smoky touch on the lash lines. Available in 16 shades, this one is a must-try for all the makeup enthusiasts out there! 

If you have sensitive eyes but you love to paint them, the Aqua Resist Colour Pencil from MAKE UP FOR EVER is the one for you! Add 24-hour grace to your eyes with just a single swipe of the aqua resist eye pencil. The in-built sharpener ensures that your tip remains sharp for every use, allowing for ultimate precision and unbeatable intensity.  

Highlight your eyes in vibrant shades from Laura Mercier’s Longwear Crème Eye Pencil collection. This pencil is compatible on all skin types and can also be worn by those with contact lenses. Its creamy texture lies gently around your water lines to give them a rich, precise look. This no-smudge, water-resistant formula is dermatologically tested. 

Don’t we love a smoky eye look? Well, there’s good news. You can now easily get a smoky look with Lancome’s Le Stylo waterproof eyeliner. It has an ultra creamy texture which leaves a pearly finish and also feels gentle on the skin. The rich pigmentation of the formula makes the colour stay for long hours while allowing for precise application.

Want to paint your eyes with a clean swipe? Get yourself ILIA’s Clean Line Gel Eyeliner. The gel-like texture helps the colour stay intact for hours. Besides, the formula is water-resistant which is another plus if you ever get stuck in bad weather. The solution is also safe for your skin as it contains charcoal powder and is devoid of carbon black. 

If you want well-defined lashes and a precisely coloured waterline, get hold of DIOR’s waterproof eyeliner. Draw a perfect line in one glide and let your eyes do the talking. Thanks to the smudge-proof texture, you can wear it all day long without bothering about a touch up.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best long-lasting eyeliners?

There are numerous eyeliners available today, making it difficult to choose one.  The Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl Eyeliner and NARS High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner are the top choices for both regular users as well as celebrity makeup artists.

What are the best eyeliners for sensitive eyes?

Finding a suitable eyeliner for sensitive eyes can be tricky. In case you have eyes prone to irritation or infection, you can opt for Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil or Marc Jacobs beauty highliner gel liner.

Which are the smoothest eyeliners?

A majority of products featured above are smooth and offer seamless application on your eyes. You can get the smoothest application with Lancome’s Le Stylo waterproof eyeliner or the Fenty Flypencil.

What are the creamiest eyeliners?

The Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eye Pencil, Shu Uemura 3D gel pencil and Urban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil are the creamiest eyeliners that will glide on your skin.

Are liquid eyeliners better than pencil eyeliners?

Liquid eyeliners are usually more richly pigmented than pencil eyeliners. Hence, the colour is darker and stays intense for long hours. With pencil eyeliners, on the other hand, you can attain utmost precision with a simple brush. 

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