This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.
If you want bigger, brighter eyes, then you need the best eyeliner for tightlining.
This may sound like an exaggeration, but if you want to step up your makeup game, tightlining will dramatically do that for sure.
Tightlining Your Eyeliner Will Do The Trick
If you’re not in the loop about this particular makeup technique, this post will give you ideas on what to get to have your eyes looking like it’s straight out of a beauty and fashion magazine.
It may seem like a tiny step in your overall beauty regimen, but if you get it right, you can give your eyes a beautiful look that seems professionally done and pulled together.
So let’s get it started.
Our eyes are very sensitive.
More sensitive than a teenager girl during “that-time-of-the-month”.
And one of the most sensitive parts of our eyes is what we call the waterline.
What’s that, you might ask?
The waterline is the white-colored thin strip, marking the area where our eyelids meet as we close our eyes. It’s the wet fleshy part that’s between our eyeball and the base of our lashes in each eye.
In fact, it’s not particularly fun if you touch this area. It even makes me cringe just thinking about doing it.
But if you get it right, tightlining will give your lashes a much fuller look to create a more gorgeous set of eyes.
What is tightlining?
When it comes to putting makeup, tightlining is a great technique that will make your eyes pop (in a positively aesthetic way, not some sort of a bad health-related concern).
Want to have the smoky eye effect?
Do you want to achieve a thicker and fuller look for your lashes?
You can get that with tightlining.
What’s the best eyeliner for waterline?
There are three types of eyeliners that you can use for your waterline.
First, there’s the pencil eyeliner.
Before using a pencil eyeliner, make sure that’s sharpened. Also, check if the tip is completely smooth.
One characteristic I noticed about using a pencil eyeliner is that it’s slightly resistant.
So I suggest drawing dots first between your lashes. Then once you’ve made all that you need, just connect these dots by making a smooth stroke.
Second is the liquid eyeliner.
If you want to be more precise when tightlining, I highly recommend a liquid eyeliner.
The brushes in liquid eyeliners offer better accuracy when you make those strokes on the waterline.
But I would suggest you go about with shorter strokes.
While these brushes offer better precision, its tip is flexible and thin. So you might lose control and accidentally flick the brush out of place.
When brushing on your waterline, focus on shorter strokes while holding the brush tip vertically.
Third, the gel eyeliner.
Like the liquid eyeliner, the gel eyeliner offers precision strokes.
But since its brush tip is not as tapered as the liquid eyeliner’s, you’ll need to hold the gel eyeliner brush at an angle.
Here’s a tip.
Only use a little of that gel eyeliner. A little can go a long way.
What is the best eyeliner for tightlining?
Not all eyeliners are created equally.
You can’t just use one particular brand or type of eyeliner with reckless abandon and expect the same result as the other.
(And remember not to rub an eyeliner to your waterline. Just let it glide smoothly across it.)
Please note that different eyeliner types serve different uses or achieve different looks.
You may also need to consider picking the right color. For people who have light-colored hair, lighter colors are more ideal.
And may I add waterproof is ideal for the waterline?
Our Picks For The Best Tightlining Eyeliner:
But to make your job a whole lot easier, I’ve picked out what I think are some of the best eyeliners for tightlining.
In coming up with this list, my criteria include easy and smooth application, less irritating ingredients, and pigment formula quality (whether the eyeliner will stay put for a longer period).
Here are some of the best drugstore eyeliners for waterline tightlining.
1. CLIO Sharp So Simple Waterproof Pencil Liner (01 Black)
- Ideal for beginners and people with shaky hands
- User-friendly two-millimeter slim pencil
- Fine-lined and designed for precision tightlining
- Intensely pigmented
- Smudge-free and can stay put all day long
Are you looking for a user-friendly pencil eyeliner?
Then you will love this product.
I’d say this is the best eyeliner for tightlining that’s perfect for beginners and people with shaky hands.
Wondering what to expect from this product?
It features an ultra-slim, two-millimeter pencil that’s smooth and easy to use. Even for newbies, this product will effortlessly glide upon application, delivering sharp precision. Even if you have shaky hands.
The CLIO Waterproof Pencil Liner comes with an upgraded carbon black and deep brown colors. Perfect when you want an intensified dimension, creating an alluring depth and definition.
And if you want to achieve that chic look for your eyes, check out its deep jet-black color liner.
Did I mention this product is waterproof and stays put longer?
It is resistant to water, oil, and sweat, staying put from day to night.
2. Bare Escentuals Long Lasting Eyeliner, Absolute Black, 0.012 Oz
- Features a soft, creamy texture that glides on smoothly
- Contains a nourishing blend of minerals and vitamin C for soothing benefits
- Draws a precise line with richly pigmented color
- Infused with Vitamin C to create a nourishing and soothing blend
- Mineral-rich formula that won’t smudge or smear
- High pigment quality that stays longer
- Includes a sharpener to achieve an angled tip
- Ideal for smooth and effortless tightlining
Imagine going on a trip and you forgot to bring your makeup bag. And the only place you can buy your stuff is the local pharmacy.
Well, you’ll be glad to know there’s a great drugstore eyeliner for tightlining.
Bare Escentuals Long Lasting Eyeliner, Absolute Black, 0.012 Oz is available not just on Amazon but also at your nearby pharmacy.
It’s one of the best tightline eyeliners and is sold at a cheaper price.
This product has a mineral-rich formula that gives you a long-wearing finish. It’s creamy and soft; ideal for blending. Plus, it won’t smear or smudge.
Bare Escentuals Long Lasting Eyeliner also comes with a sharpener to give you that angled tip for easy and smooth blending.
3. NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner, Via Veneto
- Stays on throughout the day
- Eyes achieved a rich, intense color
- Easy to apply
- Gives your eyes a rich, dramatic look
- Easy to use
- Long-lasting formula that stays throughout the day
Do you want to take your tightlining game to the next level?
Then you will love NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner.
This product features a rich and creamy color that lets you achieve an intense, dramatic look for your eyes.
To apply it is effortless.
It easily glides on smoothly.
And it’s completely resistant to smudging or smearing. It won’t easily fade and can last up to 12 hours, staying put with no problems.
NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner features nine shades, all deeply intense and dramatic; they are all named after the world’s iconic streets.
Read more of our NARS reviews here:
- NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, an IRL Photoshop Tool
- NARSissist Unfiltered I Cheek Palette swatches and review
- Only one highlighter reigns supreme: NARS The Multiple
- The Perfect Smokey Eye is just a NARS Palette away
4. Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner
- The rich, cushiony color stays all day and leaves a lightweight yet bold demi-matte finish.
- Its unique applicator provides precise, full-coverage lip color application.
- A liquid color Creamy, rich texture that lasts all day long without drying the lips.
- Easy to use
- Delivers intense colors that last long
- Lets you create flawlessly defined, dramatic eyes
- Resistant to fading and smudging
When it comes to eyeliners, this product is one of those in the top tier.
Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner is tested and approved by dermatologists and ophthalmologists. It even works for people who wear contact lenses.
Wondering what can you expect from this product?
It’s easy to use, effortlessly gliding when you apply it on. This cake eyeliner also features a high pigment formula that stays put longer. You can look forward to a long-lasting color payoff.
Want to create a dramatic effect for your eyes?
With this product, you can achieve a flawlessly defined look that won’t fade or smudge easily.
If you’re looking for a solution to your tightlining woes, get the Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner. It’s one of the best eyeliner for waterline.
Read more of our Laura Mercier reviews here:
- Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Review and Photos
- Laura Mercier Smoky Suede Palette
- Laura Mercier Foundation Review + Swatches
5. stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner
- Apply to lash line and blend into a smudge shadow, if desired, using Brush or your fingers
- Create a fade proof cat eye with the tip of pencil
- Add on to your favorite eye shadows or wear alone
- Color-rich pencil liner that stays put longer
- Easy to use
- Use it as a pencil liner or just smudge it a brush or your finger
- When it sets, it gives off a vibrant color
Are you looking for a vibrant eyeliner that holds tight and stays smudge-free longer?
Then check out stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner.
Wondering what to expect?
stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner is infused with Vitamin E and other moisturizing minerals, creating a cocktail of ingredients that will give you an intense color payoff.
Even with just a single swipe, you can achieve an intense, dramatic look for your eyes.
This product is easy to use, gliding smoothly; there’s no pulling or tugging involved.
Plus, it has a waterproof formula that won’t fade or budge.
There are two ways you can use stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner.
First, you can use it as you would with a classic pencil liner. Or, second, you can use a brush or your fingers to get a smudgy eye shadow.
If you’re looking for a color-rich product with staying power, stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner is one of the best eyeliners for tightlining.
Read our other stila reviews:
- Stila Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer review
- Stila Lip Glaze review -Bubble Gum, a new color for Summer!
6. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner, Black, 0.04 Fluid Ounce
- Won't run or smudge from day to night.
- High intensity color for an instant color impact
- Ultra smooth & creamy formula that glides on easily
- Stays put from day to night
- Won’t fade, run, or smudge
- Creamy formula that glides effortlessly
- Tested and approved by ophthalmologists
- Ideal for people who wear contact lenses or have sensitive eyes
Do your eyes get irritated easily?
Are you a contact lens wearer?
Then you will love this product.
Check out Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner.
Priced at less than four bucks, it’s one of the cheapest eyeliners out there. But still, it has an impressive quality that you can expect from its expensive counterparts.
Wondering what to expect from Scandaleyes?
This product is perfect for people who have sensitive eyes or wear contact lenses. It is ophthalmologist-tested and approved. So you can rest assured it won’t irritate your eyes.
It also features a high-intensity color impact that won’t easily smudge, fade, or run. You can expect it to stay longer from day to night.
And because it has an ultra-smooth and creamy formula, this product glides on easily. Applying it on your waterline is effortless.
7. Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil, Defining Black
- MASTER PRECISE SKINNY EYELINER PENCIL: This mechanical eye pencil delivers an ultra-smooth line that lasts all day. Achieve easy application thanks to the 1.8mm micro-tip & smooth gel intensity.
- DEFINE YOUR EYE: No eye look is complete without Maybelline Eyeliner—amp up the drama with a black eyeliner pencil, get playful with a green or blue eyeliner, or take a softer approach with brown eyeliner. Remove waterproof eyeliner with makeup remover.
- MAYBELLINE IS THE EYE EXPERT: Whatever your signature eye look, natural or dramatic, Maybelline helps create looks that draw eyes with a broad selection of pencil & liquid eyeliners, highly pigmented eyeshadows, iconic mascara, & eyebrow makeup.
- Designed with an ultra-slim, 1.8-millimeter microtip and smooth gel
- Easy to apply and lets you achieve a dramatic look effortlessly
- Glides smoothly to define your eyes
- Stays put for up to 24 hours of wear
When it comes to creating a natural or dramatic look, this brand is the expert.
This list of eyeliners for tightlining wouldn’t be complete without including the cosmetic queen that is Mayelline.
Whatever look you want to achieve, Maybelline can help you create it. Amp up your makeup game with this precise, ultra-slim eyeliner.
Here’s what you can expect from this product.
Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil is designed for precise application.
It’s a super skinny eyeliner pencil with smooth gel and a 1.8-millimeter micro tip. This product will effortlessly glide as you put it on your waterline.
Plus, it can stay put up to 24 hours of wear. You can trust it no to fade or smudge that quickly.
So if you want to achieve luscious lashes and captivating eyes, you’ll love Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil.
So how do you tightline your eyeliner?
Now that you’ve chosen your eyeliner for tight lining, how do you do it?
The basic idea in tightlining is to draw on the inside of your upper lash strip and along the waterline. For this purpose, you’ll use an eyeliner.
By making this thin fleshy line appear dark, you can give your lashes a lush look.
Tightlining is also great at shaping and defining your eyes more. It will give your peepers a look that’s better and brighter, making it immediately stand out.
When professionally done, tightlining can give your eyes a clean and more captivating appearance. It will create a flattering look.
Here are quick tips on how to do tightlining on your waterline.
Ideally, you should only draw on the inside of your upper lash line. Never the bottom waterline.
Drawing on the bottom fleshy strip will create a less natural look.
Plus, it can make your eyes appear smaller, which isn’t flattering.
Tightlining Eyeliner Tutorial
With the eyeliner in your drawing hand, start tightlining from the inner corner of your upper lash line.
However, draw just a bit after the tear duct. Doing so will make your eyeliner look more chic and natural.
If you draw on the tear duct, you might irritate it. Plus, your eyeliner may get wet.
Using short strokes, draw on the white fleshy lash line from the inner corner toward the outer corner of your eye.
There may be gaps you’ll need to fill in, which are usually the areas between the eyelashes. So you’d want to make sure you shade in these spaces to really create a darker lash line.
In all instances, never veer away from the waterline. That’s the only area, the only strip, you need to shade and color using your eyeliner.
Once you reach the outer corner, stop drawing.
Now if you have oily eyelids, you may need to use an eyelid primer to help keep your eyeliner stay.
Get that look with these best eyeliners for tightlining.
Want to create a dramatic eye look or just take a softer, more playful approach to tightlining?
With these products, creating that alluring look for your eyes may not be so elusive anymore.