You'd think I'd have become accustomed to the cold after growing up in Pittsburgh and moving to New York City when I was 18. No, not even close. I dread the frigid temps and look forward to the heat of summer all year round. But the one thing I don't particularly get excited about? My eyes looking like a raccoon mid-day. Specifically, my eyeliner getting smudged and looking in the mirror to find it all over my face. To combat this messy look, I've discovered a handful of sweat-proof eyeliners that stay intact, even on the hottest summer days. Spoiler: Some of my favorites are under $10.
I've always been one to experiment with products, so I don't typically stick to just one formula. However, I will say my go-to eyeliner for summer is liquid liner, as I feel it stays put better than gel-based ones. My must-have liquid is without a doubt Glossier's Pro Tip — I've used it on a few hot days over the past month and was impressed with its staying power. And on days where I want a soft, creamy eyeliner to complete my look, I grab Fenty Beauty's cult-classic Flypencil Longwear Eyeliners. These babies glide on like butter when applied, but once dried down they stay put all day long, even in the summer. What other eyeliners do I swear by? From jet black to baby blue, below you’ll find 13 of the best waterproof eyeliner that have become must-haves in my summer makeup arsenal.
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Glossier Pro Tip
Meet my all time favorite liquid liner: Glossier's Pro Tip. This liner holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons. First off, the long flexible tip on the brush makes even the shakiest hands capable of achieving a precise cat-eye. Secondly, its product description notes that it lasts for up to 12 hours, which I can confirm is true. When I apply it around 9 a.m., even on humid days, it still looks good around 9 p.m.
NARS High-Impact Longwear Eyeliner
My secret weapon for making my eyes pop is applying NARS' High-Impact Longwear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte, a beautiful beige, to my waterline. One swipe isn't enough for my liking, so I'll usually apply the eyeliner two or three times. Though the color doesn't last all day long, it does stay for a good five hours or so, which is impressive for a liner in the waterline.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil
For nights out, I always reach for Urban Decay's Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil in Smog. Gliding on the copper liner next to my blue eyes makes them sparkle like no other. The formula is ultra-creamy, making it easy to smoke out. And even when I opt for a smoky eye, this liner doesn't end up all over my face in the heat.
Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner
When I want a thick, bold cat-eye, I always grab Eyeko's Fat Liquid Eyeliner. The wide felt tip makes it effortless to achieve a dramatic wing, and the formula doesn't budge throughout the scorching heat. Not sold yet? Its travel size might be your deciding factor.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
Heading to the pool or beach? Running a marathon? Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner won't budge during any excursion. Its staying power is unlike anything I've ever encountered with a product. I've worn the eyeliner while swimming, and it looks just as good after my day at the pool as it did when I first applied it. If you're looking for something less intense than black, try out the shade Midnight, a deep blue.
Fenty Beauty Flypencil Longwear Eyeliner
Slide on one of Fenty Beauty’s Flypencils and you'll immediately understand why they are a must from Rihanna’s beauty brand. The creamy formula is sweat- and smudge-resistant and perfect for long wear. Plus, they basically come in every color of the rainbow, as well as matte, shimmer, metallic, and glitter shades. My favorite is Lady Lagoon, a matte electric blue, which I'll typically wear alone to give it the spotlight it deserves. You can get away with one swipe, but I usually go for two to three to make it a bit more intense. And if you want to get fancy, there are plenty of unique ways to apply the Flypencils.
Pat McGrath Labs Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner
Like the rest of the brand's coveted products, I hear that this liner lives up to all the major hype. Released in 2018, the tip is long and skinny, making it perfect for a cat-eye. And for laidback afternoons spent in the park, the waterproof formula will have my makeup remaining fresh.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
While it's not as permanent as a real tattoo, I can vouch for the long-lasting formula of Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner. Once the formula dries down, it stays put all day long, even on days where the temps reach the 90s. This liner has been around for over a decade, and I remember first buying it in high school when all my friends were using it. Coming in jet black or rich chocolate brown, you'll understand the hype no matter the color you select.
UOMA Beauty Afro.Dis.Iac Liquid Eyeliner
Though I haven't *yet* tried out UOMA Beauty's Afro.Dis.Iac Liquid Eyeliner, I'd love to test it out for its marker tip and water resistant formula. According to the product description on its website, this liquid liner lasts all day and can easily be removed with warm water. With that said, I'll definitely be adding this product to my summer liquid liner collection.
Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
To be completely honest, I'm not a huge fan of eyeliner pots, but Maybelline's Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is an exception to this. I first picked this up when I was experimenting with makeup around the age of 13, and even though I didn't know what I was doing, this liner was the perfect introduction to makeup. Using a brush, I apply this gel eyeliner by my lash line and create a subtle flick on the corners of my eye. I use the brown shade, which is a gorgeous pigmented copper. Plus, you can dab a little bit on your finger and apply this liner as a shadow for subtle pop of color. The cherry on top is its price point, ringing in at only $9.99.
Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner
The staying power of this liquid eyeliner is no joke. From Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty, the Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner features a long-lasting, waterproof liquid eyeliner formula and an 800 vegan bristle brush to lay down long-lasting, rich matte black lines with precision every time. And plenty of the rave reviews on social media and the Rare Beauty website agree: This eyeliner won't fade, feather, or flake on you, so you get that just-applied look all day, even on the hottest of summer days.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Pencil
Whether I’m diving into a pool or sweating from simply walking around in the sweltering NYC summer temps, I need eye makeup that won’t budge the whole day. Enter Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Resist Color Pencil, which is formulated to be waterproof, sweat-proof, and smudge-proof for around the clock 24-hour wear. Pairing the color intensity of a liquid liner with the functionality of an easy-to-use glide-on pencil, it comes in six different shades and finishes, including this color Forest, a deep green for sultry looks. Not to mention, it comes with a built-in sharpener to ensure ultra-pigmented precision.
NYX Epic Wear Liner Stick Long Lasting Eyeliner Pencil
If I’m looking for an affordable drugstore option for an all-day waterproof eyeliner, I’ll sometimes turn to the Epic Wear Liner Stick Long Lasting Eyeliner Pencil from NYX. In a whopping 27 shades, these longwear eyeliner pencils are striking and deliver 36 hours of waterproof, smudge-proof, fade-proof, transfer-proof color with high impact. From everyday neutrals to intense bold colors, such as this Cosmic Yellow, there’s no look you can’t pull off even on the most humid or bone dry days of summer.
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