Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison

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I'm putting all my black pencil eyeliners to a test! Let's find out which one performs the best! :)

Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison

Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison

Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison

Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison

I have a total of 15 black pencil eyeliners in my collection. One of them has been discontinued and I apologize for including it (but don't worry, once you see the comparison photo below, you'll know that it's not the one you would have wanted to purchase anyway!).

The comparison test

For each pencil, I drew a short line on my arm once and then went over it again one more time, so it's 2 layers for each pencil (photo below; shown in first panel). I made sure to try to apply with the same pressure for all of them. Then I ran my arm through running water, blotted with a paper towel, and smudged the line with my finger (second panel). After that I wiped with a MAC makeup remover wipe (third panel).

Eyeliners tested

  1. Chanel Le Crayon Khôl Intense Eye Pencil in Noir
    Soft with a natural-looking powdery matte finish, smudges easily, comes with a sharpener
    BUY ▶ US$28 | Nordstrom
  2. Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Blacquer (review)
    Rich, deep black, gel-like texture, creamy smooth, waterproof and smudge proof, twist-up mechanism, not quite easy to draw a thin line
    BUY ▶ US$25 | Sephora
  3. Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in 01 Black Lace
    Matte finish, smudges a little, surprisingly pigmented (I'd never have guessed!), very reasonably priced
    BUY ▶ US$10 | Sephora
  4. Buxom Insider Eyeliner in Black Jasper
    Non-waterproof, smudges easily, short staying power, twist-up mechanism
    BUY ▶ US$14 | Sephora
  5. Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in 01 Black
    Extremely soft, glides on easily, liquid-like texture, intensely pigmented
    BUY ▶ US$5.97 | Walmart
  6. Koji Dolly Wink Pencil Eyeliner in Black
    Cutest packaging! :), brownish black, waterproof, good staying power but does transfer a bit
    BUY ▶ US$9.95 | eBay
  7. Tarte EmphasEyes Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black
    [Discontinued] Too soft, tip breaks off during application, feels wet, smudges and transfers, twist-up mechanism
    BUY ▶
  8. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion
    Blackest black, incredibly pigmented, soft with a completely matte finish, excellent staying power
    BUY ▶ US$19 | Sephora
  9. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
    Classic medium black, glides on smoothly, easy to control, soft and smooth texture
    BUY ▶ US$19 | Sephora
  10. Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in BlackNoir (review)
    Intensely pigmented, incredibly long-lasting, waterproof and smudge proof, extremely soft
    BUY ▶ US$12 | Target
  11. Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Black
    Creamy, long-lasting, very pigmented, deep dark black, waterproof and smudge proof, full size comes with a smudger
    BUY ▶ US$18 | Sephora
  12. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Oil Slick
    Black with metallic silver glitter that can be felt during application, not the softest formula but still glides on easily, waterproof
    BUY ▶ US$18 | Sephora
  13. Wet n Wild Color Icon Liner Shimmer Eye Pencil in Black Noir
    Medium black with silver micro glitter, waterproof, decent staying power, soft but a little scratchy
    BUY ▶ US$1.49 | Drugstore.com
  14. Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Stormy Grey
    Flattering dark charcoal grey that could pass for black, creamy and slightly shimmery, waterproof, good staying power
    BUY ▶ US$22 | Sephora
  15. MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Swan (review)
    Deep black with silver pearly finish, soft and creamy, waterproof, long-lasting, can smudge and transfer in the heat
    BUY ▶ US$16 | Nordstrom

Result

Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison; L-R: fresh swatches, water and rub test, and makeup wipe test

Black Pencil Eyeliner Comparison (enlarge)
L-R: fresh swatches, water and rub test, and makeup wipe test

Conclusion

Blackest: Marc Jacobs, Urban Decay Perversion, Pixi, Too Faced

Longest-lasting: Marc Jacobs, Urban Decay Perversion, Pixi, Too Faced, MAC

Most natural-looking: Chanel, Laura Mercier, Dolly Wink, Urban Decay Zero

Most sparkly: MAC, Urban Decay Oil Slick, Wet n Wild

So that's it for my little experiment! I hope you find this review helpful and please do let me know if you have any questions!

What are some of your favorite black pencil eyeliners? :)

23 Comments So Far & Counting!


 
  • That was awesome! I LOVE the way you did your photos – SO easy to compare! I rarely wear black liner but I do have an Eyeko Skinny liquid liner that’s really great staying-power wise!

    • Jaa says:

      I could never get the Eyeko liner to work on me, Kristen! I bought one, and it was so dry and it pulled my lid. I thought it was a dud so I went to get another one and it did the same thing!!! So I gave up. LOL. Such a shame because I really wanted to love it. Glad it worked out for you, though!

  • Rachelle says:

    Does the Marc Jacob one have any sparkles/ glitter? I can’t resist subtle sparkly/ glittery eyeliners. I just bought a bunch of glittery brown eyeliners :/ I wear more of brown than black eyeliner~

    I really like the Wet n Wild one!! But it looks more of a silver eyeliner rather than a black eyeliner lol.

    • Jaa says:

      Marc Jacobs is a complete matte! :) No glittery particles, sorry!

      Wet n Wild is cheap, though. You can get one just for fun. ;)

  • Sunny says:

    Hey Jaa, WOW that’s a lot of black liners! I’ve tried maybe 5 or so in total (I only line my lower lash line with pencils, so pencils last me forever), and some of them do work slightly better on me than others, but the difference isn’t THAT big. I definitely want to try Perversion next!

  • Nicole says:

    I found your blog a couple of weeks ago, and I love, love, LOVE your photos. Would you mind sharing what kind of camera, lens, and lighting you use?

    • Jaa says:

      Thank you so much, Nicole! :)

      I use a Canon 7D with a Canon 100mm Macro lens. As for the lighting (I assume you mean for the product photos?), I use a homemade lightbox (cheap!) similar to this: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inexpensive-Photography-Lightbox . Actually that’s exactly what my lightbox looks like, lol. Hope this helps!

      • Nicole says:

        Thanks for responding! I figured you probably used a macro lens for the insanely good closeups. There’s something about extreme closeups in photography that I’m really drawn to. I got a Nikon last year and would love to have a macro lens for it. Love your blog!

        • Jaa says:

          Oh same here, Nicole! I am obsessed with extreme closeups! There were times when I had to hold back publishing those types of photos because I don’t think people would understand and may assume I’m a little crazy in the head, ha ha!

          I hope you do get yourself a macro lens soon!! :D

  • Hoku says:

    Nice!

  • Sunny says:

    Hey Jaa, I actually seldom line my lower lash line with a black liner. I can’t say I have found a HG yet, but once upon a time I did like UD Zero a lot! My waterline is sensitive to some formulas, so there is a bunch of pencils sitting in my drawer unloved :(

    • Jaa says:

      I used to like zero a lot, too. It was my very first black liner until I tried Perversion. Ha ha! I have to watch what I use on my waterline as well. I don’t think mine is sensitive but a lot of liners tend to make my eyes water just a bit. Luckily the UD formula doesn’t so I’m good with Perversion. :D

      I gotta check out your recent post asap! Curious about the CC Colour Correct from MAC!!

  • Sunny says:

    A lot of formulas make my eyes gritty and red, so I guess my waterline is painfully sensitive! I heard that Perversion lasts better than Zero. Since I can use the UD formula, maybe I should give it a go! I actually only saw a loose powder from the CC Colour Correct collection! Most of the swatches I was able to do are from A Fantasy of Flowers ;)

  • Denise says:

    Nice comparison! I love MAC Graphblack Technakhol liner. It not as black as Perversion which I also love. But it last the best on the waterline and doesn’t fade.

    • Jaa says:

      I’ve heard so much about MAC Technakhol liner! I’m really thinking of giving it a try based on all the positive reviews! Is Graphblack the blackest?

      Thanks for stopping by, Denise! :D

  • Priscilla says:

    Does anyone know what the staying power is if you wear contacts (Ex. Urban Decay’s 24/7 smudges like crazy if you have contacts in)?

    • Jaa says:

      I’d try Marc Jacobs or Pixi! I also wear contacts but I’m lucky that I have never had any smudging problem with my eyeliners, even with the UD 24/7! Are you talking about lining the upper lash line? If so, maybe you are better off with liquid liner. :)

  • Kimmy says:

    Hello ka P’Jaa,
    Do you have any recommended inner-eyeliner (for upper lash) that wouldn’t be smudges and would long lasting one ka? Thank you na ka ^^

    • Jaa says:

      สวัสดีค่ะ Kimmy! :)

      หมายถึงการ tightline ใช่มั้ยคะ พี่ยังไม่เคยเจออันไหนที่ติดทนจริง ๆ เลยนะ แต่ว่าที่ดีที่สุดที่เคยใช้มาคือตัว Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ของ Stila ค่ะ จริง ๆ ไม่อยากแนะนำเลยเพราะว่ามันเป็น liquid liner อาจจะไม่ปลอดภัย แต่ว่ามันติดทนดีมากจริง ๆ ค่ะ แค่ตอนเขียนต้องระวังไม่ให้ไหลไปโดนตาแค่นั้นเอง พี่จะค่อย ๆ จิ้มมันลงไประหว่างเส้นขนตาน่ะค่ะ จากนั้นก็ลากทับไปทับมาอีกรอบสองรอบให้ได้เส้นดำเสมอกัน แต่ต้องระวังจริง ๆ ไม่ให้ไปโดนตานะ แรก ๆ อาจจะมีไหลเปื้อนไปเปื้อนมาบ้าง และถ้ายิ่งใส่ contacts ก็อาจมีเละนิดหน่อย แต่พอทำไปนาน ๆ แล้วจะชินเองค่ะ พี่ใช้แล้วก็ติดทนนานทั้งวันอยู่นะ มีจางบ้างแต่ไม่ smudge ค่ะ

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