Coloured eyeliners have always nursed an uncertain presence in our vanity kits. Instead of merging with black mascara and, in turn, tightlining our upper waterline, they add a dash of kaleidoscopic hues to our eyes. Although it proved relatively pointless over the COVID-19 pandemic, and was only equipped with a sleight of hand before Zoom calls and video chats on dating apps, coloured liquid eyeliners boomed back into relevancy following the internet’s obsession with dopamine dressing.
With trends like LED makeup liners currently gripping TikTok, and popular image-sharing app Pinterest predicting the rise of ‘romcom core’ and the upbeat comeback of rave culture in 2023, it’s safe to say that coloured eyeliners are here to stay for the near future.
So, if you’re interested in getting a head start on all the trends for the upcoming year, it is with great honour that I state that—with the right precision brush and formulas—you can create iconic looks such as Kendall Jenner’s neon green statement eyeliner in a matter of seconds. In fact, the trend has been so popular lately that most brands, be it high street or drugstore, have started launching their own offerings of coloured eyeliners apart from the classic black ones.
From Chanel’s Rouge Noir eyeliner to KIKO’s Super Colour range, here are our top five coloured liquid eyeliner picks that exude elegance and double as great conversation starters. So long, boring black liners!
This eyeliner is not only super affordable (priced at £8.99), but it comes in ten different colours that are perfect for hooded eyes, elongated eyes, and basically every single eye shape that exists on our home planet.
Public figures like Meghan Markle and Princess Diana have always chosen statement-coloured eyeliners. Personally, I prefer the shade ‘Green Teal’ since it not only brightens my eyes, but also works magic for hooded lids. Given that the colour is highly pigmented, it’s the perfect shade to fall back on.
Pros: Affordable and waterproof
Cons: Not smudge-proof as, by the end of the day, it wears off a little. Upon application, the eyeliner also doesn’t seem to dry quickly
The £31 splurged on Le Liner de Chanel is only justifiable as the range’s dark maroon shade—dubbed ‘Rouge Noir’—lasts up to 16 hours and has a very high precision brush. Thanks to its felt tip, the brush makes it extremely easy to create a sharp wing.
The other non-black shade in the collection is ‘Ultra Brun’ which is a rich, deep brown. The formula is a bit runny but it doesn’t bleed beyond the brush. The colour is more burgundy than brown and is perfect for someone who is looking to experiment with coloured eyeliners but doesn’t want to stray too far off black. What’s more is that both the colours in question blend well with the lash line.
Pros: Super fine brush controlling the product on the applicator. The final look doesn’t budge
Cons: Expensive and slightly runny formula
This £20 gel pot eyeliner is perfect for hot and humid days when a sweaty face is the main reason you stay away from eyeliner all summer. It comes in 17 shades, and I chose the colour ‘Magenta’ to apply with the Pomade brush.
The consistency is thick with a very creamy texture and gives a matte finish. So, if you’re someone who likes their eyeliner super fine and thin, this one might not be for you. It lasts all day, and if you are feeling especially bold, it can also be used as an eyeshadow.
Pros: Vegan and cruelty-free
Cons: Doesn’t come with a brush—it has to be purchased additionally
L’Oréal Paris’ £8.99 liquid eyeliner in the colour ‘Blue’ is hands down one of the best budget options on the market today. It also comes in the shades ‘Brown’ and ‘Green’, and rivals high-end products at a fraction of the price. It additionally harbours the same features sported by luxury brands, such as a great brush and a smooth, matte finish.
The blue colour takes you back to the 90s, when it was donned by almost all celebrities, and popularised by none other than Princess Diana. It should be noted that the shade could be quite intense if you aren’t used to coloured eyeliners. Moreover, the handle of the brush is thick—so it might also take some getting used to. Although the eyeliner is prone to getting smudged when it’s wet, it stays on once it dries up.
Pros: Affordable, and comes with a precise brush tip
Cons: Doesn’t last long, and dries out on the skin because of its matte formula
I had a free makeover at the Lush store on Oxford Street in London and fell in love with this £15 vegan eyeliner. It comes in six different colours, and the shade ‘Emerald City’ is a beautiful sheer teal green that gives you a glam look for the holiday season.
That being said, it was impossible to remove at the end of the night. This is the eyeliner you want to sport on a rainy day or when you go through the floodgates of a breakup. It’s definitely not a full-coverage eyeliner and is a bit on the runny, glittery side.
Pros: Lasts long after application, and the colour suits most skin tones
Cons: No brush in the bottle upon purchasing, and it might require two to three coats as the colour is quite translucent