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Drugstore eyeliners have come a long way in recent years. We've all faced the trauma of a pen that stops producing ink halfway through a cat-eye flick, or a formula that flakes off into little bitty black flecks that tumble down your cheeks, or ink that turns out to be, at best, dove grey and not the pitch black you were promised.
Thankfully, our frustrations haven't gone unheard. Finally, it would seem the world of affordable makeup has caught up with its luxe competitors, and you can now venture down the makeup aisle at Boots safe in the knowledge that you'll find a drugstore liquid eyeliner that doesn't just do the job, but does it well. The new wave of liquid eyeliners goes on smoother than ever, boasts super-dense pigments and stays put until the lure of a good-quality oil cleanser beckons the color away.
There are still some red-herring formulas haunting our shelves, however, which you need to avoid but that we can help you. Click through for our list of the best drugstore liquid eyeliners—follow this and you won't be disappointed.
Few eyeliners come out as glossy as 3ina's, even after drying down onto skin. It also makes navigating the contours of your eye surprisingly easy, thanks to a particularly grippy tube.
Once this eyeliner is on, it will not budge for love nor money. That means it's a vital option for anyone who can't help but rub their face throughout the day—your sharp eyeliner flicks aren't going anywhere.
The nib of Nyx's eyeliner is so super fine that you'll find it pretty hard to draw on flicks that are too chubby. Plus, it's dainty enough to fill in the gaps at the base of the lashes, which will help make them look fuller, too.
If you prefer a brush-and-inkwell kind of eyeliner, look to Sleek Makeup. This contains the blackest "ink" you'll find and doesn't cake or flake like so many liquid formulas can.
Not for the faint-hearted, L'Oreal's chubby marker-style liner will draw on dense, striking lines and flicks. It's probably the most dramatic eye look you'll get from a single product.
Rimmel's liquid eyeliner lives up to its claim of lasting up to 16 hours—trust us. Plus, it comes in a variety of colours from deep, dark black to plum and emerald green.
What we love most about Bourjois's eyeliner is that it flows without any sign of slowing down, so you won't get halfway through a flick and find the nib dries up. The angled nib is good if you like particularly defined flicks.
Up next, every good eyeliner needs a good mascara to back it up. See our favourite affordable wands.
Opening image: Getty/Ray Tamarra/Contributor