8 Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining | 2022 Buying Guide

Amongst the much-discussed new looks on the gram, the no-makeup look is the most popular. What’s the most subtle feature of this look, you say? It’s tightlining. Tightlining is essentially the process of applying eyeliner to your upper waterline. Tightlining makes your eyelashes look fuller, which gives your eyes an elegant look. Our waterline is a sensitive area, and wearing anything here is prone to cause some irritation. Not with the appropriate product. Choosing an eyeliner to go gentle on your waterline could be a tedious process. Also, an affordable item could be our focus, one we find in a drugstore and doesn’t make us wait for its arrival. Let’s find the Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining.

Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining

There is a lot to keep in mind when buying eyeliner, but we must be cautious when choosing our waterline. Only with the right skill and an efficient product will this technique prove advantageous for us. It is an absolute must to buy a waterproof eyeliner as our waterline is prone to be wet. Tightlining both your water lines could make your eyes look smaller in some cases so that you can choose accordingly. Tightlining is used only below eyelashes to make them look fuller, denser, and gloriously black. Remember to apply it only near your lashes for your desired look. What else do we look for in eyeliner for tightlining?

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How will we shortlist from the variety of eyeliners available in the market?

Waterproof: It is a given that when we’re applying eyeliner in our waterlines, the formula should be waterproof. Our eyelids are constantly filled with liquid that keeps our eyes from drying out. We must choose a tested waterproof eyeliner as this category cannot be compromised. Only the tested products which have proven their resistance to water should be considered. 

Pigmentation: Nobody has time to spend 20 minutes tightlining. It is a complex process; we want it to be done in one whip. That is only possible if there is good pigmentation in the product we are using. Our eyes are susceptible, and too much of the eyeliner applied for better pigmentation may also irritate our eyes. This issue will not occur if we get an excellent dark swirl in just one application.

Easy To Apply: A liquid, gel, and pencil formula in the eyeliners are used for tightlining. The pencil formula is ideal for tightlining as it gives you the ease to apply your desired amount. More importantly, you’ll be ready in just one quick whip with no corrections. We need to be associated with a hassle-free product that will be user-friendly for us in tightlining.

Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining

Travel Friendly: We would love to carry it around to our vacation spots and amaze everyone there. It should fit in a pouch with the assurance of no leakage or spillage. We don’t want our vanity to have a smoky look.

Long-Lasting: Eyeliners enriched with the waterproof formula are expected to be long-lasting. Moreover, if we use this one for tightlining, it will constantly contact liquids in the waterlines. Longevity should be at least 12 hours because that could be a benchmark to measure every product against. Also, there has to be no smudging because that will make a joke of you.

Availability: We must find these options in our nearest drugstore. Eyeliners available in drugstores are also available online, but we are looking at a quick option. You don’t need to wait for a day; drop by your closest drugstore and pick your favorite eyeliner. You’re ready to attend your impromptu party, no need to wait for your prime delivery too.

Removal: The eyeliner has to be easy to remove and not include rubbing and smudging. It is essential to use a cleansing cream or micellar water to remove your eye makeup. Eyes being a sensitive area, are prone to redness when rubbed. Easy removal through any option mentioned above must be a priority as we don’t want to spend more time removing our eyeliner than applying it. Similarly, one bad experience could put an end to our tightlining fascination.

Types of Eyeliners for Tightlining 

Pencil Eyeliner: Waterproof eye pencils are the best choice as they let you draw freely and between all the strands of your lashes. They give you the freedom to wear your waterline darker or lighter, giving you your desired look. To put the cherry on the top, they are quick-dry products and don’t take a long drying time. If you choose the eyeliner with a small sponge on one end, you can blend your water lines in a smudgy or smokey-eyed look.

Gel Eyeliner: The gel consistency comes in between a pencil and a liquid eyeliner. It is creamy and has a relatively thick texture. It comes with a bit of pot, and you must apply it with a brush. It stays in place and is less likely to smudge. You’re free to make thick or thin lines according to your choice. With a gel eyeliner used for tightlining, you must be very careful with the brush, and it has to be kept very clean and devoid of any air contact. We need to make sure none of the harmful bacteria goes in the most sensitive part of your body, the eye.

Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining

Liquid Eyeliner: We need to have liquid eyeliner for a dramatic look like a wing or a cat-eye. When it comes to tightlining liquid eyeliners may not do the job and might spill in our eyes. The existing water in our eyes makes it difficult for a liquid eyeliner to dry. An eyeliner can seep into your eyes and will most likely irritate them.

8 Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Tightlining

Let’s move on to the best eyeliners we can buy at drugstores ideal for tightlining.


If you are looking for a smooth satin finish in a liquid formula, NYX Professional eyeliner might be the solution for you. It is the best waterline eyeliner for watery eyes. It has a thin and slender brush to give you an idea of how thick or thin the consistency you wish to apply. Dark pigmentation, along with the long-lasting formula, gives you security for a long time. It is a smudge-proof and waterproof formula.

Along with that, it fights against sweat, precipitation, and, more importantly, crying. So while tightlining, you don’t need to worry about some sad tears. Interestingly, it comes in black and brown shades. You can buy whichever suits you best. Subtle, natural, and a decent look in under no time. Completely opaque and gives beautiful results for all ages. It does not seep in like the other liquid formulas.


  • Waterproof 
  • Highly Pigmented
  • Opaque
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Long-Lasting
  • Flexible Tip
  • Easy To Apply
  • Vegan Formula
  • Smudge-Proof
  • Available in Shades

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Epic Ink Liner, Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - Black, Vegan Formula
  • Waterproof Matte Liquid Eyeliner: Get the perfect long lasting cat eye look with NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink eyeliner, with a matte black finish
  • Precise Tip: Our ultra precise tip is flexible and Easy to Use; Every stroke is unbelievably fluid for a defined finish; Control the thickness of your lines by pressing down just a touch; Fine and natural, broad and bold, the look is always up to you
  • All Eyes On Eye Makeup: Complete your look with our full range of eye makeup products ranging from eyeshadow palettes to false eyelashes, eyeliners, concealers, setting sprays, eyebrow makeup, eyeshadow primer and more
  • Cruelty Free Cosmetics: We believe animals belong in our arms, not in a lab; All of our makeup is certified and acknowledged by PETA as a cruelty free brand; We don't test any of our products on animals
  • Discover NYX Professional Makeup: Try all of our professional makeup products today from eyeshadow, eyeliner, and false lashes to liquid lipstick, lip gloss, primer, concealer, setting sprays and eyebrow makeup


  • Irritation
  • Ink Bleeds

COVERGIRL Ink It By Perfect Point Plus Waterproof Eyeliner

Covergirl eyeliner glides on smoothly on your water lines without spilling. They have bright, bold shades to last all day long. Unlike the dry old version, this one is more gel-based and hydrating to your eyes. It does not smear and expand throughout the day with all the challenges in the day. Easy to remove and does not include rubbing or smudging.Many sophisticated shades like violet and charcoal. Creamy and easy to glide on your skin without smearing or pulling. The best part about it is that we don’t need to sharpen it. You can go on and on and use it without any maintenance. Perfect for tightlining and stays for a surprising amount of time.


  • Waterproof
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Well Pigmented
  • Lasts All Day
  • Fade Resistance 
  • Easy to Remove
  • No irritation
  • Matte Finish 

COVERGIRL Ink It By Perfect Point Plus Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner, Black, 0.012 Oz (Pack of 1)
  • Defined eyes that last all day
  • Gel-like, smooth-glide formula that won't budge
  • Long-lasting, fade-resistant formula
  • Easy to remove with soap and water


  • Hard to Remove 
  • Swollen Eyelids

L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Never Fail Original Mechanical Pencil Eyeliner 

It looks applied throughout the day and scores you elegant looks daily with unmatchable precision and a sharp tip. You can choose your desired amount and use it on your water lines.

Very dark pigmentation and only one whip are enough for dark inner lids. You don’t have to worry about runny or shivery hands as this formula comes with a stencil. Yes, you heard it right; you cannot go wrong with your look. Tightlining with this formula becomes easy as it is easy to apply and very user-friendly. The dry time is almost next to zero, and it dries in no time. Easy to remove with a cleansing balm, do not use micellar water in black and brown shades. 


  • High Pigmented 
  • Matte Finish 
  • Shades
  • Smudger 
  • Built-In Sharpener 
  • Long-Lasting 
  • Easy To Use
  • Works for All Ages

L'Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Never Fail Original Mechanical Pencil Eyeliner with Built in Sharpener, Black, 1 Count
  • Infallible Never Fail Smudge-Proof Eyeliner: Mechanical pencil eyeliner with built in sharpener is formulated to glide on easily and stay put for up to 16hrs; This rich, creamy eye pencil delivers long-lasting fade-proof color
  • Never Fail Eye Liner: Glides on to create classic to bold eye designs to compliment any mood or occasion; Use the built-in sharpener and smudge to optimize pencil tip for versatile eye looks
  • Create you perfect eye makeup look with our collection of Voluminous mascaras, achieve sleek lines with smudge proof eyeliner, define your brows and discover eye shadow palettes with shades made for every eye color
  • Because You're Worth It: L'Oreal Paris Makeup helps you create the look you want with our full line of makeup including foundations, concealers, highlighter makeup, brow pencils, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks and much more
  • Perfect To Pair With: Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara, uniquely formulated to resist clumping, soften and build lashes up to 5X their natural thickness


  • Fading Lashes
  • Allergic Reactions 

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Eye Liner Pencil

Let’s talk about this budget-friendly eyeliner. Rimmel Eyeliner is smudge-proof and waterproof. It is smooth to apply without hassle, stays on for a long time, does not budge, and looks decadent on your water lines. It stays for the entire day, and it is the easiest to apply to work your day through sweat and tears. This eyeliner could be your buddy and support you throughout.

Has many different ways of application and metals on your skin the way you apply it. The creamy finish and the waterproofness lasting all day is what attracts us to this eyeliner. One negative is that the sharpener doesn’t seem to sharpen the pencil efficiently. It could also be challenging to take off and cause redness— the best tightlining eyeliner for contact lenses.


  • Long-Lasting
  • Dark Pigment
  • It comes in a Variety of Shades
  • Smooth Formula
  • Glides On Easily
  • User Friendly
  • Doesn’t Budge 
  • All Day Long 
  • Ophthalmologist Tested 
  • Suitable for Contact Lenses
  • Best for Sensitive Eyes

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Pencil Eyeliner, Long-Wearing, Ultra-Smooth, Smudge-Proof, 001, Black, 0.04oz
  • High intensity color for an instant color impact.
  • Ultra smooth & creamy formula that glides on easily.
  • Smudge-proof, sweat-proof , heat-proof and waterproof gel eyeliner.
  • Dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested.
  • Safe for sensitive eyes.


  • Breaks When Sharpening 
  • Harder to Take Off 

Maybelline’s New York Master Precise Skinny Automatic Pencil

It works like a twist-up pencil and gives you opaque black water lines. Unlike other eyeliners, it gives you 24 hours smudge-proof, waterproof protection. So you don’t have to think twice before choosing this. Very user-friendly, and the pencil format lets us fill the lashes efficiently. Making your lashes look fuller and pitch black. It has a gel-like texture and glides on your under eyelids with precision. Its high pigmentation makes it opaque with one coat and reduces all your hassle. It comes with a micro tip which is ideal for first-timers. Something that I would want to add here would be some vibrant colors to choose from. Rest there was some smudging throughout the 24 hours, but the kind of weather and vicinity we are in is more to be blamed for that.


  • 24 Hours Life
  • Pitch Black Look
  • Waterproof 
  • Smudge-Proof 
  • Twist Up Pencil 
  • Best for Beginners
  • Easy Removal


  • Smudges a Little 
  • Colour Selection

Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Eyeliner Pencil, Defining Black, 1 Count
  • Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencil: This mechanical eye pencil delivers an ultra smooth line on eyelids that lasts all day; Achieve easy, mistake proof application thanks to the 1.8 millimeter micro tip and smooth gel intensity
  • Define Your Eye: This twist up automatic gel eyeliner pencil delivers an ultra smooth line that lasts all day; Master the most precise eye looks with this always sharp eyeliner
  • 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 and liquid eyeliners, highly pigmented eyeshadows, iconic mascara, and eyebrow makeup
  • Create any look with Maybelline; foundation, BB creams, concealers, and setting powders for the perfect canvas, eye shadows, mascara, brow pencils, and eyeliners for any eye look and lip products, from showstopping lipstick to plumping lip gloss

Wet n Wild’s Megaliner Liquid Eyeliner

Standing out in the liquid eyeliners segment, Wet and Wild’s Eyeliner is appreciated for its flexible yet precisive brush and the super black formula. To add on, it comes in four vibrant shades, and all of them are as good as the next. Being a liquid eyeliner used in tightlining, it takes some time to dry out and settle. However, this perception was changed by the liner’s staying power. It stays on for a long time, almost throughout a busy working day. Highly pigmented and only took one coat to show off its pitch dark color. The color remains the same and stays on for the entire day. It comes with a small flexible tip that can help you do the job in one swift motion. 


  • Long-Lasting 
  • Travel Friendly 
  • Does Not Cause Irritation
  • Easy to Apply
  • Compact Packaging 
  • Great Tip
  • Waterproof 
  • Smudge-Proof
  • It comes in Many Shades
  • Matte Finish 

wet n wild MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner - Black (packaging)
  • High-def pigment and a rich, fluid formula that goes on quick and easy to give you perfectly lined eyes that last
  • Dries fast and stays put to enhance and dramatically define the eyes
  • An easy-to-control, flexible brush gives you precise application
  • Formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalate free
  • Our ManiCurve Pro Brush It’s absolutely incredible The rod is flat so the liquid drains down to the bristles equally, and the rounded bristles hug your nail curves perfectly


  • Very Wet
  • Long Drying Time 

e.l.f. Cosmetics Intense Ink Eyeliner

It looks like a small tip liner but does no less than work wonders. Exactly as its name suggests, it has an intense black color with a waterproof formula. Much like we expected, it is easy to use looking at its petite size, and you can apply it with just one swift movement. Although you need to give it a good shake beforehand, I suggest you do that to all the eyeliners you plan to use. It gives you a stunning matte finish after drying in almost no time. More affordable and well-performing than its competitors. The long-lasting keeps on impressing us by not wearing off all day and giving excellent results. 

Easy to remove with micellar water and comes off with not much rubbing. 


  • Waterproof 
  • Long-Lasting 
  • Pitch black 
  • Smudge-Proof
  • Easy Application 
  • Matte Finish 
  • Pocket Friendly 
  • Pointy Tip


  • Bleeds At Times
  • Smudges A Little 

Almay’s All-Day Gel Eyeliner  

Bold, dramatic looks are in nowadays, and recreating them has become a hobby. Almay’s Eyeliner is precisely made to fit your needs. With just one swipe in your water lines, you’ll be set for the day. The eyeliner brightens and makes your eyes more glowy. The highly pigmented formula gives you a dark black look all day. It glides on easily and is very user-friendly for first-timers. It stays on equally on both the water lines and gives you a smokey eye. The best part about it would be the shades and bold look these shades give you. Effortless removal with micellar water and no rubbing or smudging is caused. 


  • Waterproof
  • Smudge-Proof
  • Glides On 
  • Smooth Application
  • Colorful Shades 
  • Long-Lasting 
  • For Both Your Water Lines 
  • Cruelty-Free 

Almay All-Day Intense Gel Eyeliner, Longlasting, Waterproof, Fade-Proof Creamy High-Performing Easy-to-Sharpen Liner Pencil, 120 Nocturnal Navy, 0.045 Oz.
  • INTENSE EYELINER: Experience intense color of a liquid eyeliner in an easy to sharpen, sustainable pencil; available in six shades
  • EFFORTLESS AND LONGWEARING: The smooth, creamy, fade-proof, waterproof formula easily glides onto lids (without skipping or tugging), laying down bold color that lasts up to 24 hours
  • SUSTAINABLE FORWARD: Because we care about the environment as much as we care about your delicate eyes, the barrel of this pencil is made from 85% recycled paper
  • FORMULATED WITHOUT: We leave out the bad stuff like parabens, phthalates, SLS, mineral oil, DMDM Hydantoin, formaldehydes, and Triclosan
  • SUITABLE FOR SENSITIVE EYES: As part of the Almay promise, this product is hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist tested as well as clean, cruelty free, and fragrance free; it is also suitable for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers, and use along your waterline


  • Not Very Precise 
  • It does not come with a Sharpener 

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Closure | Best Drugstore Eyeliners for Tightlining

Amongst all the Best Drugstore Eyeliners for Tightlining that we saw throughout the article, they all were well tested and rated. We must decide the formula that our eyes feel comfortable with as we cannot afford irritation to our eyes. Its application is a tricky part. You can use a Qtip, hold your upper lid, and apply the formula on your eyelid with a quick whip. When applying a gel formula with a brush, be sure that the brush is very clean. 

Pencils are the most ideal to use in which you can decide the thickness and the mode of application in your lashes. Be sure of the type of formula that is comfortable for you and only goes for that. It is not advisable to experiment with your eyes. Tightlining is a hassle-free process when done right with the right product. So choose your product wisely and get on with it. Practice will help you with precision, and you’ll get dazzling eyes in no time. All the best for your experience!

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