Eyeliner is essential for any woman who wants to make her eyes look bigger, bolder, and more dramatic. They’re also great for those who want to make their eyes stand out. There’s a wide selection of eyeliners on the market today, but some of them can irritate or dry out your eyes. You might have previously used an eyeliner that caused you to blink continuously throughout the day, or otherwise bothered your eyes. To help you avoid such an awful experience, we’re going to explore some of the top-rated eyeliners that are ideal for contact wearers and people with sensitive eyelids.
- How Eyeliner Affects Sensitive Eyelids
- 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best Eyeliner
- Top 10 Best Eyeliner for Sensitive Eyes 2021
- 1. Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner
- 2. Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner
- 3. L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Liquid Eyeliner
- 4. Maybelline New York Eyestudio Gel Eyeliner
- 5. Music Flower 2-in-1 Black and Brown Gel Eyeliner
- 6. Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliner
- 7. Mia Adora Liquid Gel Eyeliner
- 8. Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner
- 9. Ecco Bella Natural Soft Eyeliner Pencil
- 10. Honeybee Gardens Effortless Eyeliner
- Guide to Buying the Best Eyeliners for Sensitive Eyes
- Final Thoughts
How Eyeliner Affects Sensitive Eyelids
When you have an allergic reaction to a substance, your body responds by generating antibodies to fight it. Special cells, known as mast cells, start working to formulate the body’s response to the offending allergen. These cells are present in the stomach, intestines, lungs, nose, and eyes.
However, the nose and eyes account for the highest number of mast cells. Moreover, the skin around the eyes is thin, delicate, and highly sensitive. If you have issues such as eczema, seasonal allergies, or eczema, your body is already prepared to react to a substance it doesn’t like. For people with these conditions, any additional allergic reaction—to eyeliner, for example—will be even more annoying.
Experts advise that you try out new makeup products on the back of your hand before you apply it on your face. Wait at least an hour for a reaction. If there’s no adverse reaction, then the product is safe to use on your face.
Most would rather deal with an itchy or inflamed hand than itchy or swollen eyes. It’s worth noting that people with dry eyes are more vulnerable to allergens than others, because they don’t generate enough tears to get rid of allergens.
Likewise, eyes with contact lenses have various vulnerabilities. It is also not a good idea to use eyeliner on your waterline if your eyes are sensitive. This process is known as tight-lining. Tight-lined eyeliner is applied to a highly sensitive part of the eyelid, which raises its chance of causing a reaction.
5 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing the Best Eyeliner
Whenever you go shopping for eyeliner, here are five essential things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best product.
- Color – The first thing to consider is what color of eyeliner you prefer. Maybe you want a neutral color that you can wear any day. If you want something for special occasions, then eyeliner that makes your eyes stand out is an ideal choice. If you are not sure about the color you want, then it’s a good idea to go for something that matches your natural eye color.
- Thickness – There are different types of eyeliners. Each type delivers lines of varying thickness. Liquid eyeliner delivers thin and sharp lines. Felt-tip eyeliner, on the other hand, creates thick yet soft lines. Pencil eyeliner can create soft or sharp lines and thick or thin lines, depending on the type of pencil. So, you should consider the type of eyeliner that would deliver your desired results.
- Water-resistance – Waterproof eyeliners don’t smudge or flake. However, you can only remove them using a waterproof makeup remover. These eyeliners are an ideal choice if you live in a humid or rainy area. They are also a great choice if you have contact lenses or if your eyes have a tendency of watering.
- Return policy – Sometimes, you may purchase a product and later realize it doesn’t work for you. Some stores will allow you to return the product, regardless of whether you’ve opened and used it or not. Other products can’t be returned so easily. Get to understand the return policy before you purchase your preferred eyeliner.
- Hand steadiness – It’s essential to determine if you have steady hands before you go shopping for the best eyeliner. If you’re a beginner in using eyeliner or you have unsteady hands, consider choosing a pencil eyeliner. Pencil eyeliners are easiest to apply. Liquid eyeliners are ideal for those with steady hands and experience in applying eyeliner.
Top 10 Best Eyeliner for Sensitive Eyes 2021
If you are looking to make your small, thin eyelashes stand out, then Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner is the right product for you. This easy-to-apply eyeliner contains serum, which helps to boost the growth and development of eyelashes.
According to the manufacturer, at least 90 percent of women who tried the product in a clinical study achieved noticeably fuller and longer lashes in only one month. This eyeliner boasts a high-tech formula developed in Japan.
It is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and recommended for use by people who have sensitive eyes. It is also ideal for contact lens wearers. What’s more, this lash booster is smudge-proof and waterproof, so it will stay in place until you wet your face or try to rub it off. Once it dries out, it won’t come off no matter how hard you rub it. However, it will come off easily if you rub your face while washing.
Another remarkable thing about this lash-boosting serum is that it comes with a brush-tip applicator. The applicator is easy to maneuver and delivers a thin line.
The Physicians Formula eyeliner is one of the most affordable eyeliners for sensitive eyes. It is available in three different shades – black, ultra-black, and deep brown.
- Easy to apply
- Has lash-boosting effects
- Long felt tip
- Great for everyday use as it’s hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive eyes
- Affordable compared to competitors
- You often have to shake the bottle to get more liquid eyeliner to come out. It might come out in globs if you fail to do so, requiring you to redo your eyeliner
If you’re looking for the best waterproof eyeliner for sensitive eyelids, you can’t go wrong with Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner. This eyeliner is smudge-proof, and you can expect it to last the entire day.
Surprisingly for a waterproof eyeliner, it is easy to remove. All you need to take it off is water, mild cleanser, and a cotton ball. You don’t have to worry about skin irritation or inflammation after taking the eyeliner off.
The Unstoppable eyeliner comes in five different shades. These are espresso, pewter, onyx, sapphire, and cinnabar. Cinnabar is the most popular shade: this deep, sparkly maroon hue can brighten up even the dullest eyes.
What’s more, it works best with neutral eyeshadow palettes. If you want something for everyday use, you might want to try the espresso. The espresso is a darker brown shade that is somewhat more subtle compared to black or typical brown eyeliner.
This doesn’t mean that the other shades are not worth it. Each one is great, so you can choose what works for you the best. The only notable shortcoming of Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner is that it comes in a very small size—far smaller than most options. The product might not last you more than a month, depending on how frequently you’re using it. Nonetheless, it is one of the best waterproof eyeliners to buy in 2021.
- Variety of shades available
- Composed of smudge-resistant formula
- True to color
- Easy to apply and remove
- Only available in a small 0.01-ounce package.
If you are looking for the best liquid eyeliner for beginners, L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Liquid Eyeliner is an ideal choice. It is quite easy to figure out how to use this eyeliner. That makes it an excellent product for those who are just getting started with liquid eyeliners.
This liquid eyeliner features an ultra-fine felt tip that will help you create incredibly precise lines. It is made of a formula that dries up fast and can last up to 12 hours. The formula is impressively silky, making it ideal for subtle looks.
This eyeliner is drag-proof, skip-proof, and smudge-proof. However, some individuals may experience smudging. If you have oily eyelids, you’ll realize the eyeliner smears without some primer.
This eyeliner is available in three different shades—black, gray, and brown. Despite its great attributes, it is not without some setbacks. First off, it is not waterproof. It is not one of the best choices if you expect to be sweating or if you live in a rainy or humid place. It also dries out quickly. Be sure to keep the cap tightly closed when not in use.
- Easy to use
- Ideal for beginners
- Smooth application
- Comes off easily with water
- Super-fine felt tip helps to create thin lines
- Available in three different shades
- Dries out quickly
- Smudges on oily eyelids
If you’re looking for a long-lasting gel eyeliner that will make your eyes look dramatic, Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner is an ideal choice. This waterproof eyeliner delivers an instant impact with only one stroke. It is also waterproof and oil-free.
You can expect the super-concentrated gel liner to stay intact for up to 24 hours. Most gel eyeliners can’t go beyond 12 hours before they start to fade away. This Maybelline gel eyeliner boasts an exceptionally smooth and creamy texture.
It glides on effortlessly. The eyeliner comes in four different shades to suit different skin tones, eye colors, and hair colors. These are charcoal, brown, eggplant, and blackest black.
It comes in a triangular cardboard box. The box contains a small 2.5-gram pot of gel eyeliner. It also includes a slim flat brush that features densely packed bristles.
You can use the brush to groom your lashes for a more defined look. Ophthalmologists and dermatologists have tested this product and proved it safe for use on human skin and eyes. It has also been allergy-tested. It’s worth noting, however, that this product may not be a great choice if you’re shopping on a budget. It’s also less than perfect for fine lines—it’s perfect for big and bold designs, but if you need a precision eyeliner you might want to look elsewhere.
- The eyeliner applies smoothly, thanks to the velvety texture
- Dries up very fast
- Doesn’t smudge or spread all through the day
- Ideal for creating a thick, smokey eye look
- Comes with a quality soft-bristled brush
- Expensive compared to competitors
- Not ideal for drawing sharp lines or wings
This is another one of the best gel eyeliners for sensitive eyes. The Music Flower 2-in-1 Black and Brown Gel Eyeliner Set offers you both black and brown eyeliner, so you don’t have to choose between the two shades.
Whenever you want a bolder look, the black eyeliner would come in handy. For a more natural look, you’ll be using the brown eyeliner. You also have the opportunity to match your eyeliner with your outfit every day.
You need a makeup brush to apply this type of eyeliner. Hence, the set comes with two applicators, saving you the stress of looking for a suitable makeup brush in the stores. This gel eyeliner is waterproof.
You can expect it to stay intact for up to 24 hours. In case you sweat or find yourself in the rain, it will not smudge or run down your face. This gel eyeliner boasts intense colors, which won’t fade all day.
Another remarkable attribute of this eyeliner is that it is very easy to remove. All you need to take it off is a cotton ball and a little makeup remover. You don’t need any elbow grease.
The major drawback of this product is that it is not easy to get those sharp, defined lines needed for specific looks. That’s because you use a brush to apply it. You may need to combine it with a liquid eyeliner to achieve a winged look. Nonetheless, this is one of the best waterproof gel eyeliners for sensitive eyes to buy in 2021.
- Non-blooming effect
- Supple texture
- Comes with two makeup brushes for easy application
- Challenging to create sharp, defined lines with a makeup brush
- May dry out quickly if not stored properly
If you’re looking for dramatic color but don’t want bold lines, Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliner is an ideal choice for you. Almay designed this eyeliner to make any eye color stand out against its dramatic tones. The formula is resistant to smudging and fading. This ensures that your liner lasts the entire day.
Almay’s eyeliner is ideal for sensitive eyes and those who wear contacts. Dermatologists have tested this product and proved it to be safe for use on human skin.
The eyeliner is easy to apply. Boasting a smooth and soft texture, it glides effortlessly onto the lids and around the eyes. As a result, it makes your eye color pop with its pearlescent hues.
The i-Color eyeliner also comes with a built-in sharpener. A built-in sharpener that you won’t have to worry about losing ensures the tip remains refined for your needs. Moreover, using the sharpener exclusively for this eyeliner ensures it stays clean and pure by protecting the eyeliner from adulteration by other products. This is great for sensitive eyes and skin.
This eyeliner comes in four different colors to match blue, green, hazel, and brown eyes. It’s worth noting that some individuals have experienced reactions to i-Color eyeliner. Nonetheless, Almay performs safety testing on its makeup products for allergies and recommends this eyeliner for sensitive eyelids and contact lens wearers. If you want stunning, shimmery looks that won’t smudge or cause irritation to your eyes, you can’t go wrong with Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliner.
- Rich color
- Soft and smooth texture
- No smudging or fading
- Impressive staying power
- Four shades to choose from
- Quite hard to achieve precise lines
- The price is quite high for the quantity
If you are looking for budget eyeliner to create the perfect cat eye, you can’t go wrong with Mia Adora Liquid Gel Eyeliner. Irrespective of your experience level with eyeliners, you can get impressive results with this product. This waterproof eyeliner is easy to use and fits comfortably in the hand.
It features an easy-glide precision tip. This allows you to line your eyes with an ultra-thin line or a bolder, thicker line. That means you can create a variety of looks from the same eyeliner.
What’s more, this rich pigment eyeliner can stay intact the whole day. You don’t need to reapply it during the day after doing so in the morning. It won’t smudge or run down your face, making it ideal for work, play, or even nights out.
Another great thing about eyeliner is that it comes with its own sharpener. Ophthalmologists and dermatologists have tested and proved it safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. It is also easy to take off.
- Smudge-proof and waterproof
- Long-lasting even in extreme conditions
- Ideal for all skin types
- Only comes in black
Maybelline holds a reputation for producing high-quality yet inexpensive makeup products. So, if you’re looking for a liquid eyeliner that delivers results without hurting your wallet, Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise All Day Liquid Eyeliner is an ideal choice.
This liquid eyeliner is available in three shades—brown, black, and blue. If you’re looking for a change of pace from the typical options, you can experiment with the blue shade. This shade delivers a bolder look without looking exaggerated.
It is an exciting and pocket-friendly way to brighten an otherwise dull office look while still maintaining a professional and composed image. This eyeliner features a shaped grip, which ensures a comfortable and ergonomic hold. This gives you more control of the eyeliner pen when applying.
With great control, you can create ultra-thin and steady lines. You’ll have an easier time working with this eyeliner’s felt tip pen compared to a brush tip pen. That makes it perfect for those who are just getting started with eyeliners. The eyeliner glides on effortlessly, and you don’t have to layer it on for an opaque line.
Another good thing about this eyeliner is its great staying power. It is waterproof and can stay intact for up to 12 hours. That makes it perfect for long days at work or nights out with friends. However, it may not be a great choice if you have oily eyelids or live in a humid place. On oily lids or in humid weather, the Eyestudio Master Precise Eyeliner can fade or smudge easily.
- Ideal for beginners
- Comfortable grip for increased control
- Draw opaque lines with a single stroke
- Not great for oily eyelids and humid conditions
If you are sensitive to chemicals and you like colorful eyeliners that are not so over the top, Ecco Bella Natural Soft Eyeliner is an ideal choice. This non-toxic formula is comprised entirely of natural, cruelty-free, vegan ingredients. These ingredients make the eyeliner effective in enhancing your eyes and giving them definition.
This eyeliner is a great choice if you want bold eyes. Its texture will not sting or irritate your eyes. It applies with a smooth velvety finish that makes your eyes stand out. To that end, the Ecco Bella eyeliner pencil is offered in seven colors, including a stunning royal blue and a standout violet.
This formula also dries off fast and stays on for the entire day. This Ecco Bella eyeliner comes in six different natural shades to suit all skin tones. Keep in mind that natural colors are more eye-defining compared to vibrant colors.
You can also use this premium eyeliner as an eyebrow pencil. This is convenient if you love to fill in your brows for a stunning look. Note that if you want a bolder look with this product, you may need to apply multiple layers. A single layer may look transparent or invisible, especially on darker skin tones.
- All-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free
- Available in seven bold colors
- Great for sensitive skin
- Neutral shades aren’t dark enough
If you’re looking for the best organic eyeliner for sensitive skin, you can’t go wrong with Honeybee Gardens Effortless Eyeliner. This eyeliner is vegan, gluten-free, and paraben-free. As the name suggests, it applies effortlessly, delivering a striking look that lasts all day long.
Honeybee Gardens designed this gentle, long-wearing formula to prevent any dragging or pulling along the skin. This makes it perfect for individuals with sensitive eyelids. It glides on gently and fluidly, making it easy to apply.
PETA has certified this German-made eyeliner to be cruelty-free. You can also use this eyeliner as an eyebrow filler, and it can work with a wide range of mascaras. That means you get a two-in-one product when you purchase it.
It is available in seven highly-pigmented shades. These are Passion, Envy, Blue Jeans, Jet Set, Smoking Gun, Brown Sugar, and Belgian Chocolate. Each shade has its uniquely deep and matte feel, making this a perfect eyeliner for those on the avant-garde of fashion.
The only notable setback of this eyeliner is that it can smudge a little if you rub it. This is especially true if you have oily skin. Nonetheless, it remains a great product for those looking for organic, cruelty-free eyeliner.
- Can work as a brow filler
- PETA-certified to be cruelty-free
- Free of gluten, toxins, dyes, chemicals, and parabens
- Bold and stylish
- Some people have experienced burning or itching in the eyes after using it
- Not a good choice for oily skin as it smudges
Guide to Buying the Best Eyeliners for Sensitive Eyes
Makeup should accentuate your features and uplift your self-confidence. It should not cause an unpleasant reaction. When you wear eyeliner, you want to look stunning. But choosing the correct eyeliner is difficult. General purchase guides can be helpful, but there are even more considerations that must be taken into account by those who have sensitive eyelids.
However, sensitive eyelids can cause your makeup application to backfire. We explore some of the essential things to look for when shopping to ensure you get the best eyeliner for your sensitive eyelids.
You can choose between two main types of eyeliner depending on your preference—classic pencil eyeliner or liquid eyeliner. Let’s take a deeper look at each of the types:
Pencil liner is the traditional form of eyeliner. It has been in use for years. You can choose either a traditional pencil or a self-sharpening mechanical model. The best thing about pencil eyeliners is that they usually contain fewer chemicals compared to their liquid counterparts.
That normally makes them a better bet for sensitive eyelids. Furthermore, they usually stay in shape longer. However, they can be messy when you are sharpening them. They also tend to crumble easily.
Liquid eyeliners tend to be more bold and vibrant, and are also usually available in a wider selection of shades than pencils. Some liquid eyeliners include serum, which further helps to enhance the health and appearance of your eyes. They also save you from the mess associated with sharpening pencil liners.
While these types of eyeliners have a wide variety of colors and mixtures, they are more prone to affecting sensitive eyes. That’s because they normally contain more allergen-containing substances. They also tend to go bad faster, so you’ll need to keep a closer eye on keeping liquid eyeliner fresh.
When you have sensitive eyes, you have to think about the ingredient of the eyeliner you plan to buy. Many chemicals go into giving eyeliner its pigmentation and staying power. Liquid eyeliner may contain even more chemicals to help maintain its gel-like nature. Choose eyeliners that have the fewest ingredients. Avoid anything that uses carbon black or any other chemical that can result in toxicity.
Eyeliners have different levels of staying power. Eyeliner can stay on your eyes for a given duration of time, depending on the formula. If you want all-day wear, go for a formula designed to stay for 8 to 12 hours. If the eyeliner requires a makeup remover to take off at the end of the day, then it should typically hold strong throughout the day.
The standard choice of eyeliner color is black. However, it is not always an appropriate choice. If you have a very fair skin tone, true black may be too harsh for you. If you’re a beginner in the world of eyeliners and want something that is not as harsh, you may want to choose light gray or brown.
These shades are quite forgiving when you make mistakes. If you’re looking to achieve a soft look with a touch of drama, chocolate brown or dark palm can be a great choice. For daily wear, at the office or in other casual settings, consider going for neutral colors.
If you want something perfect for nights out, you might want to try violet or blue shades. For an innocent look, you can’t go wrong with white liners applied on the inner edge of the lower eyelids, which can make your eyes look wider.
If you want to create the doe-eyed effect, simply apply nude eyeliner on your waterline. This works great if you want to hide your red-rimmed eyes after a night of drinking or crying. It also helps you appear alert and awake.
The color of your eyes is another important consideration when choosing the best eyeliner. Certain eyeliners have various effects on the eye color, depending on the shade of eyeliner used. Brown eyeliner, for example, will enrich blue eyes.
Dark blue, green, or plum eyeliner shades, on the other hand, will make light or amber eyes to really stand out. Dark eyeliner shades are effective in enriching dark brown eyes. You can also match the eyeliner shade with the color of your eyes for a stunning look.
If you’re looking to make your eyes stand out or look more vibrant, consider going for a complementary shade. Lining your eyes with complementary eyeliner is an excellent way to make your eyes pop. If you’re not sure what shade would complement your eyes, follow this simple guide:
- Light brown eyes – colors such as dark blue, plum, and green set off light brown and amber eyes to make them really stand out.
- Dark brown eyes – Darks colors such as black, dark blue, and black-brown make dark brown eyes to appear to be a richer and deeper shade.
- Green eyes – Purple and violet shades make green eyes look more vivid and vibrant.
- Blue eyes – Colors such as bronze and brown tones are effective in enhancing and enriching the color of blue eyes. Copper shade also makes blue-colored eyes look brighter.
Waterproof or Non-Waterproof
If you’re looking for something that won’t budge the entire day, you should go for waterproof eyeliner. This also applies to people who are often in humid or moist places. You don’t want to end up with raccoon eyes at some point during the day. It’s important to make sure the product you choose is easy to remove despite being waterproof. Eyeliners that include oils and waxes are naturally waterproof.
Smudge-Proof or Not
Generally, cream, gel, and liquid eyeliners are more resistant to smudging compared to other types of eyeliners. Keep that in mind if you’re looking for a smudge-proof eyeliner. However, if you want to smudge and blend your liner to create a softer or sultry look, it’s a good idea to choose eyeliner specifically made for smudging. Pencil eyeliners are the best options when it comes to smudging.
Most eyeliners come with a matte finish. However, some have a glossy or shimmery finish. For those who prefer something subtle, a matte finish is certainly the best choice. This helps to ensure your makeup doesn’t look overpowering. If you want something more vibrant, however, consider choosing a more dramatic glossy finish.
Some eyeliners provide some level of shimmer to add a touch of radiance to your daytime look. Other eyeliners, on the other hand, utilize big flecks designed to make your eyes stand out. These eyeliners are great for use at night when lighting is dimmer.
You should also consider your skin tone when shopping for eyeliner. The wrong color of eyeliner can bring out the worst in your skin tone. If you have a fair skin tone, you should normally avoid true black eyeliner, especially the liquid type. Black eyeliner will make your skin appear harsh. To be on the safe side, choose a brown powder or gel eyeliner, which will deliver a softer look.
However, if you have a medium-to-dark skin tone, black eyeliner will work best for you. This is especially a great choice if you want your eyes to stand out.
Eyeliner can give a person several different looks. Whether you want a natural and understated look or dramatic and completely unique look, you can achieve that through a variety of eyeliner types, shades, and finishes available on the market. However, finding your perfect eyeliner can be a challenge, especially if you have sensitive eyelids.
Most eyeliner ingredients include chemicals and toxins that will irritate the eyes and skin. Even the most expensive eyeliners can leave your eyes itchy and swollen. With this article, however, you’ll have an easy time choosing the best eyeliner for sensitive eyelids. Don’t forget to consider factors such as ingredients, eyeliner color, staying power, eye color, and skin tone to ensure you get the best product for your needs.