I'm not quite sure where my love for eyeliner stems from, but I think it's probably some combination of growing up in the era of Tumblr, where basically every inspirational quote was accompanied by a picture of someone with the most immaculate cat eye you've ever seen. Or maybe it was watching my older sister carefully applying a thick layer of eyeliner for school every single morning, despite it being against school rules. There's no doubt, though, that wherever my inspiration came from originally, my love of eyeliner has only grown throughout the years.
However, since the days of applying unintentionally thick, super-uneven black flicks, I've found a new statement look: colourful eyeliner. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that a makeup look for me just isn't complete without some form of vibrant eyeliner. Whether it's green, blue, pink or yellow, I'm all for it. But I'm quite selective when it comes to choosing the best colourful eyeliners on the market to add to my ever-growing collection, so I have a pretty good idea of what makes one worth the money.
Most importantly, when it comes to colourful eyeliners, I prefer the tip of the product to not be too thick. This allows for easy precision and creates a fine line that can be built up if needed. Second, my preferred eyeliner formulations are either kohl or kajal, rather than liquid, and I also like to experiment with colourful eye shadows to create a liner look. Finally, the eyeliner has to be long-lasting and totally budge-proof.
Ahead, here are the best colourful eyeliners that I swear by for a vibrant eye look. Here’s to hoping you find a new go-to!
1. Dior Diorshow 24H Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner in 471 Matte Green
My love affair with colourful eyeliners began with Dior. Now, I know it probably sounds super bougie, but a few years ago, I worked as a beauty intern and got to experience a number of beauty sales. It was during one of these manic sales that I picked up one of Dior’s now-discontinued Diorshow Pro Liner Waterproof and became mesmerised with the super-pigmented lime-green square tip. While I do hope that the square tip will make an appearance again in the future, Dior has blessed us with the Diorshow 24H Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner, which is just as great but has a rounder tip. It glides onto eyelids so effortlessly to deliver an instant pop of colour. And there's no having to worry about it budging because come rain, shine or even tears, it really lasts.
2. P. Louise Cosmetics Coloured Eye Bases
I originally purchased these Coloured Eye Bases to use as a base for my colourful eye shadow looks but found them to be too drying. However, the brand states that you can use them for a variety of purposes, such as a cream contour, a cut-crease, lip and body art, amongst other things, but I swear by them for a brilliant colourful eyeliner.
As the bases don’t have an applicator, I like to squeeze a few drops onto one of my thin makeup brushes from the Spectrum x Katie Jane Hughes collection for really easy precision. The consistency is super creamy and then dries down slightly after application. Whilst I didn’t get on too well with it for all over the lid, using it as eyeliner has been so dreamy.
Typically, I like to mix colours for a two-toned eyeliner look—taking one shade from the inner corner to the centre of the upper lid and then using a second shade from the centre all the way out to create a long wing. Above, I'm wearing the shade combination Winter Rose, a bubblegum pink, and Vivid Violet, a moderate purple, and below, I'm wearing my other favourite colour combination, which is Touch of Frost, a pale turquoise, and Hint of Mint, a pastel-mint green.
3. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Lucky
Urban Decay did not mess around when it created its iconic Glide-On Eye Pencil, and it’s definitely one of those products that easily live up to their cult status. The eye pencil glides smoothly along the lash line and is easily buildable. Plus, despite being formulated with moisturising ingredients and boasting a long-lasting finish, it’s still great for adding extra thickness or drawing a longer wing when you want to. It’s the perfect pencil to take on the go, and you can use it to easily switch up your makeup look from day to night.
4. Shiseido Kajal InkArtist in 10 Kabuki White
Shiseido’s Kajal InkArtist is a recent addition to my makeup collection but one I can’t believe I’ve lived so long without. It’s a four-in-one eye pencil that acts as a liner, kajal, eye shadow and brow colour and comes in some of my favourite shades including white, plum purple and sky blue. It glides on smoothly without any budging or creasing, and it has a blending sponge on the bottom end, which I find so useful when my liner comes out a bit thick. I think everyone should have a white liner in their makeup collection, as it’s unique and makes the eye area look wider and brighter.
5. Suva Beauty UV Brights Hydra FX Palette
I remember seeing ads for this Suva Beauty palette all over Instagram before getting my hands on it and just knew that it was one of those viral products that I'd genuinely love. The palette contains five standout shades that glow under UV and black light—so far so cool. It took me quite a few tries to really get to grips with this palette, as the pigments have a water-activated formula (meaning you can either apply them with a wet brush or spray a little setting mist onto the pigment before using it) and they dry down pretty quickly once applied. However, with just a few practise turns, I felt like a pro. I actually use all of the shades in this palette, and I really think it’s one of my favourite makeup purchases from the last year.
6. About Face Shadowstick
I couldn’t have been more excited when Halsey announced their makeup line About Face. As to be expected, the collection did not disappoint. I was instantly drawn to the Shadowsticks, which are available in eight extremely pigmented pearly and matte shades. The tip is much thicker than I’d normally go for, as eye shadow sticks are usually designed to apply all over the lid, but I find that putting the tip at a slight angle helps to create a thinner line. My two favourite shades are Creature, a matte blue, and Inferno, a pearly ginger.
Shop more of the best colourful eyeliners:
These creamy colour pencils are the perfect multi-use product for both the eyes and lips. With so many shades to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one, but this cheery orange-red is high on my list.
Everyone raves about Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Satin Kajal Liner, and it’s easy to spot why. Each shade is super creamy and pigmented for a stress-free application.
These pastel crayons are perfect for a summery eye look. Get creative by wearing it all over the lid for a colour-block eye.
KVD Beauty slays again with this one-pot wonder to use as a waterproof eyeliner, as a shadow or on the brows. And as if we weren’t spoilt for choice already, the liner is available in 17 long-lasting colours.
What’s an eyeliner recommendation without a bit of glitter? Nyx’s glitter liners come in six gorgeous and super-sparkly shades that dry down smoothly for a sparkly finish.
If you’re looking for a vibrant liner on a budget, Barry M’s Strobe Light Eyeliner adds the perfect pop of colour to the eyes for only £4, with each shade giving hours of wear.