Learn about... Types of Eyeliners!

Have you ever gone to the store looked at the eyeliners display and realized that you had no idea what to pick? The choices are endless! There's the eyeliner pencil, gel, cream, liquid. Some have applicators, others need a special eyeliner brush. And what about the difference between Kohl and Kajal? Overwhelming!

But worry not! BuyMeBeauty has your back and we're here to tell you all about eyeliners.

Let's start!

First, a short introduction. The concept of lining your eyes with black has been around for about 12 thousand years. The first instances we see of this form of art was in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (early 10,000 BC.) Egyptian men and women would use eyeliner to accent their eyes and protect them from desert weather and its glaring sun.

Jump forward to 1922 and the discovery of pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb – a huge historical moment that introduced the world to the eyeliner.

Common types of eyeliner


This is the most common type of eyeliner. The pencil liner is the easiest to use and it's the one that stays put the longest. Companies have improved the concept over the years and we have all kinds of pencil tips nowadays– from super thin to super thick. Along with a variety of colors that Ancient Egyptians might have approved of.

The pencil liner is the best choice to achieve soft looks and smokey eyes since it's the easiest to smudge. It also works great over crease wrinkles and won't seep into the skin.

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The liquid eyeliner is, arguably, the hardest to master. They usually come in a tiny bottle with a brush-like applicator. It can get messy very quickly, but if you're dexterous enough you can achieve intense, clean looks that will make your eyes pop. Liquid eyeliners are the best option to achieve bold looks with defined, dramatic lines.

Nowadays we have liquid pen eyeliners that are much easier to handle and deliver the same intensity. Look for the type of liquid eyeliner that you think will be the most comfortable to use for you.

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The gel liner is great for beginners. It's very easy to handle and it gives you a lot of control and blendability. It's just as versatile as the pencil – you can easily create smoky or clean looks.

New gel formulas a very long-lasting and a lot of makeup artists prefer gel over pencil or even liquid.

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Other types


The cream eyeliner is very similar to the gel. In fact, a lot of companies market them as the same. Cream eyeliners create sexy smoky looks, but the ease of use will depend heavily on the kind of brush you use to apply it.

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Now this isn't exactly a type of eyeliner per se, but you'll see it on packaging a lot instead of pencil. Pen eyeliners usually hold in other aforementioned formulas. Sometimes you'll see "Liquid Eyeliner Pen" or "Gel Eyeliner Pen."

So long story short, pen is just another way to market the product.

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This type of eyeliner is very uncommon. The few we've seen come as an eyeshadow/liner combo. It's not very easy to use, but it's interesting to get both eyeshadow and liner done at the same time.

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Now for the moment you've been waiting for... KOHL vs KAJAL?!

This has become a hot topic of discussion among makeup fans in recent years. It's not often you see a kajal by itself, it's usually marketed as a kajal pencil eyeliner. Let's talk about each of them individually.


This type of eyeliner is ancient. It's made out grinding powder (stibnite), pigments and waxes. The result is a super smooth liner that's very easy to maneuver. It's inky and creamy and the results are fuss-free.

the Kohl liner is the best choice for everyday looks, although it does tend to smudge a little more. New Kohl products have improved this tremendously.

Click on examples:


Kajal is basically an organic liner. It's made out of natural ingredients and soot. It's highly recommended if you want to line your waterline as it's properties prevent infections and are non-irritating.

The Kajal is the type of eyeliner Angient Egyptians used to wear. It's super long-lasting (could last for weeks) but it can get a little messy.

Click on examples:


So which eyeliner is better? Honestly, there's no right or wrong answer. Each eyeliner serves a different purpose depending on the type of look you want to achieve. Kohl eyeliners are perfect for everyday sultry looks. But if you like to line your waterline Kajal is the way to go. Liquid eyeliners are great for dramatic effects such as the cat eye look, while Gel eyeliners are great for easy upper lid lines with no mess. And if you want to go by the easiest (and oldest) trick in the book, just use a pencil and you'll be good to go!

What's your favorite type of eyeliner? Let us know here:

14th Feb 2019

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