Which blue eyeliners are best?
While most makeup enthusiasts have black and brown eyeliners in their cosmetics collections, they’re not the only versatile shades worth buying. Blue eyeliner may seem like a bold option, but if you find the right shade for your eye color and complexion, it can create a flattering look.
Blue eyeliner is in a fairly extensive category that includes a broad range of shades like cobalt, sky and electric blue. If you’re looking for a deep blue that complements most eye colors, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Midnight Blue is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a blue eyeliner
Shades of blue
Eyeliners come in several shades of blue, though some are easier to find than others. Deep blue shades, such as midnight or navy, are carried by most makeup brands with expanded shade collections. Brighter blues, like sapphire or sky blue, are typically carried by brands known for boldly-colored products like Urban Decay, NYX or Kat Von D. Occasionally, you’ll find green-blue eyeliners in teal or turquoise shades.
Why you should use blue eyeliner
When you use blue eyeliner in a flattering shade, it emphasizes your eyes and complements your entire look.
For some people, dark blue eyeliners are a suitable alternative to black and dark brown shades. They may even appear less harsh or brash. Blue eyeliner, particularly bolder shades, can be used as a highlighting color above the wing to define cat-eye looks. Blue eyeliners are often used to accent lower lids, including shades that play off eye color. The look is especially popular beneath black- or white-rimmed water lines.
What to look for in a quality blue eyeliner
Blue eyeliners are available in just about every formula, making it easy to find one that suits your application preferences. Pencil liners are available in regular and mechanical varieties, some of which have sponge tips to create smokey-eye looks. Liquid, gel and felt-tip liners are ideal for precision application, including sculpted looks like cat eyes and lower lid lining.
Blue eyeliners are available in matte, satin, shimmer, glitter and chrome finishes. Matte and shimmer finishes remain the most popular options for blue eyeliners, and according to some people, they’re the most versatile options for day-to-night looks. The other shine-oriented finishes are often used to create bolder looks, like smoldering smokey eyes.
Like many colored eyeliners, you may find that those in certain shades of blue have higher pigmentation than others. These liners go on opaque, or at the very least, won’t require too many coats to create a solid line. Lower-pigment eyeliners, on the other hand, may have streaky, uneven applications that require several coats. This is most common with liquid liners, which is in part due to their pigments separating inside the tube.
Many blue eyeliners are now available in long-wearing formulas that are waterproof, smudge-proof or sweat-resistant. Depending on the formula, they last anywhere between 16 and 24 hours without needing touch-ups or reapplication. Because they’re formulated differently to stay put longer than other eyeliners, you’ll need to use waterproof makeup removers to take them off.
How much you can expect to spend on blue eyeliners
Drugstore blue eyeliners cost between $3-$14. Most blue eyeliners from premium and luxury beauty brands range between $16-$40. There are a few high-end outliers on the market that may run as high as $50-$70.
Blue eyeliner FAQ
How do I find the right blue eyeliner?
A. More than anything, finding a flattering blue eyeliner involves trial and error. Many shades look much different when they’re applied, including in various types of lighting. Some blue eyeliners may look better when they’re paired with certain eyeshadow shades. Fortunately, most retailers account for experimentation and have generous return policies.
Will blue eyeliner emphasize dark circles?
A. It depends on the shade of blue and where you apply it. Generally speaking, applying darker shades to the lower lash liner may accentuate dark circles. Instead, it’s better to apply blue eyeliner, and other dark-toned liners, to upper lids to draw attention away from dark circles.
What’s the best blue eyeliner to buy?
Top blue eyeliner
What you need to know: An award-winning product, this long-wearing waterproof formula comes in a neutral midnight blue shade.
What you’ll love: The fine felt tip lets you create thin lines or razor-sharp wings. Liquid dries quickly and won’t run or smudge, even in humid conditions. It’s highly pigmented, so it doesn’t take more than a couple strokes to achieve opaque color.
What you should consider: A few people felt the liner was difficult to remove, including when they used waterproof makeup remover.
Top blue eyeliner for the money
What you need to know: Besides being affordable and available in a rich deep blue shade, the mechanical eyeliner is quick and easy to sharpen.
What you’ll love: Barrel has a sponge tip to create smokey liner looks. The gel formula is transfer-resistant and waterproof, making it ideal for all-day wear. The deep blue shade is a popular alternative to black and dark browns. It’s also a cruelty-free formula.
What you should consider: If you drop the barrel, it may cause the pigment to break inside it.
Where to buy: Sold by Ulta
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you’re looking for a bright blue eyeliner, this Urban Decay pencil comes in an electrifying shade of blue.
What you’ll love: The formula has a creamy texture that glides across lids without skipping or dragging. It’s more hydrating than other pencils, and it’s suitable for mature or dry skin. Besides Chaos, the pencil comes in a few unique blue shades.
What you should consider: The consistency and pencil design make the liner somewhat difficult to sharpen.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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