9 Best Eyeliners for Sensitive Eyes in 2021

Eyeliner – it’s one of the beauty essentials for any makeup lover. Whether you rock a huge, show-stopping winged look, or prefer a more subtle smudge on your waterline, you most likely include eyeliner in your daily makeup routine. 

Just a swipe or two along your lash line can bring depth and dimension to any eyeshadow look, and instantly make your eyes look bigger and brighter.

But what about those of us with sensitive eyes? Has your liner ever left your eyes itching, burning, or red and irritated by the end of the day? Have you ever found yourself wanting to take a makeup wipe to your face just an hour or two into your day, just to stop the discomfort? 

If so, you’re not alone. That’s why we put together this list of the best eyeliners for sensitive eyes, so you can keep rocking your makeup all day long, in style and comfort.

Best Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes Reviewed

1. Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

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Maybelline has been a drugstore beauty staple for years, and with good reason. It has a well-earned reputation for creating high-quality products, without the high price.

This liquid liner might just have it all: a tapered felt tip to enable precise lines, the high pigmentation typical of liquid eyeliners, and a shaped grip for ease of application. Oh, and it’s waterproof, smudge-proof, and it comes in three colors. 

What more could you possibly ask for? How about dermatologist and ophthalmologist testing, to assure that the eyeliner’s formula works well for sensitive eyes? With all that, you can rest assured that this eyeliner will have your makeup on point all day or night, no eye drops required.

The only downside we could find for this eyeliner is that it takes a few minutes to dry once applied. But hey, you can’t rush perfection, right?

2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

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Next up on our list is the go-to eyeliner brand of many beauty gurus and influencers – Stila. This highly pigmented liquid eyeliner features a tapered felt tip for easy, precise application, and dries down to a matte finish that truly does stay all day! 

It comes in a variety of colors, from jet black to an eye-popping bright pink, to take your eyeliner look from classic to avant-garde, and anywhere in between.

Although Stila features eye-catching pigment and all-day staying power, perhaps you didn’t know that this eyeliner still works great for sensitive eyes.

That’s right, it’s formulated to be suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, so you won’t have to sacrifice comfort in order to achieve your desired look. Stila is a brand with a higher price point, but we think you’ll find that this eyeliner is worth every penny.

3. Ecco Bella Natural Soft Eyeliner Pencil

Ecco Bella Natural Soft Eyeliner Pencil

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If you prefer to use an eyeliner pencil, this may be the way to go for you. The all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free formula means that not only is this product a guilt-free buy, but you can be sure you’re not painting harsh chemicals onto your lash line. 

The non-toxic, preservative-free formula is guaranteed to be gentle on sensitive eyes, so it won’t leave your eyes stinging or watering. All of that adds up to what is truly one of the best eyeliners for sensitive eyes.

As if that wasn’t enough, this eyeliner also comes in seven colors to match a variety of skin tones and makeup looks. In addition to a range of neutral colors, it’s also available in bold colors like blue and violet. 

The color glides on smoothly and dries down to a matte, smudge-proof finish that will stay in place all day.

4. Blinc Extreme Longwear Liquid Eyeliner

Blinc Extreme Longwear Liquid Eyeliner

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Here’s another eyeliner that definitely lives up to its name – Blinc is taking the concept of long-wear eyeliner to the extreme. Advertised as the first-ever eyeliner that is actually waterproof, rather than water-resistant, this product is designed to dry down in seconds and create a water-resistant layer on your lash line. 

Its staying power is so intense, in fact, that it is recommended that to remove it, start by gently washing with warm water and then simply peel the liner off.

Otherwise, this liner truly is here to stay – all day, all night, even into the next morning if need be. (Although of course, we’d always recommend removing makeup completely before going to bed each night – your skin will thank you!)

Formulated with castor oil to soothe the skin and featuring a super fine brush tip for easy application of even the most detailed looks, we’d definitely recommend giving this product from Blinc a try.

5. L’Oreal Paris Pencil Perfect Self-Advancing Eyeliner

L'Oreal Eyeliner

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L’Oreal is a beloved drugstore brand. And this product from L’Oreal is straight magic. This retractable pencil-style eyeliner won’t irritate your eyes or your wallet.

The tip is thin enough for precise application, and it twists up so that you don’t have to continuously sharpen it. You can also retract it so it doesn’t break off in your purse.

It’s smudge-able for a sexy smokey eye look, or you can swipe on a clean line that’ll stay in place for hours.  And it comes in four colors to complement a variety of makeup looks.

But best of all, it is ophthalmologist-tested to be suitable for those with sensitive eyes, as well as those who wear contacts. Not a bad resume for a product that costs less than $10, am I right?

Also: Best Eyebrow Wax Products for Perfect Brows

6. Physician’s Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner

Physician’s Formula Lash Boosting Eyeliner

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As the name suggests, this product boasts another bonus on top of its hypoallergenic, paraben-free formula that’s sure to be gentle on sensitive eyes. 

It also includes an eyelash serum, developed in Japan, that has been clinically proven to promote the growth of eyelashes each time you swipe it over your lash line. 

Additionally, it’s smudge-proof, waterproof, and boasts a brush tip for clean, precise application of even the thinnest line. So you can achieve thicker, longer lashes while rocking a razor-sharp cat-eye all day, worry-free. 

It’s no wonder this multitasking powerhouse in a tube is considered one of the absolute best eyeliners for sensitive eyes. But don’t take our word for it – pick this up and let it work its magic on your eyes!

7. NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

NARS eyeliner for sensitive eyes

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So far most of the picks listed have come in only a few colors – and don’t get us wrong, we know how essential a good deep black eyeliner is. But for those who want to explore the world of colorful eyeliners, but despair at finding one appropriate for sensitive eyes, look no further! 

This pencil by NARS comes in a rainbow of highly pigmented colors, from white to black with stops at vibrant teal, deep purple, and glimmering gold in between.

The creamy formula glides on like a dream, letting you express yourself in just a few swipes, and the precise tip lets you get as detailed as you want. Your face is your palette, and this NARS eyeliner will allow you to paint it as bright as you can imagine!

8. Clinique Quickliner For Eyes Intense

Clinique Quickliner For Eyes Intense

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Another retractable eyeliner for those who hate the struggle of constantly sharpening pencils is this “quickliner” from Clinique. With a formula that glides on smoothly and is incredibly pigmented, it certainly lives up to its name. 

It also features a built-in smudger on the base of the casing, to easily achieve a sexy, smokey look. Clinique is on the pricier end of the makeup brands listed here, but trust us when we say, it’s worth the splurge.

With its ease of use and mild formula, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.

It also comes in a range of colors, though they are all on the darker end, rather than NARS’s bright color choices. Still, with color options like plum, ivy, and aubergine, there’s plenty of room to get creative with your liner.

9. Burt’s Bees Nourishing Eyeliner Pencil

Burt’s Bees Nourishing Eyeliner Pencil

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If you’re like me, when you think Burt’s Bees you immediately think lip balm, but these days the brand is providing a whole range of naturally-formulated products. 

This eyeliner pencil includes ingredients like mango oil, jojoba oil, and meadowfoam seed to nourish your skin and lashes. It is also ophthalmologist-tested to be appropriate for sensitive eyes and is available in three colors – black, grey, and brown.

The drawbacks of this product are pigmentation and staying power. The colors aren’t as pigmented as some of the other products on this list, so you may need to apply a few layers if you’re looking for a dark, bold color. 

And the formula, with all those nourishing oils included, isn’t exactly long-wearing. But if you’re looking for a gentle liner to get you through dinner and drinks, Burt’s Bees may just have what you need.

Things to Consider When Buying Eyeliner for Sensitive Eyes

Not All Sensitive Eyes Are Created Equal

What this means is that the specific ingredient in eyeliner that causes a reaction for you, maybe different than what would cause a reaction for someone else. 

So it’s a good idea to try a variety of different brands and formulations, and even if you still have a reaction to a liner that is supposedly made for sensitive eyes, don’t write it off completely.  It just may not be the correct formula for you!

Test It Out First

The skin on your eyelids, especially close to your lash line, is some of the most sensitive skin on your body. When trying a new eyeliner, apply some to the back of your hand – or, if you’d like a place that’s easy to hide in case of an unsightly reaction, behind your ear – before applying it to your eyes. 

Let it sit for at least an hour, and if your skin doesn’t freak out, it should be safe for your eyes.

Keep It Clean

And we don’t just mean look for natural, vegan formulas with lower concentrations of chemicals. You should replace your eyeliner and mascara every six months since there is no way to clean them and prevent bacteria from growing inside the tubes. 

In addition, as mentioned earlier in the article, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly remove all makeup and wash your face with a gentle cleanser before bed each night. Your skin needs a chance to breathe, and leaving makeup on too long can trap dirt and bacteria that can cause irritation.

Related: Check Out Our Roundup of the Best Mascaras for Asian Lashes


It can feel intimidating trying to find an eyeliner that includes the colors, application type, and staying power that you’re looking for – and won’t leave your eyes itching and burning on top of all that.

But with the wide variety of eyeliner types and formulations on the market today, we’re confident that your perfect eyeliner is out there, just waiting for you to discover it. 

Whether you prefer a pencil or liquid application, a bold cat eye or a subtle smokey look, a classic black eyeliner, or a collection of quirky colors, we hope you’ll have an easier time finding the best eyeliner for sensitive eyes with this list. 

Just remember: keep the ingredients in mind, test new liners out before you commit, and of course, have fun!  Makeup is meant to be played with.


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