Best Eyeliner for Beginners? Here Are the Ones to Try

So you’re just getting started out with eyeliner. That means you want the least fussy, most error-proof products. And that’s just what we’ve got for you today!

In this post, we’ll cover a few things. First, I’ll do an overview of the types of eyeliner that exist to help you narrow down your choice by type. Then, I’ll list the best eyeliners for beginners by type.

Don’t want to read that far down? Here’s the spoiler:

The overall best eyeliner for beginners is a liquid brush tip eyeliner called the Eye Booster 2-In-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner & Serum. It’s by Physician’s Formula, and you won’t find an easier, more natural-to-use eyeliner than this one.

So, with that surprise ruined (lol), let’s get started with the types of eyeliner that exist.

What Types of Eyeliner Are There?

There are a few different types of eyeliner. Here are the main ones:

  • Pencil eyeliners
  • Liquid brush tip eyeliners
  • Liquid felt tip eyeliners
  • Gel pot eyeliners

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of all of these.

About Pencil Eyeliners

Pencil liners are usually what people think of as traditional liners. They come in a pencil-like form that either twists up or needs to be sharpened, and the product is an easy-to-control solid pigment.

This can be a good option if you’re just starting out. You have a lot of control, and unlike some other liners (where you make one false move and it’s all over), you don’t need a particularly steady hand.

The cons? Some formulas are quite hard and waxy, to the point where it actually hurts your eye to get pigment down. Pencil liners are also not precision tools. The good ones are creamy, but that means a dull point after any use.

Also, if you’re at all interested in trying winged liner, a pencil isn’t a good choice. You’ll never get as sharp a line out of a pencil as you will a liquid.

About Liquid Brush Tip Eyeliners

Liquid brush tips are pen-like containers with a flexible brush at the tip, almost like a paintbrush, and you use it to paint on a liquid ink.

This sounds scary for a beginner, but get the right one, and these can be fairly easy to use. Liquid liners are best for getting close to the lash line. And brush tips adjust with your pressure, so it’s easy to taper off lines in a sharp wing.

Cons include the fact that there’s a learning curve for really pigmented brush tip liquid liners. Plus, if you don’t have a somewhat steady hand, these can be hard to master. There’s also the problem of some of the tips getting permanently wrecked the moment you draw over eyeshadow with them.

But overall, this is my personal favorite type of eyeliner, and my number one pick for beginners (see below) is a liquid brush tip.

About Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliners

These types of liners are nearly identical to the liquid brush tips described above, with the only difference being that the tips are stiffer and are made of felt instead of hairs. You can still get a precise line with these, but lines don’t always come out as smoothly as they do with a brush tip.

About Gel Pot Liners

These are pots of creamy gel pigment that you use a brush to apply.

The pros are that good ones will be extremely pigmented and need no building up. You get to choose the brush, so you aren’t stuck with whatever delivery method the product supplies you with.

But with that comes a pretty big con—if you don’t have a precision brush with lots of control, it will be hard to get a smooth line. You’ll need to possibly invest in another tool…maybe even several as you figure out what works for you. Also, some pot liners are quite dry.

Okay! Now, for the best eyeliner for beginners, plus a list of more to check out!

BEST OVERALL PICK FOR BEGINNERS: Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-In-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner & Serum

Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-In-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner & Serum

Using this liquid brush tip eyeliner is just like using a pen, which is to say it feels like second nature to draw a line with this product. Even those inexperienced with liner, liquid or otherwise, will feel instantly confident when using this tool. The length of the bristles are perfect for control—not too long, not too short. It’s a very forgiving formula that goes on pigmented but not scary-pigmented, and lines come out smooth without you really even having to try. It’s my pick for the overall most beginner-friendly eyeliner.

BEST PENCIL LINER FOR BEGINNERS: Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Skinny Gel Pencil

Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Skinny Gel Pencil

Maybelline’s Master Precise Skinny pencil liner lets newbies avoid the problem of big, chunky, uneven lines. You’ll have tons of control with this pencil, and you’ll never have to sharpen it—it’s already nearly as sharp as you could ever want. The product comes out smoothly, and you won’t have to go over your lines twice. It’ll be pigmented on the first go-around, but not in a scary way. I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve bought over the years.

The only issue with this pencil is that its skinny nature means it’s easy to break, so only click up a little bit of product at a time.

BEST LIQUID FELT TIP FOR BEGINNERS: Colourpop’s BFF Liquid Liner in Numero Uno

Colourpop's BFF Liquid Liner in Numero Uno

It’s easy to get a precise, one-swipe line with Colourpop’s BFF liquid felt tip liner. It also sticks with you through thick and thin, meaning it’ll last all day.

While felt tip liquid liners aren’t my first choice for beginners, if you like a super skinny, close-to-the-lash-line look, this is an easy one to control and manipulate. If you’re a beginner, you’ll find this one more natural to control than liners with shorter tips.


L'Oreal Laquer Liner 24H

The L’Oreal Laquer Liner is a sleeper product that not only is extremely soft and pigmented but it also comes with a great brush for beginners. This gel is so creamy, and that makes it incredibly easy to manipulate.

Gel liners also aren’t my top pick for beginners, but if you want to try one, you can’t go wrong with this drugstore beauty. It’s also great in the waterline!

BONUS PICK—MOST PIGMENTED EYELINER: Fenty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner

 Fenty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner

While one-stroke opacity can be a little terrifying if you’re a beginner, newbies also don’t want to be fussing with trying to draw the exact same line over and over as you build up the color.

If you’re more interested in practicing with something of the highest quality right off the bat, I suggest shelling out for the beautiful Fenty Flyliner. The pen is fairly easy to control, and you’ll never have to go over your line twice.


L.A. Girl Gel Glide Eyeliner

The L.A. Girl Gel Glide eyeliner is easily the smoothest pencil eyeliner formula I’ve ever tried. While it may go on a little thick for beginners as a regular liner, this is absolutely effortless to put in the waterline. (If you don’t know what the waterline is, here’s a picture of what that looks like—see the black very close to the eye on the bottom lid? It’s actually drawn on the skin between your eyelashes and your eye.) You don’t even need to apply any pressure. Just lightly run the pencil along and black magically appears!

If you’re a beginner, you should know that this technique can cause irritation. Take great care in trying this for your first time. That being said, I have very sensitive eyes, and this is the pencil I use for the waterline. I have no troubles with it.

That’s It!

There you have it! All you need to know if you’re new to eyeliner, including the best eyeliner for beginners.

I hope you’ve found your next favorite eyeliner as a result of this post. After trying tons of liners myself, I know the search can be a pain, especially if you’re new and are not totally sure what to try. Good luck shopping for one you love!