We’ve ranked the best emo eyeliners, just for you - Features - Alternative Press

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We’ve ranked the best emo eyeliners, just for you

September 13 2017, 2:55 PM EDT By Mackenzie Hall


Everyone knows each emo is only as good as their eyeliner. From Laura Jane Grace to Pete Wentz, there have been many before us who have shown the importance of artfully smudged eye makeup. But what is the cheapest and best eyeliner I can grab for my money? In the ultimate drugstore smackdown, we ask: What eyeliner is the most emo?

In my rankings, I used my ABCs: application (was it easy to put on?), blackness (could it match the darkness of my soul?) and concert-proof-ness (could this contend with jumping, screaming, crying and overall mania of a concert experience?).

I should also note here that I have pretty watery eyes and very oily eyelids, so I consider myself the ultimate test for eye makeup. For continuity, I wore no primer and no additional makeup. (Aren’t I brave? No, wait... lazy. The word I’m looking for is lazy.)

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx

Price: $7.99
Application: 4/5: I am pretty hopeless at a cat eye, but this eyeliner was thin enough that I could work a reasonable flip.

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner review pic
Blackness (above): 1/5: This was... very disappointing. I had to go over and over the same line at least four times for it to show up opaque.

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner review pic

Concert-proof-ness (above): 0/5: Look at this photo after 10 hours of wear. Those dark circles under my eyes aren’t from staying up the night before watching the rest of Big Little Lies! (Well, truth be told... I did that, too.) And even if 10 hours is a high ask from a drugstore eyeliner, my corners started fading as early as one hour into the test. Not a great showing.

Covergirl Ink It! Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Black Ink

Covergirl Ink It eyeliner

Price: $7.49
Application: 1/5: This eyeliner comes as a sharp stump, so it’s a little difficult to wear down at first and get the right application. It would definitely be better if it came pre-sharpened.

Covergirl Ink It eyeliner review
Blackness: 3/5: It showed up fairly opaque after a couple of strokes, but wasn’t especially vibrant.

Covergirl Ink It eyeliner review

Concert-proof-ness: 2/5: This definitely faded more gracefully than others in this test—mostly just wore away, rather than settling in my lovely, creasey under eyes. Plus, I noticed it lasted in its original state all the way into lunch!

NYX Retractable Eyeliner in Black

NYX Retractable Eyeliner

Price: $4.99
Application: 4/5: This is a very, very creamy eyeliner—like buttah, I tell you. The creaminess is a plus for smudging on your eyes, but if you want a super defined line, it’ll be hard to accomplish.

NYX Retractable Eyeliner review
Blackness: 6/5: NOW THIS! IS WHAT! I’M TALKING ABOUT! Look how dark that line is. That’s after one lil swoop on my eyes! I’m always looking for makeup I can apply in under a minute, and that dream has finally become a reality.

NYX Retractable Eyeliner review

Concert-proof-ness: 4/5: While this certainly faded, it didn’t seem to go anywhere. I will take eyeliner that dissolves into nothing, rather than one that smears all over the place.

L'Oréal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

Price: $9.49
Application: 4/5: This also came pre-sharpened with a good, creamy consistency.

LOreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner review
Blackness: 4/5: I was really happy with how black this was at first line! But, you do need a fair amount of pressure to get it fully black. As you can see, my wing doesn’t have the same pigment on the end.

LOreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner review

Concert-proof-ness: 2/5: For being “infallible,” this is pretty damn fallible! It mostly smeared all over my lids, so at least it didn’t settle in my under eye, but I’m still pretty bummed. Plus, it was the most expensive of the pack! What the heck?

Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black

Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner

Price: $8.99
Application: 3/5: This didn’t draw as smooth of a line, but it did have good pigment no matter the pressure and came pre-sharpened.

Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner review

Blackness: 4/5: A deep, full black for Revlon—only had to draw over the line twice!

Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner review

Concert-proof-ness: 3/5: Now, I will be honest—these photos are after I shed a few tears at the emotional rollercoaster that is the Amazon Prime dog-as-a-lion commercial. However, my eyeliner was fading even before that turmoil. At least some of the line was still holding on at the end of the day.

Some final thoughts
While no eyeliner could truly stay in place all day, I’m sure most of these concert-proof-ness scores could increase with a good primer and base coat of eyeshadow. Yet, no eyeliner in the collection could compete against the NYX. It was the blackest of black with just one line and faded the best out of the bunch.

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