If only eyeliner were just about color. You could pick whatever color you were fancying at the moment, and get the line you want. But pencils are unpredictably different – ranging from soft and super smudgy to very hard and precise. Since color is just one factor in choosing the deceivingly un-simple eyeliner, its important to put some “science” behind your line.
Powder-based pencils are generally harder in nature. So when it comes to creating a defined line, powder-based eye pencil is popular for its precision. They are also good pencils to use when you don’t want any shimmer – they usually come in a matte finish.
Kohl eyeliner is made of the softest texture and glides on easily. Kohl can be applied to the inner-rim, or “waterline” of the eye, unlike the other types of eyeliner. Note: because of how smudgy kohl can be, you will likely want to set it with powder to keep it in place when you use it outside of the inner rim.
For great kohl pencils, try Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in colors like Black Gold & Black Navy ($19) or Make Up For Ever Kohl Eye Pencil in colors like Matte White and Deep Black ($17).
Wax-based pencils are softer gliding pencils. The wax in the pencil makes the application easier. Wax-based pencils are generally used for a smudged smoky effect, but are less smudgy than kohl and should not be used on the inner rim of the eye. Another plus for the wax-based pencil is that they are easy to find in a variety of intense colors.
For a wax-based pencil, we like LORAC Eye Pencil in colors like black, brown, and shimmery blue ($14)