While we could open this with “For a drugstore eyeliner…” we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Eyeliner gives higher-end liners a true run for their money. The product is, without a doubt, the highest-quality liquid liner you’ll find in the aisles of your favorite drugstore (or in your local NYX store). It’s developed a bit of a cult following, and here’s why.
First off, the flexible paintbrush tip makes application incredibly easy and lends itself to creating even lines in one buttery-smooth stroke — regardless of whether your approach to a winged eye is (like most) to draw the wing with an upward motion or (like me) to create it from the top down. Either way, it simply doesn’t snag. As a result, it’s a great choice both for those who prefer thin flicks and for anyone who rocks a bolder, thicker line. Often touted as a solid dupe for the $20 Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, NYX’s Epic Ink liner brings more pigmentation to the table, so you won’t find yourself having to build up color and redraw a line two or three times to get the saturation you’re looking for (potentially messing up that perfect line you got on the first try).
While the brand officially describes the liner’s finish as “satin,” it seems to dry rather matte — and its staying power is unparalleled by any other liquid liner in its price range (and even many double or triple its price). After an entire day, as many product reviewers and BuzzFeed staffers can also attest, it does. not. budge. Note that if you’re a human of the oily-eyelid variety or are doing intense exercise, sweating, or running around all day in hot, humid weather, you may have to retouch a few spots; still, if it does wear, it’s more of a feathering or fading rather than the full-on smudging — or worse, running — that many drugstore-caliber eyeliners are prone to.
Not only can we vouch for its ability to remain mostly intact after a full night’s sleep, should one fail to wash their face before bed, it’s also proven both sex-proof and shower-proof. Also laughing-until-you-cry-proof! Thankfully, you do have some time between application and the product actually setting to fix any snafus, so those without a particularly skilled approach to the perfect wing (aka the vast majority of us mortals) need not fear; correcting mistakes with a wet cotton swab is a breeze. Additionally, seemingly as the result of witchcraft alone, the liner is waterproof only when you need it to be waterproof — it washes off easily using plain ol’ face cleansers, without the need for additional makeup-remover products.
The pen has been said to last an extraordinarily long time (though, to be safe, you should probably toss it if it hasn’t run out by the product’s expiration date of six months from initial use). If you’re looking for a long-lasting, highly pigmented eyeliner that’s a joy to apply and wouldn’t dare snag, the NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner is a surefire bet for those of all eyelining skill levels.