Regardless of whether you're a liquid, gel, or kohl type of person, if you frequently ride the liner train (translation: you rely on it to look awake each morning like your life depends on it), you know how pivotal finding the absolute perfect formula is. Once you've found your holy-grail pot, pencil, or what have you, chances are you're never letting go Jack and Rose–style. But there is a but, or rather, a budget.
Eyeliners fall into that annoying category of beauty products that seem like they should only cost $5 but typically manage to run us upward of $15, $20, even $30. Uh, not cool! Previously, we've grinned, purchased, and born it, but what if we were to tell you this little place called the drugstore plays home to formulas that are identical to, if not better than, some of the best eyeliners in the business?
Now, we love our Stilas, Laura Merciers, Bobbi Brows, and Kat Von Ds just as much as anyone, but when you have bills to pay, Postmates to order, and highly salted overpriced margaritas to sip, your enthusiasm for extremely expensive eyeliners starts to wane. Thus, in the spirit of saving money without sacrificing our perfectly eyelined prerogative, we set out to find the seven best dupes to match the seven best eyeliners. Ahead, the crème de la crème of drugstore pencils, pots, felt tips, and, yes, even rollerballs, that give cult-status eyeliners a serious run for their money performance-wise and completely whip their bums price-wise. Keep scrolling!
If you love the glide-easy gel consistency of Marc Jacobs in addition to the brand's aesthetically pleasing array of colors, meet L.A. Girl. Astoundingly similar, this gel pencil has a slightly smaller but still satisfactory display of color options, and they're only $4 a pop versus $25. Oh, and if you're on quality control—we don't blame you—the consistency is soft and creamy enough to not pull on your lid and lashline.
Kat Von D's cult-classic felt-tip liner is beloved for its inky black color that practically does what the name would suggest: delivers an immovable trace of black wherever you so wish to apply it. That said, this far more affordable pick from Milani has the added benefit of another color choice (coffee-inspired brown!) and stays cozy on your lids for just as long. Oh, and the tips are virtually identical in size.
Stila's iconic waterproof liquid liner has been my go-to since college, and it wasn't until I overhauled my entire makeup routine for budget finds that I discovered this nearly identical dupe from E.l.f. Cosmetics. It's a fraction of the price, looks the same, applies identically, and stays in place just as well if not better than my fave Stila. I use them interchangeably! The only con is the smaller color choice compared to Stila's gorgeous stash.
No, L'Oréal doesn't have quite the rainbow of colors that Urban Decay does, but its range of blues and purples is nothing to sneeze at, and, dare we say it, these half-priced pencils might actually wear better and longer. They promise 24 hours of wear and have the same creamy, easy-to-glide application you love from your Urban Decay pencil.
Don't get us wrong: We have major love for Bobbi Brown's popular gel pot and also know many makeup artists keep it stashed in their kits. That said, if you're strapped for cash, this one from Morphe comes in more (very whimsical) shades and is a third of the price. You'll still get the long-lasting budge-proof wear you crave in addition to a silky, highly pigmented finish. Plus, the packaging is literally the same.
We get that people either love or hate roller-tip liners, but for those who stan the ingeniousness of Nudestix's innovative wheelie design, meet Revlon's equally lovable counterpart. Both eyeliners have almost identical rollable tips, but Revlon's drugstore-priced version actually lasts longer (in our experience) and has a shiny vinyl finish versus the Nudestix's matte. Pick your poison, but this one is half the price tag (just saying).
We're obsessed with Laura Mercier's stick shadow/eyeliner hybrid because it's perhaps the most goof-proof and highly efficient way to draw on a finished, smoldering eye—in like, two minutes. Alas, this best-of-the-best drugstore eyeliner from Nyx is equally fab. Like the Laura Mercier pencil, it's a fatter, jumbo-size thickness so it can double as liner and shadow, the colors are beautiful, and it's addictively smooth and creamy to apply. Win-win-win.