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12 Best Colorful Eyeliners to Try, Even if You're a Beginner

Yes, you can pull off orange eyeliner.

colorful eyeliner

After a year of staying inside, this summer's hottest trends are all about color, and that extends to makeup. The days of black cat eyes and neutral smokey eyes are long gone — this year's makeup trends include graphic, colorful eyeliner and bright wings.

Colorful eyeliner instantly draws attention to your eyes and makes every eye color pop. Whether you're looking for a bright blue to add a summery twist or an electric pink look to keep it playful, there is a colorful eyeliner out there for everyone.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab is constantly testing new beauty products to find the best of the best. While the Beauty Lab has never tested colorful eyeliners specifically, the Lab has conducted a longwear eyeliner test, many of which have colorful variations. In our last eyeliner test, the Lab chose 139 testers to try six pencils and six liquid eyeliners to find which ones were the easiest to apply, lasted the longest and and performed the best. Each eyeliner had to be used at least three times before evaluating. After reading through 1188 survey answers, the Lab found the best long-wear eyeliners. Below, the best colorful eyeliners for summer, including formulas that scored highly in the Beauty Lab's eyeliner test, editor favorites and top-reviewed products. Pair with your favorite mascara and a nude lipstick, and you're all set.

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Best Overall Colorful Eyeliner
Get In Line Liquid Eyeliner in Teal Crystal
CoverGirl ulta.com

In Lab testing, this liquid eyeliner received high points for performance and ease of use. "I really liked how rich the color was starting from the very first time I used the product," one tester said. "I also liked how easy it was to create a thin line." Swipe on this teal version for a striking, aquatic look. 

  • Highly pigmented
  • Easy to apply
Best Value Colorful Eyeliner
Precision Eye Definer in All Night
BLK/OPL ulta.com

Not only is this pencil impossibly creamy, editors also found that it's highly pigmented and doesn't budge throughout the day. Fittingly named, this electric blue lasts all night — and the shock of rich color is enough to wake anyone up. "It just glides on my aging lids like no other brand," one reviewer noted. "Also, it's very pigmented and high-quality."

  • Highly pigmented
  • Doesn't budge
Best Colorful Eyeliner Pencil
Double Wear Infinite Waterproof Eyeliner in Deep Plum
Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder ulta.com

Easy to apply and easy to remove, this pencil eyeliner does it all. Deep plum is the perfect color for anyone who's looking to branch out from traditional black or brown but doesn't want to adventure into brighter territory. "Intense, very saturated color," one tester said. "Applied smoothly. Didn't smudge." 

  • Easy to apply
  • Easy to remove
  • Doesn't budge
Best Smudge-Free Colorful Eyeliner
Stay All Day Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Jade
Stila Cosmetics dermstore.com

During Lab testing, experts found that this liner earned the highest score for not smudging — but it was also the hardest to remove out of all the eyeliners tested. Testers also noted that it was easy to apply and went on smoothly and evenly. A deep, almost-black jade can be worn in any situation.

  • Doesn't budge
  • Applies smoothly

  • Hard to remove
Best Innovative Colorful Eyeliner
Colorstay Exactify Liquid Liner in Royal Purple
REVLON amazon.com
$6.85 (13% off)

Designed with an innovative wheel application, this eyeliner got a near perfect score for both providing a rich color payoff and not smudging throughout the day in Lab testsYou can get a really thin line, and I feel like it's not as sensitive to my hand shaking," one tester said. There is a bit of a learning curve when applying this unique liner, but once you get the hang of it, this smoky, silvery purple will make your lids look regal.

  • Wheel helps achieve very thin lines
  • Doesn't smudge

  • Wheel application can be difficult at first
Best Multi-Purpose Colorful Eyeliner
Yeux Paint in Rose d'Aurore
Violette_FR Violette_FR

Doubling as a cream eyeshadow and a highly pigmented liquid eyeliner, this eye paint does it all. While it comes in tons of dreamy, universally flattering shades, this glittering rose will make your eyes pop. Blendable and buildable, editors found that this eye paint doesn't crease or smudge — no matter how you wear it. 

  • No creasing
  • Blends easily
Best Waterproof Colorful Eyeliner
24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Woodstock
Urban Decay
Urban Decay sephora.com

This eyeliner glides right onto eyelids for a punch of neon pink that's daring but still looks sweet. "I’ve been using this eyeliner in all different shades since I was in middle school and I’ll never change," one reviewer says. "It stays on very well and allows for creative application."

  • Stays on
  • Glides easily across lids
  • Highly pigmented
Best Felt Tip Colorful Eyeliner
Diorshow On Stage Liquid Eyeliner in Matte Pop Green
Dior sephora.com

The best thing about this eyeliner pen is the felt tip, which allows you to draw a razor-straight line, but still has flexibility. "This is so long lasting and pigmented," one reviewer says. "The precision you get with this is insane." Try this Kelly green for a tropical look.

  • Precise application
  • Stays put
Best Pastel Colorful Eyeliner
Vegan Long Lasting Eyeliner Pencil in Purple
Pacifica ulta.com

Lavender is without a doubt one of the biggest colors of the year, so why not swipe it onto your lids? The brand claims it's vegan and cruelty-free, and the formula delivers tons of pigmentation. One editor found that after swatching it on her hand, it stayed put through multiple hand washes — but came off easily with an oil cleanser

  • Doesn't smudge
  • Highly pigmented
Best Gel Colorful Eyeliner
Epic Wear Liner Stick Long Lasting Eyeliner Pencil in Cosmic Yellow
NYX Professional Makeup ulta.com

A liner that won't budge even on your waterline sounds too good to be true, but this gel pencil has that kind of staying power. "Smooth and vibrant," one reviewer said. "Staying, powerful liners. I started with two and now have six." If sunshine yellow seems a bit too adventurous, try one of the other 27 shades. 

  • Stays put
  • Doesn't smudge
Best Highly Pigmented Colorful Eyeliner Pot
Waterproof Cushion Color in Totally Tangerine
Danessa Myricks Beauty
Danessa Myricks Beauty danessamyricksbeauty.com

If anyone knows how to do highly pigmented, wearable color, it's makeup artist Danessa Myricks. Her cushion pigments are formulated to pack a major punch of color, stay all day and resist smudging. Electric tangerine is the perfect summery shade. 

  • Highly pigmented
  • Buildable
Best Crayon Colorful Eyeliner
Underlined Kajal Eyeliner in Terracotta
Kulfi kulfibeauty.com

Smoky orange liner is both mysterious and playful. This liner has grip that will last all day, but it's also blended with good-for-your-skin ingredients like vitamin E and aloe vera to keep the delicate skin around your eyes hydrated and supple. "The colors are super pigmented, they glide beautifully and last a long time — and make my eyes look huge," one reviewer raved. "It was easy to use for someone like me, who does not have a particularly steady or practiced hand at using eyeliners."

  • Highly pigmented
  • Stays put
  • Moisturizes skin
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