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Beauty/Makeup/Eyes/Eyeliners
Top 10 Powder Eyeliners

This Eyeliner Formula Is Trending—Here Are The Internet's Top Picks Worth Adding To Your Cart

This Eyeliner Formula Is Trending—Here Are The Internet's Top Picks Worth Adding To Your Cart

If you're lucky enough to have made it to beauty TikTok, chances are you haven't been able to take a single scroll through the social platform without seeing someone swipe on a bold line of powder eyeliner. Also referred to as "cake eyeliner" or "water-activated eyeliner," powder eyeliners are the eyeliners of the moment, and pencils, pens, and gels seem to be a thing of the past.

But like many TikTok trends (we're looking at you, yoga pants), powder eyeliner is actually nothing new. In fact, it's long been a staple in the beauty bags of makeup artists and influencers everywhere, and for good reason. Similar to pressed shadows but usually more pigmented, powder eyeliners are some of the most versatile formulas in the game. Mixed with a bit of water, they turn into creamy liquids that dry down with a stunning matte finish. Used dry, they can serve up a soft, smudged look or a more sultry smoky eye. To top it all off, they usually work well as eyeshadows and brow definers too.

Whether you're looking to try out the trend or have long been a powder-liner devotee, take a look at the list below. We're bringing you a roundup of the absolute best powder eyeliners you can get your hands on, from $6 drugstore duos to splurgy compacts destined to become daily essentials.

How We Found The Best Powder Eyeliners

Here at Rank & Style, we don't mess around when it comes to product recommendations. In fact, we use a data-driven algorithm that factors in things like best-seller lists, editorial mentions, and rave reviews to ensure that everything we recommend truly is the best of the best. Scroll on to see the 10 powder eyeliners that made the cut.

Next up, check out the 10 Best Glitter EyeshadowsOpening image: @lauramercier

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January 7, 2022

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


Sweet Face Minerals Black Eye Liner

Our Score

2.87

LOOSE POWDER

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Because this comes in the form of a loose powder, this formula lets you have complete control over the intensity and pigmentation of your liner looks. Plus, since it's made with 100% natural ingredients, it's ultra-gentle and won't irritate sensitive eyes.

USER REVIEW: "Love this eyeliner! This is the only natural powder eyeliner I've found that doesn't flake off during the day and really stays put (I actually need eye makeup remover to take this liner off at the end of the day). It's also super easy to apply wet or dry.

Made In Usa

Made In Usa

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


NYX Professional Makeup Cake That! Powder Eyeliner

Our Score

2.95

BUDGET-FRIENDLY

WHO IT'S FOR: If you're new to the powder eyeliner game, this classic duo is the perfect product to start with. Including both black and brown shades and ringing up at just $6 a pop, you really can't go wrong.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: You can also use these babies as eyeshadows, primers, and brow enhancers.


Pure Ziva Matte Wet Dry Pressed Powder Cake Eyeliner

Our Score

2.96

VEGAN

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: According to the reviews, this intense eyeliner stays put all day long but rinses right off when you wash your face. Even better, it's often compared to Laura Mercier's Tightline Cake Eyeliner, the crème de la crème of powder liners and #1 on this list.

USER REVIEW: "Something that surprised me is that it actually stayed in place BETTER throughout the day than the other brand. At the end of the day, it was still in place—no smudging or migration. AND it also removes easily with simple soap and water, another plus. No need for makeup remover or major scrubbing in the delicate eye area. This is a winner in my book."

More Colors

More Colors

Made In Usa

Made In Usa

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Jolie Extra Long-Wear Cake Eyeliner

Our Score

2.99

LONGWEAR

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Richly pigmented with intense color payoff, this cake eyeliner was formulated to last all day and then some—we're talking through the workday, happy hour, and beyond—even if you shed a tear or two.

APPLICATION TIP: For more definition and even more staying power, top it off with Jolie's cake eyeliner sealant.

More Colors

More Colors


Jane Iredale Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner

Our Score

3.13

BUILT-IN BRUSH

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Aside from the obvious—the genius built-in brush—reviewers love this eyeshadow for its unique powder-cream formula. It applies smoothly and evenly without skipping or tugging, and it stays put until the moment you take it off.

USER REVIEW: "I stopped using eyeliner when my eyelids started showing signs of aging. No matter what I did, I couldn't achieve a solid line—my liner would just skip across the lids. This product is really pretty amazing. I can achieve a solid black line, thick or thin, without even trying. It's honestly the easiest eyeliner I have ever used."

More Colors

More Colors

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


L'Oreal Paris Infallible Smokissime Powder Eyeliner

Our Score

3.22

SMOKY EYE

WHAT IT DOES: There are two types of people in this world—those who can do smoky eyes and those who can't. But with this stuff, 

APPLICATION TIP: To achieve a perfect smoky eye, use the fat side of the brush around your top and bottom lash lines, then use your fingers to smudge the pigment up onto the lid.


Ritual De Fille The Black Orb Eyeliner

Our Score

3.25

CLEAN FORMULA

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This jet-black formula may just be the last liner you ever buy. Ideal for creating precise wings, smudged lids, and smoldering waterlines, the 100% vegan pick can morph into whatever you want it to.

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Reviewers rave that the formula is super buildable, so you can use it for everything from subtle daytime looks to dramatic smoky eyes.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Trish McEvoy Eye Definer / Eye Liner

Our Score

3.33

REFILLABLE

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Available in stunning shades like aubergine and Arabian nights, this Trish McEvoy formula is just as stunning as an eyeshadow as it is as a liner. You can use an angled liner brush to create an intense wing, or your favorite shadow brush to dust the pigment onto your lids.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: These are designed for Trish's refillable makeup compacts, so you can pop in your favorite colors to create a unique duo.

More Colors

More Colors

Made In Usa

Made In Usa


Cle De Pau Beaute Eyebrow & Eyeliner Compact

Our Score

3.4

LUXURY BUY

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Complete with a highlighter shade, brow shade, and eyeliner shade, this may just be the last pressed powder compact you ever buy. You can use the lightest shade above and below the brow, the medium shade to fill in brows, and the darkest shade to line.

WHO IT'S FOR: Rumor has it, shade #2 is the perfect brow powder for blondes.

More Colors

More Colors


Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner

Our Score

3.4

BEST OVERALL

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Laura Mercier's Cake Eye Liner is practically the gold standard when it comes to tightlining the eyes. After all, Mercier 

HELPFUL TIP: Pop out your favorite shades and place them in a Laura Mercier custom compact to create your own customized palette.

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