A swipe of soft pastel eyeliner screams spring and summer, but it truly makes for a pretty eye-makeup look any time of the year. “Pastel liners are the perfect introduction to wearing color because they are muted down and are great as an accent color or all-over wash,” makeup artist Charlie Riddle tells Allure.
While there are dozens of pastel liners on the market — including liquid, gel, pencil, and water-activated formulas — the best are those that offer powerful pigment, smooth application, and staying power. Just take it from makeup artist Delina Medhin, who previously told Allure, “the most important thing is pigment and that [the eyeliner] easily glides onto the skin.”
Depending on your desired look — whether it’s a slight cat-eye, bold winged look, or just a little color along the lashline — one type of liner may work better than another. What’s more, your level of comfort and time needed to perfect your lines should be considered when shopping for the best pastel eyeliner for your goals. For example: “If you want to go slow and take your time, a gel or a pencil is probably easier,” makeup artist Cara Lovello tells Allure.
The good news is that there’s a solid range of options available, like a quick-drying liquid liner with a handcrafted, fine-tip brush and an under-$10 find with a 36-hour wear time. To help you figure out your perfect pick, we’ve rounded up the best editor-recommended and makeup artist-approved pastel liners across a variety of shades and price points.
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