Finding an eyeliner in your golden years can be tricky. The skin around your eyes is thin enough as it is, making it extremely vulnerable to loose skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. If you’ve got an eyeliner that’s constantly pulling or tugging at the area, it will only exacerbate the problem. Throw in must-haves, like a liner that won’t run, smudge, flake, or irritate your eyes, and hunting down your perfect match can seem virtually impossible.
But trust us, the best eyeliner for over 50 not only exists, it will glide on effortlessly to accentuate your peepers and bring out their gorgeous color, making you look well-rested and glamourous.
Scroll down for a selection of the best eyeliners that will create sharp, precise, long-lasting lines without wearing down your skin.
Eyeliner for Over 50
As New York City-based dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, told The Healthy, anything that causes friction near the delicate skin around the eyes — including pulling skin taut for eyeliner application — can pronounce unwanted wrinkles. “Rubbing this sensitive area stretches skin and breaks down collagen and elastin, which can result in wrinkles,” she said. That means it’s extremely important to choose products that go on smoothly, offering up as least resistance as possible.
Those with sensitive skin or contacts might also need a formula with fewer chemicals and nourishing ingredients that will protect their skin from dryness and irritation.
Folks with oily lids may find that pencils and powders work better than liquid liners and gels. Ladies with dry skin, on the other hand, might prefer a product with extra hydrating properties, such as aloe.
Types of Eyeliner
Eyeliner is not one size fits all, and each type has its pros. Where one woman may prefer a gel, liquid, or felt-tip pen eyeliner, which will work wonders when you’re looking for sharp winged liner or cat eye, others may opt for a crayons or powders to create a gorgeous smoky eye. Pencils can do both, but are also lovely for adding a pops of color. Read up on the different types below.
- Gel eyeliner is great for creating both thin and thick lines. It may be a bit harder to control than other forms of eyeliner, but it typically lasts longer and has an extra-bold pigment.
- Pencil eyeliner is ideal for maximum control. While the pencils of yore have been known to drag and tug skin, new beauty innovations have made this type of eyeliner practically effortless with regard to application.
- Crayon eyeliner is a mix between a pencil and a gel. These liners tend to have a creamier consistency and won’t dry out your skin. They’re ideal for dry eyelids and smooth application.
- Liquid eyeliner is well-known for its optimal control and smudge-proof properties, making it a tried-and-true pick you can’t go wrong with.
- Felt-tip eyeliner, or pen eyeliner, is a cross between a liquid and pencil eyeliner. Felt tips offer long-wearing color, maximum control, and high pigment, making them ideal for makeup touchups.
- Powder eyeliner, or shadow eyeliner, can be used to create straight lines, but it’s a touch tougher to do. They’re best for getting that intentionally “smudged” look.
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Best Powder Eyeliner
Where to buy: $24, Amazon
You may be familiar with gel, liquid, and pencil eyeliner, but powder? It sounds like a big old mess waiting to happen! The applicator brush found in Jane Iredale's Mystikol powdered eyeliner, which has more of a cream consistency, makes it just as easy as your trusty pencil, with superior smudging powers for creating an alluring smoky eye. It comes in a classic black, but also has a few fun color options you can experiment with, such as amethyst, emerald, and sapphire.
Best Crayon Eyeliner
Where to buy: $25, Sephora
Marc Jacobs' Highliner gel eye crayon glides on effortlessly and lasts for up to 12 hours. It comes in a gorgeous array of colors that are richly pigmented and contain no glitter, which can not only look a little juvenile, but irritate your eyes — especially if you wear contact lenses. The base of this stick even has a camouflaged pencil sharpener, so you can take it on the go with no fear of ever having a dull tip.
Best Gel Eyeliner
Where to buy: $22, Sephora
This 24/7 glide-on eye pencil from Urban Decay definitely lives up to its name! We don't know what you'll love more: the silky consistency that goes on oh-so-smoothly (no pulling or tugging here!), or the fact that there'll be no flakes, smudges, or bare spots anywhere in sight!
Best Colored Eyeliner
Where to buy: $18, Sephora
It's a common misconception that bold, flashy hues are reserved for kids and teens. Color looks just as fabulous on women in their 50's! Make Up For Ever's Artist color pencil works as an eyeliner, lip liner, and a brow pencil, killing three birds with one stone. While there are plenty of flattering neutralreds, browns, and grays up for grabs, there's also a nice selection of greens, blues, purples, and pinks: You'd be surprised at all the creative looks you can create with these pretty hues!
Best Eyeliner for Wrinkled Eyelids
Where to buy: $22, Sephora
When it comes to makeup, it really is all about the details. Sometimes, fat-tip eyeliner pens or smudgy gel can be tough to control, which is no bueno when you're working with wrinkled terrain. The micro-tip on Stila's Stay All Day waterproof liquid eye liner is tiny enough to be precise when working with uneven surfaces, yet still has enough pigment power to draw thick, saturated strokes. It's easy to apply, dries quickly, and stays on all day. Plus, its waterproof capability makes it a perfect hot weather essential, ensuring that sweat, sea water, pool splashes, and humidity won't ruin your look.
Best Waterproof Eyeliner
Where to buy: $27, Sephora
This Givenchy khol couture waterproof retractable eyeliner is formulated to stay put, come rain or tears. It comes in basic black and brown, but also offers unique shades, like gorgeous lilac, jade, turquoise, and cobalt. This eyeliner also comes with a hidden sharpener at the bottom to get rid of any dull tips in a flash.
Best Brightening Eyeliner for Waterline
Where to buy: $20, Sephora
Tarte's Fake Awake eyeliner is a pretty, peachy pencil that's ideal for lining your waterline, which is right above your lower lashes. It removes any gray, red, or uneven tones, completely brightening your face in the process. Your eyes will look bigger, giving you a "wide awake" appearance — a huge plus on those mornings when you normally look as tired as you feel. Because of its creamy gel consistency, it's a no-tug tool, preventing wrinkles and eye damage. Its pigment is also enriched with aloe and antioxidants — both of which are fabulous for your skin — and you can use it to highlight your brow bone arch and the inner corners of your eyes. After working its magic, you'll look like you always get your nine hours of sleep in!
Best Eyeliner for Crepey Eyelids
Where to buy: $59.88, Amazon
You won't find dryness or flaking here! Ciaté LONDON Fierce Flicks precision-tip liquid liner has a consistency that's buttery soft and long-wear pigment that won't budge. The pen rests comfortably in your hand, and its felt tip is firm, which makes creating a cat eye or a sharp, dramatic look a breeze — even for crepey skin. It's a wonderful choice for a classic black eyeliner, and because of its ease of use, it's also a must-have for unstable hands. Bonus!
Best Eyeliner Pencil That Doesn't Smudge
Where to buy: $25, Sephora
Folks often avoid lining the inside of their lids, and for good reason: Many products sting, bleed, and flake, so why bother? Laura Mercier has a solution that won't compromise when it comes to deep, luscious color or your comfort. Its kohl eye pencil is creamy, glides on easily, and comes in a few deep, jewel-colored tones to boot. An emphasized look without smudging? We'll take it!
Best Eyeliner for Sensitive Eyes
Where to buy: $22, Amazon
La Roche-Posay is best known for its eponymous skincare line, but it's eyeliner beats many others on the market. Repectissime has a formula that won't irritate sensitive eyes that are prone to dryness or infections, plus, it's gentle for contact wearers. Its liquid formula is composed of a natural wax that slides onto lids with ease and protects eyes from feeling dry. There's also a user-friendly felt tip that makes getting the look you want a piece of cake.
Best Eyeliner for Oily Lids
Where to buy: $34, Bloomingdale's
Say goodbye to unsightly smudges and stains from oily lids with Kevyn Aucoin's The Precision Liquid Liner. Once you apply this carbon black liner, it won't budge an inch, providing you with an eye-catching look that lasts all day.
One Sephora reviewer raved, "Amazing ... I got this and it is the best so far. It goes on smoothly, is precise, and doesn't drag or dry out, unlike many liners I have used."