Everything You Need to Know About White Eyeliner

Eyeliner has most likely been a staple in your makeup bag for years. My favorite liner look is kitten eyeliner, which is more natural-looking and easier to master than the traditional cat eye. While black or brown eyeliner pulls that look together nicely, we need to talk about how white eyeliner is having a moment right now!

White eyeliner isn’t new, but the versatile beauty product is making waves for how seamlessly it can transform any look. 

Whether you’re looking for a new trendy eye makeup look or a hack to make you look like you got a full night’s sleep, white eyeliner can accomplish both looks and then some. Keep reading for everything you need to know about white eyeliner. 

What is White Eyeliner?

White eyeliner has been used for decades by makeup artists to brighten up the entire face. 

The trend first became popular in the 1970s following the rise of the cat eye in the 60s. The cat eye was often used with a bright pastel shadow with white eyeliner along the black liner to create the appearance of bigger and deeper eyes. 

image of Twiggy the model

While you might think to line your waterline with a black eyeliner pencil, dark colors shrink the look of your eyes, making them appear smaller. White eyeliner, on the other hand, can expand them. So, if you’re a sleepy girl who loves to stay up late and hit snooze in the morning, white eyeliner can hide all those lost hours of sleep. 

How to Use White Eyeliner

The good news about white eyeliner is it looks even better when used with a black one to both define and brighten. The most popular way to use this eyeliner is on the waterline, followed by using it in the inner corners of the eyes.

image depicting someone applying white eyeliner to their waterline

Using White Eyeliner on Your Waterline is Safe – Here’s How to Get it to Stay

Getting eyeliner to stay on your waterline is tricky. The best eyeliner to use on your waterline will be a waterproof or long-wearing formula. Also, look for pencil formulas that aren’t too sharp but still precise enough to give you a flawless lined look. 

You could also set it with eyeshadow before or after you swipe eyeliner along the waterline for a look that won’t smudge. 

It’s safe to line your waterline using the right formula. But if that isn’t your thing, many people opt for a similar effect by placing white eyeliner in the inner corners of the eye. Then, smudge it out with your finger or small fluffy brush for an effortless wide-eyed look.  

If you’re keeping up with eyeliner trends, you should try using white eyeliner for graphic eyeliner looks. Try out a floating eyeliner trend, such as a beautiful cut crease or the halo look. 

image of a white eyeliner graphic makeup look

Top 10 Best White Eyeliners 

With eyeliner being around for so long, there are many great options on the market.

Whether you’re looking for a pencil or liquid white eyeliner, here are some of our top recommendations! 

#1: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil 

There are many reasons why this award-winning eyeliner has been around for years and has more than 16,000 reviews on Sephora! The waterproof formula goes on quickly and stays all day long. Run, don’t walk! 

#2: Nyx Retractable Long-Lasting Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil 

Nyx Retractable Long-Lasting Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil 

Talk about intense color payoff with ultimate staying power! This eyeliner from Nyx is  budget-friendly and will stay all day in your waterline, giving you a bright-eyed look until you take it off. 

#3: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

This Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is so popular in black that it’s no surprise its white counterpart generates the same fanfare. This waterproof liner glides on with ease and precision. It’s perfect for white liner cat eyes and other cool liner looks

#4: Makeup Revolution Kohl Eyeliner

Makeup Revolution Kohl Eyeliner

This kohl liner from Makeup Revolution is one of our most affordable picks at only $5. It glides on effortlessly for a lined waterline and can even create a smoky liner effect. 

#5: LA Girl Perfect Precision Eyeliner 

 LA Girl Perfect Precision Eyeliner 

If you’re brand new to white eyeliner and don’t want to spend a lot on one before you even know if you like it, this eyeliner from LA Girl is a fantastic option. Not only is it easy to apply, but it also stays all day! 

#6: J.Cat Beauty Roll it Up Auto Eyeliner 

J.Cat Beauty Roll it Up Auto Eyeliner 

The Roll it Up Auto Eyeliner from J.Cat Beauty is infused with coconut oils to glide on effortlessly. It’s water resistant, and there’s no need to worry about sharpening your liner since this one twists up!

#7: Maybelline Tattoo Studio Eyeliner Pencil

Maybelline Tattoo Studio Eyeliner Pencil

If you’re not a pencil liner gal, don’t count this one out just yet. It’s a gel eyeliner pencil that glides on smoother than you expect and comes in many fun shades, including metallic and matte. 

#8: Colourpop Crème Gel Liner 

Colourpop Crème Gel Liner 

Create all the fun and bright graphic looks you want with one of these gel liners in every color! It’s super creamy, highly pigmented, and easy to get precise lines.

#9: Morphe 2 Always Online Gel Eyeliner

Morphe 2 Always Online Gel Eyeliner

If you’ve tried white eyeliner in the past and found it didn’t stay on or wasn’t highly pigmented, don’t give up on it before trying out this liner from Morphe. Its waterline-staying power is unmatched; it won’t smear or melt away. 

#10: Diorshow On Stage Liner

Diorshow On Stage Liner

This felt tip liquid eyeliner allows even beginners to pull off a detailed look with thickness based on the pressure applied. In addition, the waterproof formula can last up to 24 hours!

Alternatives to White Eyeliner

If the thought of using a bright white eyeliner turns you off a little bit, nude eyeliner can be a softer, more natural-looking alternative. You can still achieve the same looks with a nude eyeliner pencil along your waterline or inner corners. 

A white or nude liner can transform makeup looks on people of all ages. For mature eyes, try using white liner in your inner corner and blending it out on your lower lash line. This look can give the illusion of younger, more vibrant eyes. 

You can also use white eyeshadow instead of white eyeliner. Just run an angled eyeshadow brush under water and dip it in your favorite white eyeshadow. You’ll get a paste-like consistency that’s easy to use, just like a liquid eyeliner! 

Final Thoughts on White Eyeliner

There are so many different ways to wear eyeliner. Whether it’s the timeless wing, cat eye, or one of the newer trends for fox, graphic, or glitter eyeliner, you can’t go wrong with having white eyeliner in your makeup bag. White eyeliner can make you look more awake, brighten your eyes, or even add some edge to your look. 

Try out one of the white eyeliners listed here, and have fun!