More often than not, our makeup bags become rather costly. Foundation, concealer, mascara, and more eat into our paycheque at a pretty alarming rate. And if you’re anything like me, one foot inside Boots can result in blowing your monthly budget, spending the rest of the month arranging park picnics over snazzy dinners with friends before going home and dipping into a bulging beauty bag.
But what if I told you that you can get everything you need from an eyeliner for a fraction of the price of your favourite luxury label?
While nothing quite quenches our material girl thirst like heavily logoed makeup – Chanel, Dior or even Charlotte Tilbury, are some of my personal favourites – bargain beauty brands do hold their own when it comes to punchy products.
In fact, eyeliner in particular is one makeup must-have you can certainly cut costs on. And if you know where to shop, it’s easy to find wide shade ranges and products with impressive staying power for as little as £2.29.
Budget beauty stalwart Max Factor has been producing makeup for over 100 years, so it’s unsurprising that its eyeliner offering is incredibly impressive. Essence comes in at an even lower cost, with my favourite find being cheaper than a cup of coffee, and e.l.f excels with both colour payoff and pretty packaging, as with all of its products.
What are the different types of high street eyeliner?
For anything to be a bargain, you need to make sure you’re buying something you will actually use. So, allow me to quickly recap the different kinds of eyeliner you can pick up to ensure you get what you really want.
Eliza beauty contributor and makeup artist Rose Gallagher claims a classic pencil “is the most versatile eyeliner you can have in your arsenal”. So, if picking just one eyeliner, make sure it’s this one – just be sure to find something soft and not scratchy.
Gel liners can also look like pencils but are often longer-lasting, smudge-proof and water-resistant – although they can take a little longer to apply just right.
Liquid liners can create a more dramatic look but will require more practice to make them perfect. And felt-tip eyeliner is a cross between a gel and a liquid, offering the best of both worlds.
The 6 best high street eyeliners to shop now
Whatever kind you’ve got your heart set on, here’s where to buy from on the high street.
e.l.f H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen, £6
Shade range: One
This felt-tip eyeliner has everything you need to create a flawless winged look. Quick-drying, long-lasting and with a glossy black colour, it’s definitely dramatic yet easy to play with thanks to a precise felt-tip. Vitamin E is also included to soften skin and help nourish the lash line.
Essence Stay & Play Gel Eyeliner in Emerald Dragon, £2.29
Shade range: Eight
In a gorgeous emerald green, this gel liner is a go-to for a more striking shade. It’s slightly metallic, bringing brightness while complementing all eye colours. Just one swipe is enough to see the rich shade come through and it lasts an incredibly long time, while also being being waterproof. Pair it with a water-resistant mascara for the most durable eye look.
Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner, £8.99
Shade range: Seven
If you’re after the finest flick or fancy drawing on a lot of detail, this fine-tipped liner is sure to work wonders. With a paddle-shaped tip, it can draw both thin and thick lines with a twist of the wrist, offering all the intensity of a liquid liner with the precision of a pencil.
The Body Shop Freestyle Multi-Tasking Crayons, £12
Finish: Matte or shimmer
Shade range: Ten
Texture: Crayon pencil
The Body Shop Multi-Tasking Crayons have a variety of uses, one of them being a thick, chunky eyeliner. Incredibly easy to use, simply swipe across or inside the lash line for an instant pop of bright and bold colour. To make the look less tidy, just blend out with your finger.
17 Gel Eyeliner, £3.50
Shade range: Four
This twist-up gel liner isn’t as punchy in pigment as some of the other options, making it a great buy for beginners. Super soft, it’s easy to apply but you need to be firm to get the best bold line.
Collection Cosmetics Glam Crystals Dazzling Eyeliner, £3.99
Shade range: Seven
From festival season to party makeup, there’s always an excuse to wear glitter eyeliner and this is one of my favourites. Instantly elevating any look, it’s simple to swipe on with a shimmery finish that dries down straight away.