The Battle of Black Eyeliners: Which of these under P600 pencils is the best?

Are you still searching for the perfect, long-wearing, super black eyeliner that doesn't cost a pretty penny? We're here to help, as always! We picked out five affordable black eyeliners to test against each other and here's how they compare!

From top: Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil, Ever Bilena Advanced Silky Eye Liner, Happy Skin Eye Am Here To Stay Liner, Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Eyeliner, Rire Luxe Gel Eyeliner

From top: Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil, Ever Bilena Advanced Silky Eye Liner, Happy Skin Eye Am Here To Stay Liner, Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Eyeliner, Rire Luxe Gel Eyeliner

From the arm swatches alone, it’s easy to tell that the Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil is the darkest of the bunch. Three out of the five liners apply as a matte black, while the Ever Bilena Advanced Silky Eye Liner had a slight sheen and the Happy Skin Eye Am Here to Stay Liner contained fine gold shimmers. All five liners claim to be waterproof, and took quite a bit of effort to remove from my arm. Using even pressure on a cotton pad heavily soaked with micellar water, it took me five swipes before I got about 90% of the makeup off and around two more to fully erase all traces of the swatches. Pretty impressive!

After 5 swipes of Garnier Micellar Water

After 5 swipes of Garnier Micellar Water

I would normally just use these liners to tightline, but for you to see how they apply on the eyes, I applied a straight line on my upper lid (as I normally would when lining my eyes) in addition to tightlining. I didn’t use any eyeshadow or primers so I could test the wear time of each product without any additional help. Do take note that my lids get oily, so your experience may be different if you’ve got a drier eye area. Here’s how they fared, in detail! 

Rire Luxe Gel Eyeliner (P210 from AltheaPH)

The Rire Luxe Gel Eyeliner was the only one that came with a built-in plastic sharpener. While incredibly pigmented, I find that it’s on the drier side and causes a bit of a drag when I try to line my eyelids. It doesn’t smudge on me but I noticed that it flakes off around five hours in and leaves black flakes on my under eye and cheek area. While it was the first to go on my arm swatch test, I find that it’s much harder to remove on the eyes due to the dryness. 

Happy Skin Eye Am Here to Stay Liner in Perfect Black (P599 at Happy Skin counters)

The Happy Skin Eye Am Here to Stay Liner had an easy glide that rarely skipped on my heavily-lined lids. The gold flecks threw me off the first time I used it but the detail isn’t as noticeable when applied on the waterline. It applies smoothly even without me having to pull my eyes taut, and lasts a good five hours before it starts to fade and smudge.

Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil (P229 at SM Beauty)

While watching at the store, I initially felt like the wet formulation of the Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil could be a recipe for disaster. It applies almost like a gel but surprisingly dries to a matte, budge-proof and smudge-proof deep black. This is a creamy pencil that glides and wears like a dream, and I get the longest wear time out of this – around eight hours before I would notice fading! One caveat: I have to use an oil-based remover to take this off as micellar water can’t deal with this.

Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Eyeliner (P200 at Holika Holika counters)

If you’d prefer not to sharpen your pencil liner, I find that Holika Holika’s Wonder Drawing Eyeliner is one of the better wearing retractable pencils. It feels a lot like a matte black version of Happy Skin’s eyeliner, and applies smooth and pigmented in one go. It smudges and fades on my oily lids at around five hours in. Word of warning: the pencil “lead” doesn’t fit too snugly in the packaging, so be careful not to twist up too much to avoid breaking! 

Ever Bilena Advanced Silky Eyeliner (P100 at the beauty section)

I was excited to see how this cheap eyeliner would perform against the rest of my list. It initially performed like a drugstore gem – it was creamy, pigmented, and silky as the name suggested. Around two hours in, however, I found that my tightline had completely stamped on to my undereye area and created a new line a few millimeters beneath my lower lash line. I’d never experienced this with any other liner so I gave it another go and the same thing happened. This may work better for dry-skinned girls.

Best in Overall Performance: I’d say that the Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil is the clear winner! This product never gave me racoon eyes, which is basically my number one requirement for eyeliner. It applies smoothly and evenly, and did not irritate my sensitive eyes. Bonus: it’s very affordable, too!

Have you used any of these pencil eyeliners to tightline? What was your experience with them? What other pencils would you recommend for tightlining?