best budget liners

Almost Couture Manchester Fashion Blog

Eyeliner and I are old friends. We go way, way, waaaay back – it was probably one of the first beauty products I ever bought and experimented with. I would smear kohl pencil around my eyes at the ripe old age of thirteen, looking like a panda with a hangover, and feel dead sophisticated – no one needed to know it had been free off the front of Sugar magazine.

As I’ve got older, and learnt how to actually apply makeup without looking like a clown, my bond with liner has grown even stronger. My favourite beauty product out there, liner can make your eyes smoky, defined, larger and even more beautiful than they already are.

I’ve experimented with loads of different ones over the years, and realised that just having one liner will not do. (I’ve also totally disregarded eyeliner pencils, given they never stay on my skin longer for an hour before smearing all over the place – if anyone can recommend a smear-proof pencil, please let me know below!) I’ve got loads of them knocking about – gel, felt tip, fat, thin, black, brown…the list is endless. However, I have a very definite top three, which are all affordable and amazing!

Sleek Dip It Eyeliner

Best for: Precision



If you read my post earlier this week on MUA Lip Lacquers, I wrote that I ordered them off Superdrug, and there was an offer of free delivery over £10. Ever a sucker for a bargain, I plumped for this little beauty of a liner to tip me over the £10 mark – and I’m so glad I did!

Now, I have shaky hands and the hand-eye co-ordination of Helen Keller, but even that didn’t stop me from mastering lovely precise lines with the Sleek Dip It. It dries super quickly and lasts all day, not budging from your lids whatsoever.

I really like how the brush doesn’t have bristles but is more like a wand, meaning there’s no danger of flyaway streaks, and the colour is a lovely deep black – I’ve found some eyeliners can look somewhat grey and chalky on the skin. This tiny wand means that getting right into the corners of your eyes is easy as pie, and you can get really close to your lashline.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Liner

Best for: Smokey eyes



Technically, if I was doing a straight-up review of this product, it wouldn’t be my all-time favourite. This is because when applying, it doesn’t dry all that quickly, meaning it can smear and smudge whilst you finish off your makeup.

However, when needing a liner for smokey eyes, this one is perfect. Because it takes a moment or two to dry properly, it’s malleable, so you can use a soft brush to smoke it out around your eyes. When it dries, it doesn’t budge which is fantastic. I used to do my smokey eye with solely powder, which I found would wear away throughout the day – this gel liner means you’re dramatic all night long.

From a practical perspective, the little glass jar is lovely, and it lasts forever. Seriously, one could last at least a year if you tried. (Please throw it away before then!) It’s a great dupe for the MAC Fluidline as well, or as a starter gel liner to practice with before taking the plunge with a more expensive brand.

Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner

Best for: Dramatic wings



Sometimes, you feel a little sassy, and fancy winging your eyeliner. This eyeliner is the dream for this job! As a felt tip, it’s really easy to apply and looks perfect within five seconds. It’s a fat nibbed pen, so you get a really bold look, and they stay good and moist (ew) for ages – they don’t dry out unlike other liner pens I’ve used.

The price is fantastic – I always stock up on 3 for 2 offers in Boots – and it lasts a good amount of time on the skin without smudging. Of the three, this is the most susceptible to heat and can move a little – however, using a small powder brush, I like to pat on some transluscent powder over the line, which sets it brilliantly.

almost couture - manchester fashion blog


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