The Foolproof Eyeshadow Crayons & Liners We Love

You don’t have to be a make-up pro to achieve a flawless smokey eye – chunky shadow sticks and easy-to-use liners can make light work of smudged-out feline flicks and that moody lived-in look. Here are some of our favourites…
By Rebecca Hull /

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Best For: Blending & Smudging

Satin Kajal Liner, £26 | Victoria Beckham Beauty

These satin kajal liners have earnt a cult status for a reason. Creamy, deeply pigmented and long-wearing, they’re designed with ease of use in mind. Like everything in the range, they don’t require any particular skill or precision – just your ring finger and a mirror. Even if you do make a mistake, they never leave behind stubborn stains and are easy to blend out with just a small amount of concealer. Initially, the brand launched with just a few shades, but now there are eight – ranging from metallic silver to bronze, navy and olive. You’ll even find a white pencil in the line-up to give your eyes an instant lift. Thanks to added ingredients like vitamin B5 and E, these sticks never tug or pull at skin either.

Available at VictoriaBeckhamBeauty.com


Best For: A Smokey Eye

Ombre Blackstar Eye Shadow, £30 | By Terry

One of By Terry’s most popular launches, these Blackstar sticks come in a range of eye-opening shades – no wonder they consistently win awards. Smooth in texture, they’re easy to build up and mix with the kind of pigment that's seriously long lasting. Simply scribble them on and use your fingers to blend out the colour – no mirror needed. The ‘Misty Rock’ tone is beautiful for a smokey eye with a difference, or try ‘Immaculate Light’ for an extra touch of daytime luminosity.

Available at ByTerry.com

Best For: A Soft Finish

Khôl Eyeliner, £16.40 | Jillian Dempsey

Double-ended, these kohl liners house a pencil on one end and an in-built smudger on the other. A great option for eyeliner novices, they eliminate all the guesswork with an easy-to-blend formula and rich colours that last for hours. The buffing tool allows you to smoke out a look with ease for a softer finish, while ingredients like organic jojoba, shea butter and marula oil promise a seamless glide every time. We love all the colours – navy and black offer something deep and impactful, while the chic burgundy shade is ideal for those wanting something a bit different.

Available at JillianDempsey.com


Best For: Suits-All Shades

Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil, £23 | Charlotte Tilbury

Chunky and easy to hold, draw these onto your lids and blend the colour out with your ring finger to create a smokey eye in seconds. The nib is thin enough to be used as a liner too, so you can experiment with different looks. There are several shades available, but ‘Amber Haze’ is our go-to for brown eyes and ‘Bronzed Garnet’ a must-try for those with green eyes. The mineral pigments will catch the light beautifully, giving eyes a wider, brighter appearance overall.

Available at CharlotteTilbury.com


Best For: Precision & Definition

Microliner Ink, £22 | Shiseido

If you enjoy the look of eyeliner but want something that’s subtly impactful rather than heavy or OTT, these are worth trying. With a super fine tip, they deposit the colour exactly where you want it for quick, neat enhancement. Available in ten colours, there are beautiful brown, navy and plum options – all of which are less ageing than black. Easy to manoeuvre, simply use your finger or a brush to smudge it in if you want a finish that’s even softer – just be quick, once these set, they will stay in place for hours.

Available at JohnLewis.com

Best For: Long-Lasting Flicks

Voyeur Waterproof Gel Eyeliner, £27 | Hourglass

These gel eyeliners aren’t to be missed. The velvety formula glides on and can be easily blended out with a brush or your finger. The vividness of the colour is impressive – rich and glossy, it lives up to the hype (and the price). Play around with the pressure to create a thicker wing, or sketch on micro lines to subtly enhance the eyes. They set and dry down quickly, so they won’t smudge or bleed – ideal if you find liners tend to crease into fine lines.

Available at SpaceNK.com

Best For: The Time-Poor

Eye Wand, £21 | Vieve

Velvety and smooth, these soft kohl liners are ideal for eye make-up novices who find themselves short on time. Sweep them onto eyelids – no need to be precise – and buff them into your lids using either your fingers or a soft, fluffy brush. Because they blend and glide on so seamlessly, they’re easy to build and layer with other shades or products. Use them all over your lids, in the lash line or on the waterline – they take a few minutes to dry down, so there’s plenty of time to play. ‘Mahogany’ is our go-to shade for a soft and sultry alternative to brown or black.

Available at Vieve.co.uk

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