Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Black Eyeliner Comparison
Black is Black is Black?

Black Eyeliner Comparisons

Are there shades of black? Indeed there are! Not every black eyeliner is the same. There are soft blacks, medium blacks, and deep blacks (and of course, variations within those categories). To try and make some sense of it all, I’m going to assign numerical ratings based on how black each liner is, with 10 being deep, dark black, 1 meaning so light that it’s almost no longer black, and 5 meaning a medium black.

  • Shiseido Black Noir (BK 901) Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil has an amazing creaminess to it, and it is almost a true, deep black. (Review) 9
  • MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil some creaminess but has some hardness (but not in a bad way–it’s not rough on eyes at all), and it is a true dark black — leans on the warm side. (Review) 10
  • MAC Feline Kohl Power is a rich, deep dark black that’s easy to smudge. It is a limited edition product, so it’s not currently available but is often repromoted. (Review) 10
  • Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner is a rich, deep dark black–creamy without being runny. (Review) 10
  • Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner is a softened, medium black. It is a slightly warmer black on me. (Review) 4
  • MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a darkened medium black. 6
  • MAC Smolder Eye Kohl is a dark black with cool leanings. 8
  • MAC Graphblack Technakohl is a medium black. 5
  • Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner is a dark black with a cool pull. (Review) 8
  • Stila Stingray Smudge Stick is a dark black with neutral to cool undertones. (Review) 8
  • YSL #1 Eye Pencil is a rich black, almost ultra black, with a very matte finish.  (Review) 9
  • Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner is a rich, glossy black. The glossiness makes it look less inky, though. (Review) 8
  • Benefit BADgal Liner is a creamy, dark black with warm leanings. (Review) 8

I included review links when I had them to share, but I had some wear issues with YSL’s #1 Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s Black Kohl Eyeliner, and Benefit’s BADgal.

The darkest: MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil, MAC Feline Kohl Power, Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner

Dark: Shiseido Black Noir Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil, YSL #1 Eye Pencil

Medium-dark: MAC Smolder Eye Kohl, Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner, Stila Stingray Smudge Stick, Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner, Benefit BADgal Liner

Medium: MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil, MAC Graphblack Technakohl

The lightest: Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner

See more photos!

Black Eyeliner Comparison
Row 1: Shiseido Black Noir, MAC Black Black, MAC Feline, Urban Decay Perversion, Urban Decay Zero, MAC Engraved
Row 2: MAC Smolder, MAC Graphblack, Milani Black, Stila Stingray, YSL #1, Bobbi Brown Black, Benefit BADgal

Black Eyeliner Comparison
Shiseido Black Noir, MAC Black Black, MAC Feline, Urban Decay Perversion,
Urban Decay Zero, MAC Engraved, MAC Smolder, MAC Graphblack, Milani Black,
Stila Stingray, YSL #1, Bobbi Brown Black, Benefit BADgal

Black Eyeliner Comparison
Shiseido Black Noir, MAC Black Black, MAC Feline, Urban Decay Perversion, Urban Decay Zero, MAC Engraved

Black Eyeliner Comparison
MAC Engraved, MAC Smolder, MAC Graphblack, Milani Black, Stila Stingray

Black Eyeliner Comparison
Milani Black, Stila Stingray, YSL #1, Bobbi Brown Black, Benefit BADgal

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

83 thoughts on “Black Eyeliner Comparisons

  1. Jaime

    Yay! Thank you for doing this Christine!

  2. Feline, Smolder and Perversion look like the best blacks to me :)

    • Jun

      I agree. But I wonder whicn works best for the waterline. Tried UD zero, MAC engraved and milani liquif’eye but nothin seems to last :( they all faded.

      • crystal

        stila smudgestick is the best stick eyeliner for the water imo…its expensive for the amount of product but you use less =D

      • If you want a good cheap eyeliner that stays in the waterline, I use Revlon’s Colorstay. And this eyeliner stays on my waterline all day!

      • Evelyn

        Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who can’t get UD zero to stay on my waterline, it simply refuses to leave any color at all. lol I like the stila kajal in onyx but it can be a bit messy as it’s very creamy.

  3. Thanks! this is such a great idea! Gripping over black liners that aren’t truly black is definitely a first world problem (FWP), but the internet, as usual, is the venue for the solution.

  4. baby in a corner

    great idea! I always thought zero was really black – i’ve some other liners that are bordering on grey – so i’ve learned something new!

  5. stephanie

    Which on lasts longest on the waterline

  6. LuvJaime

    This is a great comparison of the brands! I would love to know what contact lens wearers prefer! Still looking for one that would stay on my waterline :)

  7. GJ

    How does Makeup Forever Black eyeliner compare?

  8. DJ

    this rocks. thank you.

  9. jenny

    can you make this same comparison but for brown eyeliners? thanks!

  10. Marian

    I like the way Bobbi Brown looks.

  11. Thank you, great post! If you can find the time I would love a comparison where you smudge them.

  12. Pavneet G

    Wow you are ridiculously helpful!! You’re site is the ultimate beauty bible x

  13. Super useful, thanks a lot 😉

  14. Hi Christine,

    You have an amazing blog! The swatches look great. Any idea if Perversion is going to be made permanent? I’d prefer that instead of zero :)

  15. Ashley Avocado

    I’m really excited to see this post.

    Everyone raves about UD Zero (a liner which I personally HATE! Love 24/7s, but I’ve always felt Zero to be super overhyped) to the point that I almost have something personal against it LOL

    Great comparison, I’m always interested in finding the “blackest black” liner. You can never have too many black eyeliners! (Good ones, at least. I definitely have too many bad ones 😛 haha) Milani Liquif’eye is my current fave, but now I’m curious to try some others!

  16. best review ever! MAC Feline, Urban Decay Perversion,MAC Smolder and Milani Black are lookin the bests…
    I’m using Mac Engraved but I’m definetly gonna try these also Mac black black for the waterline according to your opinion…

  17. Ani_BEE

    Great Job! I’m curious to see how MUEF Aqua Eyes in 0L – Matte black compares. But it’s more dark than Urban Decay Zero.

  18. Carrie Ann

    Cool comparisons. Thanks!

  19. This is a really good post Christine! Who would have thought black had so many variations to it :)

  20. Suzanne

    Your best post so far!

  21. DarkGlamour17

    mmm….i love black eyeliner :)

  22. Taime

    Christine, I love reading your posts. Even if it’s something I’m not going to purchase, I can still admire. I love this post!!

  23. Diane

    Thank you for doing this! What a great idea!!!!

  24. Amy EM

    I’m totally printing this out so next time Mr Man says “You already have a (whatever) that color” I can show him.

  25. Mai

    By the way, your link to the Liquif’eye liner links to the Infinte Liquid liner review :)

    Thank you so much for doing this, I hope they sell Perversion by itself because I definitely want that!

  26. Regina

    Wow! Thanks for the review Christine. It’s really appreciated

  27. vikaki

    christineeeeeeeeee…i was about to ask you to do a review in black eyeliners!!!!!!!thankkkkssssssssssss!

  28. Marcela

    Great post, Christine! Do you know if MAC Feline is waterline-safe?

  29. Janice

    Thank you so much – you don’t know how helpful this is! :]

  30. Vivian

    Wow, this is alot of work! Very interesting……

  31. Vivian

    If you haven’t already, you should check out Jane Iredale new Mystikohl pencil liner/highlighters. Pretty unique, and very easy to use.

  32. saralorine

    Christine! It’s like your psychic or something. When I saw the review of the UD kit I was thinking I’d really like to see a black eyeliner comparison. This is WAY more than I imagined. You’re the best.

  33. Zara

    omg i have been NEEDING this! thank you so much.

  34. Absolutely great review Christine! I have dark skin and I am often looking for the blackest black liners and mascaras. I think that Feline is as black as you can get and it also has more of a matte finish. I also think that Stila Kajal Eye Liner in Onyx. I would rate this a 9. It’s pretty black but it has a wetter, shiner appearance and smudges easier. MUFE’s 0L is another matte, black that is not as black. I would rate this one about an 8.


  35. Jami

    wow never thought of compairing black eyeliners! awesome idea!!!

  36. Shay

    What about lancome and chanel and Dior ‘ s black eyeliner pencils?

  37. Vijaya

    Until I saw this, I thought Zero was very black.

    As always, thanks for all you do, Christine! <3

  38. lo

    Love this comparison! I have the same issue with mascaras. I especially appreciate the UD Perversion vs. UD Zero… I like how Perversion is more velvety and matte, while Zero seems more glossy looking.

  39. Bernice

    I love me some black eyeliners. This post is perfect 😀

  40. Oooh I do hope they make Perversion permanent…although Black Black looks lovely! I might just get that one, Zero has become too weak for my waterline :/

  41. Amy

    Too bad it’s so hard to find black with blue sheen. I like those for the waterline. Everyone sees black but your eyes just seem whighter and brighter.

  42. Amy

    Oh my god, I was just wondering if you had done anything like this while I was at Sephora today. So many choices! Thanks sooo much!

    BTW, what do you use to remove all the liner from your arm? 😉

  43. Kristy

    thanks for this post, it’s really useful! who knew there existed warm blacks and cool blacks?

  44. jessica

    smolder and feline look identical to me in person! haha. and unfortunately both smudge like crazy on me no matter what i do, so i can only use them as bases for darker looks. bleh. this is a great post, though. my favorite black liners are bobbi brown’s gel liner and sephora’s long-lasting liquid liner. ysl’s liquid liner is nice, too.

  45. What about MAC Chromaline in Black Black and MUFE Aqua Eyes in 0L?

  46. Temi

    Christine, i love you. This was a badass idea.

  47. xiao

    perversion looks perfecttt. thanks for the post christine!

  48. Alisha in WI

    thanks for doing this. I often do it with the ones I own. I’ve noticed a lot of disparity in black liquid liners too.

  49. These all look nice. I think the Milani and UD Perversion look the best when compared to others.

    I found Feline to be a smudgy mess on me that’s hard to remove.

  50. I can’t believe Zero is one of the lightest! Thanks for doing this, I have a few new black liners I’ll be on the lookout for now.

  51. Vio

    One of my favourite black eye liners is Estee Lauder’s Doublewear Pencil in Onyx. Nice shade of black, easy to smudge and actually stays on my water line (contacts + watery eyes). Also works great with my sensitive eyes.

    Thanks for doing this comparisoin. I like the slick look of the Bobbi Brown liner. Can’t even say why.

  52. Ms. Jimmi

    I love MAC Feline but it ends up moving all over. UD’s Zero is good and stays put. I also love UD’s Oil Slick.

  53. Samantha

    What is your favorite liner for the waterline that won’t smudge easily besides UD 24/7 (I’m allergic to it)

  54. Can you still get Feline? I haven’t seen it in the stores in a while, wondering if I can get it at the Pro store? Feline is the longest lasting and blackest black I’ve ever tried!

  55. Cat

    Christine, I love this post! Please do more comparisons like this but with other products. Thank you, Thank you!

  56. MAC Feline is my absolute all time fav!

  57. I love MAC feline!! I can’t wait for it to be repromoted soon. . . If you had to pick your favorite mac black for it’s depth and staying power which ones would you chose??

  58. Sharon

    This post needs to gown down in history as the most useful post EVER.

    Thanks a zillion, Christine!! You rule!

  59. Chloe

    feline and perversion are the darkest but perversion takes it for me it just has a slight something i think. i felt that it may be a little more opaque than feline it the long shot photo

    Would Urban decay or mac – or both for that matter- just give in and make them permenant ! as well as midnight cowboy too :)why are all the darkest eyeliners limited edtion ?- answer to keep the hype up about the product and the business and to make a quick buck fast

  60. Nancy

    Feline and Smolder is actually Blacker then perversion if you use it in real life on your eyes, where it’s suppose to be used. Perversion only looks dark here because its being swatched and colored in on the hand, but on the actual waterline and lashline Feline is blacker because it’s so creamy and glides on pitch black. Perversion is a lot from dry and waxy and takes more swipes to be built up.

  61. Nancy

    sorry I meant perversion is a lot more dry and waxy and takes more swipes to be built up.