Black Eyeliner Comparisons

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

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

83 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.

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.

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!

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 🙂

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!

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…

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!

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.

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.

Thanks!

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.

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.

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? 😉

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.

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.

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!

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??

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

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.

They all look the same worn on my eyes, so I can only speak from my experience, which is different from yours! My Perversion is at all dry or waxy.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!