Best Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes

Eyeliner is a makeup must-have for many. It helps define your eyes, creates drama, and makes your lashes look fuller. But for those with sensitive eyes, eyeliner can be a nightmare. Itchy, watery eyes and redness are just a few of the unpleasant side effects you might experience.

If you have sensitive eyes, you might be wondering, “Is there even an eyeliner out there for me?” The answer is yes! With a little know-how and the right products, you can achieve stunning eye looks without the irritation.

Why Does Eyeliner Irritate Sensitive Eyes?

There are a few reasons why eyeliner might irritate your eyes.

Common Culprits: Fragrance, preservatives, and certain ingredients like nickel or chromium can all trigger a reaction in sensitive eyes.

Finding the Best Eyeliner for You

The first step to finding the best eyeliner for sensitive eyes is understanding the different types and what features to look for.

Types of Eyeliner

There are three main types of eyeliner:

  • Pencil Eyeliner: These are classic and user-friendly. They come in a variety of shades and offer a softer, more smudgeable line.
  • Gel Eyeliner: Gel liners provide a more intense, long-lasting line. They come in a pot and are applied with a brush.
  • Liquid Eyeliner: For a sharp, dramatic line, liquid eyeliner is the way to go. However, it requires a steady hand and can be trickier to apply.

Key Considerations for Sensitive Eyes

When choosing eyeliner for sensitive eyes, here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Fragrance-Free Formulas: Fragrance is a common irritant, so opt for fragrance-free eyeliners.
  • Ophthalmologist-Tested Products: Look for eyeliners that have been tested by ophthalmologists, which means they’ve been evaluated for safety around the eyes.
  • Hypoallergenic Makeup: Hypoallergenic makeup is formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.

Top Picks for Sensitive Eyes

Now that you know what to look for, here are some of our top picks for eyeliners formulated for sensitive eyes:

Best Pencil Eyeliner

Almay Hypoallergenic Kohl Liner is a dermatologist-tested and ophthalmologist-tested eyeliner pencil that comes in a variety of shades. It glides on smoothly and is gentle enough for even the most sensitive eyes.

Best Gel Eyeliner

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense is a long-wearing, ophthalmologist-tested gel eyeliner that is fragrance-free and smudge-resistant. It comes in a convenient pen form for easy application.

Best Liquid Eyeliner

Make Up For Ever Aqua Resist Color Ink Liner is a waterproof and smudge-proof liquid eyeliner that is ophthalmologist-tested and safe for contact lens wearers. It has a fine tip for precise application.

Tips for Applying Eyeliner with Sensitive Eyes

Even with the right eyeliner, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of irritation:

  • Prep is Key! Start by applying a primer to your eyelids. This will create a smooth canvas for your eyeliner and help it stay put throughout the day, reducing the need for touch-ups.
  • Sharpen Your Pencils! Blunt pencils can tug on your delicate eye area. Make sure your pencils are sharpened for a smooth, gentle application.
  • Apply Gently Avoid harsh tugging or pulling on your eyelids. Use a light touch and build up the color gradually.


With the right knowledge and a few key product picks, you can rock eyeliner even with sensitive eyes. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. Remember, beautiful eyes come in all shapes and sizes, and eyeliner is just one tool to enhance your natural beauty.

Yes, but just like with eyeliner, it’s important to choose a mascara formulated for sensitive eyes. Look for fragrance-free, ophthalmologist-tested options.

If you continue to experience irritation after using eyeliner formulated for sensitive eyes, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist or ophthalmologist. They can help you identify the cause of your irritation and recommend products or treatments that are right for you.

Yes! You can use a damp angled brush and eyeshadow to create a soft eyeliner look. Look for eyeshadows made with mineral ingredients that are less likely to irritate your eyes.

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