The Best Cake Eyeliners to Use With Water

Cake eyeliner used with water makes a dramatic statement.

Photo: Jupiterimages/ Images

Back in the days of full-on glamour, cake eyeliner was the only choice for starlets and cocktail party hostesses alike. Despite constantly evolving cosmetics technology, cake eyeliner is still around‚ and for good reason. If you want a thick, matte line that won't disappear in a few hours, cake eyeliner used with water is the way to go. Even better, it is super cheap, and one little package can last for months and months — so get your retro glam on and flaunt those mesmerizing eyes.

About Cake Eyeliner

Cake eyeliner is a dry pigment that liquefies when mixed with water by a brush, much like the watercolor paints in small round pans used by artists. Cake liners give an intense matte line and are perfect for drawing a sexy cat or hypnotic Cleopatra eye. Most brands come in black, brown and navy, though you may find other colors if you do a little online digging. The key to a great line is the brush: You want a small, pointed brush or a pointed, angled brush.

Ben Nye

Ben Nye Cake Eyeliner is highly rated on makeup sites like as a deeply pigmented cake eyeliner. This company is a producer of theatrical makeup, but die-hard divas swear by this product as a liner that will last all day and into the wee hours. At time of publication, Ben Nye liner can be found for as little as $5 and comes in seven colors. Life is a stage, so don't be be afraid to add a little drama to your cosmetics ritual.

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eyeliner comes in black, brown and navy and is prized for its velvety texture and opaque color. A top seller at, this liner received an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars from 66 reviews on and is also recommended by makeup artist Susan Giordano on This sultry basic is perfect for lining the inner rims of your eyes and achieving the coveted smoky eye. At time of publication, the price is $22.

Studio Gear

Studio Gear Cake Eyeliner in black was rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by customers. This cake eyeliner can help you achieve a thick or thin line, depending on how much you apply and what kind of brush you choose. Customers praised it for easy application, a smudge-proof finish and deep black pigment — great when you want to add a flirty finish without a full face of makeup. The 2012 price for Studio Gear Cake Eyeliner is $14.50.

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