Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
Eyeliner comes in a lot of different forms -- gel, liquid, stick and powder. We've all gotten used to the dramatic, liquid liner cat eye that took years to master and the smudgy but crisp high pigment line applied with an eye pencil. You don't have to fall into the same eyeliner rut; you can try something totally new. A powder eyeliner can give you the perfect smokey eye and smudgy rockstar look that's low maintenance and easy for even the newest makeup user to achieve.
A drugstore pallet is an inexpensive way to create the perfect smokey eye. Hard powder pallets often double as eyeshadow and eyeliner so you can get a seamlessly blended look with the most bang for your buck. "Allure" magazine recommends Revlon's CustomEyes Shadow and Liner. This duel powder liner and shadow comes in matte browns, pinks and grays that enhance your natural skin tone while creating a subtle but sexy smokey eye. Just make sure to apply a primer before application, as it's prone to fading because it is a powder.
Almost a Liquid Liner
If you want the same precise application as a liquid or gel liner but the smooth and smudgy look of a pencil liner, choose a powder liner that has a similar applicator. "Nylon" magazine recommends Smashbox's powder liner. This liner comes in muted grays and browns that lend themselves to a sultry, smokey eye. The round-tipped applicator makes it just like applying a liquid line, only it has a lot of pigment -- so use with caution or you'll end up with raccoon eyes.
A Simple Stick
It's not quite a liquid liner and it's not quite a hard pencil or gel -- it's a creamy but powdered base stick that doubles as a liner and shadow. The best part? No fumbling around your purse to find your eyeliner brush for a touch-up, because this inexpensive stick offers a brushless application. According to "Nylon," CoverGirl's Smoky Shadow Blasts make creating a smokey eye a one-step process. The sticks are packed with two colors that complement each other and go on easy without the use of a primer.
The Best Brush
Not every powder liner comes with a brush, which is almost always necessary for application. The right brush can give you the perfect line, but the wrong one could leave your makeup looking blotchy, uneven and flat-out wrong. For a crisp, super fine line, "Allure" recommends Bobbi Brown's Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush. This brush can be used with powder or gel eyeliner and the tapered point allows for thin, fine lines on days when you want a natural look, and thicker, bolder lines when you feel like going all out.