Eyeliner is a great tool for enhancing your eyes. It can make your lashline look darker and fuller and even change your eye shape.
In 2023, you can find many vegan eyeliners that are free of animal ingredients such as beeswax and fish-derived shine agents.
Plant-based ingredients make for an excellent eyeliner. Here are the best vegan eyeliners from liquid to cream eyeliners. You can define your eyes the vegan way.
All vegan makeup below is vegan and cruelty-free, meaning all the products are free of animal-derived ingredients and have not been tested on animals.
Best Vegan Eyeliners
These are the best vegan eyeliners for 2023.
- Best Overall: NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner
- Best Felt-Tip: KVD Beauty Ink Liner Liquid Eyeliner
- Best Liquid: Tarte Sex Kitten Liquid Eyeliner
- Best Cream: E.l.f. Cream Eyeliner
- Best Gel: Ilia Clean Line Gel Liner
- Best Pencil: Jane Iredale Mineral Eye Pencil
- Best Matte: Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Matte Liquid Liner
- Best Waterproof: Hourglass Voyeur Waterproof Gel Eyeliner
- Best Affordable: Wet N Wild Breakup Proof Liquid Eyeliner
- Best White: Zuzu Luxe Eye Defining Pencil
- Best Brown: BareMinerals Mineralist Lasting Eyeliner
- Best Organic: Well People Fresh Lines Eye Pencil
- Best For Sensitive Eyes: Honest Beauty Liquid Eyeliner
- Best Plastic-Free: Clean Faced Organic Vegan Zero Waste Eyeliner
- Best Kit: Kaja Wink Stamp Wing Eyeliner Stamp & Pen
Best Vegan Eyeliner Overall
NYX Epic Ink Liner is the best vegan eyeliner. It has a precise and flexible tip that is easy to use and comfortable to hold. The deep-black pigment glides on smoothly and leaves a highly pigmented line. It’s everything you want from eyeliner.
The vegan eyeliner sticks to a clean eyelid as well as an eyeshadow or primer. And if you are looking for a good brown vegan eyeliner, consider the same one. This affordable vegan-friendly liner is loved by pros and beginners alike.
- What we like: smooth, easy to apply, smudge-free
- What we don’t like: some packages are leaky
- What other reviewers say: great for all types of looks from thin to thick lines, great for cat eye, does not smudge or need touchups, as good as more expensive liners
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: castor seed oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, waterproof
Best Felt-Tip Vegan Eyeliner
KVD Beauty’s Ink Liner is the best felt-tip vegan eyeliner. The fixed tip leaves a bold and precise line even with a trembling hand. The eyeliner is also waterproof and best for someone looking for a long-lasting product. The tip stays neat until the color runs out.
- What we like: comfortable to hold and apply
- What we don’t like: not paraben-free
- What other reviewers say: great precision and easy to apply, long-wearing, will not budge even for oily lids, not the darkest pigment
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: acrylic acid, sodium hydroxide | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof
Best Vegan Liquid Eyeliner
Our favorite vegan liquid eyeliner comes from Tarte. It has a very skinny tip for a clean and steady eyeliner stroke. Great for beginners, it’s easy to use and easy to correct if anything goes wrong. It offers an intense black pigment, and it’s safe for contact lens wearers.
- What we like: smooth application, great pigment
- What we don’t like: can smudge
- What other reviewers say: great consistency, very precise tip, dark pigment, adorable packaging, not waterproof, doesn’t do well in humidity
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: castor seed oil, vegan glycerin | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof, natural, ophthalmologist-tested, dermatologist-tested, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
Best Vegan Cream Eyeliner
The best vegan cream eyeliner comes from E.l.f. This super smooth creamy vegan eyeliner pot is perfect for you if you like to use your own eyeliner brush. This highly pigmented vegan eyeliner is smudge-proof, water-resistant, and long-wear. Love the black, coffee, and teal shades.
- What we like: smooth texture, doesn’t smudge
- What we don’t like: not for beginners
- What other reviewers say: good quality, very long-lasting, goes on smooth, perfect for more experienced users, black is very deep and rich, teal is sheerer
Type: cream eyeliner | Color options: black, teal (purple, brown not available) | Key ingredients: microcrystalline wax | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, water-resistant, paraben-free, phthalate-free, triclosan-free
Best Vegan Gel Eyeliner
Ilia Clean Line is the best vegan gel eyeliner, it’s perfect for blending and smudging for a smokey eye as well as for drawing a classic line. The lasts all day without flaking or smearing. Made from clean ingredients, the vegan liner is safe for sensitive skin.
- What we like: glides on soft and smooth
- What we don’t like: can smear
- What other reviewers say: smooth and comfortable to use, does not pull the skin, brown leaves a very natural yet pigmented result, loved by sensitive skin
Type: gel eyeliner | Color options: black, brown | Key ingredients: castor seed oil, vegan glycerin | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, water-resistant, carbon black-free, gluten-free, cyclomethicone-free, paraben-free, safe for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers
Best Vegan Eye Pencil
Looking for a great vegan eye pencil? Jane Iredale Eye Pencil is our winner. This vegan pencil eyeliner is made with minerals, plant oils, and vitamin E and is safe for sensitive eyes. It’s smooth and easy to apply with beautiful black, blue, and brown shades.
- What we like: natural ingredients, soft and smooth texture
- What we don’t like: fades over time, need to reapply
- What other reviewers say: clean formula doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes, flattering shade range, decent staying power, smudge-free result
Type: eye pencil | Color options: 6, including black, brown, grey, and white | Key ingredients: minerals, shea butter, macadamia seed oil, vitamin E | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, mineral-based, natural, clean, gluten-free, safe for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers
Best Vegan Matte Eyeliner
Selena Gomez’s vegan brand Rare Beauty is full of surprises such as the Perfect Strokes vegan matte eyeliner. This liquid formula stays matte black even after a long day. The high-quality tip is made with 800 vegan bristles for excellent control and precision.
- What we like: great precision and control, beautiful matte pigment
- What we don’t like: not the most waterproof
- What other reviewers say: easy to use, perfect for winged looks, crisp dark lines, very pigmented, can smudge for oily lids
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: castor seed oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof, ophthalmologist-tested, paraben-free, suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
Best Waterproof Vegan Eyeliner
Hourglass Voyeur Waterproof Gel Liner is the best waterproof vegan eyeliner. It’s the only vegan eyeliner we’ve tried that does not budge through sweating, swimming, or humidity. It’s completely drag-proof and smudge-proof and stays beautiful for the whole day.
- What we like: actually waterproof, excellent pigment
- What we don’t like: difficult to wash off
- What other reviewers say: lasts all day, never smudges or smears, goes on quickly and easily, sharp line, stays on through sweating, crying, sleeping, wait for a second until it dries down for a fully waterproof result, also best for men
Type: gel eyeliner | Color options: 5 | Key ingredients: synthetic wax, iron oxides | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof, paraben-free, phthalate-free, mineral oil-free, sulfate-free, alcohol-free, gluten-free, soy-free, talc-free, synthetic fragrance-free
Best Affordable Vegan Eyeliner
Wet N Wild has made the best affordable vegan eyeliner. For under 7 dollars, you get an intense black cat eye line that does not budge, smudge, or crease. It lasts up to 16 hours. Also, love the brush hair tip that allows for control and flexibility in application.
- What we like: waterproof, smudge-proof, easy to apply
- What we don’t like: runs out quite fast
- What other reviewers say: best cheap vegan eyeliner, doesn’t smudge, stays put all day, great precision from the fine brush tip
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: castor seed oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof, paraben-free
Best White Vegan Eyeliner
To awaken your eyes, use our favorite white vegan eyeliner on your waterline. It has the perfect true white color (Snow) that goes on smoothly and highlights your eyes. No smudging either. This natural vegan eyeliner is safe for sensitive eyes, it is also gluten-free.
- What we like: beautiful color range, natural ingredients
- What we don’t like: difficult to sharpen
- What other reviewers say: soft and creamy, doesn’t tug at the skin, white color opens the eye beautifully, praised by people with sensitive eyes and allergies
Type: eye pencil | Color options: 8, including white, blue, green | Key ingredients: jojoba seed oil, carnauba wax, sea fennel extract | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, natural, clean, gluten-free, non-GMO, carbon black-free, made in the USA, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
Shop on: Amazon, Target
Best Brown Vegan Eyeliner
If you are looking for a gorgeous brown vegan eyeliner, we love the BareMinerals Mineralist Eyeliner In Topaz. It has a matte rich brown color that stays on for the whole day. The eyeliner is waterproof and made from natural ingredients such as mineral pigments and avocado oil.
- What we like: very creamy, easy to work with
- What we don’t like: can smudge on oily skin
- What other reviewers say: creamy, smooth, and easy to use, brown is pigmented and very blendable, doesn’t fade, convenient twist-pen design, no sharpening needed
Type: cream eyeliner | Color options: black, brown | Key ingredients: minerals, avocado oil, aloe vera | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof, mineral-based, natural, clean, gluten-free, paraben-free, PEG-free, talc-free, synthetic fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, ophthalmologist-tested, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
Best Organic Vegan Eyeliner
Well People Fresh Lines is the best organic vegan eyeliner. Made with natural non-GMO ingredients like jojoba, castor, and mango seed oils, it’s soft and smooth while still delivering a rich and highly pigmented color. A great skin-friendly liner.
- What we like: gentle, natural, creamy, good for smokey eyes
- What we don’t like: can smudge
- What other reviewers say: very safe, non-toxic, and gentle liner, goes on smooth, rich in pigment, stays on without smudging or fading for hours
Type: eye pencil | Color options: black, brown | Key ingredients: jojoba seed oil, castor seed oil, mango seed oil | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, organic, clean, natural, dermatologist-developed, paraben-free, sulfate-free, PEG-free, synthetic fragrance-free, talc-free, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
Best Vegan Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes
The vegan eyeliner from Honest Beauty is ideal for sensitive eyes and sensitive skin. It has a clean ingredient list, it is dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic. The pigment is intensely black, it is long-lasting and smooth to apply. No flaking or smudginess.
- What we like: long-lasting, irritation-free
- What we don’t like: thin liquid can be messy
- What other reviewers say: dark pigment, easy to use, easy to take off, does not smudge unless for oily lids, felt tip is either a hit or a miss
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: vegan glycerin | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, organic, paraben-free, PEG-free, carbon black-free, silicone-free, dermatologist-tested, ophthalmologist-tested, synthetic fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
Best Plastic-Free Vegan Eyeliner
The plastic-free vegan eyeliner is handmade from only 5 natural ingredients. It comes in a zero-waste container and with an eco-friendly bamboo applicator. The organic eco-friendly vegan eyeliner is made with activated charcoal and organic castor oil which is great for eyelashes.
- What we like: natural, eco-friendly, deep black pigment
- What we don’t like: difficult to use at first
- What other reviewers say: once you learn how to use it, you’ll get beautiful lines that won’t budge or smudge, gorgeous rich black color, a good-quality applicator
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: organic castor seed oil, charcoal | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, organic, natural, clean, additive-free, fragrance-free, FDA-reviewed, plastic-free, eco-friendly
Best Vegan Eyeliner Kit
K-beauty brand Kaja offers the best vegan eyeliner kit for a sexy winged-eye look. It’s a duo of a vegan eyeliner pen and vegan eyeliner stamp for a high-impact line that is perfect for a night out. We especially love the waterproof version of the kit for a lasting, smudge-free look.
- What we like: easy to use, high-impact winged look, no smudging
- What we don’t like: wings may not match the face size
- What other reviewers say: best winged eye look, very easy to use, long-wearing, great for people who are not great with eyeliners, not the best fit for small hooded eyes
Type: liquid eyeliner | Color options: black | Key ingredients: avocado, green tea leaf, and black tea leaf extracts| Features: vegan, cruelty-free, waterproof, clean, paraben-free, phthalate-free, gluten-free
Best Vegan Eyeliner Brands
There are the best vegan eyeliner brands in 2023.
KVD Beauty is a 100% vegan makeup brand inspired by tattoo artistry. Its products are bold and pigmented. With a rock’n’roll edge, vegan eyeliners play a central part in KVD’s selection.
One of the most popular American cosmetic brands E.l.f is known for its good quality makeup products at cheap prices. E.l.f. is also certified vegan and cruelty-free.
E.l.f. has a long list of vegan eyeliners such as traditional liquid eyeliner pens, creamy pencils, waterproof eyeliners, and eyeliner pots. They even offer a vegan glitter eyeliner.
NYX Professional Makeup
Drugstore brand NYX also offers a great selection of affordable vegan eyeliners. NYX is not entirely vegan but has recently made effort to step towards the vegan future.
NYX Epic Ink Liner is one of the most used eyeliners by makeup artists. When shopping at NYX, look for vegan-formulated products that are usually marked vegan.
What Makes An Eyeliner Vegan?
Vegan eyeliner is an eyeliner free from animal-derived ingredients. Vegan eyeliners are also not tested on animals nor do they contain any ingredients tested on animals.
Non-vegan eyeliners are made with ingredients such as beeswax, a waxy excretion from honeybees, and guanine, a shimmery material made from fish scales. Eyeliners can also include charcoal made from animal bones.
Instead of guanine, vegan eyeliner brands opt for mineral-based mica powder. Beeswax is substituted with cocoa butter, shea butter, or any other plant-based emollient.
Many large drugstore brands offer animal-free eyeliners, however, most of these brands still test on animals. To make sure your eyeliner is vegan and cruelty-free, always look for a vegan label.
What To Look For In Vegan Eyeliners?
When choosing a vegan eyeliner, the same rules apply to all eyeliners.
It’s best if your vegan eyeliner is as safe and natural as possible. You do not want harsh chemicals near your eyes. Stay away from sulfates, parabens, and mineral oils.
If you haven’t used vegan eyeliner before, opt for a vegan pencil eyeliner or vegan felt-tip liquid eyeliner for better control and precision. Always practice with non-waterproof eyeliner.
If you have sensitive eyes, go for organic or all-natural hypoallergenic eyeliner. Keywords like “ophthalmologist-tested” or “dermatologist-tested” are good reference points.
If you use eyeliner every day and would like it to stay all day intact, choose a waterproof vegan eyeliner. Waterproof formulas do not smudge as much.
How We Review Vegan Eyeliners
When reviewing vegan eyeliners, we take into account these things:
- Ingredients – The fewer harsh additives in vegan eyeliner, the better. We love to see eyeliners made from organic and plant-based ingredients.
- Applicator – Application is everything in eyeliners, we favor precision and high-quality, well-designed applicators.
- Pigment – Vegan eyeliner should have a rich pigment to make a real impact, we like both matte and shiny pigmented options.
- Smudginess – We generally prefer smudge-proof vegan eyeliners but some vegan eyeliners need to be soft and creamy for a smoky, blended look.
- Price – Eyeliner does not need to be an expensive product. We look closely into the price-quality relationship of every vegan eyeliner.
We also take into account the brand when choosing our favorite vegan eyeliners. We favor vegan brands over cruelty-free ones.
Why Trust Us
Vegan Avenue’s team has been reviewing vegan makeup products for over 2 years now. We always try out products before listing them in our article, which also applies to our extensive list of vegan eyeliners. None of these listings has been incentivized by the brand.
FAQ About Vegan Eyeliner
Eyeliner is not always vegan. An eyeliner is vegan if it’s free from animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax. Vegan eyeliners are also not tested on animals nor do they contain any ingredients tested on animals.
The typical ingredients that make an eyeliner not vegan are guanine (pearl essence from fish scales) and beeswax.
Instead of beeswax, vegan eyeliners are made with plant-based emollients such as cocoa butter or shea butter. A vegan alternative to fish-based guanine is mica powder.
The best vegan eyeliners are NYX Professional Make-Up Epic Ink Liner and KVD Beauty Ink Waterproof Felt-Tip Liquid Eyeliner.
You can find the best selection of vegan eyeliners on Ulta, Sephora, and Amazon. You can also find a good variety of vegan eyeliners at drugstores. Simply look for eyeliners with a certified vegan label.
Urban Decay eyeliners are not always vegan. However, their Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner is both vegan and cruelty-free.
No. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner is not vegan. While seemingly free of animal-derived ingredients, Stila does not give this eyeliner a vegan guarantee. The only vegan eyeliner from Stila is currently the Stay All Day ArtiStix Micro Liner.
We hope we inspired you to find your new favorite vegan eyeliner. Luckily, almost every kind of eyeliner can be made vegan – from vegan eyeliner cream pots and vegan eye pencils, and vegan gel eyeliners. In the future, we wish to see more vegan glitter eyeliners.
It is nice to know that you can enjoy all the eyeliner benefits while keeping animals and the environment in mind. And our own eyes, too. Because who would want some shady non-vegan ingredients like fish scales in your eye?
Thank you for choosing vegan makeup.
See also: Vegan Mascaras
Main image: courtesy of NYX
Article updated on May 23 (2023): Changed the best vegan waterproof vegan eyeliner from E.l.f. H2O Proof Eyeliner Pen to Hourglass Voyeur Waterproof Gel Eyeliner. The liner from Hourglass is significantly more waterproof and smudge-proof.