But it doesn't have to be that way. It's not necessarily that we're getting better at doing our liner; brands are just finally creating options that are easier to use. In pursuit of the perfect pen that's both easy to apply and tough enough to stay on all day, we tried $120 worth of liquid eyeliner to crown this year's winners of the Beauty Innovator Awards.
Ahead, see the three eyeliners we're stocking up on into 2020 — and two runner-up formulas that make liner more of a must-have and less of an easy throwaway.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Check out the rest of the 2019 Beauty Innovator Award winners.