The 19 Best Natural & Nontoxic Eyeliners + Why You Should Go Clean
There are three natural makeup items I get asked about the most: mascara that doesn't bleed, a creamy true red, and liner that won't smudge. All these are historically hard in the clean, natural space, as most people want staying power and rich pigment—both things that are hard to formulate without using less than ideal ingredients, like carbon black for color and preservatives in liquid liners.
But that's all in the past, because these new options are dense, rich, effective, and everything you want. Here, we gathered the very best natural options and what they are suited for.
- Best liquid: NakedPoppy Liquid Eyeliner
- Best felt tip: W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Liquid Eyeliner
- Best powder: Jane Iredale Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner
- Best gel: Burt's Bees Defining Retractable Eyeliner
- Best pencil: Kjaer Weis Eye Pencil
- Best kohl: Jillian Dempsey Eyeliner
- Best pen: Ilia Clean Line Liquid Liner
- Best pressed powder: Alima Pure Pressed Eyeshadow
- Best cake: RMS Vintage Cake Liner
- Best cream pot: Omiana Long Stay Vegan Cream Eyeliner Pot
- Best kajal stick: Lord & Berry Kajal Stick
- Best for precision: bareMinerals One Fine Micro Precision Liner
- Best for a dramatic look: Rituel de Fille The Black Orb Enigmatic Eyeliner
- Best for a smudgy look: Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Shadow Stick
- Best for a cateye: BeautyCounter Precision Liquid Liner
- Best sustainable option: Aveda Petal Essence Eye Definer
- Best organic: INIKA Certified Organic Eye Pencil
- Best for sensitive eyes: Antonym Natural Certified Natural Pencil Noir
Best Natural & Nontoxic Eyeliners
Best liquid liner: NakedPoppy Liquid Liner
Best felt tip: W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Liquid Eyeliner
Best powder: Jane Iredale Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner
Best gel: Burt's Bees Defining Retractable Eyeliner
Best pencil: Kjaer Weis Eye Pencil
Best kohl: Jillian Dempsey Eyeliner
Best pen: Ilia Clean Line Liquid Liner
Best pressed powder: Alima Pure Pressed Eyeshadow
Best cake: RMS Vintage Cake Liner
Best cream pot: Omiana Long Stay Vegan Cream Eyeliner Pot
Best kajal: Lord & Berry Kajal Stick
Best for precision: bareMinerals One Fine Micro Precision Liner
Best for a dramatic look: Rituel de Fille The Black Orb Enigmatic Eyeliner
Best for a smudgy look: Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Shadow Stick
Best for a cateye: BeautyCounter Precision Liquid Liner
Best for sustainability: Aveda Petal Essence Eye Definer
Best organic: INIKA Certified Organic Eye Pencil
Best for sensitive eyes: Antonym Natural Certified Natural Pencil Noir
How to find one that's right for you.
Eyeliners, however, have another issue: application. I don't think many would argue with me saying that it is the hardest cosmetic to apply. To start, there are so many types of eyeliners, and each one has a different technique and finish. Then there's the fact that liner takes a precision that things like blush and foundation just don't. And, finally, for many people, it's not an everyday product, making practice inconsistent at best.
So if you are in the need of a liner, here's what you can do. Decide what sort of "eye look" you want: This will all depend on how intense and sharp the final result should be. A clean flick? You'll need something jet black, fine-tipped, and inky. A subtle smudge to create a base for mascara? A less harsh gray or brown soft pencil will do the trick. Want something that's versatile? A nice cake or pot option with a brush can achieve anything from winged to fine-tipped to smoky.
Finding a clean, natural, or organic liner is a worthy endeavor—as not only do traditional options contain less than ideal ingredients, but because your eyes take in tons of product. Well, we did the hard work for you—and gathered the 19 best out there.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.