Wet liner can give even simple eye looks a serious pop.
If you haven't heard of wet liners yet, get prepared for the beauty revelation of 2021. Wet liners are highly-pigmented, super-bright eyeliners you "activate" with water before applying, allowing you to make graphic, 60's-inspired mod looks. Don't feel like getting out the shadow palette? Not a problem– your liner can be as simple or complicated as you want.
One great thing about this trend, besides the relative simplicity, is that many of these brands are small businesses, POC and women-owned. Hooray for feeling good about your purchases AND looking fabulous!
Like other types of eyeliner, these have a bit of a learning curve. Once you get the hang of it, though, it can be really fun to play with. And since they come in every color imaginable, you can match your liner with your outfit every day.
Here are 12 of the best wet liners + wet liner accessories to get into now.
A woman-owned-and-founded business, Glisten has everything you need to start your collection. With UV, pastels, neon, metallic, and their nifty split liners, the options are endless. Build a bundle to save on your purchase and watch out for sales!
Cutcreaser x By Melolops Water Inks
Cutcreaser (Vanessa) is a Salvadorian-American makeup artist who creates stunning looks on social media. Last fall she and By Melolops, a Latina-owned liner brand, launched their stunning comic-themed collaboration. By Melolops also sells Radioactive Water Inks, which you can pair with their UV Flashlight to make your work stand out.
B'ellegant is a Black-owned business that offers a wide variety of makeup products beyond just liners. Their milky pastel pigments glide right on, and they're also UV reactive! If you don't love pastels, never fear: there are lots of other lovely colors available for you to peruse.
Between the gorgeously pigmented color and cute packaging, what's not to love? Gavissi, previously known as Glam Vice, is a Latina-owned brand. Bundles are available for every color set and lots of liners are currently on sale. Don't forget to check out their fabulous Duochrome Retro Liners!
Another UK-based brand, Sheen Cosmetics is cruelty-free and vegan. Their bold and bright Epic Neon liners can be bundled in sets of six or eight, and the bundles are currently on sale!
If loose cake liners aren't your jam, try a palette! These Aqua Liner Palettes come in pastel, neon and primary. While the second two are currently out of stock, the primary palette has black and white colors so it's worth keeping an eye out for a restock. Oh, and they all come with a free brush! B Taylor is a Black woman-owned business.
These super-rich pigments come off the brush smooth and opaque. Maybe the best thing about them is how long they last. Check out the end of this video by Cerise Kelsey to see their smudge-proof qualities in action! Glamierre is cruelty-free.
Do you have trouble keeping your liner in place? Not anymore! When activating your liner, drop some Duraline in instead of water and you'll have a budge-proof look all day long. According to Beauty Bay, it can be mixed with "pigments, lipsticks, and eyeliner gels," so you'll really get your money's worth.
Since wet liners have to be activated, some people use the inside of the lid to work the product. A palette is another option, especially if you want to mix two colors to create another. This clear acrylic palette mimics the back-of-the-hand mixing technique, and you can use it for any other product you'd normally test before committing to.
This tray is stainless steel, has five separate areas to put product in, and includes a handy two-sided spatula for mixing and moving product.
Glisten Cosmetics #2 and #3 brushes
These two brushes lie within the "not-too-thin, not-too-thick" range, making it easy to spread liner across your lid and even draw or paint to your heart's content. If you like a thicker or thinner line, Glisten offers eight brushes in total.
Cutcreaser x By Melolops Eye Liner Brush Set
No wonder this set is popular– you can really get some precise linework with these brushes. Each one has a completely different shape and size, and that's because they all serve a specific purpose in the creation of a perfect liner look.