Chanel Precision Eye Definer is the makeup version of your LBD. This limited edition holiday shade—deep black with almost imperceptible gold sparkle—delivers perfectly understated drama. (If you’re interested, get it now, as it’s on sale only through January.) $28.00; chanel.com.
TIGI Bed Head Big Fat Fun! Eye Liner slides on effortlessly and, beside the expected browns and blacks, comes in edgier hues like lilac and pale teal. This was our first soft liner love, and it’s what got us looking for more of its kind. $16; at professional salons and tigihaircare.com.
The ultra-smudgeable Stila Kajal Eye Liner comes in heavily-pigmented neutrals that are perfect for everyday wear. We’re particularly fond of the brownish-gray Smoky Quartz shade. $18; stilacosmetics.com.
One drawback of all these ultra soft pencils is that they’re not the longest-lasting. But the formula in Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil resists both moisture and heat. We also like the little sponge on the end. $23; clarinsusa.com.
Another excellent waterproof option is Jemma Kidd Make Up School Define Stay-Put Eyeliner. It also has a perfectly pointy tip, despite its velvety texture. $24; at Neiman Marcus.
Tarte Emphaseyes is the thinnest liner we’ve ever seen. It’s not a typical softie, but worth an honorable mention for its insanely tiny tip, which is especially good for that hard-to-draw line underneath the lashes. $18; at Sephora.