I was on the mad lookout for the best drugstore waterproof eyeliner or eye pencil last week. As in…I was frantic. Knowing I was heading to a beach-y press trip last week, and knowing full well that I’d end up with eyeliner down my face in the 99-degree humidity, I perused all the usual beauty mags and websites I trust. And yet, every waterproof eyeliner was either super spendy, no longer available, or not in stock at my local CVS with mere hours left for me to hit the road.

That’s when I grabbed a pack of L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Eyeliner off the rack, and found what will surely be my favorite new summer cosmetic.

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* This post updated for 2024

While it this liner doesn’t give that thin, crisp precision line of the liquid eyeliners I usually prefer above my top lashes, it goes on smoothly and creamy with a medium-thick line, but not smudgy — like a good pencil-style eyeliner should. And the black isn’t the hard black of a liquid liner either, though it’s not quite the softer charcoal of my regular Laura Mercer liner.

Here you can see my liner workhorses for comparison sake:

L'Oreal Infallible Waterproof Liner: Color comparison with two other linesColor comparison: Black, but not deeply opaque like a liquid liner.

But most importantly, it truly does not come off in the water!

Not in the heat, not in the pool (yes, I wore it swimming, don’t judge), or under the pressure of the lazy river waterfall my daughter and I played underneath.

The eyeliner also doesn’t come off with a Q-tip and water; you definitely need some kind of makeup remover, or even soap will do. Because, you know, waterproof. FWIW I started using the Neutrogena Oil-Free makeup remover when I was doing the lash extension thing, and have stuck with it.

That said, it’s funny to read some negative reviews about how this waterproof eyeliner doesn’t come off with just water. Also, complaints about how you can’t” twist it up” — because, well, it’s not a twist-up.  Or how you can’t sharpen it, which you totally can. (I always wonder if I live in some alternative universe from cosmetic product reviewers.)

If you do like the twist-up form, you’d need the L’Oreal Infallible Waterproof Mechanical Gel Pencil for that — I haven’t tried it yet but it does get great reviews.

Related: 11 beauty deals on Amazon with fast, free Prime shipping

The best drugstore waterproof eyeliner: L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Last. Here's why

Speaking of which, be sure to look closely at the packaging before you buy; there are quite a few eyeliners in the L’Oréal Infallible line, and I can’t say how exactly the Never Fail Eyeliner differs from the Pro-Last Eyeliner, though they’re often priced differently.

So is this the best best drugstore waterproof eyeliner? If there’s another one out there, I haven’t found it yet.

Find the L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Eyeliner in five colors at Target for around $10 or less, and about the same at Amazon though prices change all the time. Also try your local CVS, Walgreens…you get the picture.