3 Cheap Alternatives To Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Originally Published: 

When it comes to liquid eyeliners, Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner has become a staple in the makeup kits of beauty lovers across the world. Thanks to its precise felt tip and pigmented, transfer-resistant formula, this waterproof pen continues to get high marks because it's so reliable and effortless to use. If you genuinely like the wearability of this liner, but don't want to have to keep paying the prestige price every time you need a new tube ($21 for full size), there are alternatives to Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner that mimic the longevity and smoothness of the award-winning eyeliner pen, but at a much more affordable price.

As you shop around for a viable replacement, it's important to know the key qualities to look for in a liquid eyeliner pen. The first is a very fine felt tip that's just firm enough to be able to achieve sharp points and lines without any dragging. The second component is the ink inside. You'll want a deep pigment with an opaque finish that dries quickly and won't smear during normal activity. For the most longevity, remember that Tattoo Liner is waterproof, so consider looking for that trait as well.

All of the following eyeliners were found after a bevy of research on Reddit and YouTube. The three listed below were all mentioned multiple times by users as dead-ringers for the Kat Von D liner — and they are all $15 or less!


The Overall Best Alternative To Kat Von D's Tattoo Eyeliner

For just $9, not only is the NYX Epic Ink Liner only cruelty-free liner on this list, but plenty of Redditors and YouTubers agree that this pen provides the same kind of precision and smudge-free application as its pricier counterpart. Plus, like Tattoo Liner, this formula is waterproof, so you can wear it in extreme humidity or in the pool without the worry that it will smudge around your eyes. And its extra-narrow felt tip, which one Amazon reviewer described as "firm but soft," looks nearly identical to Tattoo Liner, only it's ever-so-slightly thicker. Still, it will give you maximum control so you can create your line in a fluid motion. Use it for minimalist feline flicks or for a thicker, more dramatic look.

Rave review: "I don't usually write reviews, but I had to rave about this eyeliner because it's amazing. My go-to eyeliner used to be the Kat Von D tattoo liner, but this is my new favorite. I think the quality is even better overall, plus it's at least $10 cheaper. It basically fits all of the requirements I would want in my perfect eyeliner. It's affordable, extremely black, opaque, easy to use, waterproof, stays on for a long time, and the tip is quite thin so you can get wings as sharp as a sword."


A User-Friendly Liner Pen Straight From Korea

This eyeliner from Korean brand Clio is the priciest option on this list, but it seriously holds its own against KVD's Tattoo Liner. It has a spongy, marker-like felt tip that, while not quite as bendy, will offer beginners more stability as they work on perfecting their cat-eye. The pigment is incredibly opaque while the formula is waterproof and long-wearing — according to beauty YouTuber Morgan Stewart's review on her channel, The Beauty Breakdown, it does not budge. ("I really can't find anything about this product that I don't like," Stewart said.) Another bonus? The brand's "smart cap" was designed to audibly click when it's twisted on properly so you can be assured that it won't dry out.

Rave review from Amazon: "Literally the BEST eyeliner I've tried thus far. It is dark, long lasting and does not smudge at all. It also lasts me much longer than other liners I've tried. Great product. Already bought another as backup."


A Drugstore Liner With An Even More Precise Brush Tip

Prefer the tightest line possible when you apply eyeliner? The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner by L'Oréal may be the liner for you. It has an ultra-fine felt tip for precise, no-skip, drag-proof lines when you draw it on. Though the formula isn't waterproof like Tattoo Liner or the other two liners above, the brand's claim that it's smudge-proof for up to 12 hours is backed up by several Amazon reviewers, including one who reported, "This held up well for me, without smudging or flaking, even through watery eyes during oak pollen season." Plus, not being waterproof gives it an advantage over the other picks because it washes off much more easily at the end of the day.

Rave review: "I was pleasantly surprised at how similar it is to the KatVon D liner! I absolutely love the applicator. The felt tip is stiff enough to help prevent a wobbly line, and it's precise enough that you can get that crisp "flick" at the end of a winged eyeliner lool."

This article was originally published on