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How Do I Choose the Best Eyeliner Sharpener?

Kelly Ferguson
Kelly Ferguson

Having an eyeliner sharpener is necessary if you regularly use pencil eyeliners in your makeup routine. By sharpening an eyeliner pencil, you can control how thin and sharp the line of eyeliner appears on your eyelid, which helps you avoid a smudged "raccoon eye" look. Also, many wooden eyeliner pencils tend to be very sharp against the eyelids when the makeup gets worn down, and require sharpening before further use is comfortable or practical. Purchasing an eyeliner sharpener in the right size, both for portability reasons and because eyeliner pencils come in varying sizes, is very important.

Generally, most women prefer an eyeliner sharpener that is small and compact enough to easily fit into a purse pocket or a makeup bag. This makes it possible to do multiple makeup touch-ups anywhere needed without having to worry about breaking an eyeliner tip or running an eyeliner pencil down to the wooden edges. Typically, a small eyeliner sharpener that is conveniently portable looks nearly like a regular pencil sharpener, with a small, simple plastic frame, an opening to stick the eyeliner pencil into, and a blade to sharpen the eyeliner pencil when it is twisted. A common problem with this type of eyeliner sharpener, however, is that, as the pencil is sharpened, bits of eyeliner get smeared onto the blade and can then be transferred to the inside of the pocket or purse the sharpener is stored in since there is no outer casing to catch the shavings.

Eyeliner sharpeners may be stored in a makeup bag.
Eyeliner sharpeners may be stored in a makeup bag.

Some kinds of eyeliner sharpener include multiple blade and opening sizes. This is very useful if you have a variety of eyeliner pencil sizes. If, for instance, you have a few regular sized eyeliner pencils and a few thick eyeliner crayon pencils, you would only need the one eyeliner sharpener to sharpen both kinds. This can save you the hassle and the money of having to find, purchase, and store two separate sharpeners in the right size.

Eyeliner pencils require occasional sharpening.
Eyeliner pencils require occasional sharpening.

Do not attempt to use a regular pencil sharpener for your eyeliner pencils. An eyeliner sharpener is much more suited to the task because the blade is shorter and at more of an angle, causing the distance from the beginning of the wood sides to the tip of the eyeliner to be much shorter with a finer point. This not only makes application much more controllable, but it also makes the soft eyeliner makeup less prone to breakage.

Discussion Comments


I have one from Maybelline. It's really good. Try it.


@burcinc-- Yes. The higher end brands have eyeliner sharpeners that come with a little pick or pin to clean the sharpener. It helps get those little pieces and shavings out.

It's not really possible to find a sharpener that doesn't have this problem. It happens with all of them, but I think it's nice to have a little tool that helps you clean it.

Now these do cost a little more, but the sharpener itself is better quality too. I don't agree with @fify at all about all sharpeners being the same. They're not. The better quality ones that are more expensive definitely work better.

The most important thing about an eyeliner sharpener is the blade. The blade needs to be super sharp so that it gives you the perfect thin point.


Does anyone know of an eyeliner sharpener that doesn't get bits of eyeliner stuck in it while sharpening?

I wear kohl eyeliner everyday and need to sharpen my eyeliner often. My sharpener works fine, but it's so messy! I have the hardest time cleaning it, I actually can't clean it because I can't get to the very end of the sharpener where all the liner bits seem to accumulate. I also hate having to deal with the sharpened pencil pieces.

I know there are pencil sharpeners with cases that keeps these pieces inside so it doesn't fall around just anywhere. But I have not been able to find a solution for the other problem. I keep buying a new eyeliner sharpener just because I can't deal with the lack of hygiene. I know it's not too expensive, but it's still a waste of money.


I have a really cheap, plastic eyeliner sharpener and it works perfectly. It's pretty hard to go wrong with eyeliner sharpeners. It's a simple thing and it almost always does its job well.

There are some eye pencils that have not been made suitable for sharpening. I had one that had a really soft consistency. It was kind of in between a regular eye pencil and a gel or cream eyeliner. Whenever I tried to sharpen it, the tip would break. I must have wasted about half of that pencil trying to sharpen it.

But it wasn't the sharpener's fault. It usually never is unless the sharpener is so old that the blades are no longer sharp or if it's starting to rust. I personally don't think that I will ever spend much for an eyeliner sharpener.

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    • Eyeliner sharpeners may be stored in a makeup bag.
      By: Gennadiy Poznyakov
      Eyeliner sharpeners may be stored in a makeup bag.
    • Eyeliner pencils require occasional sharpening.
      By: cedrov
      Eyeliner pencils require occasional sharpening.
    • When applied properly, eyeliner can help augment and draw attention to the eyes.
      By: Mikhail Malyugin
      When applied properly, eyeliner can help augment and draw attention to the eyes.