Pencil eyeliners are pretty simple to use, but while they’re a great product to blend and blur for a smokey eye or diffused look if you’re seeking a sleek and precise cat eye, french flick, or virtually any winged eyeliner look, pencil formulas simply won’t do the trick. While liquid eyeliners—whether in felt tip form or high-pigmented markers—- are the gold standard for a defined look, we all know that unless you’re a well-seasoned pro thanks to years refining your craft, or, you know, an actual makeup artist, it can be pretty tricky to apply.

The best middle ground to get the precision, detail, and definition you’re after without the mess or having to navigate your way through the inevitable challenges of unsteady hands, uneven lines, or accidentally applying too much product, is a gel eyeliner formula. However, because gel liner typically in potted packaging, finding the right brush is the key to a successful result. The best brush for most looks and eyelid shapes? An angled brush—these will help create a flawless line regardless of the formula you choose to use. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite, top-quality eyeliner brushes for the perfect line every time.

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