Black eyeliner is the dependent variable of my life. From when I wake up in the morning until I take off my makeup at night, I’ve got it on … and not exactly subtly, either. While I love a good tightly lined look that defines the eyes without the telltale sign of makeup, I’m all about laying it on thick. Whether I’m all smoked out or doubly cat-eyed, I just don’t feel like myself without my black eyeliner. The best thing about it is that it’s completely universal: anyone can look good with a slick of noir liner. Using the right formula for the look you wish to achieve is the most important task. Liquid is stark and won’t blend to smoke, while a pencil, no matter how sharp, will never be able to replicate a feline flick. Luckily, black eyeliner comes in many forms. You’ve just got to play with it a bit, maybe even watch some YouTube tutorials, and it won’t be long before you find the look that’s best for you. Still, there’s nothing worse than a liner that flakes, fades, or drags. I’ve given ‘em all a shot, so here’s the tried-and-true formulas to help you find your favorite.