6 Lip Liners You Need In Your Makeup Stash

If you open your makeup bag, you’ve probably got tons of tubes of lip gloss and lipstick. But what about your lip liner pencil? It’s often forgotten in the race to get ready in the morning, but it’s no less important than your mascara or under eye concealer. After all, it holds the power not only to reshape your lips, but to make your lipstick or gloss last longer—which means a little more time spent in the a.m. and can result in less time touching up later. To unlock the powers of all lip liner pencil can do, we turned to LA-based makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. She gave us a crash course in everything from when to choose what formula to the best way to plump your pout without injections. Read on and revel in her expertise!

How to Use a Lip Liner to:

Maintain Your Lip’s Shape with Lip Liner

You may be good with the current state of your lip shape and just want to emphasize what you have. If so, this is what you do:

Step 1. Moisturize Your Mouth

Apply a light coat of lip balm, such as Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, allover your mouth.

Step 2. Outline with Pencil

Trace the entire outline of your mouth with a nude lip liner pencil that matches the natural color of your lips. Waterproof Lancôme Le Lipstique Lip Colouring Stick with Brush is available in 25 shades, so you’re sure to find one that works for you. According to Warren, the balm will prevent a sharp edge from forming around the edge of your lips, so you’ll have a more natural effect while still emphasizing the shape of your mouth.

Step 3. Apply Color

Follow with your regular lipstick of choice, like one of the 46 hues of L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour.

Make Your Lips Look Fuller with Lip Liner

We can’t all be Kylie—or maybe we can. Here’s how to plump up your pout by just using makeup.

Step 1. Smudge on An Outline

Hold a lip liner pencil that’s approximately the same shade as your lips (try one of the YSL Beauté Dessin Des Levres Lip Liners) upright. “And almost like the leaf rubbings you did as a child, use the side edge of the pencil tip to rub the line on,” Warren says. “It will pass over the natural roll of your lip edge and make your mouth appear fuller.”

Step 2. Shade Your Lips

Use the same lip liner pencil to fill in the rest of your mouth with color.

Step 3. Add Gloss

Top with your favorite lip gloss. Super creamy Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Gloss is made with vitamin E to keep lips extra hydrated.

 Correct Uneven Shapes with Lip Liner

The key here is being subtle. A massive over-line on either top or bottom is going to look massively fake. Also, keep in mind that most people’s lower lip is slightly larger than their upper one. Still, you can easily get lips on more equal footing in just a few steps:

Step 1. Choose a Skin-Matching Shade

Select a lip liner pencil as close as possible to your God-given lip shade. (Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils offer a range of options. Like, 50.) Use it to trace slightly outside the lip line in the areas you want to reshape.

Step 2. Coat Lips in Color

Color in your entire mouth with the same lip liner pencil.

Step 3. Make Sure They’re Even

Check your work. “For this, you may want to take a picture in a mirror because you are used to seeing the shape of your face a certain way,” Warren says. “So use your phone to take a selfie, and it will likely flip the image in such a way that you’ll be able to see whether you’ve made your lips even.”

When Do I Need A…

So many lip liners, so many options. So, when – and why – exactly would you use one over another. We’ll explain.

Nude lip liner?

Obviously a neutral lip liner pencil, such as NYX Slide On Lip Pencil in Nude Suede Shoes or Giorgio Armani Beauty Smooth Silk Lip Pencil Precise Lip Contour in 1, makes a good base for a nude lipstick. But it’s also the general go-to for doing any lip fixes, as evidenced above, because it’s meant to match your skin tone and thus disappear into your lips, so your corrections aren’t obvious looking.

Clear lip liner?

Warren suggests using this type of lip liner when you’re wearing a bright lipstick or gloss that might seep into fine lines around the mouth. Simply trace the outline of your mouth with a clear pencil like Maybelline New York Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner in Clear or YSL Beauté Universal Lip Definer to create an invisible “fence” that will keep color from straying.

Lip liner that matches the color of your lipstick?

If you want a super dramatic effect that puts lips front and center or you’re just really into emphasizing the color of your lipstick, this is the choice to make. Among the 36 hues of NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner, you’ll find blues and oranges, along with the traditional taupes, berries, and reds, making finding the lip liner pencil to compliment your grape gloss a cinch.

Lip liner and nothing else?

According to Warren, if you pick a chubby version of lip liner pencil, like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Lacque Lip Pen, that’s all you need because it functions as both your liner and your lipstick all-in-one. The tip is such that you can still trace an outline, but it’s also thick enough, and contains enough pigment, to easily shade in lips with color.

 Matte lip liner versus a cream lip liner?

“This just depends on a person’s preference,” Warren says. “But I like matte because whatever you put on top will stick better.” Creams are great for lips that are dry, or for those that may want to easily smudge the liner over lips for a stained effect.



Avoid Makeup Meltdowns with These 7 Waterproof Staples

Not trying to throw shade on water, but it can seriously rain on my parade.

Swimming, humidity, unexpected rain showers, you name it—if it’s H2O-based, it’s bound to cause a makeup meltdown. The good news is good ‘ol agua doesn’t stand a chance against the toughest beauty product around: waterproof makeup.

From foundation to lip color, here are my moisture-resistant picks for a full-face makeup routine that can weather any storm.

Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer, $87

Rain or shine, this foundation/concealer hybrid holds up so you can avoid makeup meltdowns. The Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer withstands water, heat and humidity exposure with a breathable formula that comfortably hugs skin. Apply a single layer for full coverage flawlessness that stays strong in any type of weather.

Danessa Myricks Beauty Waterproof Cream Palettes, $36

Need waterproof eyeshadow, cream contour, bronzer and blush? Danessa Myricks delivers! Her Beauty Waterproof Cream Palettes come with a variety of water-resistant shades that seamlessly blend over skin for smooth, buildable color.

Use the Essentials Palette to create a flawless contour and matte bronze that won’t budge with water exposure. Or use the pink and red colors within The Vivid Palette as a wet-proof lipstick and blush for a natural-looking flush. Every kit available features shades that work great as eyeshadow too, so you can wear simple matte or metallic smoky eyes anywhere you please.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner & Sisley-Paris Phyto-Khol Star Waterproof Pencil, $22, $55

Sweating, swimming, crying—whatever happens, these eyeliners stay strong so you can do you. A cult favorite, Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner delivers defined, smudge-proof eyes with a fine marker-like tip. If pencil is your thing, pick Sisley-Paris Phyto-Khol Star Waterproof Pencil for long-lasting color that weathers rain, humidity, tears, sweat, and oil. Whether you create subtle eye-enhancing lines or dramatic cat-eyes, know these liners ensure that your smolder stays put.

Inglot Cosmetics Volume & Waterproof Mascara, $16

Waterproof mascara is my everyday go-to. Not only does it combat mascara lines, it also helps maintain your lash curl to keep strands lifted. With water and smudge-proof separation, Inglot’s Volume and Waterproof Mascara gives you a falsies feel without clumping. Go ahead and cry tears of joy!

IT Cosmetics Your Lips But Better (YLBB) Waterproof Lip Liner Stain, $20

Give your pout some lip plumping oomph with eight hour waterproof color. Infused with an anti-aging combination of peptides, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and avocado oil, YLBB Waterproof Lip Liner Stain treats and conditions skin while keeping color in place. The ultra-creamy formula stays put without drying skin or bleeding for feather-free shades that last.

Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray: Bridal, $29

Make your makeup routine bulletproof by setting it with a breathable spray specifically designed to resist moisture. As the title states, Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray is great for weddings, but I think this hardworking mist is a must-use for a photo-ready complexion on all special occasions—or even on the daily. After a couple spritzes, the ultra-fine spray creates an invisible barrier that holds all day long without creasing, fading, smudging, or settling into fine lines.