Lip pencils are one of the most surprisingly versatile beauty tools. They are also woefully misunderstood. Until now!
Check out some lip liner application tips below.
Wear it on its own
There are times when even professional makeup artists don’t have the exact lipstick they want. “I often use lip pencils on their own to create the effect of a very bright, matte-finish lipstick,” says makeup artist Rachel Goodwin. Just make sure to sharpen the pencil before you use it. “The waxes found in lip liners can harden over time,” says makeup artist Maria Verel. “If you sharpen your lip liner right before you use it, you’ll get the most accurate color payoff.”
Reshape your lips
Not all over, and not to Dolly Parton proportions, but you can make minor tweaks. “If your Cupid’s bow is too separated or your top lip is very thin, you can even things out with lip liner,” says makeup artist Sandy Linter. “Trace the liner along your natural lip line and just ease the liner up a touch.” Regardless of the lipstick color you’re wearing, always reshape with a nude pencil and soften the line with a lip brush. And don’t rush. Make lots of short strokes and step back from the mirror every few seconds to check the symmetry of your work.
Fix pigmentation problems
Most people’s lips are two different colors. “Find a lip pencil that matches the deeper tone of your lips,” says Verel. Fill in just the lighter lip, then apply your lipstick—the final color will be perfectly even.
Keep your lip color in place
“Liner gives your lipstick or gloss something to grab onto, so it won’t feather,” says Goodwin. A nude color is best, so find one with a waterproof formula, like Chanel Aqua Crayon Lip Colour Stick. “You can use a lip pencil that matches your lipstick,” says Linter. “It just creates a much more dramatic look and should be saved for after dark.”
Fill in the lines
You can apply lip liner after lipstick if you need to strengthen the color or adjust the shape a bit. Go over the edges with a pencil, and don’t worry if it doesn’t match your lipstick exactly. “Lipstick is emollient, so the pencil will push the pigment around and they’ll blend together,” says Linter. Just be sure to avoid overlining or overdrawing the corners of your mouth. “It makes your mouth look harsh and droopy,” says Verel.