Mastering the Art of Lip Liner
I realized, after re-reading last week’s story on nude lips that I’d made a glaring omission: I failed to discuss the utility of lip liner to creating a flawless nude lip. The truth is, I’ve been a bit remiss in using lip liner on a regular basis — especially with my ongoing love affair with neutral lip colors that can be applied with a quick swipe, straight from the tube. However, even inveterate lip liner avoiders like me (and others out there — you know who you are!) could benefit from mastering this misunderstood cosmetic.
Natural-looking lip liner
Many of you, I whould imagine, were just as traumatized as I was in the 90s by the dark brown liner and light lipstick look that was prevalent during my formative years. Please expunge this vision from your mind and think of lip liner as a way to create a natural look.
First, find a lip pencil that perfectly matches the natural color of your lips, fill in your lips with the liner and finish with a translucent lip balm. Be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips before applying the liner, since its heavier texture can emphasize flakiness and dryness. Nude lip liner is by far the most versatile — you can use it with just about any color and you needn’t worry about unintentionally recreating the dark liner look that haunted your childhood and adolescence.
One of my favorites: Zuzu Luxe Lip Liner in Innocence – a natural and organic lip liner that’s also gluten-free. This color is the perfect warm neutral that suits a range of complexions.
Lip liner benefits
If your lipstick tends to fade or bleed, I suggest that you add lip liner to your makeup kit without further delay. Lip liner can be used as a base (nude or clear works best) that gives lip color something to adhere to, greatly prolonging its wear. Outlining your lips with pencil also prevents lipstick or gloss from feathering.
A great clear lip liner to try: Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in Clear.
Artfully applied lip liner can also add definition and make minor adjustments to the shape of your lips. For example, you can play up your Cupid’s bow or add a little fullness to your lower lip by following a makeup artists’ trick of pairing nude lip liner with a lighter, highlight pencil to sculpt the lips. Add a touch of the light pencil to lift the lips — place it in the bow of the lip for definition or at the corners of the mouth for lift. Apply lip liner with short, light strokes and follow your natural lip line (avoid the over-drawn lip or the 90s will return to haunt you). Blend the liner and blot as necessary. After applying your lip color you can always add more liner to adjust the shape or intensify the color to create a crisper outline.
Well, I think I’ve just convinced myself to add lip liner to my routine and I hope I’ve persuaded you, dear reader, to do so as well.
A native Washingtonian, Beauty Blogger Lia Phipps is an interior designer with an irrepressible, life-long fascination with health and beauty. When she is not selecting fabrics and paint colors for clients, she occupies herself with trying new products and dispensing beauty advice to friends, acquaintances and anyone who is willing to listen to “Tips from Phipps”.