Lip liner got a bad reputation after the 1990′s. If you watched any type of makeover show in the noughties, you would frequently see makeup artists telling women to ditch their lip liner because it was ageing and dated. As with everything, lip liner has started making a comeback due to the current obsession with everything ’90s and thanks to Kylie Jenner and her plump pout. Even if you don’t want to exaggerate your lips a la Kylie by over-lining them, there are other reasons why you should always have a lip liner in your makeup bag.

(Related: Is Wearing Lipstick Every Day For A Week Bad For Your Lips?)

The biggest reason you should be using a lip liner is because it helps make your lip color last longer. Lip liner is to lipstick what primer is to foundation. It extends the wear of your lip color and stops it from migrating all over your face. You’ll also get a very precise finish. Even with a sharp lipstick bullet and a brush, it is difficult to replicate that clean line you get from the lip liner.

We tend to think of using a lip liner with lipstick but you can also use it under lip stains and glosses, which are especially prone to bleeding. Line the perimeter of your lips then fills them in when you’re using shiny lip products to help keep the gloss only where it should be.

If you have thin lips, you can enhance them with liner. You don’t need to drastically overline them. If you use a pencil that is one shade darker than your natural lip color around the perimeter of your lips, they’ll look bigger and more defined.

Lip liner also gives you more color options. You can use a contrasting color lip liner under your lipstick or gloss to create an entirely new color. Furthermore, a lip liner is an essential part of creating the perfect ombre lip. You can also use your lip liner by itself. You’ll get fade-resistant color in one application.

If you still have nightmares about the 1990′s lipstick with contrasting lip liner, you can buy a clear lip liner (see below). They are just as effective at stopping your lipstick from feathering or fading as the colored ones and one product works for all your lippies.

Products To Try

Why You Should Be Adding A Lip Liner Back Into Your Makeup Bag

1. 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil In Clear (Urban Decay)

This creamy lip liner comes in 22 colors. If you have a tricky lipstick shade to match, such a crazy-colored lippy, try this clear version. The waterproof formula works for glosses, stains, and lipsticks.

2. Easyliner Mechanical Lip Liner In 11 Most Natural (Milani Cosmetics)

If you always seem to be missing your sharpener even though you own about five of them, this lip liner doesn’t require any sharpening. It offers full coverage so you can wear it by itself or with your favorite lip products.

3. Exaggerate Full-Color Lip Liner Definer In Obsession (Rimmel)

Your regular lipstick bullet will not give you the precise line that your lip liner will. This was has a nice fine tip so you’ll get a clean finish and color that lasts.

4. Lip Liner To Go In 7 Pale Pink (Sephora)

This mini lip liner fits into the tiniest of bags so it’s great for on-the-go touch-ups. Use it by itself over your lips for a semi-matte finish. If you want a different look, it comes in 17 other colors.

How To Apply Lip Liner Like A Pro

How To Apply Lip Liner Like A Pro

Whether you want to make your lipstick last longer or simply make your mouth more defined, using a lip liner is an easy way to add polish to your look. That said, it is an easy beauty tool to have mishaps with–particularly when it comes to the brighter and deeper shades. We created this quick and easy tutorial to help answer any questions you might have, along with step-by-step GIFs to show off the process!

Products used:

  • Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment ($22.50)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Cosmetic Colour Pencil in NSFW ($16)
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 0.5 ($23)

Prep: Make sure your lips are exfoliated and smooth before applying lip colors! You can do this with an old toothbrush or lip scrub and add a bit of lip balm overtop, like Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment.

Step 1: Apply a bit of concealer or foundation on your lips and slightly outside of them. I have a bit of red discoloration above my lips, so I applied Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 0.5, which offers a nice amount of coverage without looking caked-on.

Step 2: Warm the tip of your chosen lip liner between the tips of your fingers for a few seconds. This makes the liner easier to apply and keeps it from dragging too much. For this tutorial, I picked Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Cosmetic Colour Pencil in NSFW.

Step 3: Apply the lip liner starting from the center of your cupid’s bow, then move outward.

Step 4: Fill them in completely with the pencil.

Step 5: Apply your lipstick, then blot with a tissue. Apply again and blot again. And kiss! Obviously, this last part is the most important. How else can you show off your lovely lined pout?

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