April 1, 2016 Ashley Rebecca Lips

Are You Using Lip Liner the Right Way? One Makeup Artist Tells All

We love hearing from our panel of beauty pros about the latest and greatest beauty tricks. Today, we're lucky enough to hear from New York-based makeup artist Ashley Rebecca, who fills us in on how to apply lip liner the right way. Take it away Ashley!

Lip Liner


When using lip liner, keep in mind that its essential purpose is to enhance the shape of your lips and keep your lipstick lines clean. That being said, here are some quick tips to ensure you’re using your lip liner as the makeup gods intended.

Keep It Light

One of the most common mistakes I see with lip liner is being heavy handed with your application. When you go overboard on the color, it makes your lips look too drastic and unnatural. Your liner should never be darker than your lipstick! 

Blend It Out

Best practices for applying lip liner include applying it before lipstick (duh), tracing the lip area and then diffusing the lines softly with your finger so that no harsh lines are noticeable. Think of it as a light base coat to prep your lips for the main event: your fave lippie. After applying lipstick, you can go back in and soften the edges with the pencil to make sure everything is blended properly and your lipstick isn't running.

RELATED: How to Create the Perfect Cupid’s Bow


Stick to Your Natural Lip Shape

When it comes to defining the shape of your lips with liner, make sure you trace the natural curves of your mouth. Avoid venturing outside your lip's shape. Overly drawn lips tend to look unnatural and you always want your true features to shine through.


When In Doubt, Go Nude

Nude lip liner basically works with any lipstick color,  making it a great staple for your makeup bag. You can also apply it all over the lips as a base color and swipe a little lip balm on top for a quick and easy nude-lip look.

Product Recommendations: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Stark Naked, Lancôme Le Crayon in Nude, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Au Naturale


Photo: thinkstock

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    About the Author: Ashley is a New York City-based makeup artist with a robust list of editorial and celebrity clients.