22 Lip Liners to Shop Now — and How to Use ’Em!

November 22, 2022
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
lip liners collaged onto a pastel background

Your makeup bag is no doubt stocked with lip glosses and lipsticks, but what about lip liner? It’s a product that’s easy to forget, but if you learn how to use it correctly, it will quickly become a staple in your routine — trust us. Lip liner can be used to shape your lips and make your lipstick or gloss last longer, which means a little more time spent in the AM can result in less time touching up later.

To unlock the powers of all that a lip pencil can do, we turned to makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. Keep scrolling to discover a crash course in all things lip liner.

What Does Lip Liner Do?

First things first, lip liner is used to help define and shape the lips before applying lipstick. Lip liners can also be used on their own in lieu of lipstick all together, or underneath a lip product to make the lips look plumper, more defined, and ensure a longer-lasting color payoff.

How to Apply Lip Liner

STEP 1: Outline Your Lips

Warren recommends starting with a lip liner held upright. “Use the side edge of the pencil tip to rub the line on,” she says. “It will pass over the natural roll of your lip edge and make your lips appear fuller.”

STEP 2: Shade Your Lips

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

STEP 3: Add Gloss

Top with your favorite gloss. Our go-to is the Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss, which helps plump lips for an even fuller effect. 

How to Use Lip Liner to Reshape Your Lips

STEP 1: Choose the Right Shade

Select a lip liner shade that’s as close as possible to your natural lip color. Use it to trace slightly outside the lip line in the area you want to reshape.

STEP 2: Fill in Your Lips

Color your entire mouth with the same lip liner.

STEP 3: Check Your Work

“Use your phone to take a selfie,” Warren says. “It will likely flip the image in a way that you’ll be able to see whether your lips are even.”

How to Use Lip Liner to Make Lipstick Last Longer

STEP 1: Choose Your Shade

For a dramatic look that emphasizes the color of your lipstick, choose a lip liner in a similar shade, or go for a clear, invisible liner, like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone.

STEP 2: Apply the Liner

To amp up the color of your lipstick and provide grip for the formula, apply the liner all over the lips, keeping the edges sharp. 

STEP 3: Swipe on Lipstick

Apply your lipstick as usual, and you’re good to go.


The 22 Best Lip Liners to Try Now

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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