How to Use Lip Liner Like a Pro

June 01, 2020
Deven Hopp
By: Deven Hopp | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Everything You Need to Know About Lip Liner

Lip liner is a beauty guru’s BFF and the makeup bag must-have has come a long way since the ’90s (think: overdrawn and super thick). A good pencil can make your pout look plumper, your lipstick stay on longer and prevent smudges or feathering. 

If you’re new to the lip liner scene and don’t know where to start, don’t worry. We tapped celebrity makeup artist Tiffany Hall-Scarmana to get some tips on how to line your lips like a pro. So pick up your pencil and keep reading, because we’re sharing all the lip liner basics, ahead. 

Lip Liner Tip #1: Add Definition 

Lip liner the key getting a cupid’s bow shape to your pout. “Pair your lip pencil with a lighter highlight pencil tokeep the lip line clean and can create lift and definition to the lip,” says Hall-Scarmana. “Apply the lighter pencil in the bow of the lip, right above your lip liner shade, to lift and highlight that area. Where you start to see the corner of your lip turn down, use the lighter pencil or concealer to highlight those corners to create a lifted and sculpted look.” For a ligh lip liner, we like NYX Professional Makeup Slim Lip Pencil in shade Natural

Lip Liner Tip #2: Use It as a Base 

Applying lip liner before your lipstick or lip gloss helps prevent the color from bleeding or feathering. Simply line and fill in your lips with a pencil. This will give your lip color something to adhere to and increase staying power. If all that color seems a little daunting, start with a clear lip pencil, like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone

Lip Liner Tip #3: Use Liner With Neutral Colors 

Lip liner is not just for red lipped-looks it’s great for use with pinks and nudes, too. “Pick a nude shade that is close to your natural lip color and lightly trace the natural lip line to define the shape,” says Hall-Scarmana. “Buff out the edges into the center of the lip with a brush and layer with a clear gloss.” One of our favorites is the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in shade Nude Pink.   


Lip Liner Tip #4: Keep Your Line Smooth

For a smooth application and a fluid line, Hall-Scarmana recommends prepping lips with a light lip balm before applying lip liner. Part your lips slightly (this will keep your lips closest to their natural shape) and apply the liner using light, short strokes. Always follow your natural lip shape. If you start to draw the pencil across your lips and it tugs the skin, then the pencil is too hard. Try sharpening the pencil and warming the point between your thumb and index finger to soften it. 


Chaunte Vaughn