Get in Line!


So, you’re at the mall picking out a new lipstick, lipgloss, or lip stain.

You find the perfect shade.

The salesperson tries to convince you to buy a lipliner as well, but it’s an extra $10 and you’re not sure you even need one.  I mean, doesn’t the lipstick cover your lips?  What do you need to line them for?

Well, it turns out that the pretty lady working the counter at MAC wasn’t lying to you in order to get you to spend more money.  In fact, she was actually trying to help you.  Below are the reasons why you need lip liner, how to pick it out, and how to apply it.

  • Why You Need Lip Liner.  Lip liner helps prevent your lip color from bleeding (clown mouth) or feathering (lip color running into the creases of your lips).  It also helps to make your lip color last.  Using a lip liner to line and fill your lips will give your lipstick, gloss, or stain something to adhere to, which will in turn increase its staying power. It also helps you to easily apply your lip color.  Have you ever been a victim of the dreaded lipstick look that covered your lips…and around your lips…and your teeth…and maybe even your chin?  Yep.  We’ve all been there.  I like to think of it like a coloring book.  You can only stay in the lines when they’re clearly defined.  Lining your lips before applying your lip color helps you do that with ease.  It also helps your lip color stay put through the most hectic of days.
  • The Golden Rules of Lip Liner.  Before you pick out a lip liner, there are some important things to remember.  First, be sure to get a color that closes matches your lipstick or lipgloss shade.  Do not, I repeat do not, use a lip liner that is darker than your lipstick shade.  Your goal is to highlight your lips and keep the color looking fresh and polished.
  • How to Apply.  For a flawless look, be sure to be moisten the tip of your liner and round off the tip before applying for a more delicate application.   A sharp point makes your line sharp and harsh, while a rounded tip allows the liner to slide on with ease and creates a more soft appearance.  Trace over your natural lip line, being sure not to make your line wider than your lips actually are.  Move the liner in small strokes around your lips, as opposed to one long steady line.  This ensures that you’re following the natural contour of your lips and makes it easier to quickly touch up any mistakes.  After you’ve lined your lips to perfection, take the lip pencil and gently begin to fill in your lips.  Remember, you don’t need to go heavy on the filling.  This is just to allow the lipstick to have a nice base to adhere to.  Be sure to also use a rounded tip and fill with smooth, short, fluid strokes in the same direction (I like left to right for my top lip and right to left for my bottom, but that’s just me).
  • Feeling Daring?  If you’re already a pro at using lip liner, try stepping up your game with the following suggestions.  Play up your cupid’s bow (that sexy little dip in the middle of your top lip) by going back over your lipstick with more lip liner in that one specific area.  Be sure to really highlight the dip by ensuring that it’s well defined and that no lipstick or liner seeps above it.  You could also add a little flare by using only a lip liner as your lip color, creating a smooth, matte look.  This is great for those times when you can’t find a matte lipstick in the desired shade and/or when you’re testing out matte looks.  Liners are usually cheaper than lipsticks, which means that you can try a variety of shades at a reasonable price.  If you’re tired of lining your lips, try going the anti-lip liner route.  Many brands, such as Too Faced and Benefit have anti-liners that provide all of the benefits of a liner without the color.

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