But lip liner can do some much more than make your lips look fuller. When used correctly, it can help you create a flawlessly defined pout, make your lipstick last longer and acts as a guard to stop smudging.
Terrified of lip liner?
We don’t blame you after the Kylie Jenner “I just overline my lips” but really it’s filler fiasco of 2015.
And there’s no need to be scared with these expert tips in your arsenal…
Think of liner like primer
Just like primer helps your foundation last longer, lip liner can do the same for your lipstick.
“It works as a great barrier to keep lipstick from bleeding and it can be worn as a powdery base before you apply your lipstick to ensure that it lasts longer”, says Karim Sattar, International Make-up Artist Global Brand Ambassador for Dr Hauschka. “The waxy consistency will act like tape to hold the colour down longer”.
It’s for this reason that Buxom’s Education Manage, Dan Smythe, recommends applying liner both before and after your lipstick.
Start by applying it as a base all over the lip, “then go in after applying your lipstick, to tidy up or enhance the edges slightly”, he says.
“To finish off a lip look, I always apply a little extra to the upper and lower corners of the lips to add depth and give the appearance of a full pout. It also means your lipstick won’t move around in those areas as you talk and smile.”
Pick the right shade
Both experts agree that when creating a bold lip look, it’s best to keep your liner the same shade as your lipstick.
If you’re unable to find the exact match, Karim suggests that slightly lighter is a safer option if you don’t want your liner to be obvious, “I always say to my clients: You would much rather be commented on your beautiful smile than your lipliner”.
According to Dan, the only instance in which you would choose a darker liner is for a nude lip look.
“Go for a shade that is one shade darker than your natural lip colour, creating a darker line around the outside and light in the centre”, he says. “This will add depth and definition.”
The best matte lipsticks for a cloud-like pout
Or… go invisible
If you have too many favourite lip colours to find a matching liner for all of them, try a transparent formula.
“These pencils form an invisible, moisturising barrier that prevents lipstick and lip glosses from smudging and running”, says Karim.
And as if it wasn’t already multi-purpose enough, Karim offers this handy trick:
“If you apply some to your wedding ring finger and then touch around the outer corner of your eyes it will prevent your foundation from cracking.”
The most important thing when applying your lip liner is to keep the mouth relaxed and slightly open.
“When holding the lip taut it can create a tight unnatural shape”, says Dan. “Remember, the most flattering lip shape for you is your own, but enhanced.”
If you don’t own at least one of these red lipsticks, you’re missing out
Make sure your pencil is nice and sharp before beginning, and then start by creating a cross at the cupid’s bow. Then, take your liner to the outer corner of the top lip and lightly draw upward, back toward the centre.
“For the bottom lip, work from the centre, at the lip’s fullest point, again working upwards with small strokes to connect the line at the corners”, says Dan.
While lining the centre of the bottom lips, the mouth can be closed to make it easier to follow the plump, natural line, but always open again to reach the outer corners.