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Lip Liners: Why, When & How to Use Them

Updated on November 6, 2014

We've all heard of lip liners, haven’t we? How many of us use them though? Not many. That’s because most of us don’t really know where they fit in in the scheme of things. After all, we have our chic, soft-textured lipsticks and they do a pretty good job of perking up and beautifying our lips. So, why do we need these lip liners? Do we even really need them?

The answer is yes, we do. Because lip liners are like primers, they help create a flawless base and increase the staying power of our makeup. Here are some of the other benefits one can derive from using a lip liner.

Image courtesy: torricelumngirl
Image courtesy: torricelumngirl

Evens out your lips:

Lip liners help define, more importantly, refine the shape of your lips. So, if you have unevenly shaped lips, like a very thin upper lip or downturned lips, you can use a lip liner to reshape your lips. Thicker lines, an emphasized cupid’s bow, lines drawn slightly outside the natural lip line are all techniques used to create perfectly-shaped lips.

Prevents bleeding and improves staying power:

Lip liners have a dense, waxy consistency. Hence, when used to line your lips, they prevent glossy, moisture-rich lipsticks from bleeding or spreading outside your lips. You can also use lip liners as a kind of base coat, i.e. you can fill your lips with lip liner first and then apply lipstick over it. This will improve the colour of your lipstick and also prevent it from fading.

Can be used in place of lipstick:

You could also colour your lips with lip liner instead of lipstick. The plus side to doing this is that you’ll enjoy longer-lasting colour. On the flip side, however, lips liners tend to be drier than the average lipstick, so you might have to re-apply gloss or lip balm frequently to keep your lips moist.

How to Apply Lip Liner like a Pro:

If applied correctly, a lip liner can do wonders for your lips. However, if not applied correctly, it can leave your lips with a strange-looking ring that will take away from the beauty of your lips. Here are a couple of golden rules you should be keep in mind when applying lip liner:

  • Your lip liner shade shouldn’t be very different from your lip colour. There was a time when it was cool to line your lips with a highly contrasting, dark lip liner. However, this trend soon went out of fashion, probably because it didn’t do much to flatter your lips. As a rule of thumb, always select a liner that is only one shade darker or lighter than your lip colour.
  • Draw soft lines as opposed to razor-sharp ones. This will give your lips a more natural shape. To achieve this, round off the point of you lip pencil before using it. You could do this by rubbing it against your palms till the point of the pencil softens off.
  • Avoid making very dramatic lines. It’s okay to draw outside the natural lip line to alter the shape of your lips, however, don’t go overboard when doing this as it’ll make your lips look fake. Also, don’t apply too many coats of liner as it’ll result in a ‘trout pout,’ making your lips look funny.
  • After applying concealer, fix any smudges by applying a thin layer of concealer around your lips. This will not only make your lips look plumper but will also help both your lipstick and lip liner last longer.

These were a couple of important tips to help you apply lip liner like a pro. Do up your lips like a diva and let them do all the talking, and kissing!

Liked these makeup tips? Check out this blog for lots more: Get the Look


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Brilliantly applied and very helpful indeed.


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