Pencil cosmetic sharpening with husk on white
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Why You Should Still Use Lip Liner & How To Use It

Lip liner seems like one of those optional beauty tools to have in your arsenal. Most of us are taught how to apply lipstick alone, and lip liner is treated as a tool for the diehard makeup artist. And there’s a rumor going around that lip liner is simply outdated.

But lip liner has a variety of uses that you’ll want to pay attention to. It actually helps lipstick or gloss from bleeding out and creating a feathered look. It can also work as a wonderful way to outline the lips for greater definition, and it can create a helpful guide for applying lipstick or gloss with precision. Yet there are a few tips to keep in mind for getting the best look using lip liner.

Prep With Lip Balm

Having a good layer of lip balm under lip liner serves two purposes: you won’t end up with a cracked, chapped look at an inconvenient part of the day and the balm will help the lip liner go on in one smooth, fluid motion. If you notice the skin around your lips is tugging as you apply the liner, you don’t have enough moisture.

Don’t Use A Sharp Pencil

For the most natural and smooth accenting, don’t use a pencil with the sharpest tip. It seems counterintuitive, since you’d think a sharp pencil would get you the most precise line, but it can create a harsh, obvious look. Run the pencil on your palm or on a thick tissue to round it down a bit, and then draw on the line in a light, flicking motion.

Follow The Natural Line Of Your Lips

Perhaps one of the reasons lip liner has fallen out of favor is because when most of us think of lip liner, we see large, fake lips with a clashing shade of liner. Keep it natural. Make sure to draw the line exactly on your natural lip line. You want to accent your lips and create a barrier for your lipstick. Not look like an Angelina Jolie lookalike experiment gone horribly awry.

Pick The Right Shade

The trick with lip liner is that if you’ve done your job right, it will look like you’re not even wearing any. Again, we’ve all seen the bad lip liner jobs where the liner clashes horribly with the lipstick and looks too obvious. Go for a lip liner shade that matches your lipstick, or at least complements it. And the liner should never be darker than your lipstick, unless you’re going for a very specific ombre look. And if you’re not big on bold red shades, you can even find clear lip liners and liners in nude tones. These will give you the same color adhesion and anti-feathering attributes without affecting the color of your lipstick.

Use Liner On Your Entire Lips On Long Days

Here’s a little beauty hack that will prevent the dreaded middle lip color fade that can occur on longer days: apply the lip liner to your whole lips. Not a heavy layer, but enough for an even color coat. That will seal the lipstick color better throughout the day.