4 Unexpected Ways to Use Lip Liner

Rachel Krause
Veronique Beranger/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Veronique Beranger/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you so much as utter the name “lip liner,” there’s a good chance that at least half of your female audience will recoil in horror. In these modern times we’re taught to be afraid of lip liner, and for a fair reason: We’ve seen liner looks go awry on countless occasions, most taking place during the ’90s and early 2000s.

Let’s set the record straight: Lip liner is way more versatile than you might think. There are, in fact, several ways to use it, and only some of them involve simply lining the lips—and, to be clear, none of them involve lining the lips like Pamela Anderson back in the day. Educate yourself in these four liner techniques, then wonder how you ever lived without it.

1) If you have an uneven natural lip line, a liner close to your natural lip color can fill out the lips and make them appear more even. Just be sure not to get carried away and color too far outside of your actual lip line—simply use the soft side of the liner to fill and define where you need it.

2) Creamy, moisturizing lips and glosses tend to have more “slip” than drier matte formulas, which makes them more likely to smear or rub away at the edges. Using liner in a similar color around the mouth after you apply lipstick will create a sort of “border” that discourages creamy formulas from migrating. Use a lip brush to blend the edges so that there are no harsh lines.

3) Make any lip color last longer by first filling the lips with a similar shade of liner. Start at the center of the lower lip, working outward toward the edges and start the upper lip around the Cupid’s bow for definition until the lips are filled, then layer your lipstick or gloss over top. As the top coat wears away, the lip liner will remain, so you’ll get better color longer.

4) You can also use lip liner as a lipstick in and of itself: It’s highly pigmented and frequently matte, so if you want a punchy lip color that really lasts, look no further than your favorite lip liner.

Read more from Daily Makeover: 4 Lipstick Mistakes We All Make—And Shouldn’t