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Beauty fear, conquered.

"Natural" looking lip liner

5 31 2011

5 31 11

For many women lip liner is either a makeup ally or adversary. When applied correctly and in the appropriate complimentary shade, lip liner can prevent lipstick from feathering as well as impart staying power to help lipstick go the distance. The “right” liner also has the ability to enhance one’s pout by defining the curves and contours of the mouth to create plump, sexy lips. In stark contrast, choosing the wrong shade of lip liner can have the opposite, unflattering, outdated effect (gasp!). We break down what you need to know to keep your kisser current and perfectly lined.


















When choosing a lip liner shade, it’s OK to be matchy-matchy.  Steer clear of lip liners that are dramatically darker than your natural lip color or darker than the shade of lipstick to be applied. Choose the liner shade that effortlessly blends with your lipstick shade or natural lip color. Keeping the shade range of the liner close to your natural tone will result in a modern, flattering finish. The goal is to achieve a flawless mesh of liner and lip color. The best lip liner is lip liner that goes unnoticed.

If your liner seems too pronounced, step down a shade toward a lighter, neutral color like Chantecaille Contour Fill (212 872 2725), a colorless pencil that defines and builds out the contour of lips. The formulation is ideal for mature skin as it contains plumping amino acids to fill in tiny creases for a smoother, fuller appearance.

First in line

To boost the staying power of lipstick or gloss, first start by delicately lining lips. Perfectionists need not apply. The line should resemble gentle sweeping strokes for a soft, natural finish. Avoid drawing perfect hard-edged lines. Guerlain Lip Liner Pencil (212 872 2734) works beautifully as a long wear base before lipstick application because the retractable liner is thin enough to create lip-shaping definition, but soft enough to glide on delicate skin with ease. If you accidentally apply your lip liner with a dramatic or precise edge, simply soften the look by running your finger over the liner to smudge and smear the finish a bit. Now you’re all set to apply lipstick or gloss.

Double duty

While lip liner usually comes in a thin automatic or manual pencil shape, there are many double duty liners that provide both definition and lip color in one shot. Shiseido Automatic Lip Crayon (212 872 2541) does it all. The multitasking liner plus color hybrid lines, defines, contours, and wraps lips in slick, color-drenched shine. For a semi-matte option in neutral tones, try Bobbi Brown Lip Crayon (212 872 2681).

Go forth and walk the line!


Want more tips on lips?

Guerlain’s makeup artist shares his secrets on selecting the perfect pucker