Last updated: September 26, 2020

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Who doesn’t want to have a beautiful smile? While lipsticks have always been the best allies to brighten up smiles, they have limited power. If you are looking to give your lips the volume and shape you have always wanted, the secret is to add a lip liner to your makeup routine.

Although these cosmetics have been given a more marginal role, they can actually turn a passable smile into a real jaw dropper. Do you know which lip liner best suits your needs? Keep reading our guide, and you will learn everything there is to know to buy the perfect product.

Key Facts

  • The texture is the most critical aspect of a lip liner. The right hardness will make it easy to slide over the contour of your lip, also allowing the color to set correctly. Lip liners that are too soft, on the other hand, are fragile and brittle. Pay attention to the type of liner you choose (pencil or retractable tube) as this will condition its texture.
  • The duration of the product is another crucial aspect to evaluate. Liners are designed to keep your lips looking gorgeous for longer, so you should opt for a lasting model that won’t smudge at the drop of a hat. As you can imagine, most manufacturers will claim that their products are long-lasting. The best way to find out is by reading user reviews and ratings. Waterproof liners are always a good choice.
  • You should know which effects you can create with the different tones of lip liners. The prettiest color out there isn’t necessarily the best for you, which can lead to delightful products being forgotten in your makeup organizer. Think about the lipstick colors you have and combine them correctly with your new lip liner to get the perfect look.

Our Selection: The Best Lip Liners on the U.S. Market

If you want to buy a lip liner but don’t know where to start, you’re in luck. In the following section, we have selected for you the best lip liners currently available on the market. We have added a short description of the features and characteristics of each product to help you decide more easily which one is right for you.

Best Lip Liner Set Overall

Are you looking for an affordable and versatile set of lip liners that will help you create a wide variety of looks? Look no further. Italia Deluxe’s ultra-fine set consists of 12 different lip liner shades – from matte nude, to hot pink, to dark brown. That way, you always have the right product to match your style! According to past users, these long-lasting lip liners are highly pigmented and very creamy for smooth blending.

Best Lip Pencil

American company Revlon is a household name in the cosmetics industry, and its ColorStay lip liner has been selected as Amazon’s Choice in the category. Available in 14 different colors, this product is designed to last up to 8 hours once applied. The other end of this lip pencil features a built-in sharpener, although many users have said that the high quality of this product made sharpening unnecessary.

Best Value-For-Money Set of Lip Liners

Now, some people are very familiar with lip liners and use them frequently. If that is your case, or if you are a professional makeup artist looking for a massive set of lip liners for your work, then Nabi Cosmetics’ set is for you. With a whopping 54 pencil colors, you will find few products on the market that offer this kind of bang for your buck. Choose from its normal, pearl, glitter, and waterproof liners to create the style you want!

Best Nude Lip Liner

If you are a woman au naturel, or if it is your first time using a lip liner, then we advise you to opt for this L’Oréal Paris lip liner. Extremely lightweight on the lips, it will perfectly define them with its nude shade – ideal for effortless elegance. If you are wondering about the quality of this lip liner, the unrivaled reputation of the French company should allay your doubts. The Omega-3 and vitamin E nourish and hydrate your skin, too.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Lip Liners

How should I apply my lip liner? What shades are the most versatile? What type of liner is the most suitable for me? These are all widespread questions when you are about to purchase your own cosmetic products, and you have come to the right place to get answers. In the section below, we will delve into the most important aspects of lip liners to help you pick the perfect model.

Lip liners hold makeup longer.
(Source: Denisfilm: 82634376/

What is a lip liner exactly?

These cosmetic products are designed precisely to outline the contour of the lips. But if you already own lipsticks and glosses, why should you bother spending time and money on another product? Lip liners actually offer a wide array of benefits that limiting yourself to your traditional makeup wouldn’t give you.

Indeed, lip liners are an essential product in your vanity case, be it to keep your makeup intact for longer or to give your lips the desired volume. If you apply it correctly, you will notice incredible results when including it in your makeup routine. Let’s have a look at their main advantages and drawbacks:

  • You can give volume to your lips
  • They correct imperfections and asymmetries
  • Your lipstick won”t spread outside your lips
  • They keep makeup intact for longer
  • Some products contain moisturizing agents that will protect your lips
  • Learning to use them can take some time
  • Makeup errors become more visible

How should I apply my lip liner?

It can be challenging to start using a new product if you are not a professional makeup artist. This is why there is a series of essential steps in order to get the best effect with your lip liner. If you follow this process, you will give your lips the volume and shape you want in a hurry:

  • Start applying your lip liner in the center of the upper lip, marking a ‘V’ shape right under your nose.
  • Contour the edges with small strokes from the corners to this ‘V’ shape.
  • Make a reference mark in the center of your lower lip and, again, outline the contour of the mouth starting from the corners.
  • Blend slightly into the lip before filling it with lipstick or gloss. Voilà, you’re all set!

What types of lip liners are there?

In addition to the classic pencil that you have to sharpen, lip liners also come in the form of retractable tubes. Both have their own pros and cons that you need to evaluate in order to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences. We have listed them in the table below:

Pencil Retractable tube
Advantages More hygienic, because you get rid of possible bacteria when sharpening it.

More accurate.

You don’t need to sharpen it.

Very soft and creamy texture.

Easy to apply.

Disadvantages Harder texture.

More difficult to slide over the lip.

The tip breaks more easily.

What effects can I create with the different liner shades?

Nude, matt, glossy, transparent… There is a world of lip liner colors out there, so we understand if you don’t know where to start! The shades of makeup you use are always very personal, but you can get various effects by combining different colors correctly.

A neutral shade, for instance, will help you make any asymmetry almost imperceptible. A deeper shade combined with the same lipstick color will give your lips a more sophisticated and defined look. If the color you choose for the contour is lighter than for the filling, on the other hand, you will give more volume to your lips.

Lip liners are super versatile and practical! In the video below, this YouTuber teaches you how to apply lip liner to fill your whole lip, so you won’t even need to use lipstick afterward. As you can see, these cosmetics are a fantastic way to change things up while creating the beautiful lips you are looking for:

Buyer’s Guide

There are various key criteria that you need to evaluate before buying your very own lip liner. To make your life easier, we have detailed them in the following section. That way, you have the information you need to be satisfied with your purchase. This is what you should pay attention to when you are looking for a lip liner:


As we mentioned early on, this is the very first aspect that you should look into. The texture determines how hard or soft the lip liner is. Retractable tubes should have a soft and creamy texture to facilitate their application, but not too much to prevent them from breaking. Pencils that are too hard make it difficult for the color to stick to the lip, while overly soft models have a tendency to smudge a lot.

Various factors – such as its pigmentation or water resistance – influence how long your lip liner will do its job.
(Source: Tamara Bellis: VF75PMEdvX8/


This is directly linked to the criterion above. Will you decide to purchase a lip pencil or a retractable tube? As you now know, the former tend to be harder, but they also offer various advantages. Sharpening them makes them more hygienic because you can get rid of possible bacteria. Lip pencils are more accurate, too.

Retractable tube models, on the other hand, are characterized by their greater softness and fragility. You should use them with much care so that the tip does not break, but they slide more easily over the lip. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make based on your preferences and needs. If you are unsure, feel free to try both formats!

Did you know that you can combine your lip liner with some highlighter to use as lipstick?


How long your lip liner can hold without smudging is another important aspect to consider. In that regard, several factors come into play. Does the product have a high pigmentation? Is it water-resistant? Answer these questions beforehand, and we guarantee you will be closer to purchasing the right lip liner for your vanity case.

Start applying your lip liner in the center of the upper lip, marking a ‘V’ shape right under your nose.
(Source: Matthew Ttrader: bKWi0oYsjf8/

Desired Effect

You naturally have to think about the effect you want to create with your lip liner, as well as the lipstick colors you usually wear. Ask yourself this question: will this lip liner match my skin tone and lipsticks? Many are tempted to buy a color that is simply beautiful, just to realize that it doesn’t match with any cosmetic they have!

As a general rule, you should opt for nude shades if you want a natural look. Transparent lip liners, on the other hand, are the same color as your mouth; you won’t need to wear lipstick with them. If you want to go for more intense colors, try to pick products whose shade doesn’t differ too much from that of your lipstick itself.

User Reviews

Choosing a cosmetic product you haven’t tried beforehand is always challenging. If this is holding you back, don’t worry! Nowadays, you can read the reviews and ratings of hundreds of other users who have already tried the lip liner and share their experience online. These comments are often great sources of useful and unbiased information.

YouTube or Instagram videos are also available for this purpose. Many accounts are exclusively dedicated to testing makeup products and rating them. You will even discover new tips on how to apply them correctly. The Internet is the best tool for all your makeup needs!

Lip pencils are very hygienic since sharpening them will help you get rid of possible bacteria.
(Source: Freestocks Org: YGmk9UZMdZg/


Even though they are often given second roles in the makeup world, lip liners are a product that is essential if you want to look perfectly gorgeous. They offer many benefits: they give more volume to your lips, your makeup lasts longer, and they can correct imperfections, among others. Get your own, and it will quickly become a must for you!

Remember to take into account its texture to avoid any problem when applying it. The format in which it comes, as well as how long it holds, are also vital in finding the perfect lip liner. If you follow the various tips we have given you, all you will need is a minute more to your makeup routine to get incredible results. So, what are you waiting for?

We hope our guide on lip liners has answered all of your questions. If that’s the case, feel free to share this article on your social media. You can also give us your opinion in the comments section below!

(Source of featured image: Puhhha: 68740387/

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