Some girls are lucky enough to have perfectly plump and defined lips, and can apply lipstick with ease. (For a tutorial on how to fake bigger lips with makeup, click here!) I, however, am not one of those girls. Lip liner is a must for me, as my lips as my natural lip lines are very undefined and when I apply lip colour, it has a tendency to bleed and look rather messy – as you can see from my “without lip liner” picture. Not exactly the cleanest or most polished look!
Why lip liner is so important: lip liner is absolutely crucial for those of us who do not have perfect lips. It helps to define, reshape, and perfect the lines and contours of the lip, as well as to create a barrier for your lipstick to stay within. It’s basically a sneaky way to cheat your lip shape and achieve a more precise, polished, and longer-lasting look!
How to apply lipstick in 4 basic steps:
1. Moisturize: If you’re going to apply colour to your lips, make sure they are hydrated. Nothing looks worse than bright lipstick on cracked, crusty lips. You can read my post on how to fix dry lips here!
2. Prime: Not everyone thinks that this step is crucial in the sense that you need to go out and buy a lip primer, BUT make sure to let your lip moisturizer absorb and sit for at least a few minutes before applying lip colour. I prefer to use a lip primer, as I find it helps to go that extra mile to smooth and improve the texture of my lips. My favourite is the Mac Prep N Prime for lips: it’s so nice and smooth and helps to fill in lines.
3. Line: The most important step! Carefully trace your lips with a lip liner. This usually matches the lipstick that you plan on wearing, however different coloured liners can be used to create different looks (such as an ombre lip). Look for a liner that has a moderately smooth texture (if it’s too rough or dry, it can be difficult to apply). The “x” shape on the top lip below the cupid’s bow helps to make the cupid’s bow appear more defined.
It’s okay if the inside lines are not perfect, as the lipstick will blend and cover it anyway!
4. Fill: Fill in your lips with the lipstick of your choice! If your lips are on the smaller side, you might find it easier to apply your lipstick with a lip brush, as this can help it apply more precisely and cleanly.
My favourite products for a red lip: (updated to my new favourites, and cruelty-free!)
- Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner – Crimson
- Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick – BAWSE
- Lise Watier Magnifix Lip Primer
- NYX Slim Lip Liner – Hot Red (budget friendly)
- NYX Matte Lipstick – Perfect Red
Some Extra Tips
- Most people find it easier to begin lining the sides of the top lip using light strokes, and then moving towards the cupid’s bow
- Lightly pursing your lips in a slight “o” shape usually makes it easier to line the sides
- Filling in your whole lips with the liner helps lipstick last longer
- For longer wear: after applying a layer of lipstick, lightly blot lips with a tissue to absorb the excess, OR lightly dust lips with powder to create a matte finish, then apply another layer.
- To make lips look bigger, use either a lighter lipstick or a light/white eyeshadow and lightly dust the centre of your lips with it (this is what I have done in the last picture).
- Use a q-tip to clean up the edges around your lips to make the lines even more precise and clean. To take this even further, you can apply a light concealer or powder around your lips.
- Make sure the tip of your lip liner is always sharpened or pointed, as this will make application MUCH easier!
- If your lip liner is not a perfect match to your lipstick, use a lip brush to blend the liner into the lipstick.
- If you’re going out for the day or night, make sure to bring your lipstick and liner with you, just in case you need to do any touch ups!
- “Matte” finishes tend to be more drying, so keep that in mind if you have very dry lips