How do I Choose the Best Lip Liner Color?

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  • Written By: Mandi R. Hall
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
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As lip liner is literally the foundation for lipstick, it should be chosen carefully. Though many women simply buy a lip liner color they’ve seen advertised in a magazine, not every lip liner looks good on everyone. As many varieties of lipstick there are, there are just as many lip liners. When choosing yours, pick a lip liner color that easily blends in with your lipstick. When applied correctly, lip liner can help define lips while preventing lip color from disappearing throughout the day.

Before you choose a lip liner color, take your lipstick shade into consideration. Experts suggest shopping for lip color sans makeup. A lipstick that looks great next to your skin in its most natural element is sure to make your lips look even better when you are wearing makeup. If you can’t decide, a neutral color can work for anyone. Taking a saleswoman's advice can be helpful, too, but be wary of whether she genuinely likes the color on you, or if she's just trying to land that sale.


Lip liner color comes in a variety of materials, including standard pencil, lip smudge, lip paint, and permanent lip liner. Most women choose standard lip liner pencil — one that has been well sharpened — as it draws the most precise lip lines. If you’re looking for an all-over color to set all night long, lining first with a pencil, filling in second with a lip smudge, and topping with lipstick and gloss is a common routine. Regardless of what color lipstick you choose, lip liner should typically be one to two shades darker than your lipstick.

Even if you have small, tight lips, lip liner can help enhance them. Many thin-lipped women fear lip liner because they think it will make their lips look darker, thus shrinking them even more. The right lip liner color, though, can help do just the opposite. If you have thin lips, choose a lip pencil color just one shade darker than your lipstick color. Additionally, using a shiny or slightly sparkly top coat can emphasize lip fullness.

Deciding whether you have fair, medium, or dark skin always helps, too. If your skin is fair with pinkish undertones, pick a shade anywhere between nude, coral, and apricot pink. For skin that’s a bit warmer or tanner, mauves, blushes, and rose lip liner colors should work well. For dark or black skin, brown or purple lip liner shades are best, while splashes of wine colors at night can really brighten things up.

While red lip color may not be for everyone, even those who can pull it off must first try it on. After applying both lip liner and lipstick, use natural light to determine whether the color looks good on you. If you are not contented with it, your uneasiness will show. Confidence is key when it comes to wearing red lipstick.

Matching your lip color to your outfit is also a no-no, especially if you choose a splashy red color. Generally, women with pale skin look best in cherry red, while olive-skinned girls might want to try a slightly more rustic red. The darker your skin, the deeper the shade of red should be.

When applying lip liner color, use the pencil to line your lips. When drawing the line, gently brush the pencil in sweeping strokes. This will create a more natural line. While doing this, be sure to hug the outer edges of the lips, in order to emphasize their shape. The more defined an edge, the more dramatic the look. While perfection isn't a necessity, any dark smudges may show through your lipstick top coat.


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Post 4

Unless you have dark lips, in my opinion, you're taking a risk with wine or port lip liners. Liners that closely match your own lip color will usually go with any lipstick. Few things are more unattractive, to me, than lips carefully outlined with a darker liner and filled in with a lighter lipstick. If you absolutely know the liner will match your lipstick, that's one thing. But if you're not quite sure, go with a liner that matches your lips. That's always a safe option.

Post 3

Sunshine31-I think other lip liner shades of wine or port, brown and reddish brown are probably the best tones of lip liner that can go with most lipsticks.

If you prefer the pink tones you can select a brown Loreal lip tone and blend it with your lipstick slightly from the corners in order to create a lovely new shade.

Revlon Lip liner is a great enhancement to your lipstick and really leaves your makeup application looking complete.

There are so many ways to wear lip liner that the possibilities are endless. I have recently starting using lip liner with sheer lip and I really like the look.

Post 2

Cupcake15-I know that Maybelline lip lines came out with a new formulation for their sheer lipstick. It is a sheer coverage shade that has color but it is actually dry like a matte lipstick.

The idea behind it is to allow the lip liner to shape the lips and let the lipstick stay on longer and not fade as easily as others do.

It is supposed to last eight hours a day. The only thing that I did not like about it is that it did not smell like regular lipstick. It had like a licorice scent.

I usually buy Revlon lip liner as well as L’Oreal lip liners. I love how they glide on and have an oil base to them. I prefer this type of lip liner than the pencil ones.

Post 1

The best lip liner has a smooth texture and goes on easily. If the lip liner requires a lot of effort then it is not recommended. Bobbi Brown has a great line of lip liners.

When choosing a lip liner you should really consider a neutral shade with a slight brown tone. This allows the lip liner to enhance the lip make up and it also makes your teeth look substantially whiter.

This is why I tend to love Bobbi Brown products because she focuses on neutral tones that are flattering on most women.

You can also choose a long lasting lipstick that has a matte finish that will help you support your lip liner.

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