What is a Lip Pencil?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2019
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A lip pencil is a type of colored pencil that many people use for lining the border of their lips when applying makeup. It is typically put on before lipstick and may make it easier for some people to apply their lipstick evenly. Lip pencils come in a variety of different colors, and most people try to use shades that match or are close to the shade of the lipstick they plan to use. Some lip pencils are mechanical and twist up when the base is turned, and others are actual pencils that must be sharpened when the tip begins to wear down.

A mechanical lip pencil may have some advantages over the standard lip pencil. Mechanical lip pencils are easier to store because the tip can be screwed back down into the base, which prevents the tip from breaking. They are also easier to maintain because no sharpener is ever needed. On the downside, mechanical lip pencils are usually more expensive than standard ones. It is also harder to tell when the product has run out, and in most cases a person will not know the pencil is almost out until the base will no longer twist the pencil up.


There are a few perks to using basic lip pencils instead of the mechanical variety. Standard lip pencils are less expensive and may possibly be more sanitary than mechanical lip pencils. Every time the pencil is sharpened, it likely eliminates most of the bacteria that may have been lingering on its tip. It is also very easy to notice when it's time to buy a new lip pencil because it gets smaller each time it is sharpened. Some disadvantages of standard lip pencils are that it is occasionally hard to get the pencil adequately sharpened, and it may be much easier to accidentally break off the tip because these pencils do not usually store well.

To apply lip pencil properly, a person should try to start with clean lips and begin by drawing a line carefully from the top center of the upper lip and then outward to its edge. This process should be repeated on both sides of the mouth and again on the lower lip. To make thin lips look larger, it may be beneficial to draw the line slightly above the border of the lips. Applying foundation to the mouth and then lining the lips slightly below the border of the mouth may additionally help make large lips look smaller.


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Post 3

Has anyone had issues with a lip liner being too dry? Should I apply a lip balm first? What's the best lip liner in your opinion?

Post 2

@alisha-- It is necessary in certain cases. If you just wear nude colored lipstick and if the lipstick stays on well, you might not need a lip pencil. But if you use a dark colored lipstick that tends to bleed, then you definitely need a lip pencil to keep things together.

Red lipstick can be very difficult to wear because the color is so noticeable. If you don't apply a concealer on your lips first and then line your lips with a lip pencil, red lipstick can bleed and look terrible in a few hours. So a lip pencil is great for messy lipsticks.

It's also a great lip primer. I usually use a clear or nude colored lip pencil to line and fill in my lips. This way, my lipstick lasts longer and it doesn't bleed whatsoever. If you get a nude colored lip pencil, you can use it with all your lipsticks and even lip gloss.

Post 1

Is a lip pencil really necessary?

I started applying makeup recently but I haven't bought a lip liner pencil yet. I use lipstick but I don't have any trouble applying it and it looks good. I kind of feel like lip pencil is a waste of money.

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