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Lip liner sometimes has an air of mystery around it. Sure, we know everyone and their mother donned dark lip liner in the ‘90s, and we’re all aware that it can be used to line your lips. But beyond that, what’s the deal? Well, if used correctly, lip liner can play an integral role in your makeup routine—especially when it comes to helping make your lipstick look and wear better. Thankfully, if there’s one thing we aren’t keeping our lips sealed about, it’s lip liner. Here are 13 lip liner hacks you can use with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner or the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner to help upgrade your lipstick game.
Get off to a smooth start by layering with lip balm. To help your lip liner—and later your lipstick—glide on smoothly, apply a hydrating lip balm first.
Hands up! Back away from the pencil sharpener. Just kidding—sort of. You may be used to sharpening eyeliners to new heights in order to achieve your perfect sleek wing or skinny line, but this practice doesn’t translate quite as well when it comes to lips. If you keep your lip liner sharpened into a harsh point, you’re more likely to end up with an unnatural looking line. You may want your eyeliner to look severe, but that’s probably not the case for your lips, right? Allowing your lip liner to keep the dull point that forms through regular use can help it blend easily onto your lips for a seamless look.
Lip liner application is all about working the right angle. Try holding your pencil at a 45-degree angle. This positioning can help ensure that you don’t end up with any harsh or jagged lines. If you’re thinking this angle doesn’t allow you to use enough pressure, it turns out you really only need minimal pressure to apply lip liner.
The angle of your lip liner isn’t the only thing that’s important when it comes to applying this makeup product—so is the angle of your head! When lining your lips, make sure to examine your application from all angles to ensure your line is straight all around. Trust us—it’s all too easy for your lip liner to appear flawless from one angle and a hot mess from another.
If you only use lip liner to line your lips, you could very well be missing out. One of the best tricks is to use a liner to completely color in your lips, not just line the edges. Filling lips in before applying lipstick can help with a few common lipstick problems: Your pencil can help act as a base for lipstick to stick to, aid in stopping lip color from looking patchy, and guarantee your lips won’t look naked when your lipstick starts to wear away.
Your cupid’s bow doesn’t just have an extremely cutesy name, it’s also the key to defining your pout. Also known as a lip dip, the cupid’s bow is just above the center of your top lip. If your lips feature a pronounced dip, the edge of your upper lip looks like—you guessed it—a cupid’s bow. To help play up the shape of your lips, draw an “X” with your lip liner. Create intersecting lines that start from the peaks of your top lip and form an “X” shape before lining along the edges of your mouth as per usual.
Did you realize lip liners sometimes come in completely clear shades? At first glance, a product with no color may seem unnecessary, but as superheroes and introverts know, invisibility is a totally useful skill. Line your lips with a clear pencil and you’ll have formed an invisible barrier around your lips. This border can help keep feathering and blurred edges at bay. Bonus: When your lipstick starts to wear off, there’s no way you’ll be left with a visible ring of liner around your mouth!
You’re taught all your life to color inside the lines, but we can toss that rule out the window. If you want your lips to appear bigger, all it takes is lining your lips slightly outside of their natural shape. Key word being slightly! With a liner that closely coordinates with your natural color, draw just past the perimeter of your lips. Your lips will look plumped but not totally (an important distinction) drawn on.
Editor’s note: Prefer to make your lips look smaller? We know how to do that too! Here’s How to Make Your Lips Look Smaller.
If your lip liner application isn’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped, try warming the tip between your fingers. Using the warmth of your skin to soften the point only takes a matter of seconds but can be majorly helpful in making the pencil glide on evenly.
If you’re used to sticking with a single shade of lip liner, try incorporating another into your look. Pick out two colors that work together—one lighter and one darker. Essentially, you’re going to put your contour and highlight knowledge to use—just on your lips! Place the lighter color in the center of your lips, before filling in the rest of your lips with the darker shade. Blur the edges so your shading looks seamless, and you’re good to go. The contrast and placement of the colors will make your pout seem fuller. For extra plumping power, add a touch of gloss to the middle of your lips. The shine can help reflect the light and add an illuminating highlight.
Lip liner doesn’t always have to go under your lipstick. In fact, there are perks to wearing your pencil overtop of lipstick. Start by applying your lipstick as per usual. Pair the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner or the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner. Don’t worry about getting your lipstick just right—following with a lip liner allows you to clean up edges. You’ll know exactly where you need to touch up, making for crisper lines and better definition.
When lining your lips, make sure to use short, feathered strokes rather than trying to outline them in one take. This will prevent any harsh lines and help to minimize potential mistakes.
If you think that lip liner can only be used when you plan to wear a statement lip color, think again. While your liner can totally come in handy when rocking a popping shade, a nude lip liner is perfect for those days when you want a plumper-looking pout that also looks natural. Simply overline your lips using a nude liner that matches the natural shade of your lips to create the illusion of a fuller pout!
Congrats—you’re officially a lip liner pro! Next, learn How to Use a Matte Lip Liner.