Expert tips: Three make-up artists reveal how you can make up your lips with lip liner and make your mouth look fuller.
Lipliner, in all its various forms, continues to be equally present on the runways and in the Instagram feeds. While some use it to accentuate their natural pout or to create a plastic base for a classic red lipstick, others take their bearings from the dramatic looks backstage or in the magazines, from clearly visible and overdrawn to ombré with a fresh, softened look Effect. No matter which direction you go, there are a few tried and tested lip liner tips and techniques that you should always use when you pick up your favorite pencil. Here, professional make-up artists explain the basics.
When you color-match your lip liner to your natural lips, pay close attention to which undertones flatter your complexion the most. "Not all nude liners are created equal," says pro-Tasha Reiko Brown, whose clientele includes Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross. "To find a realistic nude liner, you have to assess your skin tone and find out what suits you best. The best nude tones often contain a hint of peach or rust. A real brown tone is rarely a great nude." When creating a nude lip, makeup artist Yuki Hayashi typically chooses a shade that is either the same or a shade darker to create a "very natural and clear lip contour," he says.
The first time you apply lip liner, correct the balance and symmetry of your lips. "Always follow the natural shape and balance the top and bottom shapes first, then blend out the edges for the fuller lip effect," says Hayashi. As you refine the traced shape, watch out for the Cupid's bow - you shouldn't overemphasize it. "Make sure it's not too pointy or sharp," he says. A trick that will be helpful for Brown is tracing him with shorter lines. "I'm not trying to draw it in one long line - smaller sections mean precision!" She explains. "Once the lip is completely outlined, I shade the liner inward so that when it wears off it doesn't look like a lip liner ring around the mouth."
One of makeup artist Vincent Oquendo's favorite tricks is to use a taupe pencil to draw a thin line around the lips to shape them. "Think of it like the contour of your cheek, but for your lips!" If you want to draw a more voluminous new lip shape, he recommends combining the lip liner with a long-lasting liquid lipstick. "Then you don't have to worry about one of your products leaking and it will reveal that you've reshaped your lips," he explains.
"A lip liner creates a clear line on the edge of the lips that cannot be achieved with lipstick alone," explains professional Tasha Reiko Brown, why it is so beneficial to use a lip liner in combination with a lipstick. "A border that is brought into focus with a pigmented lip liner can make the lips appear fuller." When Hayashi applies a strong lipstick, he likes to use a lip liner afterward to refine the shape and make it softer. "A sharp, hard lip contour can make a shiny lipstick look old," he says.
"I love that gradient lips and the 3-D effect it creates is in a lot of magazines right now," says Brown. Your go-to technique for a blurred finish is to leave the center of the lips completely free of lip liner or lipstick, then use a darker liner and darken and shade the edges of the lips inward. "A blob of lip balm on a brush that is applied inwardly brings the look together without harsh lines," she says.
No matter what type of lip look Oquendo creates, he always has touch-up tools at hand. "I use a micellar water with a cotton swab to sharpen the line around the lips," he explains. "This is also important because micellar water is not oily and does not leak my lip products." For Hayashi, concealer can also be a practical perfecter. "I apply it to the edges of my lips before I use the lip liner, and after I apply the lip liner, I use my finger or a small brush to soften the edges."