Firstly, it’s not liquid lipsticks. This trick actually employs a tool which MUAs have been using for years, and which kind of fell out of favour before the recent rejuvenation of the ‘full lips’ look (thanks, Kylie Jenner). Yep, that’s right, it’s lip liner. Basically, it’s a great multitasker – whether you have thinner lips than most, find that your lipstick clings to creases and bleeds outside your lip line, or if you simply can’t get your lipstick to last, lip liners are your best friend when it comes to allowing you to control the size, shape, and colour of your lips – and basically make your lipstick last 562935345 times longer in the process.
The magic is in the technique. Start by placing the pencil at the high point of your Cupid’s Bow and draw it down and inwards. Repeat on the other side so you’re left with an ‘X’ shape in the centre of your lips, then sketch from the high points of the ‘X’ down towards the outer corners of your mouth – draw in short strokes rather than attempting one fell swoop. To create the illusion of fullness, take the pencil ever so slightly over the edge of your lip line, but be careful to follow your natural shape so you still create a natural effect. Then do the same on the bottom lip, starting from the outer corner and sketching in towards the centre.
And now for the magic trick… go back in and fill in the entire lip with your pencil, as you would a lipstick. Sounds crazy, but this basically creates a long-wearing base (much like a makeup primer) which means the pigment of your lipstick lasts longer and fades more evenly. For added effect, build it up to create a thick layer that you can blend your lipstick into for extra longevity.
If you’re one of those people whose thoughts on lipstick fall into the camp of ‘but I can’t find a shade to match my lipstick’, there is a simple and effective solution. Delve into any pro makeup artists’ kit and you’re likely to find only one shade of lipliner – a neutral-toned pink. Because it’s so similar to natural lip colour, it’s the perfect shade to subtly enhance lip shape without clashing with your lipstick. This means you can apply literally any shade – pink, purple, red, heck – even orange, and still end up with flawless results.
Whilst the beauty world is chockablock with nude lip liners, I’m personally a huge fan of the Code Beautiful’s Soft Smooth Lip Liner. Firstly, because it’s a crayon (which is smoother, softer, and so much easier to apply than a traditional pencil), and secondly because the formula is infused with collagen, which helps to give lips volume and keep them hydrated. Kylie Jenner approved? We think so.