Should Lip Liner Be Darker Than Lipstick?

There are plenty of tools and products that are a necessity for any makeup kit. Lip liner is a great tool that complements the thousands of lipstick shades on the market. The two products simply go hand in hand. But should the lip liner be darker than the lipstick you wear? We've done the work to bring you the answer.

Lip liner should never be darker than your lipstick. It should always be lighter or at least the same shade. There are many reasons to use lip liner and you should consider the following:

  • The purpose of lip liner
  • How to effectively wear lip liner
  • The advantages of a good lip liner

If you are new to makeup and are still learning techniques, it's great to know the purpose behind each product. Everything has a function and understanding the duties of lip liner can drastically enhance any looks you want to try. Continue reading to further learn about how and why you should wear lip liner.

Eye pencils with strokes isolated on background, Should Lip Liner Be Darker Than Lipstick?

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Why You Should Wear Lip Liner

Let's look at the purpose of lip liner, how to effectively wear it, and what its advantages are. These three things will provide you with a good foundation knowledge of the importance of keeping lip liner as a part of your makeup routine.

The Purpose Of Lip Liner

A young beautiful woman putting lip liner contour

Simply stated, lip liners outline your lips to provide more definition and shape. There are different effects that can be created with a lip liner that give your lips a new expression. For instance, some individuals use lip liner to create a pouty lip look. The pouty lip look is rather trendy and comes from overlining the lips with liner.

Lip liner, while providing definition, can also give the appearance of a bigger set of lips. If you have any insecurities concerning your lip size, lip liner is a great tool to use to create the illusion of fuller and thicker lips. This overlining lip hack has been seen since the 1920s!

How To Effectively Wear Lip Liner

Before applying your lip liner, you should understand what it is you are trying to achieve with it. If you have thin or uneven lips, then outlining them with a lip liner can contour your lip shape and make them look fuller and more defined.

Do You Put Lip Liner On First?

Yes. Lip liner acts as a primer for your lipstick. It should be placed on your lips prior to lipstick application. This is because you will be achieving your desired lip shape with the liner before lipstick gets layered on. Follow along with these steps for effective application:

Step 1: Select A Neutral Tone

Choosing a neutral tone is a good way to subtly play with the natural lip line without being too obvious. Neutral tones also provide a more natural and flattering effect to the overall makeup look.

Step 2: Fill In The Corner Of The Lip

It's important to start with a sharp lip pencil. Similar to drawing, the sharper tip of the pencil can allow for a more precise application. Once your pencil is sharpened, start with the outer corners of your lips first. After, follow the lip line inward to create a softer and more believable lip outline.

Step 3: Don't Get Crazy With The Overlining

Try your best to keep the outlining to a minimum. Straying too far from your natural lip line can cause your lips to look unnatural and odd. Instead, follow your natural shape or create a cupid's bow just slightly on top or bottom of your lip line.

Step 4: Apply Lipstick In The Center

Try to pick a lipstick shade that is close in color to the lip liner to really emphasize the overall shape. Once you are ready for lipstick, begin by applying it in the center of the top and bottom of your lips. You should smack your lips or use a brush to blend the lipstick outward.

Step 5: (Optional) Trace Lips With Concealer
This last step is optional for those that want a more polished look. After the lipstick is applied, you can use a concealer to trace the lip liner. The contrast of the concealer and the lip liner will make your lips appear larger and make the overall line cleaner. Remember to blend the concealer with a brush or sponge.

The Advantages Of A Good Lip Liner

There are several advantages to wearing a good lip liner. Lip liner can accomplish many things if used properly: it can emphasize your lip shape, your lipstick color, and the longevity of your lipstick.

Emphasize Your Lip Shape

Lip liners can be used to make your lips look plump and fuller than without it. This is accomplished through overlining and using natural tones to even out a lip shape.

Emphasize Your Lipstick Color And Its Longevity

The technology of lip liners has enhanced greatly and offers hundreds of formulas that are highly pigmented and water-resistant. They set in place for hours without the need for reapplication. Your lipstick color's ability to pop depends on the hue you choose to contour your lips. The two complement each other and create a long-lasting look.

What Lip Liner Goes Well With All Lipsticks?

Go with a nude hue. The best liners to wear are those that are neutral and light. We put together a list of some of the best lip liners to use:

Flower Beauty Toffee Liner

This liner by Flower Beauty is an awesome addition to any lipstick because of its natural coloring. It is also cream-based and glides on very easily. The most important part of a liner is the ability to be sharpened and this liner comes with a built-in sharpener.

Check out this lip liner on Amazon. 

NYX Peekaboo Neutral Liner

Standard pencils are a staple in any makeup kit. NYX pencils allow for the drawing of lips to feel natural, like drawing on paper. This liner is long-wearing and keeps any lipstick in place for longer. All of the colors available are neutral.

Check out this lip liner on Amazon.

Naqier Matte Liner Set

The best lip liners provide variation. The Naqier liner set comes with seven different colors and one concealer pencil. This set truly anticipates every kind of lipstick and liner combination. The addition of the concealer pencil means that you have the ability to volumize your lips with a fine concealer edge.

Check out this lip liner set on Amazon.

Buxom Dolly Danger Liner

The Buxom plumpline lip liner is a great multi-tool. This liner duels as a liner and gloss to provide any lipstick with an amplifying shiny effect. It is cream-based, perfect for blending.

Check out this lip liner on Amazon.

Sephora The Nudest Liner

Sephora's rouge gel lip liner collection pairs well with any lipstick color. Specifically, the color called the nudest. This color is a great tool for contouring and providing a neutral lip base for any lipstick choice. It also includes a built-in sharper.

Check out this lip liner on Amazon.

Can You Wear Just Lip Liner?

The short answer is yes. There are lip liners that are long-wearing and can serve as lipsticks if necessary. It is not ideal to only wear lip liner all the time because it was created with the intent to enhance lipstick. However, using a lip liner as lipstick can be a time and money saver in a pinch.

In Closing

In the end, it is best to choose a lip liner that is lighter than your lipstick. Choosing a natural lip color means that any color can be applied on top. They all work! If you choose a darker lip liner, it can change the color of your lipstick or even mute the lipstick entirely. Softer and subtler colors allow for the illusion of fuller and even lips to be that much more believable.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other style guides that may be of interest to you:

Does Lipstick Expire If Unopened? Here's What You Need To Know

Should Lipstick Match Nail Polish?

One comment

  1. You might want qualify your advice for fair to medium complexions. Women of color with tan or deep skin tones often need to use a lip liner that is darker than the lipstick to make it appear natural. Many “nudes” are to pale or pink and black women often have ombre lips so the dark liner looks more natural.

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