I’ve never been one to call lip liners ‘indispensable.’ In fact, I hardly ever use them. It feels a little tedious to me to have to color match your lipstick to a separate liner, doubling your efforts and your makeup inventory. I’m personally not too bothered with super-clean, razor-sharp lip lines, I decided.
I stopped buying them after dabbling a little, deeming them quite unnecessary for myself. Lipstick doesn’t really bleed or feather on me, so I failed to see the point. In any case, there has been a theory on lip liners. Just a single nude liner is believed to work on every lip color imaginable.
The Smashbox The Nude Lip Pencil comes in several shades of nude (mine is Light) and is marketed as the only lip pencil you will ever need. That’s a fine idea! But does it work?
Here is what it looks like, swatched. It’s a pretty close match to my lips’ natural pigmentation, though it’s maybe one or two shades darker and warmer.
Here, I’ve lined my lips with the pencil and topped it with Rouge Bunny Rouge Colour Burst Lipstick in Whim of Mine (left) and Snoe Beauty in Plum Crazy. Seems to be undetectable on both, but I found it to be inconclusive, so I tested it on a number of other lipsticks. Here are the lipstick shades I’ve picked out to test with it.
I’ve chosen a super pale shade that’s not brown/neutral on the left, which is Rimmel x Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 101. On the right, I chose a dark neutral matte lip, Revlon Matte Lipstick in Fabulous Fig. The lip liner is not detectable on both cases either.
I pulled out a bright one Tom Ford Lipstick in Flamingo, and a rich dark red lip, Le Métier de Beauté Hydra-Crème Lipstick in Signature Red, and the lip liner is invisible in both cases as well.
My rather shoddy conclusion is that using the nude lip liner to just line your lips is fine. I have a sneaking suspicion that filling in your lips with the liner, then applying lipstick just may alter the color of the lipstick. Then again, I suppose that is to be suspected.
In any case, I’m not much of a liner wearer, so I’m happy that this means I don’t have to spring for another color. I don’t know if this is the same case for other people, but I think that choosing a color that’s close to your actual lip color is the “trick” here and that it won’t necessarily work for all the nudes.
Are you a big lip liner user? Do you find that having lots of colors actually helps? Do share!