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The Best Lip Liner - 2022

Last updated on August 9, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Lip Liners

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Longwear Pencil Lip Liner

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP

Longwear Pencil Lip Liner

Overall Take

Lasting LinesThis lip liner resists bleeding and stays in place throughout the day for a long-lasting option.

  Runner Up

Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping No-Smudge Lip Liner

Maybelline

Color Sensational Shaping No-Smudge Lip Liner

Overall Take

Vibrant ColorsThis lip liner is designed to provide coloring that's bold and rich.

  We Also Like

Rimmel Exaggerate Angled Tip Lip Liners, 2-Count

Rimmel

Exaggerate Angled Tip Lip Liners, 2-Count

Overall Take

Easy to ApplyAn angled tip helps you move easily across the contours of your lips.

  Strong Contender

Italia Assorted Colors Ultra Fine Lip Liners, 12-Count

Italia

Assorted Colors Ultra Fine Lip Liners, 12-Count

Overall Take

Versatile OptionThis lip liner can be used with lipstick or alone to offer an alternative to traditional lipstick.

Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on August 9, 2022

For many people, putting on makeup is an important part of a well-established morning routine. But did you know that wearing makeup may even boost your brain’s performance? One study published by Harvard showed that women students who put on makeup before taking a test performed better than those who didn’t. The thinking behind why this works is that wearing makeup gives you a slight boost in self-esteem that can help you tackle those demanding situations.

But one type of makeup can be easy to skip. While lipstick completes a fully made-up look, if you eat and drink throughout the day, you’ll usually have to reapply it multiple times. Luckily, in recent years, cosmetics manufacturers have come up with lip-coloring options that can outlast sips of beverages and light snacking.

The type of lipstick is only the start, though. Lip liner has long been popular for defining the lip line for a bolder look. But over the years, it’s become clear that lip liner can also extend the life of that lipstick you apply in the early morning hours. With the right lip liner, you’ll seal in the lip color and ensure it stays in place for hours.

But it’s important to look at the texture of the lip liner you choose. Traditional lip pencils were dry and the tips could even crumble if too much pressure was applied. Today, cosmetics manufacturers have advanced their formulas to create a creamy texture that feels and looks good once applied.

Thanks to formula advancements, lip liner doesn’t have to just outline the mouth. You can find lip liner that’s creamy enough to serve as both liner and lip color. The biggest benefit of going this route is that you’ll get long-lasting color, even as you’re drinking and eating during the day. This all-in-one solution also helps free up space in your makeup bag or purse.

The Best Lip Liners

1
  Top Pick

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Longwear Pencil Lip Liner

Available in a wide range of colors, this slim lip pencil blends well without bleeding. The formula is buttery soft for easy application and comfortable wear. You can buy matching shades of lipstick, lip gloss and lip cream to complete the look.

Features


Specifications

Brand
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP
Model
2
  Runner Up

Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping No-Smudge Lip Liner

The creamy formula of this lip liner ensures it glides on smoothly for a comfortable feel. You’ll get smudge-resistant lines to help keep your lipstick on your lips. A wide range of colors are available, including subtle nudes and bold browns and plums.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Maybelline
Model
3
  We Also Like

Rimmel Exaggerate Angled Tip Lip Liners, 2-Count

You’ll get two lip liners in one pack with this option, which comes in 10 different colors. The angled tip helps make application easier. The formula is designed to keep lipstick from smudging or bleeding.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Rimmel
Model
4
  Strong Contender

Italia Assorted Colors Ultra Fine Lip Liners, 12-Count

With 12 different color options, this lip liner can help you create a look that fits your personal style. The creamy texture means you can use it with lipstick or alone by simply penciling in the entire surface of your lips. Purchase a separate sharpener to ensure you always have a fine tip.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Italia
Model
5
  Also Great

HAUS LABORATORIES Demi-Matte Vegan Lip Liner

Choose from 16 different colors with this lip liner, which offers a creamy formula in a pencil format. The high pigmentation helps you make a big statement even with light application. The formula is moisturizing to help keep your lips healthy and comfortable with all-day wear.

Features


Specifications

Brand
HAUS LABORATORIES
Model

Our Lip Liner Buying Guide

For many people, putting on makeup is an important part of a well-established morning routine. But did you know that wearing makeup may even boost your brain’s performance? One study published by Harvard showed that women students who put on makeup before taking a test performed better than those who didn’t. The thinking behind why this works is that wearing makeup gives you a slight boost in self-esteem that can help you tackle those demanding situations.

But one type of makeup can be easy to skip. While lipstick completes a fully made-up look, if you eat and drink throughout the day, you’ll usually have to reapply it multiple times. Luckily, in recent years, cosmetics manufacturers have come up with lip-coloring options that can outlast sips of beverages and light snacking.

The type of lipstick is only the start, though. Lip liner has long been popular for defining the lip line for a bolder look. But over the years, it’s become clear that lip liner can also extend the life of that lipstick you apply in the early morning hours. With the right lip liner, you’ll seal in the lip color and ensure it stays in place for hours.

But it’s important to look at the texture of the lip liner you choose. Traditional lip pencils were dry and the tips could even crumble if too much pressure was applied. Today, cosmetics manufacturers have advanced their formulas to create a creamy texture that feels and looks good once applied.

Thanks to formula advancements, lip liner doesn’t have to just outline the mouth. You can find lip liner that’s creamy enough to serve as both liner and lip color. The biggest benefit of going this route is that you’ll get long-lasting color, even as you’re drinking and eating during the day. This all-in-one solution also helps free up space in your makeup bag or purse.

DWYM Fun Fact

Although lip liner has been around for a century, no decade was bigger for this makeup staple than the 1990s. For years, women had worked hard to make sure their lip liner didn’t show, but women of that decade went in another direction. The goal was to create a bolder, darker line, combined with a lighter, more neutral lipstick to create a stark contrast.

Naomi Campbell was among the first celebrities to give the look attention. Renowned makeup artist Sam Fine created that look for her after observing it on other women of color. The look soon spread to other celebrities and, eventually, the general public. Pamela Anderson and the Spice Girls sported the look, as did Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera. As the ’90s rolled to an end, though, lip liner resumed its role of blending with lipstick, although some still like to rock an ombre look, with the darker lip liner blending into a lighter lip color.

The Lip Liner Tips and Advice

  • You don’t have to sharpen your lip-liner pencil with today’s options. You can find mechanical lip liners that you simply rotate upward. The only downside to this option is that you won’t be able to create as fine a line as you can with a sharpened lip pencil.
  • You’ll find lip liners available in a variety of colors. There are also differing options when it comes to shades, though. Some prefer the bold look that comes from choosing a darker shade than that of their lipstick. Others like to match the lip liner to the lipstick color. But another option is to more closely match your own lips to keep things looking great even after your lipstick wears off.
  • Many brands that make lip liner also sell lipstick, making it likely you’ll be able to find an exact match. But you don’t have to wear the same brand of each. You might find a lip liner you like in one brand and a lipstick that’s better in another.
  • Make sure any lip liner you choose resists smudging. The point of lip liner is to keep your lipstick from smudging, so a lip liner that smudges won’t be of much help.
  • Some lip liners are sold in sets. This will give you a backup for when your first pencil runs out, but you might also want to keep one at home and one in your purse for those quick touch-ups during the day.
  • For creamier mechanical lip-liner pencils, an angled tip can help you get the detail you need.
  • If you plan to wear lip liner without lipstick, look for one with a creamier texture to give your lips the moisture you need throughout the day.
  • For best results, store your lip liner in a cool, dry area. This is especially important for creamier formulas. Heat and light can dry a lip liner out and start to dull its color over time.

About The Author

Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She enjoys writing about beauty, and her work has been featured on some popular beauty sites.