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Lipstick vs Lipliner

By: Cat Juan Ledesma

One question that comes up quite regularly in beauty articles is whether or not a lip liner is actually necessary or is it just a marketing ploy to get consumers to buy more products. The answer to this debate is entirely dependent on the look you are going for and your personal beauty lifestyle. So let’s get down to some basics and see what side of the coin you’re on.

What exactly is a lip liner?

Lip liners are the waxier, more opaque, dense versions of lipstick. They have less moisturizing properties and are often more like eye pencils in formula.

What were they designed to do?

Lip liners were originally designed to help keep your lipstick in place and prevent it from bleeding. Think of lip liners like a primer for your lips. They fill in cracks, give lipsticks more staying power, and can actually enhance the true color of the lipstick you bought.

How do I use them?

First off, don’t just line the outer rim of your lips unless you’d like to look like a cartoon after a few hours. Line the entire lip area with a lip liner closest to the shade of your lipstick or your own natural lip color and notice how the color of your lipstick is more vibrant and lasts longer. Many beauty blogs love to share how various lip liner plus lipstick combos can give you an assortment of shades.

A special bonus

With matte lipsticks becoming a major trend, lip liners actually make a great alternative to buying matte lipstick. Simply wear your lip liner by itself for a matte pout. It’s important to note that lip liner can be much more drying than its lipstick counterparts, so be sure to moisturize adequately with a lip balm before applying.

So here’s what you’ve learned in a nutshell:

  1. Purchase a lip liner if you want your lipstick to last longer and prevent bleeding.
  2. Think of lip liner as a primer for your lips
  3. Use lip liner on well moisturized lips as an alternative to matte lipstick


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