The Bottom Line
Let's get down to the bottom line...and by bottom line, I mean using lip liner...
I can't tell you how many times I've been asked, "Should you line the lips?" Well, there actually is no bottom line, definite answer to that question because it really depends. Lining the lips can be a corrective technique or a fashion decision. Let me explain...
Like fingerprints, lips come in all different shapes and sizes. Lip liner is used to help correct simple things like thin lips you'd like to make fuller, bleeding lipstick, giving a more definite look to shapeless lips, or balancing out uneven lips. If you're trying to correct an issue you have with lipstick, lip liner will be your best friend and you definitely use it.
Making Thin Lips Fuller
One of the most popular trends is full, sensuous lips. Lining thin lips just outside the natural line will give the illusion of fuller lips.
Liner Tip - Feather or color in from the line onto your lips to keep from having that obvious "liner look" when your lipstick starts to wear down.
Stopping Lipstick Bleed
If you've got fine lines around your lips, or if for some strange reason lipstick just slides off your lips (like it does to me), you are also the perfect candidate to wear lip liner. Lining your lips will create a makeup-based wall to stop the lipstick from sliding where it's not supposed to. Once you've applied your liner, powder it down then apply your lipstick. This will set the liner in place and keep it from moving.
Liner Tip- If your liner's tip keeps breaking when you sharpen the pencil it usually means the liner has been dropped and the inside pencil has shattered. You'll need to replace the liner.
So your lips don't have that cute bow or a full enough bottom. Well, you've got to sketch out the shape you want. Using a freshly sharpened liner sketch (meaning short, quick lines that connect, not one big drawn on line) the shapes you want to create just beyond your natural lip line. Then apply lipstick as usual.
Liner Tip - If you keep the tip of your liner sharp it'll keep your lines crisper and less noticeable, giving you a much cleaner and natural look.
Ah, yes, another reason I personally use liner when I wear lipstick. I have what I like to call "Joker Lips" meaning I have a big bow on top and a full bottom lip--but when I smile--the top sides of my lips disappear and I look like the Joker from Batman when I wear lipstick. So I correct them with liner to fill out the thinner bits, using the fuller part as a guide, I just round out the line.
Liner Tip--Use liner colors that are approximately the same color or just a shade darker than the lipstick you plan to wear. This will keep the liner looking more natural.
You remember that wave a good while back where girls would line their lips in a really dark color and then fill in the lips with a nude lipstick or gloss? That was a fashion choice. Whenever you make a conscious decision to do something different for the sheer look, that's what we're talking about here.
Now with fashion you can be creative, or copy a recent trend from any of the magazines. You're only limited here by your imagination.
Liner Tip--Putting creamier liners in the freezer for give minutes will make it easier to get clean lines when using them.
Trendy Liner with Gloss
A popular trend is people wearing lip liner all over their lips then washing it over with a close lip-gloss color in lieu of lipstick. This gives a high shine and wet look as opposed to a matte or shimmer of a lipstick.
So now you've got the bottom line answer on lip liners so go out and conquer the world, two lips at a time...