Applied before your lipstick or gloss, lip liner looks best when you use it to outline your lips and then gently feather the inside of the line toward your mouth. Practice with your liner before showing your lined lips to the world, as poorly applied lip liner will make people focus on your makeup instead of your pretty pout. When used well, liner subtly adds dimension and fullness to your lips, and also offers a variety of other cosmetic benefits.

Drawing the Line

Lip liner creates a barrier between your lipstick and your skin, preventing your lipstick from bleeding into the fine lines around your mouth. This barrier also blocks moisture, helping your lipstick last longer. Liner further creates contours, reshaping your lips to make them look fuller or more even. If you are happy with the natural contours of your lips, applying liner will highlight and accentuate the shape you already have. Liners and lipsticks of different shades are occasionally used together to create a full, multi-dimensional look, but avoid liner that is darker than your lipstick when applying more than one color.