September 15th, 2015
The modern lip is all about easy elegance – none of the harsh lines and definite edges of the past. But that doesn’t mean that lip liners aren’t here to stay – the latest formulas are almost as smooth, buttery and pigmented as lipstick, and can be a much-needed safeguard against feathering or fading. Here are Warpaint’s pick of the bunch.
Affordable high street favourite KIKO have multiple versions, depending on your preferred pencil format. From their best-selling Smart Lip Pencil – which cost just £2.50 and have great pigmentation – to their Automatic Precision Lip Liner (£5.90) with easy twist-up motion, these lip liners come in a huge range of shades, as we have come to expect from the Italian brand.
Hailed by Lisa Eldridge as one of her favourite nude lip shades, the L’Oreal Infallible Lip Liner (£5.19) in the shade Always Toasted is an excellent beige-pink shade for paler skins which just need a bit of subtle definition. The pencil is firm but creamy, and nicely weighted in the hand. Another favourite of hers is the No7 Precision Lip Pencil (£6.75) – these are nice and velvety smooth, and work well for laying down a base shade across the whole lip.
For pencils with a truly smooth feel and vibrant colours – ideal for editorial work or bold looks – you can’t go far wrong with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil (£13.50). They’re waterproof and, as the name suggests, very long-lasting. Their invisible shade, Ozone, is one of their best-sellers for its ability to hold colour in place without feathering whilst matching any lip shade.
Speaking of long-lasting, the classic Estée Lauder Double Wear range includes the Stay-in-Place Lip Liners (£17.50). The dainty brush on this double-ended pencil is great for softening any harsh edges, keeping your lip look modern and (seemingly) effortless. They have a nice range of shades too, from a pop of Coral to reddened-brown Brick.
We can’t mention lip liners without including MAC Lip Pencil’s ever-growing range of shades (£12.50). Eternally coveted, whether it’s to recreate a Kylie Jenner lip or just for the uncomplicated yet extremely workable formula, these grace many a kit. Our current favourite is the versatile Half-Red, a soft burgundy which can lean plummy or more rose-toned depending on your model.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat Pencils (£16) have some extremely useful shades in the range, especially for darker skin tones, with some browns and deeper pinks and berry shades. It’s quite a soft pencil and glides across the lips without tugging on them. We’ve heard that Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner (£3.99) in East End Snob is a good dupe for Charlotte’s Pillow Talk shade. The Rimmel liners are a great high street alternative – the velvety texture and good colour pay-off gives some of the higher priced brands a run for their money!
GOSH Velvet Touch Lip Liners (£4.99) don’t have the best shade range, but the ones they do have are definitely worth a look. They last very well, and the colours they do have are pretty good – Nougat Crisp, in particular, is a great nude that doesn’t lean too pale or too pink. Containing Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil, they’re nice to apply as well.
You know those products which are so simple yet so ingenious that you have to wonder how no-one had invented them sooner? Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners (£15.50) certainly tick that box. These lip liners self-sharpen every time you unscrew the cap, thanks to a tiny built-in sharpener – amazing! But be warned, there’s less product included than a traditional pencil which can be sharpened right down to a nub.