Lip Liner vs No Lip Liner. Do You Really Need It?

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Lip liner is more or less an optional cosmetic. You can still rock pouty or sultry lips with your favorite lipstick without it. So then why all the hype?

What does lip liner really do for you? Is a lip liner something that you really need to have in your makeup kit?

In this article, we are going to explore lip liner vs no lip liner. Do you really need it?!


What is the Purpose of Lip Liner?

Lip Liner on Lips

Lip liner can be used for various reasons, but its primary function is to make sure your lip color stays put.

Lip liners are developed in long-wearing, matte finishes and can be used for the following purposes:

Preventing Lipstick from Bleeding and Featheirng

Lip liner acts as a barrier on the outer edges of your lips. It is designed to help your lipstick adhere to your lips better without bleeding or feathering. This is key if you are planning to wear a lipstick that has a shiny finish or moisture-rich formula.

Moisturizing, glossy lipstick tends to bleed more than matte lipstick.

Correcting Uneven lips

Another great use for lip liner is correcting uneven lips to give them a smoother, more even contour. Lip liners define and shape your lips by filling in any uneven areas on the outer edges.

Creating Fuller Lips

Lip liner can be effective for “overlining” your lips a bit to add more fullness to the real shape of your lips.

But whether you have naturally thin lips or you’re going for a super pouty look, overlining will give you fuller-looking lips, naturally!

You’re not getting lip-fillers, but a lip liner can definitely give the pout more punch!

Making Lipstick Last Longer

Using a lip liner to contour and fill in the entire lip area will act as a primer. Your lipstick will adhere to it, making it last a lot longer.

As a Lipstick “Replacement”

Filling in your lips with lip liner is essentially like wearing matte lipstick. If you’re just looking for a little color that is guaranteed to last, using lip liner on its own will do the trick.

Adding a little colorless lip balm will keep your lips from feeling too dry and your color from looking too matte.

Lip Liner vs No Lip Liner

Lip Liner Colors

As you get older, the skin around the mouth may change in texture and appearance. As a result, the lips may appear dull and look thinner. Enter lip liner – the perfect solution to correcting uneven lips and preventing your lipstick from feathering and bleeding.

You can use lip liners to achieve a slightly different lip shape. If you don’t have much of a defined cupid’s bow, for example, you can shape it a bit more predominantly.

You can also use lip liner on the outer edge of your lips to make them appear fuller.

When it comes to applying lipstick, lip liners will help you get that precise edge that can be harder to do with a larger lipstick tip.

Lip liners can act like a primer that gives your lipstick something to grip to, so it makes your lipstick last longer.

There are a few downsides to lip liner.

If you aren’t using the right liner shade to suit your lip tone or your lipstick, it’s not going to look good.

It’s easy to get carried away and end up with a lip shape that looks unnatural.

It’s yet another step to your makeup routine and you don’t may not like the idea of having to have a different liner for every shade of lipstick.  

Do You Need a Lip Liner for Every Lipstick?

How to Choose Lip Liner Colors

Step one to using a lip liner is to choose the right shade. If you are trying to match your liner to your lipstick, it should be a shade darker or lighter than your lipstick of choice.

Rather than trying to match your liner to your lipstick, a fantastic way to cut down on the number of liners you need in your cosmetic arsenal is to use a neutral, or nude, lip liner.

So – no, you don’t need a different liner for every color of lipstick and gloss you have.

For neutral liners, you’ll want to choose a lip liner that’s one to two shades darker than your natural lip color and matches your natural skin’s undertones. Neutral liners can be worn with almost any lipstick or gloss that matches your undertones.

Identifying Your Undertones

To determine your skin’s undertone, look at the veins on the underside of your wrist in natural light. You have cool-toned skin with pink undertones if your veins appear blue.

If your veins appear green, you have warm-toned skin with yellow undertones.

If your veins appear both blue and green, you’re in luck! You have neutral undertones, and almost every shade of lipstick will look great on you.

If you can’t see your veins or it’s hard to tell the color, hold up silver and gold jewelry next to your face.

Disregard your personal preference – which one looks better next to your skin? Those with cool-toned skin will look better with silver jewelry, while those with warm-toned skin will look better with gold jewelry.

We’ve chosen a few neutral lip liners for different skin tones that will go with any lipstick or gloss.

Neutral Lip Liners for Cool Tones

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Lip Cheat Lip Pencil - Pillow Talk
CHARLOTTE TILBURY Lip Cheat Lip Pencil - Pillow Talk
Pillow Talk - Nude pink lip liner; A rich, velvety lip liner; For reshape, resize and balance the look of lips
$29.39 Amazon Prime

Neutral Lip Liners for Warm Tones

Maybelline Color Sensational Liner - Velvet Beige
Maybelline Color Sensational Liner - Velvet Beige
Extend the wear of your lip gloss or lipstick with these matching lip liners.; No smudging, feathering or bleeding.

So Do You Really Need Lip Liner?

When it comes down to lip liner vs no lip liner and do you really need it – if you regularly sport lipstick or gloss, lip liner helps you define and shape your lips, prevents bleeding and feathering, and keeps your lipstick and gloss lasting a lot longer.

On the other hand, If you are happy with the shape of your lips and don’t tend to wear lipstick often, then lip liner is pretty non-essential.

However, having a neutral lip liner that matches your lips and skin undertones and that will go with every lipstick for those times you decide to glam it up, you’ll be happy you have it.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).