Sunday, July 26, 2015

Try This: Lipliner as Lipstick

After numerous purges and "shrink that stash" missions, I've somehow managed to get rid of every blue-based red lipstick I own. I'm going to guess that this happened because warm reds are just so damn appealing (MAC Lady Danger, c'mon) and because most of my cool-toned reds were in formulas that didn't wow me. Regardless, I've been in a bit of a tizzy this past month, fretting over whether or not I should spend my non-existent money on ye olde favorite MAC Dubonnet.

I decided that, before I pulled the trigger, I should get re-acquainted with the lipliner I always used with Dubonnet, NYX Auburn. I swatched it on my hand, and wow, how did I forget how damn pretty that color is? So I smeared it all over my lips. Boom! Instant blue-based red lipstick!

"Use your lipliner like lipstick" is old hat, but we often forget to try it. I think it's because lipliner can be very polarizing, especially in this era of Apocalypse-proof liquid lipsticks and tattooed makeup. We think of it as an unnecessary "extra step." It's the stuff of the 90s. It's too "obvious."

The truth is that lipliner isn't necessary, especially if you like a super-natural or slap-dash look. But no makeup is necessary. And if you want something that'll make your lipstick last longer or your gloss look bolder? You can't beat lipliner. No lip primer I've tried has ever compared to liner's tenacity.

Using lipliner all over your lips instead of a "traditional" lip color has several advantages:

1. It's cheap-ish. Most companies are aware that lipliners don't inspire awe in the average consumer, so they rarely pop up in limited edition collections and don't receive the same coverage as lipstick or eyeshadow. It's also kind of hard to make a pencil's packaging attractive. Hence, lipliners are often some of the cheapest color cosmetics companies produce. It doesn't always hold true--MAC charges the same for a lipstick and a lipliner because they know they can--but I know I can get 2 NYX lip pencils for the price of 1 NYX matte lipstick.

2. They're generally travel-friendly. I've been lucky enough to dodge most makeup quibbles, but I have had a few lipstick caps pop off in my purse, and I've definitely experienced a gloss tube leaking/breaking at inopportune moments. Lids come off of pencils, too, but for the most part, I find that their caps stick a little better. I think it may be because most lip pencils are made of wood, and that has more texture than a metal lipstick tube. (PSEUDO-SCIENCE!) Lip pencils are also light, thin, and don't count as a liquid during air travel. Last, but not least, most pencils have a harder formula that makes them less prone to melting than a traditional lipstick.

3. It's easy to alter the finish. Applied straight to your lips, most pencils will have a matte finish. You can apply them over a thin layer of balm for a more satin finish. If I want a glossy finish, I dab some of my trusty Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Gloss on top. Voila!

4. Care is easy. To get that precise point back, just refridgerate your pencils for 10-15 minutes, then sharpen them. (If the pencil is very soft, strive for 30 minutes in the fridge.) Sharpening pencils helps to sanitize them as well.

5. You can get a precise lip line with little effort. MAC lipliners are especially good for this because they have a hard formula. If you prefer a softer line, you can put a bit of balm on your fingertip and use that to blend a harder liner out. Or, you can use a softer lipliner, like Colourpop's offerings. I prefer a formula that's in the middle: hard enough to sharpen to a good point and get a great line, but not too terribly difficult to smear out. Call in the NYX pencils!


  1. I'm purchasing colorpop pony pencil just because you said its like petals and peacocks, and I'm totally with the idea of liner as lipstick :)

    1. The Pony pencil and lipstick are not like P&P BY THEMSELVES--you can see this in the swatches I did for my review. When they're combined, however, they create a very similar shade.

  2. You look great! What is the shimmery eyeliner you are wearing? I may have spotted it in your Buxom foundation review pics too and I need to have it!

    1. It's actually an eyeshadow all over my eyes, but because it has a kinda foiled look and my eyes are hooded, it can look like liner in my photos. :) It's Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow in Playa del Pink. My current go-to!