This post has been on my to-do list for almost 6 months, but I never got around to photographing it until now. Why? I dunno, maybe it's because I have a deep love for lip liner that a lot of people don't understand, or maybe it's because I was distracted with more requested posts, or maybe I was just really, really lazy. Whatever. It's here now!
While I never had a truly obscene number of lip liners in my collection, I did have well over a dozen at one point in time. Actually, it might've been closer to 20 pencils--that's a lot when you consider how long they last. I've since narrowed my collection down to 7 favorites. And while I may pop in one or two more over the next year to fill in any supposed gaps, I think this is a solid assortment that meets most of my needs.
With two exceptions, my lipliner collection always has been and likely always will be composed primarily of NYX offerings. The only two outliers are a Kevyn Aucoin liner (Minimal) and a MAC Chromographic pencil (Basic Red). All of these have the kind of formula I like: a bit more hard than soft, but not overly dry and not prone to tugging on the lips, packed with pigment, great staying power. I would say that Basic Red is a hair creamier than the others, but only a hair.
Some notes on individual shades:
- Kevyn Aucoin Minimal and NYX Mauve are very similar, but not totally identical; Mauve is slightly darker and more brown than purple. I like to wear both with cool nudes like MAC Faux. That said, I may eventually get rid of Mauve, just because I slightly prefer the color of Minimal.
- NYX Nude Pink is the shortest pencil I own because it's been sharpened so much. It's my go-to for warm or beige nudes like NARS Raquel, although it's so light that it doesn't add much depth. It's more for getting a precise shape.
- I don't use NYX Rose a lot, I admit it, especially in a traditional lip liner capacity. However, it's useful for warming up other lipsticks; I've used it under the super cool-toned Bite Velvet many times.
- NYX Pinky and MAC Basic Red are my go-tos for bright shades. If I'm wearing NARS Michiyo, you know Pinky is coming to the party, and if it's time for a bold vermillion like MAC Scarlet Ibis, I can't be without Basic Red.
- NYX Auburn has a nice balance of red, brown, and plum, so it works well with both deep scarlets like NARS Charlotte and stark plums like Besame Noir Red. This is also my favorite lip pencil to wear as a lipstick.
- Another liner I don't use a lot is NYX Plum, but that's really because I have a hard time finding vampy purple shades I like on my skintone. Also, Plum is a little dryer than the rest of my NYX pencils, likely because it's such a deep shade.