Lip Liners

Wednesday, 16 March 2005 | Tags:

To achieve perfect definition between your lips and your facial skin, lip liners set the stage for the all-over lip colour. We find out more about choosing a good lip liner.

The Basics

  • Lip liners are coloured, wax-based instruments used to shape, line and fill in the lips.

  • Lip liners are typically:

    • Pencils, which need to be sharpened regularly with use, or

    • Retractable utensils similar to a mechanical pencil, and don’t need to be sharpened.

  • German-made lip liners are known to have a proven track record: the tips don’t break off, and they’re soft and easy to apply, no matter if they’re just sharpened or not.

  • Make sure the colour of your lip liner is matches your lipstick or gloss colour. When your lip colour wears off, you want the lip liner to be as subtle as possible.

  • Finding your colour:

    • If you can’t test the lip liner for colour then don’t buy it.

    • When testing, use the back of your hand.

    • If the colour goes on unevenly or tugs at your skin, the pencil is too dry and won’t apply well on your lips.

    • If it goes on smooth but then smudges easily, it probably won’t last long.


We tested six different lip liners to see which one highlighted our lips and held up best.

  • Bonne Belle (pencil): $1.99
. .
  • L’Oreal Crayon Petit(retractable): $10.49
. . Well.ca Drugstore.com
  • MAC (pencil): $14
. . Mac Cosmetics
  • Lancôme Crayon Contour(retractable): $24
. . Lancome Canada icon
  • Sisley (pencil/crayon with lip brush and sharpener): $47
. .
  • La Prairie (retractable with refill): $65
. .

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

Lip Liner Test

  • We all preferred the lip pencils to the retractable liners.

  • We found the wetter retractable liners bled into the little lines around our mouth, plus they tended to get used up faster than the pencils.

  • MAC’s liner went on well and stayed on.

  • The Bonne Bell went on nicely and outlasted our lipstick.
  • The Sisley was moist and creamy, and the added lip brush was a hit, but the price was not.


Though we really liked the Sisley, for dollar to dollar value we decided the Bonne Belle pencil was our best bet. Plus the price meant that we could buy one to match each of our favourite lipstick shades without breaking the bank!


Well.ca - Canada's online drugstore

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