After 20 hours of research evaluating 71 products, we picked NYX Slim Lip Liner Pencil as our top choice.
Here's a hot topic on everyone's mind: How to achieve luscious, full-looking lips.
Ever since Kylie Jenner admitted to overlining her lips to make them look bigger (and subsequently getting lip injections), everyone's been scrambling to get a plush pout. You see it everywhere: Insta models, bloggers, and makeup artists have started popularizing makeup looks that emphasize big lips.
Here's the deal:
Our current obsession with full lips isn't entirely celebrity-fueled. In fact, actual science tells us that women pillowy-soft lips are seen to be more attractive -- all because we have evolved to associate them with youth and vitality.
What's the bottom line?
Not everyone is open to the idea of lip injections, but using lip liners to achieve a fuller pout is the next best thing!
Having a trusty lip pencil will define your lips and make them look plush and full. Not only that, it's awesome for extending the wear of your favorite lipstick, too!
We spent 20 hours researching and evaluated a total of 71 products to help you find the best lip liner. Whether you're a fan of high end brands or looking for the best drugstore lip liner, this list is for you.
The Milani Color Statement Lip Liner is unbelievably affordable, and it pairs an attractive price tag with impressive quality. This lip liner boasts a smooth formula that easily goes on the lips without caking, bunching, and feathering. And although it's not the most long-lasting lip liner out there, it fades nicely and evenly throughout the day.
The tip goes blunt rather quickly due to the creamy nature of the product, so you have to sharpen the pencil after every single use. This also means you're bound to run out of product faster than usual. Well, at least repurchasing the pencil won't cost you more than a few bucks, right?
Milani's creamy formula effortlessly glides onto the lips and delivers good color payoff without skipping or bunching. It's a bit drying, but nothing that you wouldn't normally expect from a matte lip liner.
While we love the fact that applying this liner does not hurt the lips, the softness of the product itself makes it prone to breaking. Still, for the price, we believe that the quality you're getting is superb.
This baby boasts eight flattering color options -- all of which are matte. There's a nice mix of neutral pinks, nudes, and browns. However, we would've been more impressed had Milani thrown a couple more vampy and bold shades into the mix.
The Milani Color Statement Lip Liner isn't an all-day wonder. That is, it will eventually fade as you go about your day. And as with many other lip products, eating oily food and drinking frequently will inevitably speed up the fading process.
The good thing, though, is that the color fades evenly throughout the day, which means your lips won't end up looking super awkward by mid-day.
At less than $5 a pop, the Milani Color Statement Lip Liners are hard to beat in terms of value. It would have scored a bit higher had its formula been more on the "a litte goes a long way" side of the spectrum, but at this price, it's really hard to complain!
L'Oréal's lip liner blends smoothly no matter what type and color of lipstick you pair with it. Its precise tip also makes lining the lips a breeze. Additionally, this pencil glides amoothly and wears nicely throughout the day.
This lip liner doesn't contain a lot of product, so you might use up the entire pencil faster than expected.
The formula is slightly creamy but is firm enough to draw crisp lines. It's definitely more of a satin/creamy finish, so it's a lot less drying than matte liners. We also love the thin and sleek packaging that makes achieving the perfect application ridiculously easy.
This lip pencil comes in 12 shades. If you love pinks, mauves, and berries, you'd definitely fall for this baby! We noticed that there aren't a lot of red and coral shades, though that's not really a problem if you're just looking for an everyday pencil.
The Color Riche Lip Liner doesn't feather nor smudge. It's bound to fade after several hours, but it does so evenly. No need to worry abut weird clumps and unsightly patches of color on your lips! What's more, reapplication is super easy, too.
We're smitten by the fact that this lip liner performs exceptionally in spite of coming from the drug store. Because it's so affordable and widely-accessible, buying a couple of colors (or all of them -- we won't judge) will not hurt your pocket at all.
This double-ended lip liner from QIBEST applies without tugging or skipping. Both the liner and lipstick components are creamy and comfortable on the lips. It's great for travel and on-the-go gals, and many seem to love its pigmentation, too.
Although this lip product has above-average staying power, it is not transfer-proof.
The QIBEST Double Ended Lip Pencil offers the convenience of having a lip liner and a lipstick in one. It's easy to use for lining the lips and filling them with saturated color. The smooth, comfortable formula instantly transforms the lips and gives it a slight sheen. We love that we can use it to achieve both a full coverage pout and subtly stained lips.
This product comes in 12 shades. We highly recommend shade #8 for days when you feel like rocking a showstopping red, though we also adore shade #15's sweeter take on the muted pink lip.
This lip liner is not 100% transfer-proof. Although it'll leave a mark on your cups and glasses, your lips will stay covered with beautiful pigment for most of the day. Plus, its dual-ended nature makes for super easy reapplication.
Just $7.99 for a whopping 21 grams of product? Yes, please! This lip liner surely knows how to bring value to the table, and frankly, we're all here for it!
Covergirl's Colorlicious Lip Perfection Lip Liner combines knockout pigment and unbeatable moisture. It conditions dry lips and boasts a velvety formula that gives solid color payoff. If you need a lip liner that saturates your lips with color in just a few swipes, this product is a strong choice.
This pencil requires a special sharpener.
This lip pencil is clearly meant for people with dry lips. Its formula contains more than 60% skin conditioners, so if you have dry, chapped lips, this product won't exacerbate the problem and even smoothen the look of your puckers. It's very creamy, so it's easy to lay down a solid layer of color. And because of that, it's a great pick if you love highly pigmented lip pencils.
This product comes in 10 shade options, which is pretty average for a lip liner. Nonetheless, we love that most of the shades are versatile enough to be flattering on most skin tones.
This lip liner will last you about four to five hours before it starts to fade. It's not as durable compared to drier and waxier formulations, but this is a normal drawback as far as ultra-creamy formulas are concerned. Still, it DOES extend the wear of any lipstick, but you have to be careful not to accidentally touch your lips.
As a drugstore product that performs well and cares for the lips, this Covergirl liner gives awesome value. In fact, we can see ourselves buying several more shades at less than $4 a pop!
The Jane Iredale Lip Liner is well-loved for its pigmentation and ease of application. Because it is mineral-based, it won't irritate delicate lips. It also sits nicely on the lips and doesn't emphasize the creases and lines.
Some users found the pencil challenging to sharpen. To be fair, the folks over at Jane Iredale did warn on their website that this lip pencil must be sharpened using their own-brand sharpener. But at $17 a pencil, having to buy a special sharpener can be quite frustrating.
Jane Iredale boasts that their formula is soft enough to easily line the lips but durable enough to offer a long-lasting color base -- and we totally agree! While it's not something we'd classify as unbelievably long-lasting, it doesn't easily fade into nothingness, either.
In short, this product strikes a wonderful balance between staying power and comfort. We also appreciate that they've thrown in conditioning ingredients to make this liner more dry lip friendly. Plus, the fact that this baby uses mineral-based pigments makes it the best natural lip pencil on our list!
Jane Iredale offers this lip product in 11 versatile colors. We appreciate that there's a fair mix of nudes, browns, pinks, reds, and plums. So whether you prefer neutrals or bolds, warm or cool tones, we're confident that everyone will be able to find something that flatters their skin tone among the list of shades.
This lip pencil is not a stay-all-day liner by any means, so you will probably have to touch up at least once a day. However, it's long-lasting enough for you to comfortably wear it on a normal day to work or school without fearing that it might smear all over your chin. Plus, it's pretty easy to layer on when retouch time rolls around. So really, we'd say that its longevity is decent at the very least.
At an MSRP of $17 per 1.1g pencil, it's priced just like any other high-end lip liner. So if you're used to shopping at Sephora and the likes, you'd probably have no qualms about this pencil -- especially considering its nice, comfortable formula.
The kicker, however, is that you'll have to buy the Jane Iredale sharpener to be able to sharpen this pencil in peace. As pointed out by some reviewers (and the Jane Iredale website itself), using a regular sharpener can potentially split the wood. And that, folks, definitely brought down its value score by a few notches.
For many years now, the MAC Lip Pencil has been a staple for makeup lovers because of its dependable formula. The firm texture makes crisp lines totally achievable, all while being smooth and easy to apply. Plus, its amazing shade range and solid coverage make it a great pick if you have dark lips.
MAC's texture is known to be more on the drier, firmer side (as opposed to soft and creamy), so it's not as moisturizing as the other lip liners on this list. Also, MAC is not a cruelty-free brand.
MAC's formula is well-loved for many reasons. It's definitely something we'd call firm instead of creamy, but amazingly, this pencil still applies smoothly. And because the formula is not as soft, it does a great job at resisting feathering and smudging throughout the day. That said, if you like overlining your lips, this gem will prevent the color from smearing all over your face as the day wears on.
The pencil's firm and solid consistency also makes it really easy to draw crisp lines. We love pairing it with bolder lipsticks for that very reason. Plus, the color payoff is superb and it's definitely buildable enough to cover dark lips.
MAC Lip Pencil comes in more than 30 amazing shades. It doesn't miss out on iconic MAC colors like Ruby Woo and Whirl. But our favorites are the ever-so-popular shades Soar and Spice, which were made immortal by Kylie Jenner herself.
MAC's lip products have some of the best staying powers we've ever tried, and their lip liner is no exception. We love how this liner stays put for most of the day. In fact, although the opacity of the color becomes slightly more subdued by the afternoon, it doesn't completely wear off.
At $18 for 1.45 grams of product, we think that this lip pencil is well worth the money, especially considering its performance. Plus, a little goes a long way with this pencil. Because of its formula, you also don't have to sharpen it as often as the average liner.
The Aqua Lip Lipliner from Make Up For Ever truly embodies everything you could ever need in a lip pencil. It will not smudge, fade, or feather throughout the day. We adore the fact that it delivers impressive pigmentation that is waterproof and feels fantastic on the lips.
The price. At $20, it's the most expensive lip liner on our list.
The Aqua Lip Lipliner's formula is downright superb. It's highly pigmented, creamy, and long-lasting. Because it is waterproof, it does not fade even after drinking glass upon glass of water (and iced coffee!). The rich color payoff makes overlining easy. And because it's so opaque, we find ourselves skipping lipstick completely after putting this on!
On the flip side, do note that it's not the most lightweight lip liner out there, as you will definitely feel it sitting on your lips. That being said, it's still a very comfortable formula overall, especially since it contains Jojoba and Vitamin E.
Make Up For Ever offers this pencil in 10 amazing shades. It's not the widest shade range by any means, but it's varied enough to accommodate plenty of tastes and skin tones.
When it comes to this pencil, staying power truly is the star of the show. If you hate reapplying your lip products, then you should definitely give this baby a try. It lasts through eating and drinking (as long as you're not eating a juicy, greasy slab of steak, of course). And it won't come off until you take it off with a makeup remover at the end of the day!
This $20 lipliner is definitely on the pricier side. But we firmly believe that its quality and longevity make it well worth the investment.
If you're a makeup junkie, then you'll know that the Slim Lip Pencil from NYX has been raved about countless times by bloggers, YouTubers, and beauty gurus. And why not? Its buttery soft and long-lasting formula glides on the lips, stays put, and resists bleeding. Its shade variety is also outstanding. Who would've thought a drugstore lip liner can be THIS good?
This lip pencil can be a bit drying, but nothing that a good lip balm or lip primer can't fix.
NYX's formula is truly what we'd call high-end quality at a drugstore price. Smooth application? Check. Great longevity? Check. Impressive pigmentation? Check! It resists feathering and bleeding so you can go about your day without worrying about your lipcolor. Plus, it makes any lipcolor you put on top last longer, too!
At 41 shades, this lip pencil is a clear winner in this department. Whatever look you're going for, you'll probably find something you'd love here -- from prim and proper neutrals to quirky oranges to badass reds!
We especially love that the variety of nude shades they offer makes it so incredibly easy to contour the lips. And for the price, you'd be able to purchase multiple shades without feeling much guilt.
The NYX Lip Pencil is not completely waterproof like the Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip, but we're still impressed by its staying power. Even after drinking and snacking, it stays put and doesn't appear patchy at all. The color never really disappears completely, although you may have to touch up after a heavy meal if you want to maintain full opacity until the end of the day.
In terms of value, the NYX Lip Liner is the one to beat. For the price it demands, you'll be pleasantly surprised with how well it performs. Trust us, you can't really go wrong with this drugstore gem.