Lip Liner Is Back

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I typically prefer to wear color on my lips in the softest way possible, which is why I haven't worn lip liner in several years. But things change, and shaped lips suddenly feel very modern to me. I kept thinking of taking the late '90s nude lip liner range of colors and bringing it into the here and now. Turns out, controlling the shape of your lips can be a lot of fun—it can also go elegant or cool, depending how you line them. When I line my lips, I notice it almost looks like I've had work done. A good lip liner can fake a nose job! My bone structure shifts with a different shaped mouth. This weekend, let me present the ways I shape-shift my face with the help of a few good lip liners.

1. Coral red: A soft-matte red lip liner that fades into your natural lip color is surprisingly pretty. I'm using Julie Hewett Noir Collection Lip Pencil in Belle Noir, a poppy red. First, sketch along your lip line focusing on where you want to add volume. In my case, I'm going to focus on the upper sides of my mouth. I sketch right on top of my lip line, rounding out at the corners. I always start lining the top lip first, then continue on the bottom to compliment the shape of the lip I created. Depending on this shape, you can define your Cupid's bow or drown them down, Angelina Jolie-style. Drowning your Cupid's bow means you'll draw over the peaks, slightly rounding out your top lip—the ultimate lip plumper. Finally, take a Q-tip and blend out the color to the center of your lips to create a fade. For a less-harsh effect, gently go over your lip liner to blur it out a bit.

2. “Bright' nude: You want to pick a nude liner that is super flattering to your lips and skin tone, not one that drags your face down in a brown-paper-bag sort of way. Nars makes a beautiful bright, fleshy nude called Tonga. The apricot and melon qualities make this nude vibrant rather than dull. Apply your perfect “bright' nude liner in the very same way as instructed above, but be more generous this time. Since the color is not drastically far from your lips, it as it dissolves quickly into your natural lip color, so layering is necessary to get the effect. Wearing any type of semi-matte naked color on your lips will need a touch of color on your cheeks. I pair these lips with another Nars staple, their blush in Super Orgasm.

3. Copper brown : A penny colored nude is deeper in tone. When you think of brown-nudes warm-apricot shades come to mind, but this Julie Hewett Noir Collection Lip Pencil in Nude Noir goes on your lips with a slight rose tone. Wearing this makeup makes me feel like a '90s french actress leaving the house (i.e. Isabelle Adjani). This color is actually flattering on all skin tones as it has a way of becoming one with your own lip color. Apply as instructed previously, but feel free to customize your widths and thickness. Maybe your Cupid's bow wants to say hi!

4. Berry wine: Here I'm using Julie Hewett Noir Collection Lip Pencil in Coco Noir. This color is year-round for me. Since it's a bit deeper, I glaze my lips with a balm so that the liner becomes a bit glossy and floats on my lips. This technique is perfect for wearing a wine-colored lip liner as it creates a barely-there berry lip. This soft-yet-deep colored uni-lip is the lip of my dreams right now.

Pick your favorite, or try all four. It's time to dust off those lip pencils, or better yet, take this article as an excuse to buy a pretty new one that compliments your skin and lip tone perfectly. Dare you to try this look bare-faced. Pictures encouraged.

—Stacey Nishimoto

Photos courtesy of the author. The Selfie is a weekend makeup look, courtesy of Stacey Nishimoto and her iPhone. For more of Stacey's tutorials, click here.

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