I think lip lining is an important step in a makeup routine. It gives your lips a good definition and makes them look more polished than without. It also helps the lipstick to wear better (no bleeding/feathering) and stay on longer. I always complete this step when I wear dark lipstick and especially when I know I'll be out for long hours. And today I have a review of my go-to lip liners to share with you. :)
I have tried lip liners from several brands but the Shiseido Smoothing Lip Pencil is one I always come back to. The formula is just right for my lips and all the shades in the lineup are so gorgeous and wearable. I have 3 colors in my collection so far: RD702 Anemone, RS303 Mauve, and PK304 Sakura.
Each color is coordinated with the color of the pencil and comes with a built-in mini brush made of natural bristles on the other end. While the brush is a little stiff (but not scratchy) to the touch, it surprisingly distributes the color really well and works great to soften the harsh line. And I'm thankful that it comes with its own protective cap! :)
Having a brush on one end makes the pencil a little longer than most pencils, though, so just a warning that these may not fit a small makeup bag. There is no sharpener included but they should fit any makeup pencil sharpener just fine.
So, what makes these my go-to lip pencils? The texture. It is a perfect balance of not being too soft and not too hard. It has just the right firmness and the ability to draw on the lips smoothly with no pulling or dragging, all while providing a rich, opaque color, and a completely matte finish without a hint of shine (oh, how I love my lip liner matte, matte, matte!).
I also love the fact that it covers the discoloration on my lips so well and prevents my natural lip color from coming through, which is great for when I want to wear a really light lip color.
And unlike most lip liners, these are not drying at all. Normally with other liners, I tend to just line the edge of the lip line, but with these, I can do that and fill in my entire lips without the slightest feeling of dryness. No dry or flaky areas are emphasized, either.
These certainly do not have the creamiest formula of lip liners I've tried but that is also what I like about them. It doesn't interfere with my lipstick, provides a smudge-free finish, and acts as a good base for the lipstick to adhere to. The ultra rich pigment seems to also stay in place and feel comfortable all day, hour after hour, so it definitely earns another point in the longevity department.
Of all the 3 shades I have, my favorite has to be RD702 Anemone which translates to a slightly cool-toned, pinky nude on my lips. I feel that it is the perfect base color that somehow compliments any lipstick I put on top without tweaking the actual color of the lipstick. It seems to brighten and enhance the color intensity of the lipstick that I otherwise would never be able to achieve on my pigmented lips. It is simply the perfect, perfect pastel pink for me that I would literally cry if Shiseido ever discontinued it! :)
RS303 Mauve is my second favorite. This color is great to use on a lazy (or fresh-faced makeup) day. I can just wear this, top with a clear gloss, and I'm good to go. It is the right pink with enough mauve in it that doesn't wash me out and it's just so daytime appropriate.
I really think that Shiseido Smoothing Lip Pencil is worth checking out especially if lip lining is a mandatory step in your makeup routine. The formula is so unique and unlike anything I've tried and I believe it will end up becoming your favorite, too. It is available in 10 striking shades, ranging from nudes, pinks, corals, to reds so there should be at least one that will compliment your favorite lipstick. My suggestion would be to start off with RD702 Anemone since it's such a basic yet beautiful color that would go well with any lip color you choose to pair it with.
Do you line your lips? What's your favorite liner? :)