Do it right and you have beautifully defined lips; do it wrong and you have a lipstick disaster. Yes, that’s how important lip lining is when a perfect pout is what you want. A lip liner not only defines the lips and prevents feathering or bleeding of the lip colour but it can also enhance the shape and lend depth to your lips. They make your lip colour last longer and prevent them from fading or smudging which makes it a dream product for the lovers of bold lip shades. However, lining lips perfectly is no child’s play. Even the pros can mess it up and often end up overlining or wearing wonky-lined lips.

If you are a noob at the makeup game or a beginner and you are clueless about how to apply a lip liner, we have got you covered. With makeup trends like lip contouring, lining your lips has become much easier and an attainable task. But how exactly do you do it? How to apply lip liner like a pro? Read on to know how you can wield your lip liner correctly to define your lips and get a fuller and luscious pout. Here is a step by step guide and some tips on how to apply a lip liner for a flawless lipstick application. So, get your lip liner and lipstick ready and get started...

Exfoliate your lips
 

Exfoliate your lips

Flaky and chapped lips can bring your whole look down, no matter how pretty your lip colour is or how flawlessly you have applied it. Chapped lips are unsightly and the lip colour looks cracked on dry lips. Scrub your lips before you start with the lip liner. Prepare a DIY lip scrub with equal parts of brown sugar and honey or take any lip scrub to exfoliate your lips. It will help in ease of lining your lips and prevent lips from further drying out. You can exfoliate a night before and leave some petroleum jelly on overnight for smoother lips.

Moisturise
 

Moisturise

For smooth and better application of your lip liner, first, prep your lips with some lip balm. A moisturising lip balm will hydrate your dry lips, give you a smooth and defined outline and prevent any creases and cracks once you apply the lip colour. Especially if you’re working with matte lipstick, don’t miss out on moisturising your lips before putting on your lipstick. Grab your favourite lip balm and apply it evenly on lips. Dab the excess out with the tissue paper and wait for a couple of minutes before reaching for the lip products.

Pick the right colour
 

Pick the right colour

The right lip liner shade is the one in a slightly darker shade than your lip colour unless you’re going for a crazy lip trend such as the blunt lip liner of the 90’s which involves a dark lip line of brown and almost nude lip shade. The lip colour and lip liner must be of the same colour family. You can match your lipstick and lip liner for more depth and intensity of the colour. For a more natural look, however, pick a shade closer to your lip skin tones like nude or a soft pink lips for a subtle payoff and make your lips look naturally beautiful.

Mark an ‘X’ on the Cupid ’s bow
 

Mark an ‘X’ on the Cupid ’s bow

Once you decide on the colour you are going with, get hold of your lip liner and sharpen it to get a sharp line. Smooth out the tip by running it on the back of your hand. It will help warm it up and make it easier for it to glide softly and swiftly on your lips. Now, start by drawing an ‘X’ on your Cupid’s bow, which is the peak of your upper lip. This will make the Cupid’s bow look sharp and add some dimension to your upper lip. This trick is especially useful for women who have a stiff upper lip. Once you have drawn the X, part your lips a bit and carefully extend the X shape outwards, working your way towards to the corner of your lips. Move the liner in swift strokes for a smooth and precise line. This will line your upper lip perfectly.

Trace the natural lip line
 

Trace the natural lip line

Apply the lip liner on the bottom lip starting from the centre and lining it toward the corners for a rounder shape. Next, join the lines drawn on the lower and upper lips on the corner and apply the liner once again to darken the line a bit. It is better to stick to your natural lip line but if you wish to overline your lips for a fuller pout, just overdraw the lines on the sides of Cupid’s bow and the lower lip. Don’t over the line the corners of your lips and try to keep it as even and natural as possible. Line your lips with a steady hand and draw a smooth outline to your lips. Wipe any out-of-line smears and make sure the line is even and smooth.

Fill in
 

Fill in

After applying the lip liner on the perimeters of the lips and giving them a defined shape, use the same lip liner and fill the colour on your lips. This gives your lips an even colour, creates a base and softens the line you just created so it isn’t obvious and blunt when the lip colour overlaps it. Also, applying the lip liner on the lips before applying lipstick helps the lip colour to stay put all day, even when your lipstick shade wears off. If you’re going for a natural look, fill in with short strokes for a subtle and light shade and follow up with a nude or pink colour lipstick. However, if you are going for a bold lip shade like red or maroon, dress your lips in a dark coat of lip liner before lipstick for a rich colour payoff that lasts longer.

Apply the lip colour
 

Apply the lip colour

Once you have filled in your lips, take the lip colour of the same or lighter shade as the lip liner and swipe it on the lips in such a way that it emphasises the outline. Start by picking the colour in the middle of the lips and blending it outwards with the help of a brush. For a glossy perfect pout, you can use a cream lipstick first and finish the look with a gloss for a long lasting colour payoff. Just remember to stay inside the lines and blend well.

Finish with a concealer
 

Finish with a concealer

Now that you know how to apply lip liner, here is a quick tip on how to make the lip line look more defined. Finish the look with applying concealer to hide any smears and make your pout appear more defined and framed. A concealer is used by the beauty buffs as a trick to make the lips look perfect. To do this, take some concealer of a similar shade to your skin tone and using an angled brush, define the lip line by applying it right around your lip line. Blend it well with the same brush so there are no patches. This helps in making the lip line look sharp and giver an illusion of a fuller pout.