The Best Lip Liners To Make Your Lips Pop

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Lips are widely regarded as one of the most attractive and romantic parts of the face. There’s a reason why the shape of a lip is associated with romance and beauty. However, the shape of your lip is something that you’re born with and, without surgery, you really can’t change the way it looks unless you apply makeup, of course.

Makeup does wonders for your lips. From adding color to them to adding a luster or glow, there are all sorts of makeup products that’ll make your lips look different, and in a sense, more attractive. But none of them are as defining (in a literal sense) as lip liners.

Lip liners are makeup products that make your lips look even and contoured. When applied right, they can also make your lips look larger than they really are, which is perfect if you want to show off some lips. 

We’ve scoured the Internet for some high-quality lip liners and have found five great options to show you. Keep reading for details!

Reviewing the Top Lip Liners of 2022 in Detail

Revlon  —  Best Overall

lip liner reviews

Key Features

  • Built-in sharpener
  • 16 shades
  • No bleeding effect
  • Lasts up to 8 hours

Lip liners are also called lip pencils, and for good reason: many lip liners are made with wood, making them resemble a traditional pencil. This lip liner product line has a built-in sharpener to ensure that you’ll always have your lip liner ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Aside from the convenience of a built-in sharpener, the lip liner also allows for smooth application across the outline of your lips. With 16 shades to choose from, it’s reasonably priced, sitting in the middle of our list in terms of pricing. This makes REVLON lip liners a solid first choice for many people out there, whether they’re a newbie or veteran at makeup.

Italia  —  Best Bang for Your Buck

lip liner reviews

Key Features

  • 12 pcs
  • Differently sized
  • Color shown on the end of the pencil for easy identification
  • Costs less than $9 in total

If you’re looking to get your money’s worth when buying lip liners, then this is the best product to choose from. It costs a bit more than the previous product, but here’s the catch: it doesn’t just come with one or two lip liners, it comes in a set of 12! That’s right, for less than 10 bucks you can get your hands on 12 different lip liner pencils, each with its own distinct color, which means you’ll be able to pick a liner for just about any occasion.

There are some drawbacks, though. For one, the pencil set does not come with a sharpener, so you’ll need to buy one of those separately if you don’t already have one at home. Aside from this, the pencils have varying sizes, so if you use all of them equally, some will run out faster than others. Other than that odd inconsistency, though, it’s definitely well-priced, and if you’re fine with buying a separate sharpener, you’ll be saving quite a bit on your lip liners.

Maybelline  —  Best Formula

lip liner reviews

Key Features

  • 14 available shades
  • Each liner costs a little over $5
  • Smudge-free
  • Prevents bleeding and feathering

When it comes to makeup products, Maybelline is basically a household name at this point. It’s known for its solid quality and competitive pricing, providing great makeup products to the average woman and man. This line of lip liners is no different, with up to 14 different colors to choose from. The colors are all distinct from one another, so you can buy multiple liners at once for a variety of liners to work with.

The liners individually cost a little over $5, which is actually cheaper than some other individual liners on Amazon today. If that alone isn’t reason enough to buy the liners, you’ll also be happy to know that the formula is smudge-proof and doesn’t bleed or feather. Many women all over the world can attest to the quality and beauty of Maybelline, and you won’t be disappointed with their lip liners, either.

NYX Professional  —  Most Affordable

Key Features

  • Each pencil costs $4
  • 21 shades
  • Acknowledged by PETA
  • Cruelty-free

While Maybelinne’s 14 shades may seem like a lot for some people, there are some product lines with far more options. This particular line of lip pencils features not 10, not 15, but 21 different shades. And that’s not all: the lip pencils cost a flat $4 each, making them the cheapest individual lip pencil you can buy on this list. If you’re looking for just one shade or color, then you can experiment by picking from this line.

All of the lip pencils in NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP’s product line are cruelty-free, so you’ll have a clear conscience supporting this company. The company’s even acknowledged by PETA themselves, an organization known for their anti-animal cruelty agendas, so you know that they’re good to animals. If you want to try using lip liners for yourself, these pencils are a great way to get yourself started.

HAUS Laboratories by Lady Gaga

Key Features

  • Endorsed and owned by Lady Gaga
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Long-lasting

Lady Gaga’s a cultural pop icon, and she does more than just sing. She’s got her own makeup product line, too, and her lip liner product line is not something to scoff at. It’s got a total of 16 different shades to choose from, and they all offer pinpoint precision when sharpened. The goal of this lip liner product line is flexibility: you can outline your lips for something conventional or overline to add a little bit of beautiful exaggeration.

The lip pencils are vegan and cruelty-free, so you won’t have to worry about feeling bad about purchasing one. The liner lasts for hours on end, making them great for extended parties and events or even just everyday use. Celebrity makeup brands are often hit-or-miss, with some being extremely successful while others fall short right off the bat. This, we think, is an example of the former!

How to Find a High-Quality Lip Liner: A Buyer's Guide

Lip liners are an easy and effective way to make your lips pop. Here’s a quick guide to help you with buying lip liners.

What Is a Lip Liner?

A lip liner, or lip pencil, is a makeup product used to outline or overline one’s lips. The goal of a lip liner is to provide an even shape to your lips or even exaggerate them when used properly.

Why Should You Use Lip Liners?

It evens out your lips

A lot of us aren’t born with perfect lips. And we’re not talking about the natural redness or how dry it can get: we’re talking about the actual contour and shape of your lips. Because if you take a look at a mirror and really examine your lips, you’ll find slight inconsistencies on either side. These small differences can vary in severity from person to person, and depending on how uneven they are, they can result in your natural lips looking far from ideal.

Lip liners help smooth out those uneven spaces by outlining your lips perfectly. You basically sculpt out the shape of your lips by yourself instead of leaving it be. This results in lips that look perfectly even on both sides.

It can make your lips larger

Depending on where you live, small lips can either be attractive or not-so-attractive. In the West, large and plump lips are often seen as an attractive standard, and if you want to follow suit, it can be difficult if you aren’t born with naturally plump lips. But with lip liners and lip pencils, you don’t have to.

By doing a technique known as overlining, you can make your lips appear larger than they really are. It’s very subtle, and when done right, no one will be able to tell the difference unless they really take a hard look at your lips, in which case, you’ve already won. If you want to have large lips for events and parties, then lip liners are your go-to.

Things to Consider When Buying a Lip Liner

Lip liner may look like pencils, and to an extent they are, but they’re also far more complex than elementary stationery tools. Keep these things in mind when buying a lip liner.

Shade

The shade of the lip liner determines the color of the outline around your lips. It can be bright or dark, shimmery or matte, subtle or not. When choosing a shade, you’ll need to also consider what other lip products you’ll be using alongside the lip liner, because you’ll virtually always be pairing your lip liner with lipstick, lip gloss, or some other makeup product.

If you’re going for a “no-makeup” look, then you’ll want to pick a lip liner shade that’s similar to the natural color of your lips. This will allow you to get away with outlining your lips without having to match them with a specific shade of lipstick or gloss.

If you like using a specific color or shade of lipstick, lip gloss, or even lip tint, then you’ll want to pick a lip pencil shade that matches, too. And since you need the colors to match as much as possible, it’s usually recommended to buy most if not all your lip makeup products from the same company to ensure that continuity.

Formula

The formula used in lip liners can vary from company to company. These days, most if not all of the popular makeup products have cruelty-free formulas, but what we’re concerned about right now is how long-lasting the formula is. Eventually, your lip liner will lose its effect, and this is the last thing you’d want if you’re in the middle of a party or event.

Usually, lip liner products can last 8 hours or more. Check reviews to see how long people have gone with the product if it isn’t explicitly stated on their store page. That way, you know how much time you have as soon as you put on the liner on your lips. In general, the longer it lasts the better it is, but if you don’t really use lip liner all day, every day, it shouldn’t really matter in the first place since most products should last long enough for the entirety of an event or get together.

Lip Liner Price Range

Lip liners vary somewhat greatly in price thanks to the presence of celebrity-owned and designer brands. The cheapest lip liners can cost less than a dollar apiece if bought in a set, and individual lip liners can cost around $5 per pencil. The more expensive lip liners can cost up to $20 or more apiece, so unless you’re fine with spending big bucks on popular luxury brands, you’ll have to stick to the cheaper alternatives.