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How to Choose a Lip Liner Color

Of all the iconic pairings in the world, lip liner and lipstick rule the beauty world. Whether you prefer the look of an elegant nude or want your bold shade to last for hours, the right combination of lip liner and lipstick has the power to plump up your pout and provide an effortlessly glam look that will set the tone for your entire day. Matching these two products is one of those beauty tricks that takes a little practice but is worth mastering. 

Knowing Your Nude

While nude lipstick is undoubtedly fabulous, the perfect nude lip color combo isn’t always easy to find. While lots of products are marketed as nude, there’s so much variety in people’s skin tones that a single name doesn’t capture them all. Finding the lip liner that matches your skin tone to precision can take some trial and error.

It may come as no surprise that some products will match better than others. If you’re rocking deep or olive skin and have tried a baby pink lipstick and liner combo, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. The good news is that finding which shades match better doesn’t have to be a long, arduous process. First, think about where your skin tone falls along the spectrum of fair to dark:

  • The lighter your shade, the more you should be looking in the light pink and beige range. Try our Velvetines Lip Liner in Cake or Chiffon for a pretty petal-like finish.
  • If you’re in the medium shade range, you might gravitate toward deeper rose, almond, and caramel colors. Angel, Gurrrl, and Platform are perfect pairings for medium skin tones.
  • If you’re in the darker shade range, earthy clay reds and chocolate browns are more likely to be matches. Try Gurrrl, Platform, or Minx for your next lip look.

Once you know your general shade, it’s time to start talking about undertone—and this part can sound tricky at first.  

Understanding Undertones

Learning how to choose a lip liner comes down to color science. Did you know your skin’s undertone has a lot to do with knowing which colors enhance your beauty and which will wash you out? To determine whether you have a cool or warm undertone, try a simple jewelry test. Hold a piece of silver jewelry to your skin, then try a gold piece. Which one looks better? If the answer is silver, you are likely working with cool undertones. If it’s gold, you have warm undertones. If they both look equally good, then you’re a neutral and can wear just about any color for both your lipstick and your lip liner.

Matching lip liner and lipstick is one way to create a picture-perfect pout. If you have a cool undertone, you’ll want to stick to lip liner colors with blue or purple undertones, like blue- and purple-toned pinks and reds. The same is true when you’re looking at darker shades, like plum. Avoid warm golden or orange shades—colors like these may wash you out. 

Beauty lovers with warmer olive or golden skin will want to stick to peachy colors with hints of brown when choosing their lip liner and lipstick. Reds and pinks aren’t off-limits as long as they have those orange and brown notes.

Making a Match

When deciding which color lip liner to use with your favorite lipstick, opt for a shade that is one or two shades darker than the lipstick. Outline your lips and feather the product in from the edges to soften the line. You might even find that this gradual transition makes your lipstick look more flattering against your skin. Why not match the liner and lipstick exactly? Creating contrast defines your lip shape and creates the illusion of a fuller, more kissable pout that is sure to be the star of all those fab holiday photos. 

Once you’ve mastered the art of lip liner, you’ll be ready to mix and match with your favorite colors. Our full range of matte liquid lipsticks and classic bullet lipsticks is waiting for you! Or ease into the look with a comfortable soft matte lipstick.

Show off your signature lip combo on Instagram and see what else is going on behind the scenes on TikTok!

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