Lip liner has one primary use, which is to line the lips before applying lipstick so that the color doesn't bleed or feather. A lip pencil is a bit fatter used for filling in the entire lip area to create a matte wash of color and help lipstick stay on longer.
Choosing Lip Liner
* '''Go with a brand you trust'''. Lip liner, unlike lipstick, is just about the same in quality across the board so you don't have to spend a lot on it. Simply find a brand that you can trust and that is in your price range. The bottom line is if you think $20 for a lip liner is too much, don't be afraid to buy a $5 pencil.
* '''Choose between classic pencil or automatic style'''. This is really a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind that twist-up pencils are often more convenient than wood ones simply because there is no sharpening needed. On the other hand, remember that sharpening a pencil each time you use it means a finer point and less bacteria. While mechanical liners are convenient, they can be deceptive since you never know when you are just about to run out.
* '''Get the right color'''. Lip liner should match whatever lipstick you are wearing, neither be a shade darker or lighter, nor a different tone. Otherwise, you risk creating a perfectly unflattering clown look. You may also just opt for a colorless wax pencil that performs the same way as a colored pencil, but that imparts no color. This is a very good tool to have in your makeup arsenal since it is versatile and can be used with all types of lip color.
* '''Fix minor imperfections'''.
** For thin lips, line slightly outside the edges to make them appear fuller.
** For lips that are too big, line slightly inside the natural edge to slim them down.
* '''Define or make lipstick last.'''
** Line only on the outside of the lips to create definition. Make sure to soften the line though before applying lipstick. Otherwise, as the lipstick wears off, you'll get a clown look.
** Line then fill in the lips completely to make your lipstick last all day.
* '''Reduce clutter.'''
** Liners with dual ends are good because they either give you two different sizes to work with (one for lining and the other for filling) or two similar colors, so that you can go from office to evening out without carrying two products.
** If you don't want to spend more money on extra products you may also use a regular wax-based lip balm that you already own in place of a liner. In this case you have to apply and wait for it to dry a bit then blot off any excess. Dab a bit of translucent powder over the top and you are ready to apply lipstick.