The 6 Best Lip Liners of 2021 To Keep Your Lipstick Looking Flawless
When you're young, lip liner seems like one of those beauty products that only your grandmother loves and that you'll never actually need to use. Wrong. Because once you've seen lip liner works its special, subtle magic on your pout, no matter if you're planning to wear lipstick or lip gloss, you get it. Nothing primes your lips for a long-lasting, flawless look quite like a flattering neutral lip liner — or one that perfectly matches your lip shade. Just don't make these mistakes.
When shopping for a lip liner, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you want a formula that won't bleed as the night progresses or feather into fine lines. Second, you want one that lasts all day and isn't difficult to apply. Lastly, you'll want a generous shade range — one within which you can find a versatile nude that goes with everything. From there, it gets really fun, like choosing one to match our recommendations for The 10 Best Lipsticks to Wear Fearlessly in 2021.
Luckily, all of these lip liners fit the bill and then some. Find the best lip liner to lock in your looks this year below.
Favorite Overall: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil
What do you get when you combine a creamy glide-on formula, an all-day long-lasting finish, and an impressive color range? Urban Decay's shopper-loved lip pencil. Invest in one of the versatile neutral colors to keep in your regular rotation, and you won't be sorry. Pair it with tinted lip balm, lip gloss, or your best statement-making lipstick alike. It's water-resistant and helps to prime lips for a smooth, flawless look. Our two favorite nude shades? Naked and Uptight. Though, you really can't go wrong.
BUY IT: $22; sephora.com
Favorite, Runner-Up: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner
You can't escape the mesmerizing clutches of this iconic velvet matte lip liner, and why would you want to? Choose from more than 15 shades, but you'd be sure to regret not snagging the brand's signature Pillow Talk to match the tube of lip gloss or lipstick you undoubtedly should have in the same color. If you don't, time to get shopping. (Iconic Nude makes another great everyday shade option.) It glides on easily for a transfer-free finish and can be blended towards the middle of your pout for a super subtle, almost blurred look.
BUY IT: $22; sephora.com
Best Budget: NYX Slim Lip Pencil
While we're at it, we'll award this drugstore lip pencil as having the best color range, as well. It boasts a whopping 35 shades, which has you covered for nudes (for all skin tones), berries, and reds. It goes on more buttery smooth but dries down into a mattified finish that won't feather. The ultra-fine tip makes lining, contouring, and filling your lips quick and easy, and the compelling price point means you can rack up shades to match all of your lip glosses and lipsticks. Shopper-favorite shades include Nude Pink, Peekaboo Neutral, and Hot Red.
BUY IT: $4; ulta.com
Most Precise: Patrick Ta Monochrome Moment Precision Lip Crayon
The biggest compliment we can give to this lip pencil? It's wearable as all get-out. Thanks to a unique applicator, you can contour your lips with perfect definition, especially around the Cupid's bow — and an emollient blend makes it creamy and dreamy when applying. While the color range leaves a tad to be desired, all five versatile shades are worth keeping in your makeup bag, specifically the Oh She's Single (a perfect nude), That's Why She's Late (a true red), and She Must Be New (a deep wine).
BUY IT: $26; sephora.com
Best with Built-In Sharpener: Revlon ColorStay Lip Liner
This budget-friendly lip pencil makes life even simpler by coming equipped with a built-in sharpener, so you can travel with it wherever you go and never risk a dull line. Revlon's ColorStay collection is notoriously long-lasting, and this lip pencil is no exception. Choose from a shade range that's small, but makes up for it by being composed of versatile colors that will match many lipsticks. The long-wear pencil also has an ultra-fine, easily maneuverable tip that makes it a great start for those just getting into lip liner for the first time.
BUY IT: $9.99; ulta.com
Best Long-Lasting: KVD Beauty Everlasting Lip Liner
KVD Beauty doesn't mess around when it comes to makeup that literally will not budge until you're ready to spend a pretty minute removing it. So much so that the brand's Lock-It Foundation is used often by makeup artists to cover up scarring and tattoos. Needless to say, this lip liner is called "everlasting" for a reason. It took years to perfect this exact formula, which is why it stands out from the rest. Every stroke delivers super saturated, full-coverage pigment, which immediately dries down into weightless definition. If you're gearing up for an important event, trust in this long-wear formula to remain flawless.
BUY IT: $19; ulta.com