Your New Favourite Lip Liner

Shape, line or fill, this is the mother of all beauty staples.

August 25, 2015

On good days, lip liner is your make-up bag’s best weapon; on bad days, an anachronistic tool evocative of grandma’s lips etched in think, dark pencil. If you’ve got youth on your side, you can pretty much get away with anything (light, dark, exaggerated doll mouths if you’re of the YouTube-star persuasion), but the older we get, the more liner needs to be carefully managed to avoid scaring off children.

At any age, lip liner is meant to enhance your lip color (not supersede it), prevent color from bleeding (which tends to happen with age when more creases avail themselves around the mouth), and create a smooth, shapely outline that should last. And with the plethora of options on the market these days, you’d think it would be easy to find the perfect stick. But you’d be wrong.

Over the years, I’ve tried them all, and while many brands offer a dizzying array of shades and textures (some waxier for longer-lasting effects; others glide on effortlessly only to disappear within the hour), I’ve never found anything as effective, perfect and revelatory as Chanel lip liner. I’ve been a rabid fan of their Nude shade for over 20 years (yes, make-up, like hair styles, should evolve as you age but this one has a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card in my game)—there’s something about this pencil that’s been impossible to replicate with any other product. From drugstore options to luxe lines, there’s truly nothing anywhere, anytime that gives the perfect texture (not too oily, not too waxy, superhuman staying power), the right versatility to go with every shade, and the perfect drama (this one routinely gets compliments from girlfriends asking what I use).

Now for the heartbreaker: it’s no longer available in Canada (sob). But barring any quick trips across the border (or a p.o. box in Blaine), your next best bet is Chanel’s lip liner in Natural—a close approximation that still promises to revolutionize your beauty routine.

$32 at all Chanel beauty counters, Chanel.ca

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