How One Lip Liner Totally Transformed My Lips

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I’m no stranger to lip injections. A few times a year I take a ride up to my dermatologist’s office for a touch-up where he numbs my lips (usually with a dental block but I’ve gone the topical numbing cream route, too) and injects them with hyaluronic acid. About 20 minutes later, I walk out with a brand-new set of lips.

Despite the fact that I get a little bit of help in the plumping department, I still like to accentuate my lip line ever so slightly with lip liner. I’ve tried dozens upon dozens of them and watched countless YouTube videos to nail the look. And much to my chagrin, I fail. Oftentimes I just can’t get the liner to go exactly on the outer most part of my lips, which ends up making them look smaller and shapeless. But it doesn’t help either that many lip liners I’ve used—everything from drugstore and organic to matte and super luxe—just don’t seem to grip my lips right so that they have a naturally lined look to them. I just don’t get how these beauty vloggers do it.

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Inspired by a celebrity makeup artist who I recently interviewed, I decided to give the whole thing a shot, again. This time, instead of going to the same lip liners I always use without success, I decided to fish around my makeup drawer and see what else I had stockpiled away that could be an option. Low and behold I came across Motives Lip Liner in Tender ($17).

I whipped out the neutral-colored pencil, which is somewhat reminiscent of MAC’s famous Spice lip liner, and got to work. I don’t know what magic formulation is inside this pencil (I do know that it’s infused with antioxidants), but for the first time in what seemed like forever, I was able to get a perfectly lined lip. The texture was creamy but not slippery and it stayed put literally all day. On day one, I wore it with a light pink lipstick; day two, more of a rose color; and on day three (by then I was hooked) a pale nude. No matter what lipstick (and brand) or gloss I paired with the lip liner, I ended up with a seamless look.

And I knew I wasn’t the only one who noticed. A few friends and a coworker even commented on how pretty my lipstick was and how good my lips looked. One even asked if I had just gotten them injected. I smiled and said, “No. I just found this amazing lip liner and it’s made a world of difference.”

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