Marlene Rego
Marlene Rego

Why I’m so happy lip liner is back

The first item of makeup I ever purchased was a lip liner; it was spice-coloured and very evident in my grade 8 class photo.

Makeup of any kind was off-limits up until then and with no older sisters to pilfer from I remember being so excited that I even used my new Wet ‘n’ Wild bargain buy as eyeliner. Looking back it seems unsanitary but I won’t judge my 13-year-old self; desperation made me industrious and frequent sharpening was probably enough, right?.

I’m not here to recommend Kylie Jenner-style overlining, but the resurgence of lined lips is a very good thing for lipstick lovers who stand to benefit from all the new options on the market.

Case in point: I tested the new Marcelle waterproof Forever Sharp liner before I participated in an hour of intense and sweaty archery tag (highly recommend, btw). I guzzled water, wiped my face a ton and took my helmet off multiple times. I was completely shocked to hit the bathroom after my session and see my lipstick fully in tact.

The Essence Stay Matt lip cream I wore on top of the liner performs really well on its own, but I’m convinced the liner underneath helped it stay better than I could’ve predicted. The trick is to fully fill in the lips, blot and repeat.

Things have come a long way since the lid of my first-ever liner cracked and fell off in my backpack, leaving spice-coloured stains on my beloved Jansport. The Marcelle liner, for example, has a twist on cap, which prevents any purse disasters. It’s also self-sharpening, which solves my least favourite thing about liners. As you twist the cap on there’s a cone-shaped sharpener in the top of the lid that shapes it into a fresh point after every use.

The other big issue is consistency – creamy is best to prevent tugging and dried out lips. And as nostalgic as I get for the ‘90s, iridescent lips can stay there. The Pink Mademoiselle shade was my favourite for that reason – shimmer is not flattering on me. I also have a slightly crooked cupid’s bow so I overline the left side a bit to even things out.

I’ve learned a thing or two since giving up the chola beauty standard. Lip liner is non-negotiable if you want colour to last through at least brunch.