Three Stop Shop: Drugstore Lip Liners

Hello there, and thank you for reading! Whether you’re a new reader or an existing subscriber, I’m really grateful that you decided to stop by today.

Today’s post is about lip liners, and specifically those from the high street (or “drugstore”, as most of the world seems to call it). Like many people of my generation, I used to shrink in fear from the very idea of lip liner, as it only brought to mind scary Nineties images of too-dark outlines around painted-on lipstick.

In the last few years, however, a consensus has been reached in the beauty world that a good lip liner – properly applied – is one of the best ways of keeping your lippy on all day, as well as creating the shape you desire.

I’ve rounded up three different brands, of which I have highly different opinions, so let’s get going!

1. Autograph High Definition Lip Liner

Claims: This feather-resistant lipliner has an integrated lipstick brush, helping to create a perfect lipstick look.

Price: £6.00

Reality: I picked up this liner in the colour “Nude Pink”, a beautiful dusky roseAutograph Lipliner shade, in Marks and Spencer, as I’d never tried Autograph products before and was quietly hopeful that this brand could be my new underrated fave. It swatched beautifully in the shop, but every time I have tried this on my lips, I’ve wondered whether I’m using a clear liner without realising. There is simply no pigment on my lips when I apply this, rendering it totally useless. I’m really quite upset about this, because £6.00 is a lot to spend on a product that just doesn’t do anything. It’s definitely turned me off the brand in future.

2. Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner

Claims: Soft textured, fine tipped automatic liner that gives full volume colour definition to the lips.

Price: £3.99

Reality: I had heard so much about these liners from all my favourite bloggers and vloggers, and was particularly excited to get my hands on both the cult favourite Eastend Snob as well as the darker shade Addiction.  I am generally a fan – in theory – of automatic liners, as they’re less wasteful than having to sharpen a pencil every few uses, but that does mean it can be more difficult to achieve a clean, defined line, as is the case with these. The colour payoff and shade range is pleasing, and the texture is creamy and soft, but unfortunately this latter factor means Rimmel Lip Linerthat I find it near-impossible to use this product as it keeps snapping off on application. Rather reminiscent of cheap mechanical pencils that break every time you put nib to paper, this frustrating flaw in the liner means I find myself abandoning it in favour of sturdier pencil-style products more often than not. For those with lighter hands than mine, this would be a great option, but I’m certainly not a fan.

3. KIKO Precision Lip Pencil

Claims: Lip liner pencil. Silky smooth and comfortable texture. Immediate coverage application.

Price: £4.20

Reality: I want to start off by saying that very few, if any of the lower-end products I have tried can ever compare to the MAC lip pencils, which are just excellent in terms of pigmentation and texture – the No7 Precision Lips Pencil used to be my all-time favourite, lasting through eating and drinking even better than their MAC counterparts, but I believe the shade range has been revamped with sorely disappointing results, so I can’t quite recommend them for now. That aside, I can wholeheartedly say that this KIKO line is excellent for anyone looking to pick up a range of colours for less than £5 each. I’m particularly impressed with shades 301 and 302, which are ideal if you’re after kiko precision lip linerthat en vogue dusty mauve most commonly seen on a young member of the Kardashian family. The pigmentation is fantastic, the application is smooth and the texture once the product is on the lips is extremely pleasant and creamy. I’m a big fan of the MAC-esque smart black packaging (nicer, in my opinion, than that of the cheaper Smart Lip Pencil line), and the coverage is so good that you could easily forgo lipstick over the top.

I’ve swatched all three products below, but the KIKO one (I think it was 301) looks so different colour-wise here than in real life that I felt it would be unfair of me to include the names on the photo. The Rimmel one, however, is true to life, and is the shade Addiction.


Due to my own laziness/lack of a professional-quality lip brush, I rely heavily on lip liners to create an attractive defined lip shape, and thus I’m always on the hunt for recommendations and positive reviews of products I haven’t yet tried. I always appreciate the pearls of wisdom in the comments here and on Instagram, so please do let me know if there are similar products I should try, or expressly avoid!


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