It Was Bound to Happen Eventually

After years of giving makeup a bad reputation there is one beauty product making resurgence on the catwalk this autumn/ winter and I’m almost ashamed to admit how much I love it. Yes, lip liner is back and for anyone who missed it in the 90’s, beware because this is one guilty cosmetic pleasure that is surprisingly addictive.

Remember when ‘Supermodel’ was a new buzz word and Linda, Kate and Naomi were fresh blood on the catwalk? I remember spending hours in front of the mirror trying to outline my lips to look like Karen Mulder’s- up to my 15 year old armpits in my mother’s brown lip pencils and beige lip sticks. It was a hard habit to give up – thank goodness the lip gloss trend came along to keep us all feeling properly plumped.

Well, sharpen your pencils and be inspired by the designers pioneering the trend this coming season. Vivienne Westwood’s show led the way with a cheeky homage to Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch days- all big hair, smoky eyes and pale mouths with upper lips lined well outside ‘natural’ territory. On a more serious note, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent teamed their classically chic collections with red lipstick lined in a stronger, deeper red pencil….etching the mouth with a sharply defined cupids bow.

The strong lip line is not for everyone but a well blended outline is a great way to create a fuller looking pout and stop lip colour from bleeding into fine lines around the mouth. Also, as we age, the natural line around the lip shrinks so applying a lip pencil matched to your natural lip colour will replace the definition, giving a more youthful look.

For failsafe lip lining, make sure your pencil is freshly sharpened. Begin lining the mouth at the cupids bow, using small, feathery strokes to define the ‘M shape at the centre of the upper lip. Be careful not to make the cupids bow ‘dip’ too wide- it’s not flattering on anyone. Work along towards the corners and repeat with the bottom lip, starting at the centre again. Softly work over the strokes with a clean cotton bud to soften a harsh line and follow with lipstick or gloss.

Recently I’ve found myself lining the mouths of models on every shoot I work on. My favourite ‘90’s Supermodel ’ lip line is Hush by Nars(£14)- a light beige brown that is subtle enough to use with pale lip colours but strong enough to stand out. For a shade that matches most mouths, try Dervish by Mac (£10)and for teaming with strong red lipsticks, opt for a long lasting matt pencil like Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Lip Pencil In Red(£15).