Category Archives: Lipliner

Clear Lip Liner & Lip Primer Comparison

Purchases & Press Sample – Affiliate Links
clear lip liner - lip primer

Lip Primer & Clear Lip Liner

Milani and OCC each recently released clear lip liners (or should I call them lip pencils? I never know which to write). I purchased the Milani to try it out, then received the OCC as a press sample. So, I thought I’d do a comparison of those two items plus all the other clear lip liners & lip primers I own. This post is a comparison of the following six items:

– NYX Lip Primer – $6.99 at Ulta
– OCC Anti-Feathered Clear Lip Pencil – $16 at Sephora
– Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer (in jar) – around $6; I’ve only seen it at CVS
– Maybelline Clear Lip Pencil – $4.95 at
– E.L.F. Lip Lock Pencil – $3 at
– Milani Clear Anti-Feathering Lip Liner – $4.49 at

I expect a lip primer / clear lip liner to do two things – prevent feathering & extend the weartime of my lipstick.  All six of the items I tried prevented feathering (as tested on my hand, because lipstick rarely feathers on my lips).  However, in terms of extending the wear of my lipstick, there’s a clear winner, a clear loser, and four items in the middle.

Best for extending weartine: Milani

Milani clear lip liner

The Milani Anti-Feathering lip liner has a soft texture.  It creates a sort of “grippy” surface on the lips for your lipstick or gloss to adhere to.  Although it’s marketed mostly as preventing feathering, it actually did the best job of extending the weartime of my lip products. Do note that if you use too much pressure or sharpen it to too fine of a point, the tip will break off.

I’ve seen the Milani liner at CVS stores and Walgreens stores for around $6, and it’s available on the Milani website for under $5. Recommended!

Worst for extending weartime: ELF

ELF lip lock pencil

The E.L.F. lip lock pencil is only $3, but I still don’t think it’s worth it – it does nothing to extend the wear time of my lip products. On the positive side, it does prevent feathering and I like the packaging – it’s much easier to cover my lips with this size pencil than a slim pencil, plus it doesn’t need to be sharpened.

When I posted about this previously, a couple people commented that this product is meant to prevent feathering (which it does), rather than extend wear. I think the description on ELF’s website implies that it does both; but the intent really doesn’t matter. In the end, if you’re looking for a cheap anti-feathering pencil this is great; if you want something that extends wear, it’s not.

Average: OCC, Maybelline, NYX, Sally Hansen

clear lip liner - lip primer-2

I found the Maybelline & OCC pencils (the nearest two in the photo above) to be extremely similar – both are slightly hard, waxy pencils. Both prevent feathering and help lipstick last longer, but both are a bit difficult to use due to the thinness & texture of the pencil.

The NYX lip primer (farthest away in above photo) is a chubby pencil, so it’s easy to use. It looks light pink in the photo, but applies almost-clear; I can’t see it swatched on my skin, and it mutes the natural color of my lips just a little. This is a solid choice, just not my favorite.

sally hansen plumping lip primer

The Sally Hansen plumping lip primer (review) might actually be my favorite of all of these products.  The Milani does do a little bit of a better job at gripping the lip product, but the Sally Hansen makes up for it in being easy to apply.  You can see that it’s in a jar in the first photo in this post, and that’s because it broke off a while back – not ideal, but it’s still easier to use than a skinny pencil. Do note that the “plumping” aspect shows up as a minty tingle, so this is not a good choice for those with sensitive lips.

Overall, I’d recommend the Milani, the Sally Hansen (as long as you don’t have sensitive lips), and the NYX.  The ELF lip lock is also a good choice if you only care about preventing feathering, not about weartime.  And I’d skip the Maybelline and OCC – they work, but the others are all easier to use.

Do you use any type of lip primer? I’d love to hear what works for you!

*I recieved the OCC pencil courtesy of the brand and The Makeup Show. I purchased all other products featured in this post. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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ELF Essential and Studio Moisturizing Lipstick Swatches & Reviews

Purchased – No Affiliate Links

elf moisturizing lipstick E.L.F. makeup is definitely hit or miss, but they have some amazing products for very little money, so I keep going back! The website had a 50% off sale over Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, so I purchased everything I had been wanting, plus perhaps a little more to get free shipping.

I spent $35 for this:

Six lipsticks, three glosses, two tinted balms, one eyebrow gel, one glitter eyeshadow primer, two liquid blushes, one eyeshadow, one highlighter, and eleven brushes. I haven’t tried everything yet, but I have swatches plus some thoughts about the (new, or at least new-ish) Studio Moisturizing lipsticks and the not-so-new Essential Lipsticks.

First up: the Studio Moisturizing Lipsticks, which sell for $3 each (full price) and are pictured at the top of this post. These are fantastic – creamy but not too slippery in texture, no taste, light vanilla scent.  They sit very nicely on the lips as well.  Both colors I bought, Ravishing Rose and Red Carpet, are flattering and pretty – I especially like Ravishing Rose.

The packaging is great too – the casings are lightweight metal, not plastic, so they feel much more nicer than most drugstore lipsticks (and even some high end lipsticks!). They don’t seem to be particularly long-lasting, but since they don’t dry out my lips that’s not a dealbreaker for me.  I love both of the ones I bought, and I will definitely be buying more the next time I place an order.

ELF Red Carpet Ravishing Rose lipstick swatches

Red Carpet // Ravishing Rose

ELF Ravishing Rose Moisturizing Lipstick swatch

ELF Moisturizing Lipstick – Ravishing Rose

ELF Red Carpet Moisturizing Lipstick swatch

ELF Moisturizing Lipstick – Red Carpet

The Essential lipsticks, however, are not so good. They have a slight chemical scent; they don’t apply smoothly; and the packaging is barely functional. Not only does the lipstick bullet not fully retract, but I had trouble twisting all four of them up & down. That said, Posh is a great color and they are only $1 each (full price).

ELF Essential lipsticks

ELF Essential lipsticks

ELF Essential lipsticks-2

Seductive // Gypsy // Voodoo // Posh

ELF Essential lipstick swatches

Seductive // Gypsy // Voodoo // Posh

ELF Posh Essential lipstick swatch


See anything you like?

Sonia Kashuk Berry Nude Velvety Matte Lip Crayon Review & Swatches

I’ve heard some good things recently about Sonia Kashuk’s Velvety Matte Lip Crayons, so the last time I was at Target, I bought Berry Nude 06 to check out.  The Velvety Matte Lip Crayons seem to come in six shades (Nudey Nude, Pinky Nude, Blossomy Nude, Berry Nude, Mulberry Nude, and Rosey Nude), and retail for around $7.50.

I dislike the packaging on these.  I don’t mind that they need to be sharpened, rather than twist-up; I’ve actually come to prefer non-twist-ups. Sharpening wastes some product, but you end up with a pointier tip rather than a flat tip, which I prefer.  But – the packaging is just SO UGLY – especially the cap! It’s silver and doesn’t go with the white and color at all – photo below.  It’s not a dealbreaker for me, but I really wish it had a clear, white, or colored cap.

The texture of these is much more akin to a lipstick than a lip pencil – it’s not at all similar to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, which are much dryer.  It actually has a sort of silicone-y feel – and I was able to completely remove the swatch from my arm by rubbing it off with a dry tissue, no makeup wipe or remover required.

Despite the creaminess, I actually found these slightly drying on my lips, which is quite unusual for me – I often wear very matte lip products that others find drying with no problems at all.  So, these may not be a good choice for those of you with dryer lips.  This particular shade lasted about two hours for me, which is not great, but not terrible for something so close to my lip color.

I would describe the color as a rosy neutral – just a little bit rosier than my lips but better. The finish is justly described as a velvety matte, it’s mostly matte but with a little bit of dimension and sheen, though no actually shine (and no shimmer at all).   It’s a good everyday type shade, but nothing particularly special on me.

Overall, this lip crayon is very “meh” for me – it’s a nice color, but not anything special. The formula is just barely acceptable, but not something I’m excited about.  There’s nothing wrong with this lip crayon, but it’s just not a great product for me.

Has anyone tried the SK Lip Crayons? Do you agree, or did you have a better experience with these?


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Jordana Tawny and Plush Plum Easyliner for Lips Review, Swatches, Photos

Jordana Easyliner for Lips: Plush Plum, Tawny, Sedona Red

Jordana Easyliner for Lips: Plush Plum, Tawny, Sedona Red

As I mentioned at the end of my review of Jordana’s Sedona Red Easyliner for lips last week, I planned to buy a few additional shades of the Easyliner lip pencil to see if they lived up to Sedona Red in quality. After buying two more shades, the natural Tawny and the deep reddened plum Plush Plum, I’m happy to report that they do! The texture does vary a bit by shade, but I’m happy with the texture of each pencil.

I didn’t mention this in my original review, but these pencils are truly retractable – they twist both up and down, which I appreciate. And as you can see, the pencils are made of colored plastic that roughly matches the shade of lip liner – not exactly elegant, but definitely convenient.


Jordana Tawny Easyliner swatch

Jordana Tawny Easyliner

Jordana Tawny Easyliner for Lips - swatch

Jordana Tawny Easyliner for Lips

Tawny is a neutral.  It would work especially well under any sort of my-lips-but-better type shade, and could probably be worn under most lipsticks to extend the wear without significantly altering the color of the lipstick.   Tawny has the driest texture of the three, as you can tell from the lip swatch – more of a classic lip pencil texture, rather than a lipstick texture.  However, it didn’t drag or pull when I applied it, and I think the dryness means that it would actually wear quite well.  The dryness also made it easy to apply precisely (although it’s a light color, so precision is less important).

Jordana Plush Plum Easyliner - swatch

Jordana Plush Plum Easyliner

Jordana Plush Plum Easyliner - lip swatch

Jordana Plush Plum Easyliner

Plush Plum is a gorgeous deep red/plum that I will happily wear on its own as a lipstick.  It has the creamiest, softest texture of the three pencils.  While that made it very easy to fill in my lips, it actually made it more difficult to get precise edges.   When wearing this alone, I will apply, blot, and apply again.  You know a lip liner is creamy if you need to blot it!

Here are all three lip pencils swatched together:

Jordana Easyliners: Tawny, Sedona Red, Plush Plum - swatches

Jordana Easyliners: Tawny, Sedona Red, Plush Plum

Now I’m intrigued by the Easyliners for eyes. Hmm . . .

Jordana Sedona Red Easyliner for Lips Review, Swatches, Photos

Jordana Easyliner for lips - Sedona Red

Jordana Easyliner for lips – Sedona Red

I am usually not a lipliner girl, but I’ve heard good things about Jordana’s Easyliners for lips, so for $2, I thought I’d give one a try! It’s nice to have a red lip pencil on hand to ensure precision and extend the wear of red lipsticks, so I bought the shade Sedona Red – a clean, bright red.

Jordana Easyliner for lips - Sedona Red

When I first swatched, and then applied, the lip pencil, I was pleasantly surprised by the texture – it is very creamy.  It’s the kind of texture you might expect from a chubby “lipstick” type pencil. It doesn’t drag or tug at all; and in fact, it’s creamy enough that it has a sheen when applied.  It is fully opaque in one swipe. I wore it for two hours; at the end of the two hours, it still looked almost perfect.  I didn’t find it drying or moisturizing.

Here it is applied; you can see the sheen. I would (and will!) absolutely wear this alone as a lipstick!

Jordana Easyliner for lips - Sedona Red - swatch

Overall, this is a great buy and I definitely recommend it.  You can find Jordana products at Walgreen’s and Kmart, or online at Cherryculture.

I will be checking out more shades of the Jordana Easyliners for Lips for sure!