Nude Lip Liner Options

I promised I could do this post soon! It took me a longer than expected to post this because I misplaced the note where I wrote the order in which lip swatches were taken! Some of these are very similar but I found it this week among a few receipts and here I am.

I’ve been averse to lip liners for the majority of my “makeup life”. It’s only in the last two years that I really started wearing them and saw the benefit in doing so. Lip liners for bright lipsticks makes obvious sense but I use nudes a lot more. You will find atleast one or two lip liners in my handbag everyday. My favourite thing to do is fill them in lightly, mainly at the corners which are darker and then use a sheer nude lipstick over it. Obviously, I’ve accumulated enough lip liners for a country and then some.

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Pinky mauve, more mauve, peachy nudes, just peachy, brown nudes, I have you covered! I’ll talk briefly about the formula and shades but scroll ahead if you want to see swatches.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk has more of a waxy formula that fills your lip in and makes it appear smooth as canvas. It has a slight tackiness to it that helps any lipstick adhere to it. I use this more as a base lip liner when I want my lipstick to last. Pillow Talk is more of a cool toned pink nude. For deeper skintones I think the shade Iconic Nude would be more flattering (purely based on Googling).

Marc Jacobs Poutliner in Primrose is most similar to Charlotte Tilbury because it also has that waxy formula. But I love that it’s a twist up pencil and doesn’t need sharpening. It’s a darker rose pink but it does show up more cool toned on me. Also, just the packaging is really appealing.

I picked up the Nyx Slim Lip Pencil in Peekaboo Neutral and Ever in one of those ebay sets a really long time ago. If you really don’t use lip liner that often and you want some for brighter colours, I would really suggest getting Nyx. I don’t find the formula similar to Mac as it’s often touted but for bright colours it works well. That said, these two shades are amazing! I don’t find these comfortable on bare lips, so I always use a light layer of lip balm underneath but Peekaboo is a warm pink nude while Ever is a warm peachy nude. These two are really good for medium Indian skintones.

Mac Lip Pencil in Soar and Whirl are iconic now but I find them both very handy. While Soar is more cool toned and mauve, Whirl is darker and muddier. I find these to be very dark lip pencils in person when you put them on. I loved these initially but I don’t find the formula to be very long lasting. But I do like the colour payoff and softness of these pencils. I also like that it doesn’t break very easily.

Mac Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Nice ’n’ Spicy is what you really want to buy the next time you’re at Mac! It’s hard to distinguish it from the regular Mac Lip Pencil packaging wise but just ask the SA. The formula really lasts longer, it’s creamier to apply and mostly transfer proof! It’s a tiny bit more waxy which again lends well to cover up lip lines and make them appear even. The shade range isn’t massive but Nice ‘n’ Spicy is a warm peachy nude that would be great on anyone.

Lakme 9 to 5 Lip Liner in Brick Rose is the real unsung hero here. I think it’s only available in India but since we have such few local brands, it’s a marvel when you find something this good this cheap. I bought this when the 9 to 5 collection came out a few years ago and it stayed untouched till the lip liner craze started. The formula is comparable to the Mac or Laura Mercier lip liners where it’s very pigmented and soft to apply. The shade Brick Rose is just that right kind of nude, it’s warm with a tinge of brown but still a bit rosy in person. Colorwise it’s very similar to Laura Mercier Chestnut and Rimmel Epic.

Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lipliner in Epic is a good lip liner for the price. It’s one of the few twist up liners available in the affordable price bracket but I find it too stiff and patchy to apply. I would like to gladly forget I own this. I usually use this with lip balm to make it more pliable.

Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Chestnut gets five gold stars from me. It’s expensive but you get more product. The shade Chestnut is a warm brown nude that doesn’t look muddy. I just love this colour so much! I love wearing it by itself too, doesn’t make my lips shrivel up! It’s not waxy and drying but it still manages to even out the lip texture and last really long.

Lastly, I have the Colourpop Lippie Pencil in Bound. While I like the mauvey brown shade and soft formula, but this pencil broke after the first sharpening and so it’s very difficult to use it. Like Nyx, if you want to try out lip liners in bolder or less often worn colours, give Colourpop a go!


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I can’t really pick favourites among these but I thought I should mention a few that really do standout for me. Overall, the formula I prefer the most is a toss up between Mac Pro Longwear and Laura Mercier. Colour-wise, my favourite colours are Laura Mercier Chestnut and Nyx Ever. But best value for money is probably Lakme Brick Rose or Colourpop Bound. The waxy formulas are great for long wear but I just don’t find them very comfortable.

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Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk ($22) – Nordstrom, Beautylish

Nyx Slim Lip Pencil in Peekaboo Neutral and Ever (Rs. 450) – Nykaa

Mac Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Nice ’n’ Spicy ($21) – Nordstrom, Nykaa

Lakme 9 to 5 Lip Liner in Brick Rose (Rs. 400) – Nykaa

Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lipliner in Epic (Rs. 315) – Nykaa

Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Chestnut ($24) – Nordstrom, Sephora

Marc Jacobs (P)Outliner in Prim(Rose) ($24) – Sephora

Mac Lip Pencil in Soar and Whirl ($17.5) – Nordstrom, Nykaa

Colourpop Lippie Pencil in Bound ($5) – Colourpop

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  • i dont wear lip liners much either but you have some lovely options here. i’m a nude lippie lover so this post was such a treat haha. nyx ever is gorgeous! okay i think i need a nude lip liner in my life now. i’m completely sold.

    Aditi |

    • Thanks so much Aditi! Nyx Ever is gorgeous! With Nyx especially, they have way too many to choose from but Ever and Peekaboo Neutral were too colour that were mentioned a lot on Indian blogs.

  • Rebecca Fletcher

    I dont often wear lipliners but when I do I usually grab my rimmel or L’oreal ones. I have never tried a MAC lipliner which is mad because I love their lipsticks!

    • Same here, I’ve been using Mac lipsticks from so long now but I got into their lip liners only last year. I haven’t really tried any from L’oreal but I imagine they have an equally good range.

  • clare⭐

    nude lip liners are my fav, mac soar is a winner!

    • Completely, it stands out so much as a colour, I love wearing it just by itself too. I just wear a lip balm beforehand to make it more creamy.

  • What a great collection you have! Pillow Talk is one of my favourites as it’s the closest to my natural lip colour but I love Soar too xx


    • Pillow Talk is great but very cool toned for me, Soar as a colour really stands out. I love using it just by itself as well.

  • Wow, that is quite a collection! I only own one nude lipliner and I rarely use it. Even though I probably should, given that my lip lines are getting way more noticeable…

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • I just like layering them. I usually wear sheer lipsticks but with a lip liner underneath it just prolongs colour on my lips longer, that’s what I love best. Somehow that looks more natural than a creamy pigmented lipstick.

  • Pillow Talk is a shade I’ve always wanted! I own Whirl and love it, it’s such a great lipliner choice! x


    • I find Whirl really useful with lighter nude shades, makes them look more natural on me.

  • I do like the Nyx Ever too! Great swatches! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  • Thank you, this post is really helpful 🙂 I’ll make sure to check the pro-longwear once since it sounds better than the regular one.

    Selene Addicted

    • It came as a surprise to me as well and the shade range is comparable with the Pro line.

  • Thank you so much for the swatches!! Great to see what the actually look like on you and I’m basically obsessed with all of them haha
    Kathy x

    • Haha, thanks Kathy! Do you normally use lip liners? xx

  • Wow! lovely post . Thanks for reviewing so many nude lip liner shades.

  • Pillowtalk and Peekaboo Neutral look like the right nudes for me! Will remember those names.

    • Pillowtalk would look great on you, it’s a lot more pink than Peekaboo.

  • SamanthaSeries

    I like the swatches both on lips and your arm! I actually hardly use lip liners but I don’t know why. I’d like to pick one up. This is the perfect post for reference 🙂

    Samantha Series

    • Thanks Samantha! I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a must, I hardly used them before. But if you’re into it, I hope this is useful. 🙂

  • Emma Kate

    This is the lip liner post of dreams! Desperately want pillow talk after seeing it on you

    • Haha, thanks Emma! So many of you seem to like Pillow Talk more on me than I do, I’m definitely missing something! But it is a stunning shade!

  • Bernadette

    These nude lip liners look stunning!

  • These are my favorite types of liners, especially since I’m in a nude lip phase right now. MJ Primrose is one of my faves so I’m definitely going to use that as a basis for the other colors. I need one on more of the peachy/chestnut side so MAC Nice n’ Spicy looks like it may be right up my alley! Or I’ll need to pop over to a NYX store to see if Ever may be a better match.

    Great post!!

    Cindy |

    • Thanks Cindy! Colours can turn out so different based on lighting and even skintone, so I’m glad you something to reference! I would absolutely recommend Mac Nice n’ Spicy, it’s one of my best buys when it comes to lip liners and I find the colour very unique, it’s not too brown.

  • Surprisingly, I don’t own too many nude lip liners, but I think because I have so many nude lipsticks, I’m trying to be more strict on myself these days! I own three of the same ones as you – the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and the MAC Lip Pencils in Soar and Whirl, all of which I love. I can’t believe you don’t own Iconic Nude though, you’ll absolutely LOVE it! At first, I thought it was too brown for my liking, but it’s actually the perfect brown-nude shade on me and now I can’t get enough of it. It might’ve even surpassed Pillow Talk as my favourite and Pillow Talk is my most used lip liner of all! It’s funny how makeup can look completely different on different people because Pillow Talk is definitely more neutral on me and I wouldn’t say it looks cool-toned at all. I’ve swatched Marc Jacob’s Primrose in-store before, but I managed to tell myself I didn’t need it. This post is telling me otherwise now, haha.

    Tenneil | Like Neon Love

    • Oh Tenneil, I was very happy ignoring Iconic Nude but now I want it too! Maybe I’ll treat myself to it on my birthday ( that’s next year though). I glad you have a lot of reference lip liners because like you said, it can look so different depending on lighting and skintone. I didn’t really plan on buying MJ Primrose but I was in the store and I found the formula unique enough. I’m glad I have it in my collection though.

  • I definitely lack in lipliners especially nude ones in particular so this post was really helpful and interesting to read. I definitely need to get my hands on a few budget options like the NYX ones but wouldn’t mind splurging a bit also on brands like MAC and Charlotte Tilbury x

    Beauty with charm

    • I have a few bright lip liners and they’re mostly Nyx as I wear them very rarely. For nudes, I didn’t mind splurging more because I knew they’d get used up. It’s a little satisfying everytime I have to sharpen them!

  • rae

    Awesome rundown! All of these lip liners look really great in your example photos – I actually tend to never really use lip liner, but I do know that it makes such a difference. Thanks for all the information!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    • Thanks Rae! I’m so glad you found this helpful!

  • I love nude lip pencils! MAC Soar is my all time favorite and I also really like MJ Primrose! I hate when I misplace the note telling me the order the swatches are in lol!

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

    • I’m usually more organized, I write it on post its and keep it in my blog diary but I just left it somewhere in my room this time and I just couldn’t bring myself to swatch them all over again! I love Soar too, it’s just a great colour just to wear it by itself!

  • The only lip liners I have tried from this list are from NYX and Rimmel, haven’t tried the others and probably won’t too. I am too cheap to splurge on lip liners. LOL!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • I find Nyx is really great in terms of colour selection! I think they also do a twist up kind of lip liner but I’ve never tried it. Everytime I look at Nyx products, I find something new that I didn’t know existed!

  • It’s funny, I went through a little phase with needing to buy lipliners because I didn’t have any, but then I stopped using them because I tend to just throw on a lipstick without thinking about it, but I really should start using them more, if for no other reason than because I’ve already bought them and I should get some more use out of them. I haven’t tried too many brands but I do really like the MAC ones, and I’ve got a couple from NYX and the Rimmel one in East End Snob and I think those 3 formulas are really good. Though I certainly haven’t tried as many brands as you have!

    • I’m done with buying lip liners now for sure! I do use them atleast 2-3 times a week and I like having more options. I think East End Snob is a good dupe for Pillow Talk (from what I’ve read).

  • pillow talk looks kind of ashy but i kind of like it. i think we have the same skin tone but mine is more yellow so i guess the result would be kind of similar. i love rimmel and nyx. they’re just gorgeous and affordable. plus they did the job well. will look out for mac soar and whirl! thank you for the swatches!


    • Yes, sometimes you can’t predict how cool toned it will look, I imagine it would be similar on you too. I like Nyx too, you can’t really beat them in terms of shade range and they have so many dupes for Mac.

  • I don’t use lip liners as much as I should! These are such great swatches. I love that you also put them all on your lips and took photos. I have to admit a lot of them look the same haha. I think overall I prefer one with a little more pink like the CT Pillowtalk one. So pretty!!


    • Thanks Emily! I’m so happy you found it useful! PillowTalk would look great on you, not so cool toned as it does on me.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk is and always will be my favourite lip liner, it’s pretty special, none of my other lip liners compare!
    xxx Claire

    • Glad to know it’s your favourite! Do you also have Iconic Nude by any chance?

      • I do actually haha, I have a CT Lip Cheat problem! I also have Pink Venus, which is a bit more pink and Iconic Nude is more brown toned 🙂

  • These colors are right up my alley! The Laura Mercier color was definitely my favorite of the bunch

    • It’s a bit dark but it just looks so polished!

  • Samileen

    Nude lipsticks/ lip liners are right up my street. Love mac soar and spice, also dervish is one of my all time favorite lip liner. Definitely getting Marc Jacobs Primrose after seeing the swatch.

    Sam || Beautydetour

    • Primrose is beautiful, the packaging and formula makes it totally worth it.

  • Beauty Journal

    Love all the colors . Now I know where to look up for nude lip liner options. Thanks for sharing !

    • Thanks Karishma! So glad you found it useful! xx

  • Neslihan Bass

    I really love nudes colors, especially for lip liner!!!

  • Love your recommendations! I had the same thing happen to me too with the Colourpop lip liners.

    Jessica || Of Purity and Simplicity

  • Great picks!