Clarins Lip liner Pencil Review | Slim, sleek and nude (will I regret this post title later?)

Clarins lip liner pencil reviews

Lip liner will forever and always remind me of the 90's. You know what I mean! What look is more characteristic of the angst decade than thick, dark lined lips and pencil-thin brows? How was that ever stylish you wonder? Well, I'm still trying to figure that one out, but at least it was memorable! In a reaction to this childhood trend, I've usually stayed away from lip liner all my life. I just never saw the use for it, but thanks to Kylie Jenner and the overdrawn lips trend, lip liner has found its way into my heart and makeup drawer.

If you have ever admired the crisp bold lines of a red lipstick wearer, or the pillowy lips of about any celebrity, odds are that those looks were helped by a lip liner. Nudes and brown lip liners are especially having a resurgence in popularity lately as they're quite versatile and key to creating that overdrawn lip look.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out a couple of nude lip liners from Clarins. Designed to be a "nude for everyone" the line boasts 4 select shades targeted towards different skin tones to be their perfect nude. Clarins claims that their lip liner pencils are designed to help increase the wear time of lipstick, prevent smearing and also condition with jojoba oil. The shades I received to try are Nude Fair, a pink rose, and Nude Rose, a medium-tone brown-rose.

Clarins nude lip pencils
Left to right: Nude Fair and Nude Rose

Price & Packaging
Clarins is more of a skincare brand to me than makeup, and their products are out of my usual price range, so I was pretty eager to try these. Each lip pencil costs about $26 and you can purchase them wherever Clarins is sold. For me, $26 on something as slim as a pencil is pretty steep, so my expectations were pretty high.

First things first, the packaging. I immediately noticed that these pencils were not self-sharpening. Recently a lot of brands have been putting out self-sharpening pencils, which is super handy if you're lazy like me. For what I'd deem as a higher-end brand, I really wish Clarins had put that extra touch in. Other than that, I thought the sleekness and shiny finish of these pencils was very elegant and felt really luxurious to hold.

Pigmentation & Wear
Although both pencils look very similar in color, Nude Fair is actually quite a bit lighter and is more of a light pink-rose. Nude Fair was probably my favourite of the two as it is the perfect nude liner for me. The light pink rose is a pretty good match for my skin and is about 1-2 shades lighter than my natural lip color. I could definitely see myself using Nude Fair as an everyday lip liner to prevent my MLBB lipsticks from wandering outside of my lip line.

Nude Rose is also a decent match for me, but much darker and browner. Out of the two, I would have thought Nude Rose to be my preference, but it actually wasn't. Nude Rose just stood out too much against my lipsticks and natural lip color, so unless I did want to have a 90's Drew Barrymore flower-child moment, this one is not the one for me.

Both pencils applied easily and had a good level of pigmentation. They also set very quickly and lasted all day long without smudging; in fact, they're so long-lasting that they're actually really hard to wash off, even with a cleansing oil!

clarins lip pencil swatches
Left to right: Nude Fair and Nude Rose

While I expect most lip liners to feel a little drying, I found the Clarins lip liners to be especially so. These are your more traditional style of lip liners and they will drag on your lips. I definitely wouldn't recommend using these to fill in your entire lip as an overall lip color either. Since they are not creamy at all, the Clarins lip liners just caught on any flake or dry patch I had on my lips and emphasized my lip lines.

Final Verdict
Ditch - these lip liners were decent enough I suppose, but I wasn't wowed by the texture or colors that I tried and for the same price, there are other, better, alternatives.


PS. I wonder what Drew Barrymore thinks of being everyone's reference for 90's makeup looks? Imagine having those life choices haunt you forever!


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