Liner Notes: NYX Slim Lip Pencils in Dolly Pink and Pumpkin

Just a quick review of the final two items from last month’s Ulta order: NYX Slim Lip Pencils in Dolly Pink, a pastel lavender-pink, and Pumpkin, a burnt orange with gold shimmer.

I keep protesting on this blog that I don’t care much for lip liner, but I also keep buying more lip liners. I need to cut out one of those habits. I also need to figure out what I want lip liners to do for me, because I’m a bit hazy on that point right now. Do I want to increase the longevity of my lipsticks? Create sharper, clearer lines? Experiment with layering colors? Make sheer or patchy lipsticks opaque? Most importantly, do I care about any of these activities enough to spend extra time applying lip liner? Right now, I’m afraid, the answer seems to be no.

I did, however, have specific reasons for buying each of these colors. I wanted Dolly Pink as an underlayer for the not-quite-opaque-enough Maybelline Lilac Flush, and Pumpkin looked like a cool color that could be worn on its own. And because Ulta was having a sale on NYX lip products, I paid only $4.50 for both, which even I consider a small price to pay for two different lip colors. Plus, having a lip liner for Lilac Flush would make me less likely to go out and buy an opaque lavender lipstick, right? Right.

NYX’s Slim Lip Pencils are standard wooden lip liners that need to be sharpened and come with plastic caps:

Swatched, with Dolly Pink on the left and Pumpkin on the right, obviously:

I was immediately impressed with Pumpkin. It has a soft texture (no furious scribbling to achieve full coverage), it’s decently pigmented, and the gold shimmer is so fine that it creates a metallic effect. Pumpkin does emphasize dryness slightly, but I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it alone–it looks just like a metallic orange lipstick once applied:

There’s something very ’70s about this color: I can imagine one of Roger Moore’s Bond girls wearing it. She might even have worn it with a frosty seafoam green like the left-hand shade of NARS Habanera:

I was curious to see whether the shimmer would come through when a lipstick was layered over it, so I tested Pumpkin under two warmish lipsticks. The first was Urban Decay Streak, which looks like this on its own:

Pumpkin + Streak:

I wasn’t terribly impressed with this combination: it looked like a slightly pinker Pumpkin with frost (shudder) instead of shimmer. Basically, the least flattering color I could possibly wear. On to the next: Pumpkin under Revlon Candy Apple, a sheer warm red.

I’m sensing a pattern here: Pumpkin drowns out any lipstick with which it’s paired, and the metallic effect turns into a frosty one. Not a great layering partner, methinks, but I’m still excited to wear it by itself this summer and fall. Cyborg goes to the beach, or something.

The second lip liner, Dolly Pink, is the complete opposite of Pumpkin: it looks terrible on its own, but plays well with others. Dolly Pink has the same soft texture as Pumpkin, but it’s also thick and waxy, and I had to exert a lot of effort and apply a lot of product to get full color coverage:

It felt as gross and cakey as it looked, and that feeling only increased when I tried layering a lipstick over it. I got better results from scribbling lightly on my lips with Dolly Pink, then using a finger to even out the pigment for coverage that was just shy of opaque. Still not a lip pencil I’d wear on its own–it makes my lips look hideously shriveled.
As you may recall, Lilac Flush looks like this without liner:

Lilac Flush over Dolly Pink:

Not bad! Still emphasizes dryness, but at least the color looks right. And my lips look less painfully dry when you’re standing at a proper distance…

Verdict: I don’t regret buying either of these lip pencils, but I also feel compelled to set a new rule for myself: NO MORE LIP LINERS. I’d rather live with a lipstick that’s a bit sheer or uneven than apply a lip liner and carry it around all day so I can touch up both the lipstick and the liner constantly. We all have a few makeup habits we’re appallingly lazy about, and this is one of mine. What are your thoughts on lip liner?

15 thoughts on “Liner Notes: NYX Slim Lip Pencils in Dolly Pink and Pumpkin

  1. Those are interesting – and I really like your eye makeup! I wish I could wear pale pinks like that. I mainly use lip liner after applying lipstick from the bullet (rather than before) to clean up the edges, because I can't be bothered to fiddle with a lip brush. I think I saw that tip on XoVain. One of the few actually useful tips I've picked up from that site.


  2. I used to love using nude liners with colourful glosses on top for different combinations. People always used to ask what lipsticks they were and I'd give them longwinded explanations about how the shade came to be. Loving the look of Pumpkin! Hourglass has a gloss called Siren that looks similar with the same frosted effect. Sometimes I think about picking up liners again — in funky colours — because they seem less of a commitment than actual lipsticks. Then I think about the one red liner that I never touch and forget about it.


  3. I like the look of pumpkin, too. It makes me think of those old Revlon Street Wear polishes! As for myself, I have…many lipsticks, and two lipliners. I just seem to find it okay to use the edge or point of a lipstick for lining. I don't know, maybe I'm missing something revelatory??


  4. Pumpkin looks really great on you! Really brings out your eyes (I always think the right lip colour makes eyes pop more than the 'right' eye shadow but maybe I'm tapped).I have one solitary lip liner and it does look very sorry for itself, but I only use it when I wear a dark lipstick, and even then only to carry the lip colour around my lip line for a neater look.Worn on its own, I might as well apply pink slug bait, so my eyes are peeled for non-drying liner recommendations….


  5. Ohhh, Pumpkin looks gorgeous. If I wore lip pencils I would go right out and buy it. But I don't wear them. I think I own two lip pencils and they are both really, really, REALLY old and should probably be thrown out. I just don't see the point really. My lips are large enough that any kind of overdrawing makes them look ridiculous. And I know myself well enough to know that I'm just not going to use a pencil to get a 'clean' lip line. So those two reasons to use lip liners are non-existent so… I just don't use them.


  6. HAHA I have the same rule for myself, because every time I come across a lip liner in my stash, I always ask \”WHY DO I HAVE YOU?!\” but I never really, truly regret having a few standard ones in my arsenal. I have a huuuuuuge want for the MAC one in Nightmoth, though. Ugh. What is it with me and makeup names.Also, I think you could totally go out in the fall as a Bond girl for a day. 🙂


  7. Haha, I've spent the past two years wanting xoVain to be just a bit better than it is–but that doesn't stop me from reading it, apparently. That is a really good tip! Unfortunately, I don't have any liners that match my opaque, feather-prone lipsticks, and it seems like you'd have to find a perfect match to make that trick work. One thing I've been meaning to buy for a while, though, is a clear lip liner. That might make my liquid lipsticks easier to wear.


  8. Gloss + liner is a combination I have yet to try–I actually meant to do so for this post, but I forgot. I swear my short-term memory gets worse every year. And hey, I remember ogling swatches of Siren before deciding I couldn't pay that much for a gloss I wouldn't wear often. I wonder if I bought Pumpkin because of the subconscious association?


  9. Maybe I'm missing something, too, but I rarely have trouble with lipsticks migrating beyond my lip lines! And if I were to use lip liners to prevent migration, I'd get reeeally anal about finding the perfect lipstick/liner match. I'd rather use liners to experiment with color mixing.


  10. I feel the same way about lipstick vs. eyeshadow! People with green eyes are always told to wear plum eyeshadow, and I do wear it occasionally, but I find that plum and magenta lipsticks are what make my eyes look greener. And I LOVE how orange lipsticks look on blue-eyed people. Such a brilliant contrast!The drying factor has certainly dissuaded me from buying more liners than I already have. The NYX ones don't feel terribly dry, but I have yet to find a truly comfortable one!


  11. \”WHY DO I HAVE YOU?!\” is something I've mentally shouted at way too many of my beauty products. And Nightmoth truly is a great name (I'm tempted by the NARS Blade Runner duo mostly for the name), but it looks so similar to Train Bleu that you probably don't need both, right?


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