This £1 pencil is the best lip liner I've tried

It's almost as good as filler.

29 May 2019

I’m a proud card-carrying member of the Sad Girl Club. I jam out to Lana Del Rey the way most people do to Cardi B and spent most of high school years journaling and making playlists in my room rather than going out. I have a lot of feelings, and my beauty look has consisted of embracing that, including tear-proof eyeliners and moody lipstick. That being said, I could use some help in the lip department. I long for the flushed, pillowy lips of someone who looks as if they just cried. (I just want to look as pouty as I feel, okay?)

Despite the popularity of lip fillers, I have yet to bite the bullet. I have a folder of inspiration photos saved on my phone (mostly of Lily-Rose Depp) and access to plenty of derms, but the idea of seriously changing my face — at least for about six months — is still scary to me. So that's how I became obsessed with lip liner.

As someone who was too young to reach for MAC Spice in its heyday, I was initially a bit intimidated by the concept, which is what led me down a rabbit hole of reviews about the best lip liner. I needed something easy but not expensive, and above all the colour needed to look natural. Nearly every review told me Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk is hands down the best lip liner, but I still had a hard time justifying $22 for something I was on the fence about. So I settled for what my research said would be the next best thing: Essence Soft Contouring Lip Liner in Lost in Love.

Um, can I just say, Wow.

Nearly all my favourite makeup products come from the drugstore, so I’m not often surprised when the quality is great. But I definitely wasn't expecting something that costs $2 to be so revolutionary. Every glowing review about Essence's lip liner was spot-on. It strikes just the right balance between waxy and creamy, so it easily draws a clean line without skipping or pulling on my lips. And it stays on for hours. The shade is also a flawless match for my lips, which makes it perfect for overlining without looking obvious.

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So sad so sexy

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For maximum pout, I’ll line just outside my natural lip with the Essence pencil, then top it with the Fenty Gloss Bomb, and I swear it looks as though I’ve had a little work done. If I want a more matte look, I’ll overline and then fill in my lips using just the pencil—that's how good it is.

I love this pencil so much, I buy it in bulk and keep one in every bag. For $2 a piece, you can't blame me. And for something that gives me the hot-sad-girl lips of my dreams? It's a no-brainer.

Essence Soft Contouring Lipliner is sold through US retailer Ulta, but the nude lip liner can be found in UK store Wilko in two different shades, for just £1!

Bella Cacciatore is a beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.