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7 Makeup Artist-Approved Lipstick & Lip Liner Combos

The right lipstick and lip liner combo can elevate any makeup look. A neutral lip liner and lipstick can let your eyeliner make a bold statement, while a bright red duo can take a no-makeup makeup look in a completely different direction.

While lip kits offer the convenience of bundling two complementary products together as a set, you don’t necessarily have to go the matchy-matchy route. “Don’t worry about having the exact same shade in both liner in lipstick,” Claudia Soare, president of Anastasia Beverly Hills, tells Bustle. In fact, contrast might even create a cooler effect. “It’s okay to pair different tones and customize your lip look,” Soare says.

When it comes to using any lip liner, Soare says that one of the most crucial things is to make sure your pencil is sharpened. “This will make sure the tip is super-fine and you can achieve clean definition.” It’s especially helpful for precisely shaping and sculpting the Cupid’s bow.

Not sure how to find a lip liner that goes with your lipstick? Bustle asked Soare, New York-based makeup artist Yanni Peña, and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics national makeup artist Michele Shakeshaft for their favorite lipstick and lip liner combos.

For the perfect neutral lip, Soare says that her absolute favorite pairing is the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liner in Deep Taupe and Satin Lipstick in Taupe Beige. “The undertones complement each other beautifully, and the depth of Deep Taupe gives the lips a naturally sculpted look.”

For those with tan to deep complexions, consider pairing M.A.C.’s Lip Pencil in Chestnut with Pat McGrath’s Lip Fetish Balm Divinyl in Nude Venus. Peña tells Bustle that “the glide-on formula of the lip pencil paired with the juicy texture of the balm-lipstick keeps your lips feeling hydrated and looking plump.”

If you’re looking for a bolder, ’90s-inspired look, Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Matte Lipstick in Toffee and Lip Liner in Malt is the duo for you. “Toffee is warm brown and by pairing it with malt, which is about three shades deeper, it gives a more contoured effect,” Soare explains. “The contrast between the lighter lipstick and deeper liner is really on trend with a ’90s vibe.”

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and whether you’re hanging out with your friends or someone special, you may want to wear a pretty pink pout. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk Medium and Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk are a dream team.

“This is a perfect combo for anyone with cool-neutral undertones or for someone who quickly wants to accentuate their lips with a subtle touch of color,” Peña explains. “Both the lip liner and the lipstick are highly pigmented, glide right on, and have long staying power.”

If you’re on the market for a lighter “my-lips-but-better” coupling, pair Bobbi Brown’s Crushed Lip Color in Sazan Nude and Lip Pencil in Cocoa. “[The lipstick] is a neutral lip color that will look good on a wide range of light to medium skin tones,” says Shakeshaft. “The Cocoa Lip Pencil is a deeper neutral color so it adds a natural, effortless definition without looking overdone or harsh.”

For those with deeper complexions, Shakeshaft suggests Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Blackberry with the Lip Pencil in Chocolate. “This combo looks classic and chic on deeper skin tones,” she says.

Another one of Shakeshaft’s pro tips? “For the most natural definition, apply the lip color first and the lip pencil second,” she says. “This allows the darker matte lip pencil to diffuse into the lip color for a more natural look.”

Red lipstick is already an attention-grabber, but black lip liner can take the look to the next level by adding a surprise element. Peña says it’s their favorite lip look as of late. “This combo is a daring way to tackle a metallic red lip or a great alternative to wearing classic or rich, dark reds. The combination of creamy and glossy textures ensures that your lips feel hydrated whilst adding dimension.”

Peña recommends Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in Metallic Red with Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in Whatever Black. Wanna be extra extra? Kick it up a notch with a layer of clear gloss.