Friday, September 30, 2011

Three Lip Liners I Love: Paula Dorf, Armani, Sisley

Lip liners are an essential item for me despite their questionable reputation. I'm not talking about this look, of course, but of a subtle way to extend the wear of lipstick and make it look polished. Or, when the lip pencil is especially good and creamy, used as a base color under a gloss or a lip balm. These three lip liners by Giorgio Armani, Paula Dorf and Sisley are exactly that.

Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk lip pencil in Pale Raspberry #9 is a lively plummish mauve that offers the "my lips but better quality" and works with many of my lipsticks as well as by itself under Armani's fabulous lip gloss, Gloss d'Armani.

Sisley Phyto-Lèvres Gloss Lipliner is actually a hybrid: a glossy moisturizing lip pencil that actually smooths the lips and gives them a nice boost. It's still quite tenacious and holds firmly in place. Thé Glacé No. 1 is a warm shade, a light brick color mixed with beige.

Paula Dorf lip liner in Retro is a classic lip pencil. It's smooth to apply, gives full coverage and stays put no matter what, keeping your lipstick and balm where they need to be. This one can be drying if your lips haven't been moisturized prior to application, so my favorite way of using the Paula Dorf pencil is over my lipstick, for an extra hold. I also do the makeup artist thing by mixing it on the back of my hand with a lip balm and applying with a brush.

Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk lip pencil in Pale Raspberry #9 and nine other shades ($26) is available at Saks, Nordstrom, Barneys and
Sisley Phyto-Lèvres Gloss Lipliner ($40) comes in four colors, of which Thé Glacé is the lightest. Available at Bergdorf, Saks and Neiman Marcus.
Paula Dorf lip liner (Retro is one of ten shades, $20 each) is available at Henri Bendel in NYC and

My beautiful assistant is Sophie.


  1. That GA one looks lovely, all three do! I'm not a big lip-product person so a light lipliner + balm feels perfect. I love this "liners I love" post, always great to see what remains a favorite!

  2. Cannot agree more on the essentiality of lipliners, I think they "earned" their questionable reputation in 80ies, when dark lip liner was applied with pale lipstick, which was a pure disaster. But since then the technology and trends evolved so much, so we can re-appreciate that which a good lipliner can provide us :).

    My all time favorite is Shiseido #2 Sepia on Ice of the old discontinued line (the new line doesn't come even close to this), it's a very natural darkened flash color without any pink or red in it, which makes all my lipsticks look more noble and composed, and it prevents lipsticks from bleeding (as an ex-smoker I have few lines on my lips).
    Hope one day to try Armani lip liners "in person" :).

  3. The Pale Raspberry looks beautiful. I like your pretty designs too! You make swatches more interesting :D

  4. Thanks for this -even though they're beyond my pocketbook. I've just been on a lip liner quest, because I, gasp, line my lips with just these sorts of colors and use balm and my lips look bigger this way. To me, it doesn't look like the 80's disaster, but, who knows, maybe it really does! I'm 50 now, and my lips are looking really ugly, lopsided and thin. They are the thing I hate most about myself. Anyway, I found Smashbox in their new liners, Light and Medium both work, and Urban Decay in I think it's Watermelon. Both last like indelible ink. They seem creamy enough going on, but, also a bit drying. rh

  5. The pale raspberry is lovely. I tend to use a lipbrush, however. But I do own some lipliners.

  6. cool idea of swatching I must say!!!
    and how about the cat? sometimes cats like the scent of make up and go crazy around it.
    anyhow, you'll have amazing lip colours with them!

  7. Gaia, Are you telling me you didn't line 'dark' in the 80s? - well, if you didn't you are in a teeeny minority! I ROCKED the Toni Braxton look!LOL! Now, I use a lipliner to even out my aging lips - ylbb. I use Rimmel Coffee Bean which works just great and isn't drying (not quite as fixative as I would like but pretty good - and for $3, how can I complain). That plus any number of my YLLB lipsticks (Prescriptives (several - nobody does YLBB like they do), Lancome does YLBB with a bit more warmth and 'oomph' for medium olive tones and a great lipstick I found at Target: Niki by Napoleon Perdis. Great stuff for a song!


  8. I have and love the GA shade. That Sisley looks like a great color! Thanks for the swatches!


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