A close friend recently remarked on a makeup memory she had of me saying “you were the first person I knew who wore lip pencil”. She even remembered the colour, MAC Spice. Well of course, it would be. That lip pencil was one of the makeup superstars of the 1990’s, and I worked for MAC for ten months in 1998.  Many of my friends received a Spice pencil for a Christmas present that year and she was probably one of them. For everything that pencil came to mean to me (and you too if your were of age in the late 90’s when lip pencil was de rigueur), it wasn’t in fact the first lip pencil I ever bought. That prize goes to a Bourjois pencil in a cherry red which I was persuaded to buy from the salesgirl at Boots in Bromley High Street in about 1982, to wear with a new Bourjois coral/pink lipstick, the memory of which is still dear to me. The salesgirl was not a girl but a woman, or at least womanly to me as a fourteen year old, and her suggestion to try the pencil was well taken – it was a beautiful combination which to this day I haven’t been able to replicate. The effect of the lipstick and pencil together was an immediate Barbara Eden-ish vibe, she being a beauty hero of course and as I was doing a retro makeup kind of thing then I just loved that lipstick.  The Bourjois counter in Boots was new and fancy and shopping there felt like buying grownups makeup. The lipstick bullet was shiny and glamourous and expensive-looking (up until then I had only had a drawer full of Boots 17 and Rimmel push-up lipsticks with terrible packaging, not even aware that lip pencil even existed). I was so in awe of this woman who took the time to show a teen girl how to wear the two together. Wherever she may be I hope she is still as fabulous as she appeared to me that day, and still as excellent on her advice to makeup amateurs. I think that was the most I had ever spent on makeup to that point, but I didn’t regret it. I had a Saturday job and my main expenditure was on makeup. And so it began.

Barbara Eden as the quintessential beauty genie
Barbara Eden as the quintessential beauty genie
The genie still rocks it into older age!
The genie still rocks into older age!  Lipstick goals

By the mid 1980s I’d graduated to Miss Selfridge Iron Lady lipstick, even trekking to the big one in Lewisham if Bromley was sold out. Everyone just had to have an Iron Lady  but lip liner was never part of my makeup life again until I started working for MAC Cosmetics in the late 1990’s. That’s when Spice, and a few others, began to appear in my makeup kit and personal makeup bag.

Flash forward several years and I stopped being a fan of lip liner, probably because I saw more than my fair share of the chocolate liner/taupe lipstick combo during my time with MAC.  Horrendously, IMO, it’s a look that’s back on the makeup stage in a big big way. Big big and bigger. And you know who I’m talkin bout Willis.

Lip pencil or lip pen? Ack
Lip pencil or lip pen? Ack
Pamela sue your makeup artist
Pamela sue your makeup artist
The dark lipliner craze has dragged on a little too long IMO
The dark lipliner craze has dragged on a little too long IMO

The hard line of an unblended lip line is one of my makeup pet peeves so I learnt do a perfect lip without a liner. With the right tool anything is possible. It’s not difficult to learn so have a go because, if you are a liner user,  you never know when it might fall from your handbag on a big night out. You should know what to do in the case of such an emergency.

Note to selves: a dark, distinct, lipliner can be aging. So please think carefully if that’s the makeup habit you’ve fallen into. Try going without for a day and see what happens.

Although my attitude about lip-lining may be quite different than yours, a product has appeared on the market that has caused me to reconsider. Yes, one that is good to enough to change my mind has come along, and it deserves a special mention. For it to have made it into my shopping cart, it had to possess certain qualities, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • a blendable, creamy texture
  • a great range of colours
  • durable packaging to survive for days in a handbag
  • worth spending the money on

I found all these things in the Lip Cheat pencils from Charlotte Tilbury. These pencils are made to “reshape and resize your lips” and do so beautifully. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bought one. And other one and another one! One in each bag at the moment. Not to mention all the shades which I now have in my makeup kit.

The perfect point, not too sharp please, with a velvety texture which makes them easily blendable
The perfect point, not too sharp please, with a velvety texture which makes them easily blendable

Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheats are a makeup product extraordinaire IMO and the name is a perfect moniker, describing why I’ve started using them- to add a bit of oomph because lets’s face it, Honey I Shrank My Lips. I use a couple in natural colours (Iconic Nude, Pillow Talk and Pink Venus for my skin tone; for yours it might be more Foxy Brown) to slightly redraw my lipline in a couple of places to add a bit of volume. I usually wear them with with a just a lipgloss for my day look because it reflects light and makes lips look bigger. Right now I am obsessed with her lipgloss in Seduction which is a wonderful, flattering nude for any skin tone. It’s also a colour that deserves special mention; a good nude is hard to find!

Lipgloss in "Seduction" is my new obsession
Lipgloss in “Seduction” is my new obsession and the perfect nude

Lip Cheats come on 10 colours. For a natural look use a shade closest to your lip colour. I even use a natural colour when I wear a bright or dark lipstick. If you blend the edges before you put on the lipstick it won’t show and that way you don’t need a different colour to match every lipstick.

The pencils retail for $22 in the US and £16 in the UK: which makes them very good value for money in my opinion and much less than injectables! Think of the Lip Cheat as good for your look and good for your health, a worthwhile investment don’t you think?  I’m not going to do lip injections so this is the solution for me.

Carry On Cheating, glossaholics!

To shop:

In the UK
Charlotte Tilbury (UK)
In the US
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited US
In Canada
Charlotte Tilbury CA


If you enjoy the blog, don’t forget to sign up to the email list for notifications of new posts.

PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained during almost twenty years as a professional Make-Up Artist. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.
I'm a British / Canadian Pro MakeUp Artist with a colourful career: have kit, will travel, have info, will share! This blog is all about My Life In MakeUp. I hope you enjoy your time here and learn a little something along the way xo

Leave a Response