not a professional just crazy

This Brow Tint Is the Best Nude Lip Liner I’ve Used

Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

A few months ago, I stumbled across a TikTok on Hailey Bieber’s everyday lip. According to the video, she uses Charlotte Tilbury’s cool-toned beigey brown lip liner, Iconic Nude (slightly overlined at the cupid’s bow), topped with a clear lip gloss (she uses her Peptide Lip Treatment). And I must say, after trying it out, I quickly discovered why Mrs. Bieber can’t get enough of the duo — it creates the perfect pout, without looking too dramatic or makeup-y, for a your-lips-but-fuller effect. Needless to say, I’ve been wearing that very combination pretty much every day since.

The issue is, the lip liner doesn’t last very long — if you eat or drink something, it’ll fade instantaneously — so I find myself touching it up constantly throughout the day. My TikTok algorithm eavesdropped on my woes once again: In a viral video on my “For You page,” racking up nearly 273 thousand likes, Sacheu Beauty founder Sarah Cheung shared her go-to long-lasting lip-liner hack. Instead of using a traditional lip liner, Cheung says she uses a “tattoo” brow tint product. The trick goes beyond making your liner survive mealtime — the tattoo can last up to 24 hours. To achieve it, apply the brow tint around the perimeter of your lips, as you would any traditional lip liner; wait up to three minutes; and peel the dried product off. Then go in with a cotton swab or makeup wipe to buff off any excess.

I’ll start by saying, after some trial and error, I absolutely love this hack. But when I first tried it out, I used the medium-brown shade and it looked, quite frankly, bizarre — almost like I had lined my lips with a pen. And listen, if you’re into that ’90s supermodel makeup, you may love the way a darker liner looks, but I was personally hoping for something a bit more subdued and similar in shade to Tilbury’s Iconic Nude. However, after a few attempts, I learned some tips and tricks that have transformed this method into a staple of mine: First, try to make the line as thin as possible when you’re painting in on, that way it won’t look too messy or sloppy when you peel it off. Second, if you’re looking for something a bit subtler and not quite so Y2K, pick a shade much lighter than your brow color (for me, that was a taupe-y light-brown shade rather than a medium brown). And last, remove it after 30 seconds to a minute (and use a fan to help the drying process happen quicker) instead of leaving it on for the recommended three minutes. With these three tips, the brow tint will give you the most natural, pouty effect possible, prepping your lips perfectly for a gloss. But it’s also not too big a deal if it didn’t come out the way you expected and you want to get it off — just apply some micellar water to a cotton pad and wipe away at it (the liner won’t come off instantly, as it is semipermanent, but it will after a couple of rubs).

Since doing this, my lip liner is able to last all day long, completely free of touch-ups. I can confidently go through the day or evening without needing to rush to the bathroom or pull out my compact every hour to ensure it has stayed in place. I have three glosses in rotation that I like to top this with: Fenty’s Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow (a rosy nude with a soft sparkle), Glossier’s Lip Gloss (for a totally clear effect), and Morphe’s Boho (a dusty petal-pink shade). Sure, it gets a tad smudgy around the edges if I’ve been out eating or drinking all day long (I did put it to the test recently at a barbecue with friends), but to be honest, that slight fade just gives a nice buffed look that makes it look even more natural. And it seems this is only the beginning: I recently saw a girl on TikTok use this same product to create a long-lasting winged liner and I can’t wait to try that next.

Seeing as we’re using a product in a way that differs from the formula’s intended purpose, I had some questions about the health and safety precautions. According to Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified dermatologist based in California, while there might not be anything explicitly “toxic,” the formula contains denatured alcohol with low molecular weights, a potentially sensitizing and drying ingredient that can penetrate deep into skin. Shirazi explained that this could cause irritation on any area of your face, including your forehead, but considering the lips have such thin skin, you’re doubling that risk when you apply it as a liner. So if you have extremely chapped, dehydrated, or flaky lips, you might want to pass on this!

This is the one Sarah Cheung uses in her TikTok video. It’s not cruelty-free, so I’ve found an alternative, below.

LSxia Peel Off Tattoo Eyebrow Gel
$10 for 2
$10 for 2

This brow gel is cruelty-free. After testing both, I do think the Maybelline, above, works a bit better, but they are practically identical.

Glossier Lip Gloss

For the full effect, pair your “tattooed” liner with Glossier’s totally clear, minimally sticky gloss.

$11 at Glossier
with code: FOG22

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This Brow Tint Is the Best Nude Lip Liner I’ve Used