Can Kosas’ Hotliner Actually Reshape Your Lips?

The other day, the Refinery29 Style team received news of a new lip product that we unanimously decided we wanted to test drive: The Kosas Hotliner. As general skin-care enthusiasts, we agreed that a lip liner formulated with hyaluronic acid might be worth a $19 Sephora order — especially because many of us find traditional lip liners to be a drying. The fact that Kosas founder Sheena Yaitanes claimed that the liner made her own lips look "plump" and "juicy" solidified our case.
"Hotliner was something I was so excited to add to our collection because it’s focused on softly sculpting the lips to define and shape, without tugging or drying," Yaitanes explains. "The way I can reshape my lips makes me feel like I have a magical superpower."
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The "magic" is in the formula. "I was obsessed with getting just the right amount of glide versus grip," Yaitanes says. "Too creamy and it’ll slide all over the place; too much grip will drag and feel dry." Similar to the other Kosas makeup products, there's a lot of skin-care infused in here. "Hyaluronic acid, konjac root, and jojoba oil hydrate, soften, and visibly plump instantly," she says, adding another important design element: "The retractable pencil is a major must-have for me as well — no annoying sharpening."
Ahead, see how a few members of our beauty team use the Kosas Hotliner and how we feel about its general worth-it-ness. Plus, peek a video of how Yaitanes uses it in her own makeup routine to "reshape" her lips.

Kosas Hotliner in Wow

"Historically, I do not love lip liners because my lips, much like my skin, err on the drier side. (Yes, I drink tons of water and yes, my lips are still dry.) But I was very intrigued by the idea of a hyaluronic acid-infused “plumping” lip liner. Also, Kosas never steers me wrong. Sure enough, I loved this formula. It’s super creamy and glides beautifully onto the lips. I used Wow, a warm toasty red, to line and fill my lips and then applied Kosas’ Plump + Juicy Collagen Lip Boost on top. The two created the perfect natural-looking, comfy lip that I will definitely be wearing all summer long." - Sara Tan, Beauty Director
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Kosas Hotliner in Supreme

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"If you’re looking for the perfect lip liner-gloss combo, look no further: I am fully obsessed with the Kosas lip liner in Supreme and lip oil in Unbuttoned combo and will probably never use another color combo again. It's perfect for brown girls who want a little bit of color but a nice shine-gloss as well. A little goes a long way and my favorite part is that the line has hyaluronic acid in it for extra moisture." - Cortni Spearman, Social Director
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Kosas Hotliner in Mega

"I usually keep a mini Pillowtalk Lip Pencil in my purse, but after trying this Kosas liner, I'm making a swap. The shade Mega is a mauve pink and reads as that your-lips-but-better on me, like I pressed my lips together really hard to get some blood flow. It's a creamy pencil and glides on almost like a skinny tinted lip balm. My favorite part is that it's a twist-up applicator, so never need to find a pencil sharpener — of course, I also like that it makes my lips look a tiny bit bigger and definitely more defined. The finish is more balm than matte, but I'd recommend wearing a clear lip treatment over top for a little sheen. I like the new one from Rhode." - Megan Decker, Beauty Editor
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Kosas Hotliner in Supreme

"When I first saw this specific shade of lip pencil, I literally turned to my friend and said, “OOOOH, prepare to be sick of me in this lip pencil this summer!” Not all lip pencils are built the same, which is why I typically prefer to use a gel eyeliner pencil rather than a traditional lip pencil that requires a sharpener — more often than not, they wind up being dry and cake-y and not easy to use on-the-go. But not these: I don’t know what Sheena put in these (well, we do, it’s hyaluronic acid) to make them glide on so easily, but I am obsessed. I do wish there was a few more shades on the darker end that work for me / darker skin tones — I can use maybe two or three shades to give my desired look — but the formula is so good, I don’t really mind. I’ll buy the same shade over and over if it works for me." - Amanda Mitchell, Senior Beauty Writer & Stories Creator
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Kosas Hotliner in Max

"Kosas can do no wrong in my book, and their new lip liner is no exception. I always gravitate towards warm, buttery nude shades, and Max is perfect for me. It evens out my lip color and adds a touch of rosy brown. As my fellow R29ers mentioned, the glide and blendability of these pencils are pretty spectacular. My lips tend to get dry very easily, so I prepped with a tiny bit of clear lip balm prior to applying the pencil, FYI — but luckily, the stuff is not as drying as other lip pencils I've tried. Then, I applied Kosas' Hotliner allover — like I would a lipstick — and layered a clear or barely-beige gloss over it. (I used Merit's Lip Oil in Taupe here.) The result: An easy, effortless lip look that's quintessentially me." - Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer
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Kosas Hotliner in Peak

Phew. Let me tell you. I’ve been on the hunt for a nude lip liner for time. My go-to up until recently has been the Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner, which has done me solid, but I’ve yet to find a shade of nude that isn’t too brown or too pink. Let’s just say Kosas did that for me. I tried the Hotliner in the shade Peak, which is a warm rosy beige. The formula is super hydrating and glides on smoothly. Since my lips are already full, I usually hesitate to over line my lips but with this liner I felt confident enough to go for it...and wow. It gave my lips the extra-plump pout I didn’t know I was looking for and still looked quite natural. I topped off the Hotliner with the Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Unhooked, and let’s just say, it’s a 10 from me. - Nadia Ebrahim, Assistant Editor, R29 Style
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How To Apply Lip Liner

"I love to slightly over line my lips for a natural-yet-plump look," says Yaitanes. She switches between two different shades: 100, which is the lightest color, a neutral pink beige, and Peak, a darker rosy beige. "For a more dramatic night-time look, I usually pair Hotliner in Peak with Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Unbuttoned," she says, showing exactly how she does it, because who doesn't like a demo?
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