Those of us who weren’t blessed with Gigi Hadid-esque lips will go to great lengths to get them (I should know — I’ve tried it all, including filler.) After years of experimenting, this old theater makeup trick is still the most effective technique I know to make thin lips looks full. This is how Lucille Ball and Grace Kelly did it. I learned it backstage during my acting days and I still use it on Friday nights or any occasion where I want a little extra glamour. The trick to is to use a finely sharpened pencil, and to take great care with creating the illusion. Read on to discover my fuller lips technique (modeled by the lovely Carmen Collins).
photographed by jessica attie
featured image from soniat makeup
Our gorgeous production assistant, Carmen, sporting her natural lips before the demonstration.
STEP 1: LINE OUTSIDE OF THE LIPS IN THE MIDDLE
Take a finely sharped lip pencil (medium to dark shade) and carefully line just OUTSIDE the natural lip line of your upper lip. Start from the center of the cupid’s bow and extend the line almost to the corner of your lips, but not quite. Stop the line right around the outside of your nose on each side. Repeat this step for the lower lip.
STEP 2: CROSS OVER THE LIP LINE
Now this part is crucial: continue the lip liner to the corners of your lips, but cross over the lip line so that the corners are lined from the INSIDE of the natural lip (the way you normally do it.) If you line the corners of your mouth outside of the lip line, you’ll end up looking clown-like. And messy. We want Alicia Silverstone, not Courtney Love!
STEP 3: DARKEN THE CORNERS
Next, take a darker shade of lipstick and begin to fill in the corners of the lips using a lip brush. Extend the color from the corner of the mouth to about the middle of each nostril, leaving bare lip in between.
STEP 4: ADD SHINE AND LIGHTER COLOR TO THE MIDDLE
Last, take your favorite light-colored gloss and dab the upper and lower lips right in the middle of the bare area. Use your fingers or a lip brush to blend the color from the middle back to the corners.
STEP 5: TOUCH UP WITH PENCIL
You’ll want to keep your pencil handy for touch-ups with this look. While this technique looks great, you’re at a higher risk for smudging your lipstick when eating, drinking, or kissing. So keep an eye on it!
Your cheat sheet for fuller lips (without filler). Here’s everything we used:
Carmen looking amazing with her full magenta pout. xoxo