There are a million ways to line your lips, from following your natural shape to getting creative with color combinations and proportions. But it also means it can feel like there are a million ways to mess up your lip liner. No need to worry! With some simple lip liner tips, it’s easy to perfect your technique and create beautiful, precise shapes every time.
Understanding Your Lip Shape
Everyone’s lips are unique, from shape to width to color. When using lip liner, it’s essential to understand how to best line your lips to achieve an even, voluminous shape that highlights your natural features or creates the effect you want.
Heart-shaped lips have a naturally defined cupid’s bow, which is easy to enhance. Use a darker colored lip liner around your lips and fill them in. Highlight your cupid’s bow by using a lighter colored lipstick at the center of your mouth, or go for a liner and gloss combo. This change in color or finish helps bring the middle of your lips forward for a full, plump look.
To create a more voluminous lip look, choose a liner shade just a little darker than your natural skin tone and overline your lips. Add height or additional shaping by drawing outside your natural lip line at the cupid’s bow or along the curve of your lower lip, and always follow your natural lip lines at the corners of your mouth. Once you’re finished with the liner, buff it with your fingertip so it blends more easily into your lips to make it look subtler and more natural.
If you have top-heavy or bottom-heavy lips, then there are a few tricks to create an even, proportional look. For top-heavy lips, underline at the top and overline at the bottom. Choose a liner that’s close to your natural lip color and fill in with lighter lipstick or gloss.
For bottom-heavy lips, do the opposite: overline at the top and underline at the bottom. Shaping the cupid’s bow gives a thin upper lip more definition and volume.
Small Mouth and Round Lips
If you have a smaller mouth, your lips can appear naturally pursed and pouty. Draw focus to this unique shape with bright lipsticks and shimmery glosses. Add shine and nourishment with our newly reformulated Wet Cherry Lip Gloss.
A wide mouth creates a broad, beautiful smile. Lip liner is your BFF when it comes to adding definition and playing with proportion. Create a more structured look by applying at the corners of your mouth and lightly overlining your lips with a darker color. This contrast keeps the focus on your smile while giving you more control over your color placement.
4 Steps to a Perfect Lip Liner Look
1. Remember to Prep
While it’s important to understand shape and color, there is an essential first step to any stunning lip look: creating a smooth surface. Exfoliate and moisturize your lips for a smoother color application. Start with our Golden Wet Cherry Lip Scrub, then add your favorite balm or lip mask. Give the product some time to do its job. Once your lips feel smooth without feeling sticky or waxy, apply our Ghost Veil Lip Primer, which keeps color in place for longer.
2. Choose the Right Color
Choosing a lip liner that perfectly matches your natural coloring might seem like the most intuitive choice, but it can also end up looking flat. Instead, identify your undertones and then aim for a product that’s one or two shades darker for a more defined and dimensional look.
3. Find Symmetry
No one’s face is perfectly symmetrical, so the key is to create a balanced, cohesive look that suits your features. Spend time studying your lips and practice tracing them with liner and filling in with color to get a sense of how much shaping you like.
Always line your lips by starting at the top center and going out to the edges. Then, start at the bottom center and connect the lines at the outer corners. After creating the shape, buff or blend the liner to create a more natural contour. If you’re applying lipstick after, this smooth transition can help the color look more customized to your skin tone for an ultra-flattering finish.
4. Double Up on Color
If you’re going for a more dramatic look, lip liner can help amp up your style. Try pairing a darker lip liner with a bright or bold lipstick for a daring gradient. Apply lip liner both before and after your lip color to create depth at the corners and put most of the focus at the center. Not only is this a fun way to experiment with color combinations, but it also creates the appearance of fuller lips.
Whether you’re throwing together a quick everyday look or spending some extra time prepping for a glamorous special occasion, your lip liner will always be on point. Show off your look on Instagram, and find more tips and inspiration on TikTok and Pinterest.