Lips have always been a hot beauty topic, but now more than ever, they’re the focus of your look. And the best way to make sure your lips are ready to take center stage? Learning how to use your lip liner. A classic 90s beauty staple, lip liner has been making a celebrated comeback, right along with overdrawn lips and those grunge-inspired beauty looks. But rather than an obvious line darker than your lipstick, modern lip liner is a camouflage tool— making your lips appear bigger, rounder or more defined. Here are a few ways to change your lip shape with your liner.
A Defined Cupid’s Bow. Keeping a crisp V in your cupid’s bow will keep your pout on-point (literally). But make it too sharp and it could come off a bit more sinister than you may have intended. A subtle way to define your cupid’s bow is to line the center of your upper lip, and then use a champagne or skin-toned shimmer pencil above your lip line, to highlight the crest of those peaks ever so slightly. With your finger, blend the top of the line into your skin a bit. When the light hits it, your lips will appear more pronounced.
The Overdrawn Look. We loved Kylie Jenner‘s lips before and after their transformation, and while everyone was speculating as to how exactly that came about, we were eagerly snapping up lip liners to match our favorite lipstick shades. Keep in mind that the way to keep an overdrawn lip from looking clownish is balance. If your upper lip is a bit thinner than your lower lip (which is pretty common), just overdraw your top lip. And by “overdraw” we mean, lining JUST outside your lip’s natural border. You can fill in a bit lower too, then layer a matching lipstick over it so you won’t be able to see the line where your lip actually ends. This definitely would require the blot-once-and-reapply method and a dusting of translucent powder if you want it to stick. A good setting spray can also do the trick.
A Pillowy Pout. Sometimes you just want the look of really full natural lips that look like they’re about to burst. A lush lip like that often comes with a slight cleft on the lower lip, which is easy to create (or suggest) with your lip liner. Just like what you’d do to your top lip, straying outside the border just a bit on your bottom lip to mimic the dual-lobed look, then filling in with a same-colored lipstick will give you a subtle cleft. Or turn it up to eleven—use a lip liner slightly darker than your lipstick and draw a vertical line in the center of your lower lip, it’ll give a much stronger illusion of a cleft.