Not everyone has–or wants–pillowy lips a la Angelina Jolie and Kylie Jenner. If your lips aren’t your most prominent asset (all the better to shine a spotlight on your eyes or cheekbones), there are ways you can enhance them subtly and naturally. But first, it’s important to know the one thing you should never do if you have thin lips.
“Extra bright or deep lipstick shades just aren’t flattering on thin lips,” says pro makeup artist and beauty expert Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup. “Worse? These colors make thin lips look thinner than they really are.”
Trotter adds that it’s super important to be realistic about whether or not your lips are actually thin. “I constantly have women in my chair telling me they have ‘thin lips,’ when in reality they’re just normal. There is so much imagery out there featuring women with super plump–sometimes surgically enhanced lips–that’s it’s crucial not to mistake that as the norm. Truly thin lips have very little surface area to apply lipstick and often don’t have a defined shape. What’s more is that lips tend to get thinner as we age. If you’re over 40, thin lips are a bigger concern for you than younger women. No matter your age, if you can easily apply a lipstick from the tube without getting it outside your lip line, your lips probably aren’t ‘thin.’
With that in mind, Trotter offers 5 tips for women who want to emphasize their pout:
Choose the right shade. Go for peachy pinks, soft pinks, medium berries that mimic natural lip shades, or flattering nudes.
Pick the proper formula. “Choose creamy and glossy formulas because they create the illusion of fuller lips,” Trotter says. “Glosses are also great on thin lips and can help fake volume. Skip shimmer and sparkle–on thin lips they can have an aging effect. Matte and liquid lipsticks are all the rage lately, but they aren’t flattering on thin lips. If you already have full lips, they can create a lush effect that’s so gorgeous. But for women with thin lips, the idea is to create dimension and a plump look. The flatness of matte formulas does neither and can also make you look older.”
Go easy with lip liner. “Liner is a good choice for women with thin lips,” Trotter says. “Choose liner in tones similar to your lipstick or lip gloss shade. You can go slightly outside the lines to create a slightly larger shape, but the key is slightly. Don’t overdo it. Instead of looking full, it’ll look sloppy.”
Use shimmer to create the illusion of fullness. “Use a soft, champagne-toned highlighter dusted lightly on your cupid’s bow and a little bit under the fullest part of your bottom lip,” Trotter says. “Blend edges well for a soft and flattering look.”
For more beauty news and tips, check out 3 ways to prevent lipstick from getting on your teeth and the 7 best drugstore dupes for Kylie Jenner’s sold-out lip glosses and matte lipsticks.
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