Getting Fuller Lips Isn't As Hard As You Think

by Courtney Leiva

Although some of us aren’t blessed with big beautiful lips a la Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson, a fuller pout remains as one of those Hollywood beauty trends that makes us want to emulate it stat. There's just something about a bold lip that makes every beauty and makeup lover get excited. It's true that tingling lip plumpers, scrubs, and exotic pout enhancers can provide some temporary fullness for your lips, but who knew that the fuller lip effect can be achieved easily with just some makeup hiding inside your beauty bag?

Luckily for us smaller-lipped beauties, achieving the look of full pouty lips doesn’t have to be a challenge, especially since there are special makeup shortcuts to help feign that irresistible pucker. With just some simple steps, as well as some choice colors and artistry techniques, you too can have those gorgeous lips that will definitely have the masses guessing.

Dying to get Kylie Jenner lips sans painful needles, or without wasting your time sucking on shot glasses? To get that come-hither effect, we’ve rounded up our favorite expert makeup hacks to keep your lips looking plump and perfect. To create that runway-ready finish, here’s some need to know tips for wearing lipstick if your lips tend to be on the smaller side.

1. Exfoliate Your Lips

Perfect makeup starts with flawless skin, so to start of any lip, you’ll definitely want to begin by treating your pout to some necessary exfoliation. Just like exfoliating your face, exfoliating your lips helps shed away dead skin cells, allowing your product to go on smoother. You can definitely find lip scrubs at your local beauty supply store, but making your own scrub with ingredients like brown sugar and coconut oil is just as effective too.

Try: Coconut Oil, $10, Amazon

Try: Brown Sugar, $9, Amazon

“Make sure that you are exfoliating lips with a gentle exfoliant, nothing too harsh, to remove any flakes from the lip,” explains says Hannah Hatcher, Global Educator for jane iredale. “This will create a smooth canvas for you to work your lip magic on, but it will also increase the circulation in the lip area, thus creating a little bit of volume and a natural flush of color.”

2. Prime Your Pout

Once you’ve finished exfoliating, it’s time to prime your lips for further product application. To keep your lipstick lasting all day long, you’ll want to take those extra steps to help boost the longevity of your color. For bulletproof lips, try applying on other products like lip stains or powders to help set your product in place.

"Using a lip stain before a traditional lipstick adds a great layer so when lipstick wears away your lips will still resemble the color and won't look as worn out and you won't have to reapply as often,” explains celebrity makeup artist and Pretty Little Pranksters host Jamie Greenberg.

Helping your lip color stay in place, Hannah Hatcher also recommends using powders to set your makeup longer, as oil-absorbing ingredients help set your product for extreme long wear.

“I also like to apply a little bit of powder over the top of the concealer to set it in place for longer wear,” states Hatcher. “This creates a uniform canvas on the lips which will allow you to draw the lip line on as exaggerated as you wish, and will also ensure that the lip color you apply on top will stay in place.”

3. Line Your Lips

After prepping your lips, it’s time to put your liner to work. Depending on your desired result, this step make take a few tries, especially if you are relatively new at liner. However, in selecting the right shades and and strategically applying your product, you can get that fuller finish you crave.

“Start by your liner by selecting a color that is either nude, a pinky nude or a light neutral shade. Wearing too dark of a color can create the illusion of lips looking smaller or slimmer,” says makeup expert Hannah Hatcher.

Once it’s time to line, makeup artist Annie Marie DeMauro recommends to line and blend your lips blending, making sure you give your lips a natural and effortless effect that doesn’t look too overdrawn.

“Line your lips (especially the Cupid's bow area) with a soft cream liner and blend,” says Anne Marie DeMauro, Celebrity Makeup Artist who has worked with the likes of Joan Rivers. “This helps to open up the space visually, allowing the color application to pop and in some cases be drawn a little over the natural lip line for a fuller look.”

4. Highlight, highlight, highlight

Highlighting can give your skin that contoured finish, but did you know that highlighting can also provide a beauty shortcut to help plump out your lips? According to experts like Bailey Sessoms, highlighting can help create fuller lips the same way contouring helps bring areas of your face forward.

“One of the best ways to create fuller looking lips is by highlighting,” says professional makeup artist and beauty expert Bailey Sessoms. “It’s the same principle you use when you highlight and contour your face. The darker shade makes areas recede and the lighter shade brings the areas forward.”

And to clean up any messes you’ve made, using a highlighted concealer can help correct any errors, while keeping all eyes on your lips.

“Clean up the outside of your lipstick application with a highlighted concealer,” says Anne Marie DeMauro. “A clearly defined, colorful lip is less likely to get lost in your face, and will draw more attention overall.”

5. Play up your pucker

Just like you would creatively line your eyes, there are a variety of playful ways to enhance your lips. And whether you want a more juicy or dramatic result, you can use ready to grab tools like lip gloss or eyeliner pencil to totally help you out.

“To help your lips pop, use a white eyeliner pencil or a white highlighter pencil, and apply a small amount just above the cupid's bow on the top lip, and a small amount on the lower lip just below the lip line,” explains Hannah Hatcher. “Blend well with your fingertips so there are no obvious lines of demarcation or white around the lips. The light color around the lips creates an illusion of light, and it makes the lips stand out.”

To enhance your lips even more, makeup artist Anne Marie DeMauro using makeup essentials like lip gloss, to feign that plumper appearance pronto.

“After applying your base color, dab a small dot of shimmer gloss right in the center of the bottom lip,” says Anne Marie DeMauro. “This will visually round out the lip and created a plumper appearance, as well as some glamorous pop of shine.”

Love that sultry lip that keeps him coming back for more? To get that juicy appearance, creating an ombre effect can definitely create that irresistible impact.

“To make your lips look fuller with more shape use a darker color on the outside and a slightly brighter in the middle of the lips,” adds Jamie Greenberg. “The illusion you want to portray is juicy lips.”

6. Don't overdo it

Although it’s fun to experiment with different colors and techniques, it’s always best to keep your look natural, without looking too overdone or overdoing it.

“Don't rush or you may end up looking overdone. Take your time, and play around with some or all of the methods mentioned here,” says Hannah Hatcher. “Once you're more comfortable with your go-to full lip technique, try going a bit bolder with color and step outside of your comfort zone.”

Images: Ashley Harrigan/Flickr; Giphy (6)