{ "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "BreadcrumbList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine", "name": "Beauty Magazine" } } { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup", "name": "Makeup Tips For Every Look" } } { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup", "name": "Lip Makeup" } } ] }

How To Define Your Cupid's Bow Like a Pro

Six steps for your perfect pout.
  • Clare Holden
March 15, 2024

If you make it a point to stay on top of beauty trends, then you know that a defined cupid’s bow—that little dip in the center of your upper lip—is one that’s been around for quite some time (as in, decades). And it’s easy to see why: With a prominent cupid’s bow, lips look defined and shapely—almost doll-like. The catch, of course, is that not everybody has this feature. But if you love the way pouty, doll-like lips look, you’re not out of luck: It’s easy to fake a prominent cupid’s bow with makeup. Here, we’ll show you how, plus share some of our favorite products for showing off your shapely smile.

What Is a Cupid’s Bow?

The term “cupid’s bow” refers to the dip in the center of your top lip, where the two arches of your upper lip meet. Supposedly, the name comes from the feature’s resemblance to a classical bow—like the one depicted with the Roman god of love, Cupid. Though many people have a slight cupid’s bow, the term is usually reserved for lips in which the dip is extremely defined (think: V-shaped).

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" }

How To Define Your Cupid’s Bow

Whether you have a straight upper lip or simply want to emphasize your existing cupid’s bow, you’ll need the right products and techniques. Here, we’ll show you how.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" }

Step 1: Prep your pout

Before applying any makeup products, it’s a good idea to ensure your lips are smooth and hydrated. Use a lip scrub to buff away any dead skin, then apply your favorite lip balm to help moisturize your lips. Make sure to give the balm adequate time to absorb before applying your lip makeup.

Step 2: Draw an ‘X’ on your cupid’s bow

Next, decide which color lipstick you’ll be using, then grab a lip liner in a similar shade (we recommend snagging one from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner collection).

Then, identify where your cupid’s bow is—even if it’s not super defined, you should be able to locate the dip in the middle of your upper lip. Using the tip of your lip liner, lightly draw an ‘X’ on the center of your upper lip. The top points of your X should align with the two highest points of your top lip.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" }

Step 3: Line your lips

From here, line your lips as usual, taking care not to disrupt or soften the ‘X’ defining your cupid’s bow.

Editor’s tip: If you’d like to make your lips appear plumper, feel free to overline a touch—just be sure not to overdo it, as doing so can result in an unnatural lip look.

Step 4: Color your pout

By now, your lips should be primed, lined, and ready for color. L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick is our go-to product to complete this defined lip look, as its slim bullet allows for a precise application. The creamy formula is infused with hyaluronic acid and delivers up to 16 hours of non-drying, smudge-proof wear that feels comfortable on the lips. Plus, the 22 vibrant shades in this collection pair perfectly with the lip liner mentioned earlier, ensuring a seamless lip look that lasts.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" }

Step 5: Blot your lips Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick - L'Oréal Paris

You’re almost at the finish line. Use a clean tissue to blot your lips and get rid of excess product. This little trick helps reduce the risk of your lip color transferring or feathering throughout the day.

Step 6: Add a touch of highlighter

Last but definitely not least, make your cupid’s bow pop by applying a touch of highlighter to the “peaks” of your upper lip. We love using L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer for this, as it offers a radiant finish for a healthy-looking glow. To ensure a precise application, dip a clean eyeliner brush (or even a cotton swab) into the illuminating lotion and lightly tap it onto your cupid’s bow. Finally, lock your defined lip look in place with a generous misting of your favorite makeup setting spray.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" }

Our Best Lip Liners To Define Your Cupid’s Bow

You can fake a prominent cupid’s bow with nearly any lip liner, so long as you have the technique down. Here are two of our favorites.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner

Define your cupid’s bow and enhance your favorite matte lip color with this creamy, matte-finish lip liner. The sharpenable pencil comes in eight versatile shades made to pair perfectly with our matte lipstick. Try Matte-Stermind for a rosy nude lip moment, or use In-Matte-Uated With You for a statement red lip worthy of a special occasion.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" }

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner

For those who prefer a more satiny finish, we recommend the classic Colour Riche Lip Liner. It’s available in an array of rich shades that coordinate with the iconic L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick. Plus, it boasts a twist-up applicator, so you can apply your lip liner on the go—no sharpener needed.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" } { "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup" } { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "BreadcrumbList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@id": "/", "name": "Home" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine", "name": "Beauty Magazine" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup", "name": "Makeup Tips For Every Look" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 4, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup", "name": "Lip Makeup" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 5, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/makeup/lip-makeup/cupids-bow-defining-makeup", "name": "cupids-bow-defining-makeup" } } ] }