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How To Fake The Appearance of Fuller, Plumper Lips

With the right products, a plumper-looking pout is within reach.
  • Izzie Deibe
May 14, 2024

Full lips have long been admired as a desirable feature. Before social media platforms were flooded with influencers flaunting their plump, glossy pouts, it was the daring flappers of the 1920s who led the charge, experimenting with overlining their lips using lip pencils. Nowadays, TikTok is abuzz with fun trends like ‘Movie Lips’, ‘Siren Lips’ and ‘Cherub Lips’, drawing in millions of views as makeup lovers continue to find joy in enhancing the shape of their lips. So, if on occasion you’ve found yourself wondering how to get fuller lips naturally or how to make lips look bigger with makeup, you’re definitely not alone.

The good news: All you need to get the look of full lips are the contents of your trusty makeup bag, a mirror, and our expert makeup application tips. Keep reading to learn how to fake a plumper pout with makeup.

How To Make Lips Look Bigger With Makeup

With the right products and techniques, faking full lips is easier than you may think. Here are seven simple makeup tricks to fake big lips in just minutes.


Before you even think about reaching for your favourite lipstick or lip liner, you’ll want to prep your lips—and one of the most important aspects of lip prep is exfoliation. You can use a lip scrub for this, but if you don’t have one on-hand, a washcloth will do the trick too. Dampen a clean cloth with warm (not hot) water and massage it lightly over your lips to help soften your lips and remove dry, flaky patches. When you’re done, smooth on a nourishing lip balm to help lock in moisture and soften your pout.

Apply lip plumper

Lip plumper is arguable the most obvious way to make your lips fuller with makeup. This product does what it says on the tube—it plumps your lips, making them appear fuller than usual (at least, for a while). The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump contains hyaluronic acid and deeply hydrates your lips for an instant and long-lasting plumping effect. Swipe on the clear version of the gloss and let it do its thing as you apply your base makeup—once you’re ready to get started on your lip makeup, your pout should look fuller and plumper already. (You can also stash a tube in your bag for mid-day touch-ups).

Contour your lower lip

Contouring isn’t just reserved for your cheekbones and jawline—it can also help you fake the appearance of fuller lips. Placing a cool-toned contour shade strategically under your bottom lip creates a shadow that immediately helps your lips look bigger. Best of all, you don’t need to buy a special lip contouring product for this—just snag a L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage in a color one to two shades darker than your usual concealer shade. Apply the smallest dot under your lower lip and use your makeup sponge to carefully blend it out to create the illusion of a shadow.

Highlight your Cupid’s bow

Highlighting your cupid’s bow—the dip in the center of your top lip—is another gamechanging method of making your lips appear larger. A little bit of shimmer will help to reflect the light, creating the impression of full lips.

The technique is very simple to master. After applying your face makeup but before applying your lipstick, take your highlighter of choice (the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer works well for this) and lightly blend it in just above your cupid’s bow. If you don’t have a prominent cupid’s bow, just highlight your upper lip line in the centre of your lip.

If your lipstick covers up your highlighter later on, just take a small lip brush and use it to reapply the highlighter. Remember: the highlighter should be placed on the skin above your upper lip, not over your lipstick.

Overline your lips

If you Google “how to get fuller lips with makeup,” chances are solid that one of the first search results you’ll get will cover overlining. The reason for that is simple: this useful technique is easy to master and helps make even the thinnest lips look full and juicy.

You’ll want to start by picking a lip liner that closely matches the lipstick you’ll be using later on. If you like matte lipstick, go for the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner, which comes in seven bold shades that pair perfectly with L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick. Those who favor a more natural lip look, meanwhile, should reach for the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner. Whichever you choose, always sharpen the pencil before use to ensure you get a crisp line and prevent your lipstick from bleeding and looking messy.

Once you’ve picked your fighter, it’s all in the technique. Instead of haphazardly drawing a thick line around the perimeter of your lips, start by drawing an “X” on your cupid’s bow. Doing so allows you to clearly mark the top of each side of your upper lip, which makes it much more likely that your lips will look symmetrical once you’re finished.

The key to making your lips look bigger is to go slightly outside of your natural lip line when you draw this “X”, and continue to stay slightly outside of this boundary as you gently trace downwards until you reach the corners of your mouth. You can also fill in the rest of your lips with lip liner to eliminate any harsh, unnatural lines and make the shape last longer.

Depending on your natural lip shape, you can also use lip liner to even the shape of your pout. For example, if you have heart-shaped lips, use the lip liner to overline the sides. If your top lip or bottom lip is fuller, use lip liner to overline the smaller side to create symmetry. Practice makes perfect when it comes to lip liner, so don’t be afraid to experiment in front of the mirror to find a technique that works for you.

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Apply your lipstick

You may think you know how to apply lipstick, but it’s a little more complex than just swiping the bullet across your lips and hoping for the best—especially if making your lips bigger with makeup is the goal.

Enter: Ombré lips. This clever lip contouring technique made popular in the ‘90s involves blending two shades of lipstick together to create the illusion of full lips.

Choosing the right shades is crucial with ombré lips. We suggest choosing two shades of lipstick or a lipstick and a lip liner from the same color family (e.g. pink, nude, red or brown), that are three to four shades apart. If you need a recommendation, try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Worth It and Worth It Medium.

With a clean lip brush or lip liner, trace slightly outside of your natural lip line with the darker shade. Then, take the same brush and feather the lines you just created, bringing the color towards the center of your lip. Next, use a clean lip bush to apply the lighter shade to the center of your lips. Use the brush to blend the two different colors together to create a seamless gradient effect that makes your lips appear fuller.

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Reach for a shimmery lip gloss

Pairing your lipstick and lip liner with a shimmery lip gloss adds even more dimension (and drama) to the look. The shine of your gloss will reflect light and draw attention to your overlined lips, giving the impression of larger size. If you’re on the hunt for a good sparkly gloss, take your pick from the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Pro Lip Gloss, Hydrating Finish line, which comes in 26 shades ranging from nude to red to baby pink. The hydrating formula will not only have you party ready in seconds, but it will keep your lips soft, smooth and glossy for hours with a non-sticky feel for comfortable wear. Alternatively, for an ultra-full lip look, apply another layer of your clear plumping lip gloss.

What Color Lipstick Makes Lips Look Fuller?

Generally speaking, nude lipsticks are the best choice if you’re trying to make your lips look bigger. While it’s fun to experiment with high contrast shades (shades that are much lighter or darker than your skin tone), these can inadvertently minimise the perceived size of your lips. To fake full lips, opt for a glossy lipstick that’s roughly one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. For a harmonious look, you’ll also want to consider your skin’s undertone, which can be warm, cool, or neutral.

Peachy shades, terracotta, and golden caramel brown shades flatter warm skin beautifully, while those with cooler skin will fare best with shades like mauve, rose, or other pinky-nude hues. If you have neutral undertones, the world is your oyster—pick whichever nude shade flatters your complexion best and swipe it on for fuller-looking lips.

Next Up: How to Use Concealer on Lips for Definition

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