lip makeup How to Contour Your Lips to Make Them Appear Fuller

The power of makeup is real!

May 11, 2022
Lip Contouring

Contouring — the process of using makeup to sculpt the face and create the illusion of more defined features — isn’t just reserved for making your cheekbones pop or your jawline appear more narrow. That's right, it can be used to define your lips and make them look fuller, too. 


If you’ve been looking for ways to fake a plumper pout without injections, lip contouring might just be perfect for you. To learn more about how to do it properly, we tapped Sir John, celebrity makeup artist and L’Oréal Paris expert to give us a breakdown. Ahead, how to contour your lips to make them appear fuller. 


1. Prep Your Lips 

If your lips are dry and flaky, it will be tough to make them appear juicy and plumped. Sir John recommends prepping them by exfoliating them with a lip scrub or a washcloth and applying a nourishing lip balm on top.


2. Choose a Lip Liner 

A major key to faking fuller lips in a way that looks authentic is by choosing a lip liner that closely matches the color of your natural lips. Try to find a lip liner that closely matches your lips, or one that is just a bit deeper than your lip color. 

We love the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner because it’s a smooth, creamy formula that comes in a variety of neutral shades that vary in depth and undertone.


Sir John also explains that you can do this using a neutral brow pencil — which a few of our editors can stand behind after trying the viral hack where people use their eyebrow pencils as lip liner. Because eyebrow pencils tend to be slightly less pigmented than traditional lip liners as well as more waxy in formula, they can be built up subtly and will last on the lips for quite some time. Try it out with the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Waterproof Eyebrow Mechanical Pencil


3. Define Your Lips 

To define your lips and make them appear fuller, Sir John says pay special attention to your cupid's bow and the center of your bottom lip. “Overdraw on the top at your cupid’s bow and overdraw on the bottom,” he explains. “Then give yourself a natural curve on the sides of the lips.” 


By focusing more on the center of your top and bottom lip, you’ll make them appear more plump rather than making them look wide, which would be the case if you overlined too much on the sides. “When you overdraw the sides, [the lips] don’t always look as defined and it’s not always flattering,” he says. 

4. Create a Shadow Under the Bottom Lip

To give the lips an extra dimensional contour, Sir John suggests that you “take a little bit of a dark contour color or something deeper than your complexion and give yourself a little depth underneath your bottom lip.” 

Take a small eyeshadow brush and gently apply a bit of a contour powder or cream underneath the center of your bottom lip to create the illusion that the lip is full and casting a shadow. Be sure to blend the contour so it’s subtle and not overdone. 


5. Add a Lighter Color to the Center Of Your Lips 

Dark lip colors tend to make the lips appear smaller, while light lip colors do the opposite. Adding a lip color to the center of your lips that’s a few shades lighter than your lip liner is a great way to make the lips appear even fuller. Choose a lipstick with a shiny finish that will scatter the light, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick


6. Finish Off With Lip Gloss 

When it comes to making your lips appear fuller, the more shine and light reflection they have, the better. Finish off your look with a glassy-looking lip gloss, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Mirror. It’s a clear plumping gloss formulated with hyaluronic acid to nourish the lips, and it creates a cooling, tingling sensation upon application. 

Next: 7 Lipstick Shades That Will Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

Written and photographed by: Alyssa Kaplan