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Here’s How to Determine Your Lip Shape

Lip charts have become a popular and easy way to discover your lip shape.
  • Lyz Mancini
April 08, 2024

Your face is uniquely yours, from the height of your cheekbones, to the width of your nose, to your lip shape. And it’s important to take all of these features into consideration when you apply makeup. This allows you to develop the most flattering makeup routine. Learning to accentuate your lips can be particularly impactful. Just think about how much power a coat of lipstick or a layer of gloss can have on its own. Catering to your specific shape can take your lip makeup to a whole new level.

Of course, you first have to identify your lip shape—that’s where a lip chart comes in handy. Keep reading to find out more about lip shape charts, including how to read one and understand the lip shapes included in it. Plus, we’ll share our best tips for each of the common types of lips, below.

What Is a Lip Shape Chart?

Like a fingerprint, lips are totally unique and vary from person to person. However, like faces, there are common categories that most lips fall into—these are what we refer to as lip shapes. A lip chart is a helpful visual tool that outlines different lip shapes, ranging from thin to round to heart-shaped and more. Having this visual representation can help you get a better understanding of your lip shape.

Common Lip Shapes

Here are descriptions of the different types of lips that are often found on lip charts. (Note: You may find that your lips are a combination of shapes, so don’t feel like you have to narrow it down to just one.)

1. Full lips

Full lips are generally considered the most common lip shape and are typically defined by a mouth that is equally plump on the top as it is the bottom. More casually, “full” is also used to describe big lips, no matter how symmetrical or not they are.

2. Heavy upper lip

This lip shape is identified by an upper lip that is fuller or larger than the bottom lip.

3. Heavy lower lip

When your bottom lip is larger or fuller than your upper lip, it’s considered a bottom-heavy lip shape.

4. Wide lips

Wide lips are usually longer (horizontally) than they are full and reach from cheek to cheek to create your unique smile.

5. Round lips

If your lips are nearly the same in width and height, complete with rounded edges, you have a round lip shape, and fullness is not an issue for you.

6. Thin lips

Lips that have less volume and are naturally slim are considered thin lips. These are often thought of as the opposite of full lips.

7. Bow-shaped lips

Bow lip shapes are full in size with a pronounced cupid’s bow. The upper lip resembles the handle of a bow from an archery set, hence the name.

8. Heart-shaped lips

Heart-shaped lips also have a defined cupid's bow on top, but it’s paired with a sharper bottom lip.

9. Down-turned lips

This lip shape is marked by lips that face slightly downward at the corners, giving the mouth a natural pouty look.

How To Identify Your Lip Shape

Step 1: Examine your lips in a mirror

Because there are so many different lip shapes, and the differences can be pretty subtle, it may seem tricky to determine yours. But it’s actually pretty easy. To start, you’ll need any mirror you have available—a compact, hand mirror, or your bathroom mirror will work just fine. Then, take some time to intentionally look at and examine your lips.

Step 2: Identify key lip shape features

Take note of what you see in the mirror. Notice what is striking to you about your lip shape. Where does the fullness in your lip lie—your top or bottom lip? Are your lips symmetrical, or is there distinct curvature on one side? Are the corners rounded or sharp?

Step 3: Compare your mouth to the different lip shapes

Now that you’ve spent some time with your lips, reference the nine different lip shapes above. You might clearly fall within one category, or maybe you are a little bit of one and a little bit of another. For example, you could have wide lips and bow-shaped lips. Remember, everyone’s lips are unique.

Step 4: Take note of unique characteristics

Lastly, pause and consider what else about your lips is distinct. You may have a distinguished mole, a smattering of freckles, or a natural bold wash of color on your lips. It’s not just your lip shape that is uniquely you, it’s all of these little details—which you may choose to enhance (or conceal) with makeup. Speaking of….

Tips for Enhancing Different Lip Shapes

Once you identify your lip shape, there’s a lot you can do to play it up. Carefully applied lip liner, lipstick, and gloss can make lips look bigger, smaller, more symmetrical, and so on. Below, we’re sharing our best tips for flattering each shape.

For full lips: Enhance or tone down plumpness

If you want to enhance full lips, line the perimeter of your lips with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner, opting for a shade only slightly darker than your natural lip color. Then, dab a bit of clear gloss like L’Oréal Paris Colour Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Mirror onto the middle of your bottom lip for added volume. This lip combo adds dimension, shine, and the illusion that your lips are even fuller.

Conversely, to deemphasize full lips, forgo the lip liner altogether or line slightly within your natural lip line. This draws the eye inward, making your pout appear less full.

For a heavy upper or lower lip: Balance with lip liner

You can use lip liner to even things out if one of your lips (top or bottom) is fuller than the other. Use a liner in a neutral shade and line only the thinner lip, overlining it slightly.

For wide lips: Try softer, neutral lip makeup

When your lips already stand out plenty on their own (in the best way), you don’t always need to rock bold lip colors. You can make just as much of an impression with a soft nude lipstick or a sheer coat of gloss. We love the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Fairest Nude for lighter skin tones and Sunwash for darker ones.

For round lips: Use shine to enhance your lip shape

For round lips, we recommend choosing lipsticks and glosses that are full of shine. This will help them catch the light and appear extra plump. One great option is the aforementioned L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump, which delivers lasting, plumping shine.

For thin lips: Overline to make your lips appear fuller

Overlining is a classic makeup technique for a reason. It’s an easy way to instantly make your lips look fuller, and it’s especially beloved by those with thin lips.

First, line your lips, drawing just outside of your natural lip line. Do this to your top and bottom lips, using a liner that matches your lip color. Then, fill in your lips with the same liner so there’s no harsh line. Layer a coordinating lipstick on top to smooth everything out, then add a dab of L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Pro Lip Glass in Crystal Glass in the center of your bottom lip for added dimension.

For bow-shaped lips: Define your cupid's bow

Play up your natural cupid's bow by defining it with lip liner. Take one in a shade that’s slightly darker than your lips, and create an X shape over your cupid’s bow. You can use the same liner to outline your lips—it’s up to you if you want to overline or not.

For heart-shaped lips: Play up your pout with red lipstick

It seems only fitting to pair heart-shaped lips with red lipstick. For a red combo you’ll instantly fall for, we recommend pairing L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Always Red with L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Lipstick in Le Rouge Paris.

You also can’t go wrong with pink lips. Try L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Forever Rose topped off with L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Gleam.

For downturned lips: Create an illusion with liner and concealer

As you may have noticed, lip liner is an essential for a lot of these tips, and this one is no exception. But you’ll also need concealer. Apply the L’Oréal Paris True Match Radiant Serum Concealer to the corners of your lips, concealing their natural shape. From there, you can use your lip liner to redefine your lips and give the corners a little lift. You can also apply concealer (one that’s a shade or two lighter than your skin tone) just above your cupid’s bow to highlight your pout and draw the eye upward.

What to Do After Using a Lip Chart and Identifying Your Lip Shape

Discovering your lip shape should open up a whole new world of makeup tricks and looks to you. It shouldn’t limit things. That’s to say, you don’t need to only follow the tips we shared above. Beauty is all about experimentation. So, explore purple lipstick if you want, or play with lining your lips in different ways. It’s really up to you! There are so many makeup looks you can try, and enhancing your natural lip shape is just one route you can take.

Next Up: The Ultimate L’Oréal Paris Lipstick Guide

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