Full lips are something to be desired, but not everyone is naturally given the volume in their pout to obtain this look on a daily basis. While we’ve seen this trend all over Instagram (cue Kylie Jenner), it can certainly be intimidating at first when trying to pull this look off ourselves. Seeing as fillers and injectables are a path many choose to change the shape of their natural lips, these options aren’t always available or affordable to all. Learning how to shape your lips and slightly over-draw with lip liner is key when wanting to give yourself more fullness without spending your money on expensive treatments.
Keep scrolling for a complete and easy (we promise) guide on how to overline your lips without it looking obvious.
Assess Your Lip Shape
When wanting to overdraw your lip shape, this first step is essential. Since everyone has differently shaped lips, knowing what kind of shape you have and where you want to add fullness will help you immensely when deciding where to begin. For instance, if you want more volume in your upper lip versus your bottom, keep that in mind before starting to draw out your lines. You’ll want to keep the focus on your upper lip more, but also have the bottom half of your lips look consistent. The more you become comfortable with your lip shape, the easier this will become over time.
Choose Your Color
Whether you’re wanting to do a nude lip or something bolder, having a lip liner and lipstick that match is essential when pulling this look off. When you first start practicing, you might want to choose a more neutral color until you get comfortable with drawing your shape. When it comes to the lip liner and lipstick, be sure the colors complement each other and aren’t too drastic. (For instance, you don’t want an obvious difference in color between your lip liner and lipstick). For this tutorial, I’ve chosen to use a pinkish nude tone.
Prep Your Lips Properly
Dry or chapped lips are sure to put a damper on the seamless overlined look you have in mind. Before you break out the lip liner, start with exfoliating and moisturizing your lips. Lips that are properly exfoliated and moisturized will keep your lipstick from flaking throughout the day.
Exfoliating and moisturizing take less than a minute of your time. Simply rub on your lip exfoliator for approximately 30 seconds, wipe away the dead skin cells, and swipe on your lip balm of choice.
Fill In The Outer Corners
When starting, most people tend to focus on the cupid’s bow when beginning to line their lips, but where most mistakes are made is when you try to extend that line outward to the corners. If you start by lining the outer corners first, you make fewer mistakes from the beginning with getting the shape right. As you can see here, I’ve applied liner to the outer corners of my mouth just above my natural lip line so it looks fuller but not too full. When you start by lightly drawing liner over the corners first, filling in the top and bottom parts of the lips is much easier. This allows for a more natural-looking contour.
A common mistake with overlining your lips is approaching with a “more is more” strategy. Don’t get carried away with overlining and stay within a few millimeters of your natural lip line to keep the look organic.
Make an X at The Cupid’s Bow
After you’ve filled in the outer edges and corners, make the shape of an X at the cupid’s bow to ensure that the top portion of your lip on each side looks even. Extend the X down on each side—it doesn’t need to be perfect at all. The shape of the X is what helps you make each side of your top lip more even when you continue the line downward, as you see here in the photo. This is a better way to create a fuller shape rather than starting to draw a line, then stopping, then continuing with the line again.
Fill in the Rest of Your Lips
This is a step most people don’t think to do when using lip liner. Filling in the lips lightly with the liner you’ve chosen will ensure a natural finish and help keep the shape of your lips consistent so you can’t detect obvious lip lines that might give away the fact you’ve overdrawn them. Lightly fill in the lips all the way through to ensure the color is even and that the shape lasts throughout the day.
Soften the Edges for a Natural Look
A distinct outline of your lips won’t give you the naturally fuller look you’re after. Using a Q-tip, a lip brush, or your finger, gently blend and blur the outline you’ve created. You don’t want to skip this step! Softening the edges will make your overdrawn lips look like your natural smile rather than an illusion created with makeup.
Add Your Lipstick
When you’re done with lip liner, fill in the lips with a lipstick that matches to give a complete finish and full coverage. Add lip gloss if you choose for a shiny finish, or keep it matte if that’s your preference.
Add Dimension With Gloss or Highlight
If you aren’t stuck on a matte look, give gloss a go for an added touch of dimension. Slick on a light or clear shade of lip gloss for added fullness.
Alternatively, reach for concealer or a cream highlighter and line the inner portion of your upper and lower lips. This will help add layers to your overlined lips without creating an overly glossy appearance.
The End Result: Fuller-looking Lips
As you can see here, my lips look fuller but not in a way that screams “This was done with makeup.”
How do you overline lips without lip liner?
You can still achieve an overlined lip look even if you don’t have lip liner available. Follow the typical method you would use to line your lips with lip liner but substitute the pencil for a lip brush and lipstick.
Can you use eyeliner as lip liner?
While eyeliner can be a suitable stand-in for lip liner, it’s important you check the ingredient list before applying. Some eyeliners may have ingredients you wouldn’t want near your mouth. If you’ve determined the ingredients are safe for use on your lips, you’ll want to prep with extra lip balm as eyeliners can be drying. You should also select a cream eyeliner pencil for the closest consistency to lip liners.