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How to Make Your Lips Look Bigger with Makeup the Right Way

posted in: Makeup
July 26, 2021

I love the look of full, pouty lips, but I’m way too much of a commitment-phobe to get injections. Why spend the money for someone to poke a needle in your face when you can make your lips look bigger with makeup?

Overdrawing your lips with liner and lipstick can give the illusion of fullness while letting you play around with their shape and definition, as well. I wouldn’t say I have particularly thin lips, though they’re not very defined. Plus, my top lip is substantially thinner than my bottom lip which is pretty plump naturally. When I line my lips, I like to create a sharper outline while also balancing the proportions.

If you’ve never tried overdrawing your lips, it’s not as easy as just putting pencil to skin. It’s very easy to overdo it, or have the lining look too obvious. Today, I’m sharing my favorite tips on getting a lusciously overdrawn lip that looks as natural as possible. Keep reading to see how to make your lips look bigger with makeup alone!

What you need to achieve this look is a lip liner, a lipstick and mattifying powder. The lip liner and lipstick should be close in shade, though the liner can be slightly deeper than the lipstick if that’s all you have.

Products I’m using:

  • Essence Stay 8HR Waterproof Lipliner in Just Perfect
  • Maybelline Superstay Ink Crayon in Enjoy the View
  • Coty Airspun Powder

    1. Start at the Cupid’s Bow

    Starting applying the lip liner at the cupid’s bow, which is the dip in the middle of your top lip. Starting here will help keep both sides as even as possible. I make a little “X” mark on my natural cupid’s bow to mark the dip. From the top of the X, I start building a new upper lip line on each side.

    2. Meet Your Natural Lip Corner

    As you start carving out your new lip line, it’s very important to end the line in your natural corners. This will help both the top and bottom lip lines meet in their natural place, and prevent a joker smile effect. From each lip peak (the top of your X), work your lip liner downward, slightly outside your natural lip line. As you get closer to the corners, you want move closer inward so that the line ends at the innermost point of the corners. Same goes for the bottom lip, I start by creating the lowermost curve then bring it into the corners on each side.

    3. Fill Completely

    Next, it’s time to add your color! I like to first shade my entire lip with lip liner, which helps your lipstick last longer. Then I layer my lipstick of choice, either in a very similar color to my liner or slightly lighter. Never choose a darker lipstick than your lip liner, as it will interfere with the overdrawn illusion.

    4. Mattify with Powder

    If there is any shine to your lip liner or lipstick, it will highlight the natural outline of your lips under the makeup, making it very obvious that you’ve overdrawn them. Tap some mattifying translucent powder on the border of your lips with a small flat brush, which will soften and conceal your real lip edge.


    Practice makes perfect, and you may try this a few times before getting the hang of what lip shapes you like most… you can experiment with a sharper cupid’s bow dip or maybe a steeper slope into the corners for a Betty Boop effect.

    Tap through to see the steps in action:

    Do you overdraw your lips? Share your favorite tricks in the comments!

10 Responses

  1. Betty
    | Reply

    Is the lip colors listed in the beginning of your article the same color #’s/name as the original Pinterest post, before you open your article? It does seem to be a different color after you go into the article.

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      This post was updated a few years after the original was published in order to reference products that are still available.

  2. Sandra Strange
    | Reply

    My bottom lip has become thinner than my top lip as I’ve aged. My top lip still has nice shape to it. I turned 65 last April but have made an effort to take care of my face since my 20’s. I have consistently used sunscreen on my face as I live in Phoenix. How do you outline a thin bottom lip?

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      Going from the natural corner, gradually take the line on the outer edge of your natural lip. When you get to the center, the line should be directly under your real lip. Then bring it back up to the other corner meeting in the natural corner placement. The trick is you want the corners to match up to your real corners otherwise you’ll end up with joker lips, and emphasize the “overdrawing” at the center.

  3. Virginia
    | Reply

    Wow I could have known this 5 years ago??? Excellent explanation. I can see how I’ve been doing it so wrong (didn’t color w liner and didn’t matte). Oops! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Amy Somers
    | Reply

    Can you give me the name of the 2 pink colors used. Liner and lipsticks.


    • Miranda
      | Reply

      They’re listed in the post: Make Up For Ever High Precision Lip Pencil in 20, Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Lip in 11

  5. Nita
    | Reply

    Ire indeed an artist…. bravo with the shape

    • Miranda
      | Reply

      Thank you, Nita!

  6. Polarbelle
    | Reply

    wow, that little addition of the powder makes ALL the difference!

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