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Here’s How to Show Off Your Unique Lip Shape With Makeup

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Photo by Delmaine Donson / Getty Images

Accentuating your lip shape is definitely one of those unique beauty trends that doesn’t span the ages. With the recent popularity of dermal fillers, there’s so much more to think about when perfecting your pout. But with the trend of lip fillers also comes changing makeup trends, like how to accentuate the lip shape you were born with by using makeup alone.

There are so many video tutorials on how to get any lip shape or lip look you want with just using a few products, but we’ve decided to create your one-stop shop for what makeup products to reach for, based on the shape of your lips.

These makeup tips will make your pucker look its best—no matter what type of lips you have. Keep scrolling to discover a list of the 10 different lip shapes and how to best show them off!

About the Experts:

Jessi Butterfield is a celebrity makeup artist, groomer, and contributing writer for Elle, Refinery 29, and more. She’s currently working with Noto Botanics and TMF.
Tatiyana Elias is a Beverly Hills-based makeup artist and hairstylist known for her work on commercials, celebrities, and more.
Jamie Greenberg is a celebrity and editorial makeup artist based in Los Angeles.

Graphic image of lip shapes on pink background

The 10 Most Common Lip Shapes

1. Full Lip

Close-up of a woman's lips with bold red lipstick
Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

When it comes to fuller lips, makeup artists Jessi Butterfield and Tatiyana Elias agree: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Sometimes referred to as "Hollywood lips," this is the Angelina Jolie type of pout: an upper and lower lip with equal fullness. This lip shape is best accentuated with bold, bright lip colors, according to Butterfield. “I love picking a bright orange or a bossy fuchsia. Both these colors add an exclamation point to your look and are absolutely underrated,” she says.

Elias gives another helpful tip for full lips: “Use any shade that goes well with your skin tone,” she says. With full lips, you don’t need a precision cut of color; you actually want to use a lighter shade. Try blending your lipstick or lip balm outwards with your fingers to accentuate the look.

2. Heavy Upper Lips

Close-up of a girl's glossy lips
Rayman / Getty Images

Those with top-heavy lips may be interested in finding ways to dramatize the size of the bottom lip. To do this, Butterfield says you can create that illusion with a few tools: an eyebrow pencil and a lip liner pencil. “Draw just outside the bottom lip, being careful not to be too cavalier—a little bit goes a long way. After you’re satisfied with the balance you’ve created, continue to line the top lip right on the lip line and fill in the remainder of your lip with your chosen lip shade,” she says. Then, when you are satisfied with the appearance, “gently add the brow pencil under the lip pencil,” says Butterfield. “This mimics a shadow under your lip helping it appear larger.”

3. Heavy Lower Lips

Close-up of a girl's smiling lips
Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

If an eyebrow pencil is your BFF for a heavy upper lip, highlighter is your go-to for heavy lower lips. To balance out bottom heavy lips, you'll first want to line along the natural lip line of your bottom lip with lip liner, says Butterfield. Then, line the top lip just above the natural line. ”Finally, to make it just a little bit more special, I love to add a highlight to the Cupid’s bow. Select either a champagne, topaz, or bronze highlighter depending on skin tone” says Butterfield. “Dust that gorgeous highlighter atop the Cupid’s bow to invite light and size into that once smaller top lip.”

4. Thin Lips

Close-up of a woman's thin lips
Photo by Vladimir Godnik / Getty Images

Butterfield, Elias, and makeup artist Jamie Greenberg agree that lip gloss is your best friend if you have thin lips or small lips that you want to appear fuller. “When lining lips, start off with a deeper lip liner one or two shades darker than your skin color, then put lipstick on the center of lips in a lighter color then add the gloss,” says Elias. Butterfield says if you want your lips to pull double duty, gloss them with a lip plumper for a bit of extra depth.

5. Wide Lips

Close-up of a woman's wide lips with red lipstick
Laindiapiaroa / Getty Images

“I love an ombré effect to address a wide lip,” says Butterfield. “This can be easily done with a couple of shades of lip liner. Select two shades in the same color family, one lighter and one darker. To start, grab that darker liner and line and fill the outer corners of both the upper and lower lips.”

Soften and blend the line with your finger and then add the lighter color. Next, add the lighter color “to the remainder of your lips, blending the light and darker color together as seamlessly as possible, creating an ombré effect. Follow up with coordinating lipstick,” she says.

6. Downward Turned Lips

Close-up of a girl's downward turned lips
Photo by Bernd Vogel / Getty Images

Downward turned lips may give the illusion of frowning or appearing sad, so when applying liquid lipstick, you definitely want something that won’t slip off or bleed color into the skin. “We want to give the illusion of upward lips,” explains Greenberg. “So I would use a longwear lipstick that won’t move like MAYBELLINE’s Super Stay Matte Ink to line the lips and fill them.”

7. Bow Shaped Lips

Close-up of a woman's bow shaped lips
PhotoAlto/Milena Boniek / Getty Images

If you're sporting bow-shaped lips, “don’t over exaggerate liner,” says Elias. She suggests applying natural lip liner, adding lipstick, and then cleaning up with concealer around the lips. This is a coveted lip shape (hello, beauties like Rihanna!), so you don’t need to do much, but if you really want the cute shape to pop, create a sharpened edge with concealer to really make your lips stand out. Truthfully, this is one of the best beauty hacks we’ve ever heard.

8. Round Lips

Close-up of FKA Twigs' lips
Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Staff / Getty Images

Plump and pouty, round lips tend to be the same width all the way around. To accentuate this lip shape, glosses and shimmery lipsticks are great go-tos because they help emphasize the natural volume of this lip shape. However, because round lips tend to lack width, you may want to steer clear of darker lipstick shades as they can have a tendency to make the lips appear smaller.

9. Heart Shaped Lips

Close-up of Taylor Swift's lips
Photo by Neilson Barnard / Staff / Getty Images

Heart-shaped lips may look quite similar to bow-shaped lips, but tend to appear a bit rounder in width (like Taylor Swift's puffy pout). This lip shape has a defined Cupid’s bow and a plump upper and lower lip. Here, you'll want to combine the tips for a round lip and a bow-shaped lip: reach for glossy, shimmery shades when you can and make sure to put a little extra emphasis on that coveted Cupid's bow by dotting a touch of highlighter right above it.

10. Pillowy Lips

Close-up of Jennifer Hudson's lips
Photo by Stuart C. Wilson / Stringer / Getty Images

Go a step beyond full lips and you get pillowy lips—like the dramatically plump shape of Jennifer Hudson’s. To accentuate this pair, try applying a touch of gloss to the center of the lips. You can also sharpen the corners and add definition to your Cupid's bow with a liner. When you want to play up the fullness of these lips, don't be afraid to go bold with color! But if you're looking to minimize the fullness, try reaching for a nude lip color, which will subdue the lips for a more natural makeup look.

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Article Last Updated September 1, 2022 12:00 AM