Here’s something that’ll make you feel better instantly if you have thin lips and you’re not happy about them. You could have thin and narrow lips! I do! And this makes it all the more difficult to apply lipstick over them. Your lipstick usually disappears into the folds and you don’t have enough space to showcase your lipstick. So then, what do you do?
If you want to apply lipstick on small, thin lips, you need to first define the shape of your lips to make them look bigger.
And it’s not always about wanting to make thin lips look plump or achieving a fuller pout either. You may have uneven lips like me. Applying lipstick on them simply makes sure that everybody else sees how uneven my lips are. It’s ridiculous!
Again, maybe you have lip discolorations like me, which makes it impossible to see where your lip starts and where it ends. And when you apply lipstick over them, your lips look uneven and your smile looks crooked. Either way, the key is defining your lips first.
Before we begin, remember that your skincare can play a role too. Exfoliating your lips and then moisturizing them can get the juices flowing in the lips. And even though it’s temporary, these steps can plump your lips and make them look more pigmented. Properly prepped lips also prevent lipstick cracking and flakiness around the lips.
Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to apply lipstick when you have thin lips.
01 Inline your lips.
Inlining is a term I made up. It’s the term I use to define the lips horizontally, which I’ll explain in a bit. But know that this is the absolute most important step in applying lipstick on small, thin lips especially if you’re going for a bold lip.
When you have thin lips, your lipstick disappears into the folds. And you need proper definition first. But giving definition to thin, uneven lips isn’t as easy as they make it seem to be on YouTube. So that’s why we start by inlining the lips. Here’s how to do it.
Get a makeup pencil with a dark color such as brown or black. It can be anything including an eye pencil, a lip pencil, or even a brow pencil. It’s not important because it won’t be visible in the end.
Open your mouth and use the pencil to draw two short lines on the inner corners of the mouth. When you close your lips, you’ll see that your lips look wider.
Inlining your lips alone makes a huge difference if you have small, narrow, uneven lips like me. Plus, my lip lines disappear toward to corners of my mouth. Maybe I have aging lips. But still, inlining is just as important as outlining.
And here’s a quick tip if you have thin lips that tend to droop due to age or your facial structure. Instead of drawing straight lines, draw them slightly slanted upward.
This will give you instantly upturned lips because of the dark shadows you created. It also gives you a more fresh look as opposed to a sad look.
02 Choose your colors.
As you’ll be using a lip liner and lipstick, you need to make sure the colors of your products complement each other. Our focus is on defining the lips. So you don’t want any visible shade difference between your lip liner and lipstick.
That will make it too obvious that you’ve overdrawn your lips. For that reason, use a lip liner that is close to the color of your own lips. Nudes, pinks, and soft reds usually make the most natural-looking lip liners to define the lips.
Even if you don’t have matching lipstick, these colors are usually on the safe side and they go well with a wide range of lipstick colors.
03 Mark the cupid’s bow.
You’ve marked and defined your lips horizontally. Now it’s time to do it vertically. And that’s by drawing an ‘X’ on the cupid’s bow. This gives you a new reference point, which makes it incredibly easy to connect the dots, so to speak.
Because here’s the thing. Your lips have a ratio. You can’t make them look fuller vertically without making them look fuller horizontally. It has to go both ways to create consistency.
Otherwise, it’ll be obvious that you’ve overdrawn your lips. Also, to make your lips look bigger, you can take the cupid’s bow a little higher.
04 Outline your lips.
Now that you’ve inlined your lips, outlining them is much easier. Use your lip liner to outline your lips starting from the corners of the mouth. Your starting point is the new, more prominent lip corners you just draw.
Start lining the upper lip and bring the lip liner towards the cupid’s bow where you draw the ‘X’. Move on to the lower lip. Again, start from the outside and work your way toward the center.
While drawing your lines, stay as close to the actual lip lines as possible. Even if you want to overline, go very slowly to avoid making things obvious.
One thing to note here is that if you have uneven lips and you want to make them even while you’re at it, make sure you take a selfie. Because things are not always easy to spot when you’re looking in the mirror.
A picture gives you a better idea about which part needs attention. Don’t shy away from overlining the thinner side of your lip. It all comes together nicely in the end.
05 Fill in the gaps.
This is another important step you don’t want to skip. Up until now, you’ve defined your lips, maybe reshaped them, and gotten yourself a new set of lips.
But you need to now fill in the gaps between the actual lines of your lips and the lines you just drew. This is for creating a more uniform look so that your lips are all in one color.
Use the same lip liner once again, and apply it starting from the outside. Fill in the areas and be generous about it as if you’re applying lipstick.
06 Apply your lipstick.
Now that you’ve properly prepped your lips and defined them with a lip pencil, you can easily and comfortably apply lipstick to your lips. If you want more control, you can use a lip brush. Dab your lip brush onto the lipstick and slowly apply the color starting from the center of the lips.
If not, you can start applying your lipstick directly onto the lips. However, you need to go very slowly with this because things get can get really messy really quickly.
The good thing is that you don’t need to worry too much about the outer corners. Because you don’t need to apply your lipstick all the way!
Assuming that your liner and lipstick match in color, you just apply your lipstick on the inner areas avoiding the outer lines.
This is my before & after image. As you can see, my lips are pale, thin, small, narrow, and uneven. At the end of these 6 steps, it was pretty easy to apply lipstick on my thin lips. They look more even and a little bigger than they actually are.
From here on, there are simple things you can do to enhance your results. For example, using a small brush, you can apply concealer around the lips to highlight them. This can give you a more clean, sleek look.
And because of highlighting, your lipstick color can look bolder. Additionally, you can try using a lip gloss on the center of your lips for a light-reflecting effect, which gives the illusion of fuller lips.
So this is how you can apply lipstick on thin lips. Keep in mind that there are other ways to maximize the results. For example, some people like to apply concealer on the lips before applying the lip liner.
Others contour the mouth first to create a multi-dimensional effect. However, I find these to be too impractical to try in real life.
These can work when you’re doing makeup before posting on your social. But the contour is impossible to look past in real life.