Lipstick Tips for Thin Lips

Shannon Boyce
Woman applying lipstick

Full. Pouty. Oversized. Large-and-in-charge lips have become more sought-after than ever thanks to celebrities and social media accounts. The only trouble is that not everyone has a naturally plump pout. Those on the thin side, however, can amp up the volume with effective lipstick application and well-chosen products.

Take Time to Prepare the Lips

A little preparation can dramatically impact the overall appearance of your lips. Products applied to dry, cracked, or uneven areas may attract unwanted attention. For instance, if you have dry lips, they will naturally appear smaller because flakes reflect less light. It is especially important to keep the area as hydrated and plump as possible. Easy prep tips for fuller lips include drinking plenty of water, gently exfoliating, and priming before application.

Always Add on Lip Liner

The easiest and most impressive way to temporarily increase your lip size is lip liner. Choose one that matches your chosen lipstick shade and slightly trace outside the natural lip line. It is best to avoid a liner that is too dark as this can make the lips appear slimmer than they really are. When applying the product, start small and build the shape until you are satisfied with the end result.

Not sure how to perfect the technique? The YouTube video below, by makeup guru Nathalie Muñoz on how to make small lips look bigger, will give you a better idea. For the most natural finish possible, use concealer to hide the lip line beforehand. This camouflages the area and gives you a larger space to work with.

Choose Your Lipstick Carefully

If you have thin lips, always be thoughtful about the colors and finishes you reach for. According to StyleCraze, the best lipstick shades are nude colors, pinks, and reds. They make the lips look much fuller as they do not draw too much attention to the area but still add color. (These colors are recommended as opposed to bold and bright shades, like deep purple, brown, or anything that falls under the rainbow lipstick trend. These can accentuate a thin lip shape.)

It is equally important to think about the finish you choose. Products with a metallic or shimmery texture will not create an illusion of fullness. Something that is matte or satin is ideal.

Apply Lip Gloss to the Center

woman applying makeup

Something else to keep in mind? Lip gloss is always a good idea. Rather than applying it all over, be thoughtful about placement. To make your lips look fuller naturally, try dabbing lip gloss directly to the center of the lips. (It should be a clear or neutral gloss to achieve the most impact.) The glossiness of this product is ideal because it picks up light. Keeping light focused in the middle can make even the thinnest lips appear larger.

Make Good Use of Highlighter and Bronzer

Never underestimate the power of well-placed product. There is a reason makeup artists from around the globe expertly highlight and contour their clients faces. This technique conceals any flaws or imperfections, brings forward certain features, and adds balance to the face. It can even make thin lips appear fuller and more prominent. According to Bustle, using a highlighter on the cupid's bow (just above the lips) will make the area come forward.

Bronzer can also be applied lightly underneath the lower lip to create a shadow. This step makes that area recede, causing the bottom lip to appear larger.

Step-by-Step Application Tips

Now that you know the most important lipstick tips and tricks for thin lips, it is time to put them to practice. Start by:

  1. Outlining luscious lips
    Using a clean toothbrush or lip exfoliator. Gently remove any dry or chapped skin and then add a hydrating balm over top.
  2. Apply concealer or foundation over top of your lip area. Not only will this act as a primer for the lipstick, but it also makes the lips appear fuller by camouflaging your natural line.
  3. With a well sharpened lip liner, start by over-lining the cupid's bow.
  4. Continue to slightly overline the rest of the upper lip until it looks soft and full. (If you are unhappy with your line or want to soften it for a more natural finish, use a Q-Tip to blend.) Fill in the remaining area with your pencil.
  5. On the bottom, start by drawing a line in the very center of the lip.
  6. Draw outward until the line in the center connects to the right corner. Repeat on the other side. (Remember: it doesn't matter how much you overdraw this area, so long as it looks natural and matches what you did on the top.) Fill in the rest of the area on the bottom.
  7. Apply lipstick over top of where you placed your liner. Use a lip brush around the edges to seamlessly blend your liner and lipstick together.
  8. Place a clear gloss on the center of your upper and lower lip.
  9. Use your fingers to dab on a shimmery highlighter, just above the cupid's bow.
  10. Finish it all off by adding bronzer underneath the lower lip using a small pencil brush.

Lip Boosting Products to Try

The way you apply your makeup can make a noticeable difference in way your lips appear. To take things one step further, invest in items that increase your pout. A few examples include:

  • Making her lips pop
    Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme (about $30) - This serum instantly makes lips look plumper by increasing blood flow to the area and adding hydration for a smooth finish.
  • GlamGlow Plumprageous Matte Lip Treatment (around $19) - With four nude shades to choose from, anyone can find the perfect matte lip color. This product plumps, smooths, and adds a gorgeous wash of color.
  • Revlon Kiss Plumping Lip Creme (approximately $10) - For a fuller look both now and later, this lip creme is a great option. It has a cooling sensation that triggers plump and pouty lips - and enhances their size over time.
  • Rimmel London Exaggerate Full Color Lip Liner (about $5) - One of the most important pre-lipstick steps is lip liner, so make sure you have something on hand. This nude-pink (in the shade Eastend Snob) is both versatile and effective.

Another great option is to try a DIY lip plumper recipe at home. A few simple ingredients can create instant volume and fullness.

Make Lips Look Fuller With Lipstick

Lipstick has long been a part of history. In the past, it was used for religious ceremonies, to protect the lips from UV rays, and of course, for cosmetic enhancement. These days, there are just as many uses for lipsticks. They can add drama to a makeup look, boost confidence, and enhance lip size, and one of the hottest trends at the moment is a full pout -- LiveScience believes this is because celebrities play a larger role in consumer preferences than ever before.

Fortunately, you can perfect your pout with ease, and you don't need naturally full lips to achieve your desired look. Whether you want to stay on top of the latest beauty trends or simply feel like changing things up, you can! Put these tips to the test for a head-turning result.

Lipstick Tips for Thin Lips