While applying makeup, an understanding of facial features is required to know how to accentuate them with makeup so you look your best. For instance, how you fill your eyebrows depends largely on your face shape. Or, the high points of your face being the deciding factor for where the highlighter will go. While you can always bend the rules a little bit to change things up, knowing these tricks helps you look your most flattering self. Lip makeup can be adapted, edited and re-invented based on certain types of lips, a detail even professional MUAs deem worthy to be considered. Here’s how to identify and accentuate your lip type with makeup.
- Types of lips
- 1. Heart-shaped lips
- 2. Perfectly proportioned, full lips
- 3. Top-heavy lips
- 4. Bottom-heavy lips
- 5. Thin lips
- 6. Wide lips
- 7. Small, round lips
- Did you know?
- FAQs about Lips shape
Types of lips
Now that you are familiar with the basic categories of lip types, here’s how to apply lip makeup for each of them in the most flattering way.
1. Heart-shaped lips
Image courtesy: @taylorswift
Heart-shaped lips are one of the most desired types of lips among makeup lovers. Pop star Taylor Swift is known for this romantic lip shape, which is identified by a well-defined Cupid’s bow. In fact, even without lining or wearing lipstick, you can see the considerable dip in the middle of the upper lip inheart-shaped lips. It may or may not have a heavier lower lip, which in Taylor’s case is compensated for with her signature red, matte and overdrawn pout.
To further enhance the look of heart-shaped lips, line it in the centre with a white pencil or use a creamy nude shadow to make it look fuller.
2. Perfectly proportioned, full lips
Image courtesy: @priscillaono
Yes, there is such a thing as perfectly proportioned, naturally full lips and Rihanna’s got them. This lip shape is defined by a well-balanced top and bottom lip, with the bottom lip usually protruding distinctively. And much like Rihanna, you can either balance out the lips with subtle pinks or make them the focal point of your makeup look with a bold matte lipstick and lip liner.
Pillowy, full lips can often be too distracting, so to balance them out, highlight the rest of your face. Flushed cheeks will tone them down a bit or an OTT eye makeup look will demand more attention. Meanwhile, use nude shades closest to your complexion to blend the lips with the rest of your face.
3. Top-heavy lips
Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is known for her top-heavy pout, which is quite familiar given that a majority of Indian women sport this lip shape. It is heavier on top and does not have a distinctive dip in the Cupid’s bow. The trick with top-heavy lips is to balance out the distribution of weight as much as possible. A few simple tips are:
- Start at the centre of the upper lip and follow the natural lip shape in order to avoid overdrawing.
- Apply different lipstick shades to the upper and lower lip, bright at the bottom and a slightly darker tone at the top. This will give the illusion of a balanced lip shade and make your mouth look proportioned as well.
- If you do not wish to apply different lip shades, you can dab a little white pencil or eyeshadow at the centre of the lower lip to give it a fuller look.
- Another easy trick is to underline the top lip just below your natural lip shape and finish the look by filling in this outline.
4. Bottom-heavy lips
Image courtesy: @kyliejenner
Kylie Jenner’s famous pout might be the result of flawless makeup application, but her natural lips have the much cuter bottom-heavy quality to them that we personally love. While Kylie herself makes her upper lip look bigger to balance the pout, there are some other ways to enhance the look of bottom-heavy lips. Dab some creamy nude eyeshadow to the centre of the upper lip to add fullness or gently blur the lip line of the lower lip to blend it with your complexion.
FYI, steer clear of gloss unless you want your mouth to look like it was stung by a bee!
5. Thin lips
Image courtesy: @the_press_tour
Thin lips consist of less space and dimension on both the upper and lower lip equally. The best way to apply lip makeup to thin lips is to overline it with a pencil and smudging the edges to blend with your natural lip shape. This way you can apply both matte and liquid lip colours to create the illusion of fuller-looking lips. Going in with a lighter shade for the lower lip can add an extra touch of plumpness to the look. A dab of gloss in the centre of both the upper and lower lip will plump it up as well.
6. Wide lips
Image courtesy: @kateleemakeup
If you have ever been complimented on smiling ‘ear to ear’, it means that you have wide lips. Wider-set lips have the tendency to overwhelm your facial features, dominating your look whenever you smile. When applying lip makeup, balance out the width by overlining your lips to make them appear bigger. You can also just stick with overlining your lower lip only, this will add weight to your mouth. Nude shades with soft, matte textures will keep them looking chic and not too distracting. You can also shift focus to highlighting other facial features, like a smokey eye or flushed cheeks to balance out the lips.
7. Small, round lips
Image courtesy: @fkatwigs
Small lips have limited width, but they do have a significant protruding pout. They are round and have a natural pout to them that many women crave for. Some of the flattering textures of makeup to use on these lips are shimmery, glossy and even frosted lipsticks and tints. Steer clear of darker shades, as they can make them look even smaller, whereas bright undertones will accentuate them the right way.
Did you know?
In addition to the makeup tricks and hacks seen above, your natural lip shape can be altered with fillers as well. Contrary to popular belief, all lip fillers do not have to be permanent or too intrusive in nature. For instance, hyaluronic acid (HA) lip fillers are temporary in nature and last for about 6 months. Their gel-like texture results in plump and fuller-looking lips, with considerably less bruising and downtime required for healing. They can be erased easily and show results just a couple of days after injecting the formula into your lips.
There are more permanent lip filler options available as well, namely collagen and silicone fillers. Mainly aimed at evening-out wrinkles on the lips and making them appear fuller, they are known to need time to heal and require multiple sessions to be done properly. So, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of getting such a procedure done, before going in for one.
FAQs about Lips shape
1) Can I exfoliate my lips everyday?
A. Much like your skin, your lips also collect dead skin cells, leading to chapping and dullness. To avoid this, exfoliate your lips gently twice a week and follow up with a lip balm. Make sure to not over scrub your lips, as they are sensitive and can get damaged. Mild sugar scrubs and chemical exfoliating agents in peeling lip balms are some gentle options for any lip type.
2) Does licking your lips too much damage them?
A. Yes, the habit of licking your lips too much can lead to discolouration. Saliva does not combat dryness of the lips, in fact, the enzymes present in it make your lips dryer. Just slap on a hydrating lip balm if you feel your pout getting too dry.
3) Do I need SPF for my lips as well?
A. Yes, your lips are susceptible to UV damage as well. To combat this, use lip balms infused with SPF and cover your lips from exposure to the sun as much as possible.
Written by Sumona Bose on Oct 15, 2020
Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!