You don't need to endure painful injections to have the look of bigger lips. You don't necessarily need a lip plumping product, either. Makeup artists rely on tried and true tips to help their clients pump up the volume, and I've got a few of them to share.
Applier beware. Plump lips are one of those mysterious subconscious biological signs of youthfulness and fertility.
(Editor's note: I cannot take responsibility for any additional attention (or children) that may follow as a result of these tips below.)
- Avoid dark lipsticks or glosses. They can make your lips look smaller. Instead, choose a lighter shade to give the illusion of fullness. Also, pick lipsticks with shinier finishes. Shiny reflects light, making lips look even bigger.
- Brush lips with a baby toothbrush and some lip balm, like the classic ChapStick ($1.90). It's a gentle way to exfoliate and it promotes circulation in the lips, causing a temporary plump.
- Sweep a tiny dab of light colored gloss only in the middle of your lips, both top and bottom. Try Benefit Her Glossiness in Didn't Hear It From Me ($18). You can also use a lighter glittery gloss such as Wet N Wild MegaBrilliance Lip Gloss in Shimmy Shimmer ($2) or a whitish shimmery powder like Benefit Lust Duster in Snow Bunny ($18) to achieve the same effect.
To move on to the more advanced techniques, read more.
- Apply a luminizer, white pencil, or a line of concealer a shade or two lighter than your skin tone to your cupid's bow only (the "m" shape right above your upper lip). Blend lightly. Try Wet N Wild Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in White ($1.50).
- Use just the slightest amount of soft brown eyeliner (yeah — weird, I know) right underneath your lower lip line. Just about 1/8th of an inch should do. This creates the illusion that your full lips are actually creating a "shadow." I like CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eye Pencil in Smoky Taupe ($2.70).
- Apply concealer to lip area to create a blank palette. Using a lip liner in a shade similar to your own lips (or 1-2 shades darker), line your entire lips, from just slightly outside your natural line, moving inward. Smudge any rough edges (no clowny looks, here) and apply lipstick or gloss or both.