Take a quick scroll through your social media feeds, and it’s safe to say you’ll come across overlined lips on influencers, celebrities, and friends alike. The fact is, many of us want to make our lips look bigger, and overlining your lips happens to be the perfect way to do so. Want to give it a try and have a sought-after pillowy pout? Below, we’re sharing step-by-step instructions on how to overline your lips, along with the makeup products—yes, you need more than lip liner—to do so.
STEP #1. EXFOLIATE YOUR LIPS
Prepping your pout is just as important as lining your lips in order to achieve the perfect overlined lip look. Use a lip scrub like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub to ensure your lips have a smooth, even surface.
STEP #2. SMOOTH ON A LIP BALM
The next prep step? Applying a lip balm! Keeping your lips hydrated is not only a generally good practice, but it’ll also help your lip products wear better.
STEP #3. PRIME YOUR LIPS
Just as you apply primer prior to smoothing on your face makeup, it’s a good idea to start your lip makeup with a lip primer. You wouldn’t want your overlined lips to fade throughout the day, would you? If you don’t have a lip primer on hand, you can use a dab of concealer in a pinch.
STEP #4. PICK YOUR LINER
When it comes to choosing your lip liner, there are two things to keep in mind for the perfect overlined lip: finish and color.
When it comes to finish…keep it natural. The purpose of overlined lips is to fake the appearance of a naturally full pout. That being said, you won’t want to use a lip liner that’s too matte or too shimmery. Stick to one that has a natural finish.
When it comes to color…keep it neutral. Like we said, you want your overlined lips to pass for your actual lips. While you can play around with color, your best bet is to stick to shades that are natural-looking.
Need a few recommendations? Pick a neutral shade of any of the following liners.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Anti-Feathering Lip Liner - Smooth Application: This lip liner is specially formulated for mature skin. It has a carefully crafted applicator that offers precision without tugging at your skin, and it has an anti-feathering formula.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner: This lip liner is perfect for creating definition. The anti-feathering formula provides rich color.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Never Fail Lipliner: This long-wearing lip liner won’t feather or fade. The rich, creamy formula goes on smooth while the built-in sharpener makes it easy to get precise lines every time.
STEP #5. SHADE THE CORNERS
Use a precise lip liner to shade the outer corners of your lips, going ever so slightly outside the lines. By shading, you’ll avoid a stark contrast between your lip liner and lip color.
STEP #6. DEFINE YOUR CUPID’S BOW
Next, you’ll want to focus on your cupid’s bow. Lining just outside your natural lip line, create an X over your cupid’s bow.
STEP #7. LINE AWAY
Finish lining the rest of your lips. Keep in mind that less is more—you only want to go a tiny bit outside of our natural lip line! Anything more can lead to unrealistic, obviously overlined lips.
STEP #8. FILL IT IN
Of course, you don’t want to leave the rest of your lips bare. When choosing a lip color, once again, look for one with a natural finish like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour. As for the shade, choose a color that’s one to two shades lighter than your lip liner to create a flattering ombré effect.
STEP #9. FOCUS ON THE EDGES
Rather than cleaning up your lip look with concealer, you’ll actually want to do the opposite. Use your fingertip or a lip brush to gently smudge your liner, creating a more natural, softer line.
STEP #10. ADD SOME HIGHLIGHT
Finish your look by popping a powder highlighter, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shimmerista Highlighting Powder, onto your cupid’s bow. Now, it’s time to pucker up!
What Does “Overlined Lips” Mean?
Overlining your lips means mean applying lip liner slightly outside your natural lip line to create the illusion of bigger, plumper lips. This helps to add definition to your pout, and it can help create a lip shape with perfect symmetry.
How Do You Overline Your Lips?
There’s more to overlining your lips than just applying lip liner with a heavy hand. Exfoliating your lips, priming with concealer and using highlighter to define the shape will all help to fake the appearance of a natural-looking, fuller pout. Check out everything you need for lips that appear bigger, below.
1. Exfoliate Your Lips
Prepping your pout before you apply lipstick is so important, and that means addressing any signs of dryness or chapped skin. Use a lip scrub or a damp washcloth to lightly buff and exfoliate the surface of your lips to remove any dead skin.
2. Apply a Lip Balm
After you’ve exfoliated your lips, lock in moisture with a light layer of lip balm. This will help to create a smoother application for your lip liner and by the time you’re ready to apply lipstick, your lips will be glowing, soft and hydrated.
3. Prime Your Lips With Concealer
Similar to the way foundation evens your skin tone, applying concealer on your lips can help to blur your natural lip line to create a smooth base for drawing over it. Use a full-coverage formula like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage for this. While it seems like extra work, this little step will help to make your overlined lips appear more natural.
4. Pick Your Lip Liner
When it comes to choosing your lip liner, the two things to keep in mind for the perfect, overlined lip are the finish and the color. To keep everything looking natural, you definitely won’t want to use a lip liner that’s too shimmery — stick with one that has a matte or satin finish. As for color — keep it neutral. As we said, you want your overlined lips to pass for your actual lips and the best way to do that is to stick with natural shades like pinks, browns and nudes.
To line your lips, we love the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner. This lip liner is perfect for creating definition and comes in 12 shades that offer rich, opaque color. Since it has a satin formula, it pairs well with satin lipsticks. Alternatively, if you prefer the long-wearing finish of a matte formula, try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner, and pair it with a matte lipstick.
For mature skin, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Anti-Feathering Lip Liner - Smooth Application. This lip liner has a carefully crafted applicator that offers precision without tugging at your skin and an anti-feathering formula.
5. Shade the Corners
Take your lip liner and use it to shade the outer corners of your lips, going ever so slightly outside the lines. By shading, you’ll avoid a stark contrast between your lip liner and lip color.
6. Define Your Cupid’s Bow
Next, you’ll want to accentuate your Cupid’s bow. Lining just outside your natural lip line, create an X over your cupid’s bow and fill it in according to the shape of your lips. For those that don’t have a defined cupid’s bow, simply follow the natural outline of your lips.
7. Outline Your Lips According to Their Shape
After you’ve shaded the corners and filled in your Cupid’s bow, continue shading your lip line, going slightly outside of your natural lip line. It’s helpful to identify your lip shape and follow that when lining. Keep in mind that less is more, so avoid creating a new shape or harsh lines. Once you’ve successfully outlined your lips, then you can use your lip liner to lightly shade the lines you’ve created to add more fullness.
Editor’s tip: If you have difficulty drawing clean lines when you line your lips, sharpen the liner before using it so the tip is sharp. It will make a big difference in your application and precision.
8. Choose Your Lipstick and Fill in the Empty Space
You don’t want to leave the rest of your lips bare after you’ve lined them so lipstick is a must. When choosing a lipstick, look for one that has the same finish as your lip liner. If you’ve used a satin lip liner formula, try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick. If you’ve used a matte lip liner, try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick.
As for the shade, choose a color that’s one to two shades lighter than your lip liner to help create the illusion of fuller lips. Think of it as contour and highlight for your lips, adding dimension and lift in the same way it would for your cheekbones. Apply your lipstick as normal, using the bullet or applicator to follow the shape you just outlined. You can also use a lip brush for a more precise application.
9. Smudge the Edges
Rather than cleaning up your lips with concealer, you’ll actually want to do the opposite. Use your fingertip or a lip brush to gently smudge your lip liner, creating a more natural, diffused line all around the outline of your lips.
10. Add Some Highlighter
Finish your look by applying liquid highlighter, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer onto your cupid’s bow. Similar to contour and highlight, this will help to lift your lips, faking a fuller, more defined pout. Apply the highlighter to your index finger and lightly dab it onto your Cupid's bow.
Editor’s tip: If you want your overdrawn lips to look extra juicy, top them off with a plumping gloss like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump. This non-sticky gloss gives your lips a dose of high-shine and noticeable plumpness thanks to the hyaluronic acid infused formula.
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Associate Creative Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Associate Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Digital Tech: Erik Dalzen, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Model: Alexandra Van Zant
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