The Clever Lipliner Hack That Guarantees A Gorgeous Pout

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, but the lips are the door to the bedroom. Full, pouty lips have been prized just about as long as humans have been on earth; Cleopatra herself was thought to use a red lipstick made from crushed beetles. Not surprisingly, it all has to do with our basic animal instincts: As an anthropologist once explained to Women's Health, large lips project sexual arousal, making women appear more attractive and desirable. Alas, not all of us were blessed with naturally full lips, nor can everyone afford the high price tag of lip filler injections (to go full-on Kylie could run you up to $3,000). That's where makeup comes in. Today's lip enhancers can help take over where Mother Nature left off, making even narrow mouths look lush in minutes.

For starters, it helps to have the right products. Certain lipstick shades are better for thin lips; too-dark colors can make a mouth look even smaller. Lip plumpers, which come in daytime and nighttime varieties, contain ingredients that irritate the skin, resulting in a rush of blood to the lips and a temporarily fuller effect. Users endure the stinging sensation for the sake of a more alluring mouth. Then there are application techniques that give the illusion of rounded lips, and the main player in these hacks is a mouth's best friend: lip liner. Used properly, this mouth crayon can produce a kiss-ready pout with ease.

Overlining properly will create a larger lip look

One of the easiest ways to create the illusion of a larger mouth is to "overline" — using a lip liner to trace a larger outline around the mouth, then filling in the entire area with the liner and/or lipstick. Some users go for an exaggerated look by drawing the line far above and below their lips, as TikTok user @xthism demonstrates. However, you don't have to go that dramatic to be effective.

Take a close look at your lips. The edge of the pinkest part is called the vermillion border, explains nurse Jasmin Carrasco, RN, on her TikTok feed. But many people have a visible area of skin above and below that border, known as a double lip line. The double lip line often looks lighter than the rest of the lip because there's less fatty tissue supporting it. For a larger lip effect, use a lip pencil to trace over the double lip line, rather than outlining the vermillion border itself. The video shown here from @anahitaxo is one example of the technique. She overlines the center of her Cupid's bow and the middle of her lower double lip line, then draws a precise line at the very edge of her vermillion border. 

To finish the look, use the liner to shade just below the line you've drawn. Finish by filling in the center of your mouth with lip gloss a shade or two lighter, which will enhance that luscious fuller appearance.

Oval lining will also give you a beautiful pout

Another way to make your lips look plumper is a technique called "oval lining." Again, for this effect, you'll want to use a liner a shade darker than your natural lip color. As demonstrated here by popular TikTok user @Katia Hoek, you'll start by drawing a small vertical line just above the middle of your Cupid's bow, and another one just below the fullest part of your lower lip. Next, connect the lines on either side in an oval shape, coloring the side lines to make the oval visible. Fill in the center with lipstick or lip gloss. If the liner smudges, remove the excess with a dry cotton swab. 

Some oval liner fans, like Hoek, advise against adding an overline to the rest of the lip, the better to emphasize the center of the mouth for a perfectly pouty look. Others, like Mayra of the @glambby_ account, take the exact opposite approach: They overline the sides of the mouth and fill in those areas with the liner, then apply a slightly lighter shade of lip gloss in the center. 

Per Seventeen, it's also important to exfoliate your lips regularly. Apart from keeping the skin healthier, it gets rid of the dry skin flakes that get in the way of your products' shine. And if you opt for a lip plumper, use one that contains peptides rather than drying ingredients such as menthol and capsaicin. Then you'll be ready to pucker up!