How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: June 26, 2017
How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape

Prior to applying makeup to our lips it is important to distinguish what form and shade suits us best. The first thing we must take into account when choosing the color of lipstick is the tone you have selected for eye make up and the blush for cheeks. Then you have to differentiate between the three types of lipsticks: matte, pearly and translucent. If you want to know more, keep reading this oneHOWTO article on how to apply lipstick according to lip shape.

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  1. Which color lipstick suits me?
  2. Full and big lips
  3. Small lips
  4. Uneven lips
  5. Turned down lips (droopy)

Which color lipstick suits me?

First of all, you should know that matte lipsticks are very thick tones. They are to make up fuller fleshy lips. Usually these are used in the night as they gives an elegant and sophisticated effect. Lipsticks in pearly colours are used to add volume to thin lips. They are for all ages and situations, bringing a touch of brightness. Finally, there are translucent lip products that give a wet effect that adds shine to lips whilst maintaining the natural tone.

To apply lipstick you have to follow these steps:

1. Define the contour of the lips with a lip liner pencil a shade similar to the lipstick (it is always preferable to be lighter rather than darker).

2. Apply lipstick from the centre outwards.

3. Put some golden glow or highlighter in the centre of the lip. This will enhance them and make them look plumper.

How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape - Which color lipstick suits me?

Full and big lips

Depending on whether or not you want to maintain the size of your lips or make them appear smaller, there are different techniques you can use.

If you want to shrink them and opt for a subtle look, mark the lip contour inside the edges of your lips. The color should be a brown tone - avoid pinky red tones. It is very important to not add shine. Otherwise you can line all the way around your lips gradually diffuse the line with a lighter shade of lipstick. If you want to enhance your lips, add a pop of highlighter to the centre. Applying a nude-colored shade will make your lips appear smaller and darker shades like red or purple will make them stand out!

Bottom heavy

This kind of lip shape has a slightly smaller upper lip compared to the bottom one. In order to create a balance, line around your natural lip line but put a little extra emphasis on the top lip. In other words, slightly overdraw them. Be sure to replicate the natural curves of your lips to maintain the most natural look as possible. Lucky for you, most shades of lipstick will work. However, the key to balancing the lips is to add a dab of white pencil or a creamy nude matte eyeshadow to the centre of the upper lip.

Top heavy

Likewise, in order to create a balance, line around your natural lip line but put extra emphasis on the bottom lip. The key here is to use a bright lipstick on your bottom lip and a darker tone on the top. The darker the lipstick, the thinner the lip will seem. Then, add a dab of brightness (either a lighter lipstick or a light matte eyeshadow) on the centre of your bottom lip.


How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape - Full and big lips

Small lips

If you have small lips, you probably have a small mouth and want to widen or elongate your smile. Line your lips all the way around and slightly blend and diffuse the edge. We want to avoid a defined line here, in order to create plumpness and length in the lips.

A good idea for people with small lips is to utilize highlighter. Pop some on your cupid's bow and in the centre of your bottom lip to create the illusion of fuller lips. Shimmery and glossy shades look great on small lips and softer hues have a tendency to brighten up your entire face!

Narrow and thin lips

If you have thin or narrow lips it is vital you overdraw them. You must choose a warm tone that is quite vivid and noticeable. Although you must go over your natural lip contour, make sure to not change their natural shape too much - otherwise it will look very fake.

Shimmery and frosty lip formulas work well on thinner and flatter lips as it adds a fuller and plumping effect. Ombre lip effects work very well too. If ombre sounds too daunting, you can add the same color all over your lips but add a shimmery highlight to the centre of your lips for a plumping effect.


How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape - Small lips

Uneven lips

If your upper and lower lip shape and size do not match, then you have uneven lips. The objective here is to balance out the shape and ensure your lips are of the same thickness and weight. It may seem strange, but you will have to draw your lipliner irregularly, in order to create a symmetrical shape. Of course, it is recommended to use a light tone in the thinner lip and a darker to the thicker one.

You should take one lip at a time. Start from the top and outline your upper lip, make sure both sides are the same and then move onto your bottom lip. Then, as with thinner narrower lips, smudge the line you created in order to remove hard edges and create a natural look.


How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape - Uneven lips

Turned down lips (droopy)

These types of lips are common in older women but females of all ages can have them. These droopy down turned lips can sometimes make you look sad. It is important to avoid curving the upper lip arch and applying a tiny bit of lipstick to the lip corners.

If you have a face that looks quite aged, we recommend reading these makeup tips to make your face look younger.


How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape - Turned down lips (droopy)

We hope you found this article useful. If you did, you may be interested in how to cover up lip shadows with makeup and how to make a lip scrub.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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1 comment
how should a person with small but thick lips apply lipstick
OneHowTo Editor
We'd recommend slightly elongating the corners of your lip, similar to what we show in step 6, though without the ascendant line. Also, use highlighter on the four corners of your lips to make them look bigger.
Hope this helps
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How to Apply Lipstick According to Lip Shape