Our preoccupation with obtaining the perfect pout remains fever-pitch, if social media feeds are anything to go by. Although some are taking ‘the bigger, the better' to heart like never before, we’re of the opinion that there isn’t a need to venture down the injectables path - fuller lips can be achieved with artfully applied makeup. Luckily for those of us not genetically blessed with a pillowy pout, there are pain-free alternatives to accentuate, enlarge and create fullness to the lips. Here’s the ultimate guide to faking your way to a set to rival Angelina’s. No trout-pouts or injections in sight...
PREP YOUR POUT
Like any good beauty routine, the key to success begins with preparation. Commence by slicking on your trusty lip balm of choice. Grab a toothbrush (not the same one you use to brush your teeth) and exfoliate the lips using gentle, circular strokes. Not only does this banish any flakiness, it also generates blood flow to the area, resulting in baby-smooth, plumped up puckers.
With a light hand, dab and blend concealer onto the mouth to neutralise your natural hue. Set the concealer in place by dusting over a touch of translucent powder. This Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder contains no colour pigments and creates a soft-focus appearance.
LIP CONTOURING – IT’S A THING
First pioneered by none other than Marilyn Monroe (not the Jenner/Kardashian clan), it seems as though contouring isn’t departing the beauty world anytime soon, and for good reason. Masterful makeup application involves creating a seamless contrast of light and shade in order to brighten and thus accentuate your best features. Lip liner can be your friend or foe, depending on application. Word to the wise: proceed with caution. The trick here is to use it sparingly to enhance and even out your shape, rather than attempting to draw on a whole new one. With a matte lip pencil no more than two shades darker than your natural colour, slightly over-line the edge of your lips by using small, precise strokes just outside of the vermillion border. If you’re game, take the look up a notch by sketching a couple of faint lines down the vertical creases of the lips to mimic pillowy folds – think Angelina Jolie. This Maybelline x Gigi Hadid liner suits almost any complexion for an effortless your-lips-but-better look.
COLOUR INSIDE THE BOX (AND OUT)
Any beauty junkie knows that with any good contour, blending is paramount. Softly colour in the rest of the lips using the liner, and don’t bypass those outer corners – creating miniature triangles here will ensure a positively pouty appearance. Follow up by dabbing on a neutral nudish-pink lippy over the top to melt any harsh lines and ensure longevity. Try Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillowtalk lipstick; it’s a celebrity go-to and thus a fool-proof choice.
Post contouring, a smidge of highlighting is needed to bring back light and dimension. A lipstick no more than 3 shades lighter than your core colour is ideal - dab in the centre-most, fullest part of your pucker and blend. Why? This will give a slight gradient, creating a 3D, va va voom effect. Nude Vanille by Tom Ford is a tried-and-true nude lip staple.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
Feeling extra? Go around the perimeter of the lips with a tiny bit of concealer on a small brush for an ultra-precise look. Emphasize the cupid’s bow with a highlighter and bring back moisture and wetness to the look with a touch of shiny (not sparkly) lip gloss only to the centre of the lips. Our pick for the ultimate bombshell pout? Cult-favourite Lip Injection plumping gloss by Too Faced.
Story by Marina Gainulina.