How to Overline Your Lips With Lip Liner — Expert Advice
I’m very aware that there are far worse things in the world right now than me not being able to get filler injected into my lips — still, I can’t help but miss it. About a year ago, when I got lip fillers for the first time, I felt more confident than ever. Let’s not get it twisted; my results weren’t drastic, but they totally changed the way I saw my own face. Being home all the time now, I’m trying to wear makeup every once in a while to maintain a sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every time I come to my lips, the last step in my routine, I feel the need to overline just a little to maintain my desired lip shape.
If you don’t know what getting lip fillers entails, let me take you to cosmetic enhancement school real quick. It’s a service in which a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon injects the lips with hyaluronic acid — a humectant that attracts water molecules to the site to enhance plumpness — into the lips to give them a temporarily fuller look. Typically, filler lasts for six months to a year, but, according to cosmetic surgeon Melissa Doft, the rate at which your body metabolizes the filler depends on your individual metabolism, meaning, that the faster someone’s metabolism is, the quicker lip fillers will dissolve and lose their appearance.
Sadly, my lip fillers have reached that stage where they have metabolized. Until I can get back in Doft’s chair I have been left to my devices, which, in my case, is a lip liner. Whether your fillers are dissolving like mine or you just want to master the art of overlining (it really is an art), I reached out to makeup artists to provide some tips and tricks on how to learn how to overline the lips like a true professional.
According to New York City-based makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, overlining the lips simply involves creating little shadows in specific places to make them appear fuller than they actually are. “If you look at where your lips might naturally have a little bit of an upturn or a downturn, you just need to enhance those shadows just like you would with bronzer under your cheekbones when you are contouring,” she tells Allure. Here are some tips and tricks to help you do just that.
1. Highlight your Cupid’s bow.
The Cupid’s bow is the heart-shaped peak of your lips. On some of us, it is more defined (like Rihanna’s) and on others, it’s more subtle. If you apply some highlighter there (don’t overdo it), it will help guide you for when you start lining with a pencil.
“Highlighting the Cupids bow will also help draw attention to your lips and lift and volumize the shape of your mouth,” says Tommy, a New York City-based makeup artist. To highlight such a small and precise area, I like to use a flat eye shadow brush like E.L.F. Cosmetics‘s version and my favorite highlighter, which is currently the Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo.
2. Pick the right lip liner shade.
This might be the hardest part. Tommy suggests that beginners, or people just dipping their toes into overlining, should pick a nude shade pencil that matches the color of the edge of their lips. He recommends the following: KKW Beauty’s Nude Lip Pencil in shade No. 3 for dark skin tones; Colourpop Cosmetics’ Lippie Pencil in Shade Brink for medium tones, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk for lighter skin tones.
3. Focus on the center of your lips.
“Round out your upper lip line on both sides — instead of following your natural lip line — and connect the space between your Cupid’s bow to give you the illusion of a lifted poutier look,” says New York City-based makeup artist Meghan Nguy. When working on the bottom lip, only overline the center of the lip to create a plump, heart-shaped effect.