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How To Make Your Lips Look Bigger With Lip Liner

I drew outside my lip line... and I liked it.

The title of today's post takes inspiration from this song. Except, you know, we're talking about lip liner (not cherry Chapstick).

Yep, I did a total beauty "don't"—or at least what I used to think was a don't—and I'm all over it.

Surprised? Let me explain how this happened. A reader by the name of Maggie (hi Maggie!) asked me a few weeks ago if I could post the how-to for Prada's S/S '13 makeup. Because I like to be service-y, I willingly obliged:

Now, look closely at those lips. The reason they look so awesome is not just because of the lipstick colour (CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hot, in case you're wondering). It's because makeup guru Pat McGrath deliberately went for an "oversized" shape.

The lip liner (CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipliner in Passion) was used to draw just outside the model's natural lip line, putting the thinner top more in balance with the fuller bottom. The result: much plumper, pillowy-looking lips.

Since, you know, we can't all be Daphne Groeneveld.

And Lindsay Lohan isn't exactly selling me on the whole lip injection thing.

(Or bronzer, but that's a story for another day.)

Anyway, looking at the Prada pic reminded me that it wasn't the first time I'd seen this whole drawing-outside-the-lip-line thing work its mouth magic. Back in the fall, I attended a Chanel event where their national makeup artist, Julie Cusson, applied some lipstick on me. Not only did she say that I should always wear cool colours (since she thinks their contrast with warm skin and hair looks better than everything harmonizing), but she also made my lip shape look PERFECT.

Before that, I knew I had a thin upper lip—but I didn't really think anything could be done about it without looking like this.

I mean, lip liner is so '90s!

How Julie did it wasn't with lip liner at all, though. She just applied the lipstick with a lip brush, and painted just outside my lips not everywhere—but around the corners. This photo isn't from that day, but I've added arrows to illustrate where you would focus, if you were to do this at home:

The Skincare Edit Recommends

Got it? You don't want to go crazy drawing outside the lines all the way around, as then you're going to look like a clown. But a tiny bit in these spots can make a WORLD of difference. In case you're unaware of how thin my upper lip gets, go look at my pic in the Pantene post the other day. (PS: You have signed up to score some FREE hair products already, haven't you? Go! Now!)

Of course, you can also use regular lip liner to do this. Or—my favourite and what I used in these pics—a chubby lip colour stick! What I am wearing in these pics is my old favourite, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint:

(Out now for $31.00 each; click here to learn more and purchase.)

I think it's the best product for the job because it's a stain (so therefore won't smear around during or post-application), and gives you quite a bit of control.

NARS is also just coming out with these new Satin Lip Pencils:

(Out March 7th for $30.00 each at Holt Renfrew, and at all other NARS retailers starting April 1st.)

They are also lovely but you need to go more slowly with your application because they're super-glidey and slippery... although the dry-down isn't.

If you mess up, remove any excess with a makeup wipe or for even more control, Givenchy's Mister Perfect makeup remover pen:

(Out now for $33.00; click here to learn more and purchase.)

You can also go over the edges at the end with concealer on a brush to neaten them up. Although I found I didn't even need to with the Tarte—it was super easy.

If you REALLY want to go to town, add a touch of highlighter (like the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer I raved about here) at the Cupid's bow, which is the technique Pat McGrath used at Prada.

Are you liking this? Tell me:

Have you ever tried this technique to draw outside your lip line?

What's YOUR trick for bigger, more even-looking lips?

Do you use lip liner, chubby pencils or just regular lipstick?

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