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Makeup Trick: Fuller Lips Without Surgery

Full, pouty lips…We all want ‘em! There are really only two ways to get a set of full lips: Either you’re born with them or you make an appointment with a needle full of hyaluronic acid. 


But the needle isn’t your only option for making your lips appear fuller. Sure, you could use a lip plumper to give your pout a temporary boost, but it's hard to buy into a product that's designed to irritate your skin. Thankfully, makeup allows us to create illusions with highlights and shadows that you wouldn’t believe! A crooked nose is suddenly straight, a round face suddenly has a sculpted cheekbone, and the easiest trickery of all is making your lips look bigger.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A light nude makeup pencil (typically a multi-purpose pencil or a concealer pencil)
  • A nude/blush lip pencil just a hair darker than your natural lip color
  • A sheer lipstick or nude gloss

Now, the general rule is that anything highlighted comes forward, and anything shadowed will recede. Using a combination of both, I’m going to show you a technique for making the center of your lips look bigger and more pronounced, giving your lips a “pouty” appearance. 

Step-by-Step Directions:

  1. Begin with moisturized lips! The more hydrated your lips, the fuller they look. I like the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.
  2. Take your light nude pencil and begin applying to just the center of your lips. I'm using the MAC Chromographic Pencil in NC15/NW20. Keep this color between your cupid’s bow; if you put your index finger right at the center of your lips, that’s about as much area as you want to cover.
  3. Be sure to extend this light nude pencil to the edge of your cupid’s bow as well as the lowest part of your bottom lip. Be careful not to draw outside of your actual lip line.
  4. Take your darker lip pencil and just outline and fill in your lips at the outer corners, blending inward just slightly. I used the NYX Retractable Lip Pencil in Nude.
  5. Using your finger, lightly blend out the edges of the lighter color to eliminate any harsh lines.
  6. Finish off by applying a very sheer lipstick or a nude gloss. The more sheer the better so that the highlight and contour come through! I've got on MAC Creamsheen Lipglass in Boy Bait.

Get more makeup tips from Teni at Miss Maven.

Teni Panosian

I created my beauty blog,, in 2010 and later began making tutorials on my YouTube channel, missmavendotcom. After earning my Master’s degree in Communication Management in 2009, I figured it was time to combine my academic know-how with some expert consumer advice to bring all things beauty to my readers and viewers. My specialty? Skincare. I think we’re all at our most beautiful when we’re just down to moisturizer and lip balm, and I hope to make every woman who reads my content feel confident enough to rock the natural look. But considering I’m also a product junkie, you’ll find some fun makeup looks and tutorials from me, too!

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