Where to Apply Lip Liner

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Lip liner application can often be a perplexing task, especially with the variety of shapes and sizes lips come in. Did you know that makeup artists recommend starting lip liner application at the cupid’s bow for added definition? This blog post will walk you through step-by-step instructions on where to apply lip liner based on your unique lip shape, making it easier than ever before! Ready to achieve those flawless and fabulous looking lips? Dive right in!

Key Takeaways

  • Start lip liner application at the cupid’s bow for added definition.
  • Trace your natural lip line to create a defined shape and prevent bleeding.
  • Use slightly darker shades of lip liner to add depth and dimension for fuller – looking lips.
  • Choose complementary colors when selecting lip liner and lipstick shades.

Understanding Your Lip Shape

To understand your lip shape, start by assessing your natural lip shape and how you can enhance it with lip liner. Determine whether you want to make your lips look larger or smaller, and learn techniques for achieving the desired effect.

Assessing Your Natural Lip Shape

Understanding your natural lip shape is crucial before applying any makeup product to them. Look into a mirror and carefully observe the outline of your upper and lower lips. Note whether they are full, thin, wide, or narrow.

Also identify unique features like an enhanced Cupid’s bow or asymmetrical sides. Makeup artists tend to start by tracing this line from the cupid’s bow during application as it helps achieve definition for fuller looking lips.

By assessing your natural lip shape accurately, you can apply lip liner in a way that enhances its shape while creating an illusion of flawless, plump lips without overlining.

How to Make Lips Look Larger

To make your lips appear larger, start by applying lip liner at the cupid’s bow or the center part of your upper lip. Trace along the top lip first, creating a defined shape and adding definition.

To achieve a fuller look without overlining, trace from the outside corner to the center of your lips instead of from the center out. Use short, natural strokes and glide the liner just outside your natural lip line.

Applying a slightly lighter shade of lipstick in the center of your lips can also create an illusion of fullness. Remember to finish with a touch of gloss for added shine and dimension.

How to Make Lips Look Smaller

Start by outlining your lips with a lip liner that matches your natural lip color. Use short, precise strokes to follow the natural shape of your lips. Avoid going outside the lip line to create a smaller appearance.

Fill in your lips with lipstick using a brush for more control and precision. Opt for matte or satin finishes instead of glossy ones, as they can make your lips appear fuller. Additionally, choose darker shades of lipstick that are closer to your natural lip color to create the illusion of smaller lips.

Remember, blending is key for a seamless look!

Choosing the Right Lip Liner and Lipstick Shades

To choose the right lip liner and lipstick shades, consider complementary colors that enhance your natural lip color and skin tone. Experiment with bolder shades to create a more dramatic look.

Complementary Colors

When choosing the right lip liner and lipstick shades, it’s important to consider complementary colors. By selecting a lip liner shade that matches or harmonizes with your lipstick color, you can create a seamless and polished look.

For a more dramatic effect, you can opt for a slightly lighter or darker shade of lip liner to add dimension to your lips. Experimenting with different combinations can help you find the perfect complement that enhances your natural beauty.

How to Prepare Your Lips

To prep your lips, start by exfoliating them to remove any dry or flaky skin. Then, apply a moisturizing lip balm to hydrate and soften your lips before applying lip liner.

Exfoliating and Moisturizing

To achieve a smooth and flawless application of lip liner, it is important to exfoliate and moisturize your lips beforehand. Exfoliating helps remove any dead skin cells, leaving your lips soft and smooth.

You can gently exfoliate using a lip scrub or by applying a mixture of sugar and honey to your lips and massaging in circular motions. After exfoliating, don’t forget to moisturize! Applying a nourishing lip balm or lip conditioner helps keep your lips hydrated and prevents them from becoming dry or chapped.

By taking these simple steps before applying lip liner, you’ll create the perfect canvas for beautiful, defined lips.

Priming with Lip Balm

Before applying lip liner, it’s important to prime your lips with lip balm. This step helps to moisturize and soften the lips, creating a smooth canvas for the lip liner and lipstick application.

By hydrating your lips beforehand, you can prevent them from appearing dry or flaky, ensuring a more flawless and long-lasting result. Simply apply a thin layer of lip balm onto your lips and let it absorb before proceeding with the rest of your makeup routine.

Remember to choose a lip balm that is nourishing and non-sticky for the best results.

How to Apply Lip Liner

When applying lip liner, start by tracing your natural lip line to create a defined shape. Then, add depth and dimension by creating a shadow effect along the outer corners of your lips.

Finally, fill in your lips with the chosen lip liner color for a flawless finish.

Tracing Your Lip Line

To create perfectly defined lips, start by tracing your lip line with lip liner. Begin at the cupid’s bow or the center part of your upper lip and trace along the natural shape of your lips.

Use short, precise strokes just outside your natural lip line to add definition and enhance the shape. For a fuller look, trace from the outside corner to the center of your lips instead of overlining.

Remember, lip liner helps designate where lipstick should be applied and prevents any bleeding. So take your time and follow the contours of your lips for a flawless finish.

Adding Definition and Creating a Shadow

Lip liner is not only great for outlining and defining your lips, but it can also create the illusion of depth and dimension. By using a slightly darker shade of lip liner, you can add shadow to certain areas, giving your lips a more plump and three-dimensional look.

To achieve this effect, start by applying the lip liner just outside your natural lip line, focusing on the corners and bottom center of your lips. Then, blend the liner towards the middle of your lips using short strokes.

This technique will give your lips added definition and make them appear fuller. Don’t forget to choose a shade that complements your lipstick color for a seamless finish!

Filling in the Lips

To fill in your lips, start by applying lip liner to the center of your upper lip or cupid’s bow. Use short and natural strokes to trace along the outer edges of your lips, just outside of your natural lip line.

This will help create a defined and precise shape for your lips. For a fuller look, you can slightly overline the Cupid’s bow area without going too far outside of your natural lip line.

Once you’ve lined both upper and lower lips, fill them in with lipstick using a brush or directly from the bullet. This will ensure an even application and prevent any gaps or uneven color on your lips.

Tips and Tricks

Enhance your lip look with these expert tips and tricks for flawless application and long-lasting wear.

Ways to Create a Bold Lip Look

To create a bold lip look, start by selecting a lip liner shade that complements your chosen lipstick color. Using short and precise strokes, line your lips just outside the natural lip line to add definition.

For added dimension, try creating a shadow effect by slightly filling in the outer corners of your lips with the lip liner. To make your lips appear fuller, concentrate on overlining just the cupid’s bow area.

Once you’ve applied your lipstick, consider adding some shine and dimension by layering on a coordinating lip gloss. Play around with different combinations of colors and techniques to achieve a boldly beautiful pout.

Fixing Mistakes

If you make a mistake while applying lip liner, don’t worry. You can easily fix it! Simply use a cotton swab or a small brush dipped in makeup remover to gently erase any smudges or uneven lines.

Remember to be careful and work slowly so that you don’t remove too much product. After cleaning up the mistakes, you can continue with your lip liner application as usual.

Choosing the Right Tools

To achieve the perfect lip liner application, it is essential to choose the right tools. A good quality lip liner pencil with a fine tip will allow for precise and controlled application.

Look for a pencil that glides smoothly on the lips without tugging or pulling. Additionally, consider investing in a lip brush for more even coverage and blending. A lip brush can be especially helpful when applying darker shades or creating ombre effects.

With the right tools in hand, you can easily create defined and flawless lips that complement your overall makeup look.


In conclusion, knowing where to apply lip liner is key to achieving a defined and flawless lip shape. Start at the cupid’s bow and trace along the natural lip line for added definition.

Remember to use short strokes and choose a shade that complements your lipstick for a seamless look. With these techniques, you’ll be able to enhance your lips and create beautiful makeup looks effortlessly.


1. What is lip liner and where do I apply it?

Lip liner is a lip product that you apply along the edges of your lips for a defined shape or fuller appearance.

2. Do beginners need to use lip liners?

Yes, using a lip liner can help beginners in shaping lips and creating flawless lips. There are step-by-step guides on applying lip liner available for novices.

3. How can I create fuller looking lips with a lip liner?

For fuller-looking pouts, use the shadow effect technique, lining slightly outside of your natural outline to create an illusion of plumper lips.

4. Can I mix my lipstick with my lip liner shades?

Absolutely! Choosing the right shade of lip liner in combination with your lipstick will enhance its color application, making it look smoother and more polished.

5. Is there any specific way to clean up after applying my Lip Liner?

You can perfect your finish by cleaning up any smeared edges after applying your lipstick and gloss over your precisely lined base.

6. Does using Lip Liner have any added benefits other than defining shape?

Indeed! Alongside boosting fullness, properly applied Lip Liners also give a lifted look to the face while ensuring long-lasting color hold throughout wear time.

Where to Apply Lip Liner
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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