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9 Makeup Tricks You Must Know to Fake Fuller Lips

In a few easy steps, you can plump up before you pucker up.

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Ali Blumenthal/

First, moisturize and exfoliate

Believe it or not, the perfect pout begins with a good scrub. Dry lips can look smaller—not to mention less kissable—because they don’t reflect light. To get rid of the flakes, dab a bit of moisturizer on your lips and leave it there for five minutes. Next, brush off the dead or dry skin with a toothbrush, exfoliating your lips by gently brushing them in little circles. Doing this will boost circulation, too, giving you a dash of pink, sans lipstick. You can also create your own lip scrub at home by using coconut oil and sugar.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Apply foundation

A smooth layer of skin-colored foundation can create a larger canvas—and a brighter hue. Start with a blank canvas by applying concealer over your lip line; if you’re feeling daring, you can fudge the size of your lips by overdrawing this area with liner (see step four). And you can forget about the color fading; this trick will make sure your lipstick stays on all day (or night!) long. Here are more tricks to making your makeup stay on all day.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Define your “Cupid’s bow”

Your Cupid’s bow is the slight dip at the top of your upper lip, and defining it with liner or lipstick can make your lips instantly pop. If you’re ditching the liner, draw a small “X” at the center of your top lip before applying lipstick. Your lips will appreciate the extra boost. Here we used the Kylie Cosmetic lip liner in Candy K.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Overdraw your lip line

To capture the true Angeline Jolie pout, choose a lip liner that is slightly darker than your natural lip color. And remember, a little goes a long way in the makeup world—trace the liner just slightly outside your natural lip line to avoid the clown look.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Blend your lips

After you have applied lip liner, use the liner—or another closely matched shade of lipstick—to fill in the space between your new lip line and your natural one. Blend well for a smooth and natural appearance.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Ditch super-dark lipstick

Dark lipstick will flatten the appearance of your mouth, making your lips look thin and aging your face. Instead, rock a hue that’s just a shade or two darker than your natural lip color. Nudes or pale pinks highlight your lips and give the illusion of fullness. Here we used NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bahama.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Use two different shades

Instead of using just one color on your lips, try two shades for double the pout. Choose a dark, neutral hue to cover your mouth and a lighter one to dab in the middle. If you have a full top lip for a smaller bottom lip (or vise versa), only apply the lighter shade to the opposite lip. Doing so will even your lips out, making them both look fuller. Here we used the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Isola Bella.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Dab shiny lip gloss to the middle of your lips

Shimmery lip gloss will pick up light, illuminating your lips in a goddess-like glow that will plump up your pout. If you’re not a gloss gal, a bit of highlighter will do the trick, too; just make sure to use a pinhead-sized amount and blend with concealer. Here we used Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish in the shade Samantha.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Conceal to perfection

Finally, cleaning up the edges of your mouth will create a sharp (and natural!) lip shape. Use a skinny brush to dab a bit of concealer along the lip line. You won’t believe how much your lipstick will pop.

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Ali Blumenthal/

Faux pout

The result of this “lip contouring” technique is a naturally fuller pout! For more beauty tips and inspiration, follow our makeup artist on Instagram @emma_kapotes_beauty.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Brooke Nelson
Brooke is a tech and consumer products writer covering the latest in digital trends, product reviews, security and privacy, and other news and features for