How To Contour Lips

Contouring lips is simple once you know how – you’ll be amazed at how a little shading and light reflecting can trick the eye into seeing a luscious, plumper pair.

Facial contouring is the beauty industry’s worst kept secret, which means beautifully defined features are just a few brushstrokes away. Contouring can give your face and décolleté beautiful definition – it’s the greatest illusion, highlighting your best features and concealing those you’d rather hide.  

A technique that is perhaps still under wraps, however, is a similar method used to contour your lips, allowing you to enhance your natural lip shape and create an enviable pout.

Lip contouring is a great way to get your lips looking exactly how you want them; you won’t need to resort to drastic measures to achieve the lip shape you’ve been lusting for. So how do you contour your lips like a pro? And what contouring makeup do you need for the perfect pout? This tutorial will guide you through everything you need to know about lip contouring. 

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Preparing your lips for contour

A little exfoliation goes a long way with this technique, so it’s worth investing in a lip scrub if you plan to make lip contouring a regular part of your beauty regime. Alternatively, you could opt for a DIY solution found in the humble toothbrush. Simply massage the lips gently in light circular motions with the head of the brush. This will not only remove dead skin cells but will also provide rosiness to your lips, increasing blood flow. A smooth surface also encourages light to reflect, adding to the illusion of a full-on pout. 

A hydrating lip balm with peppermint oil or beeswax will smooth out any remaining dry areas, but make sure you blot away any excess so the colour application stays put for longer. 
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Conceal your natural lips for contouring

If you’re already a contouring pro, you’ll know that primer is essential for your makeup to last from day to night. Once primed to perfection, apply concealer or foundation over your lips as a base for your contour technique. This allows you to draw over, above or below your natural lip line and play with your dimensions.
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Define your lip contour

Done correctly, lip liner is your best friend for achieving a perfect lip contour.  Pick a lip liner in a nude shade, not more than one shade darker than your natural lip colour. This will let your chosen lip colour do all the talking. Our Colour Riche lip liner in Beige Nude or Gone With The Nude suits most complexions and is ideal for contouring lips. 

If using a pencil liner, ensure it’s sharp yet soft in texture. This can be achieved by warming the pencil in between your forefinger and thumb. If the liner pencil tugs rather than glides, it will need a little more time for softening. 

Start the contour process with your cupid's bow (the section that falls right in the middle of your top lip). Begin by shaping the letter ‘X’ from each top corner and in the corners of your mouth, being careful not to round the edges as this can create a more oval shape to your smile. 

If you’re new to the lip contouring process, focus the liner just around the centre points of your lips. This draws the eye towards this part of your mouth, resulting in a fuller looking pout. The trick here is to look as if you’re blowing a kiss. Clever, huh?

You can also use the side of the lip pencil and adopt a shading technique rather than drawing a line, giving a more of a natural effect. You can always correct with concealer or a handy cotton bud dipped in makeup remover if you make a mistake.

If you have the concealer to hand, try tracing lightly around the edges of your mouth, which will naturally prevent any bleeding or feathering outside of the lip line. A bit of foundation or setting powder works wonders, too.
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The right shade of lipstick for your lip contour

Because lip contouring is all about playing with shape and deceiving the eye, it’s worth remembering that lighter colours are naturally illuminating whilst darker colours slim and hide. Therefore, nudes and neutrals have a natural talent for making lips fuller, whereas darker shades are best if you’re looking to minimise your lips.

It’s important you make sure your lipstick and lip liner match. Don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Our Color Riche Satin in Gone With The Nude or Hollywood Beige have been created to complement the lip liners we mentioned earlier. 

Use two shades of lipstick to create an ombré effect, making sure to blend well. You can do this by concentrating the lighter of the two colours in the centre of your lips – read our article on How to Ombré Lips.
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The finishing touches to your contoured lips

To finish off the lip contouring process, apply a thin strobe of bronzer vertically down the centre of your chin, which again draws the eye inwards. Use a highlighter, such as our Woke Up Like This Natural Glow Enhancer Lotion, and dab it in the centre of your cupid's bow. This will give you instant, light reflecting fullness. 

If you’re looking to really pop your lip contour, apply a small amount of lip gloss to the middle of your bottom and top lips to add the finishing touch.
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