If you like the look of fuller lips but aren’t interested in permanent or semi-permanent cosmetic procedures, a little makeup can do the trick. Whether your lips lack pigmentation or are naturally uneven — with one side looking bigger than the other or the top lip looking smaller than the bottom — you can use the following tips. These will help you achieve a fuller and more even lip look, while still looking believable.

Things You’ll Need

Cotton swabs
Lip balm
Lip liner
Lipstick or tinted lip balm
Highlighter (optional)
Step 1: Create a Smooth Base
When using makeup to make your lips look fuller, it is important to start with smooth, soft lips. Exfoliate your lips by gently rubbing them with a cotton swab and some lip balm (use a rich, conditioning one). Remove all dead skin (any loose, flaking skin) and then remove excess balm from lips with a clean cotton swab. Your lips should be soft but not greasy or slippery from the balm.

Step 2: Fill In and Define Your Lips
Fill in your lips entirely with the lip liner. Cover any lack of pigmentation in your lips.

Begin defining your lip edges by slightly overdrawing them. For a natural, fuller look, go only right over your natural lip contour. Stretch your lips into a close-mouth smile to get better coverage. Make sure to get into the corners of your lips, where many people lack pigmentation.

Step 3: Apply Lip Color
Apply a creamy lipstick or tinted lip balm in a color that matches or is very close to the lip liner color.

Step 4: Highlight (Optional)
Dab a tiny amount of highlighter to your cupid’s bow (the middle portion of your top lip) to create the optical illusion of extra volume.