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How Do I Choose the Best Makeup for Thin Lips?

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke

Thin lips may be the result of heredity or may occur due to the face losing collagen, a naturally occurring protein that adds fullness to body tissues, as a person ages. While the lips may be made fuller with cosmetic procedures, such as injecting collagen into the lips, there are also short-term ways to add suppleness to the lips. Choosing the correct products and properly applying makeup so that it subtly adds dimension can make the lips look fuller at first glance without having an artificial appearance.

Preparing the surface of the lips before applying any makeup may help give them a fuller appearance. Applying a moisturizing lip balm across the lips gives a smooth canvas by preventing dry skin flakes that may interfere with the proper application of other lip color cosmetic products. Since ultraviolet rays from the sun may further reduce the amount of collagen in the lips, selecting a moisturizing lip balm that contains sunblock may help prevent sun damage and preserve the amount of natural collagen remaining in the lips. Gently rubbing the lips with a washcloth may also increase blood flow to the lips and give an additional temporary amount of fullness to thin lips.

A woman applying lipstick.
A woman applying lipstick.

Using a lip liner in a shade that matches your natural lip color may enhance the appearance of fullness in thin lips by slightly increasing the lip line. Applying lip liner just slightly outside of the natural lip lines may give the look of plumper lips, as can filling in the lips completely with lip liner.

When selecting a lipstick or other lip color to add over applied lip liner, shades that have a slight shimmer tend to make lips look fuller than using a matte lip color. The shimmer reflects light particles and gives an extra dimension that result in thin lips looking fuller. When choosing a lip color, lighter, more natural shades tend to make the lips look bigger than darker colors, which minimize the lips. Apply a clear gloss over the applied lip liner and other lip color to create the illusion of fuller lips by subtly reflecting additional light across the surface of the lips. A clear gloss containing lip plumping ingredients, such as menthol or collagen microspheres, may temporarily make thin lips bigger by stimulating circulation and making them slightly swell; however, the plumping effect usually only lasts for approximately three hours.

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    • A woman applying lipstick.
      By: bst2012
      A woman applying lipstick.
    • As a person ages, the lips may become thinner.
      By: Vera Kuttelvaserova
      As a person ages, the lips may become thinner.
    • Line liner can be drawn around the lips to make them look fuller.
      By: Nicola_Del_Mutolo
      Line liner can be drawn around the lips to make them look fuller.