Diane Kruger, Karlie Kloss, Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore, Keira Knightley, what do all of these beautiful women have in common? Not one of them has full lips, yet each woman is widely accepted as a classic beauty.

For every beauty ideal out there (big eyes, full lips, oval face), we can find a gorgeous woman who lacks that feature. Enhancing your beauty is great, but overdoing everything looks, um, fake. The over-drawn-lip technique may look okay for photography, but it’s a high maintenance trend that looks obvious up-close.

We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with enhancing your features (we obviously LOVE to play with makeup!), but instead of over drawing your lips, let’s focus on subtle techniques to define and plump your pout:

 

Highlight the perimeter of your mouth to “lift” the ridge of your lip.

  • Choose a concealer that is 1 or 2 shades lighter than you foundation (like Aqua Serum Concealer). Squeeze a small amount onto your finger tip and apply over the lip line with your detailer brush. Grab your expert concealer brush and blend just slightly outside the lip line until there is no obvious demarcation. Note: Consider waxing your upper lip for a smooth look.
  • Apply a long-lasting lip pencil (like Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Liner in Matte Raspberry) over the entire lip (or just the perimeter) to keep lip color from bleeding into the concealer.
  • Finish with a creamy lip color or gloss.

 

Create a slight ombre effect to plump the center of your pout.

  • Sketch a liner that is a deep shade of your natural lip color (like Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Liner in Matte Raspberry), starting at your natural lip line and blending toward the center of lip with your shading brush. Re-apply as needed to create a slight fade of pigment on the top half of the lips.
  • Choose a pale lip color that reflects light (sheer or creamy gloss, shimmer lipstick) and blend over the inner half of your lips.

 

Use a lip stain to define the shape of your lips.

  • Swap out your lip liner for a felt tip lip-stain (like Kiko Long Lasting Colour Lip Marker). Draw onto the perimeter of lip and blend down with your retractable lip brush or line the entire lip, depending on the look you want.
  • Layer a bit of lipgloss over the stain and don’t worry about fading or smudging.