post + photography by amy nadine, graphic design by eunice chun

I confess. I’m a total cheater. And there’s nothing wrong with the natural shape of our lips! It’s just some of us have uneven lips or could benefit from a little volume every now and then. (Remember The 3-D Lip Illusion and The Fuller Lip Effect from my Beautician Magician Series?) I’m not suggesting you wear this technique to the grocery store, class or the gym. But grab a lip liner and play with your lip shape next time you feel like getting made up and you might really like it. You can cheat a proper cupid’s bow, correct an uneven smile or just draw outside the lines to make them look a little bigger. Here’s how: 


  • A Nude Lip Pencil — Find one that is just a shade darker than your natural lip color. I love Edward Bess Defining Lip Liner because it’s a perfect universal nude color that looks gorgeous on all my clients and won’t feather.
  • Your Favorite Lipstick/Gloss — Right now I’m obsessed with Armani Lip Maestro because it gives an amazing velvety matte finish while staining your lips. I used shade 500/Blush on Mahala above.


  1. Look in the mirror to detect where your natural lip line (perimeter) is. Starting at the cupid’s bow, place the pencil directly above it so it’s still touching it and exaggerate the arch by drawing just above it.
  2. Continue outlining the entire lip area, basically tracing where your natural highlight would have been. Then fill in the entire lip.
  3. Follow with any lip color (I chose a similar shade to the lip pencil but you can follow a nude pencil with any shade, or match your lip pencil with your lipstick/gloss) all over.