How You Can Really Fake a Fuller Pout
Step away from the pout-plumping cup and put down the Lip Venom---the secret to a natural looking Angelina Jolie–esque pucker is all in careful blending and the right color choices. Instead of overlining your lips à la Kylie Jenner, who works a statement pout like a pro with one uniform hue, all you need is a taupe pencil and one in a shade that matches your natural lip color. Any lipstick of your choice can be layered over the top, and the idea is the same as contouring your face---you're creating the illusion of a natural shadow, but instead of giving your cheeks a more chiseled appearance, you're pumping up the volume on your lips.
Start by seeking out a pencil in a neutral taupe shade, or one that has very little red undertones. We love NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Nude Beige ($4; nyxcosmetics.com), Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics liner in Sebastian ($16; nordstrom.com), and Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Lip Pencil in No. 2 Hazelnut ($30; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com).
Resist the urge to color outside of the lines and use the pencil to trace the perimeter of your lips, creating a more-symmetrical shape on both the top and bottom. Blend the color with a lip brush to diffuse the darker shade. Then with the pencil that matches your natural lip color, begin filling in around the edges toward the center of your lip. Not only does this step create a natural-looking gradient, but it also provides a budge-proof base for whichever lipstick or gloss you layer over it.
Though we typically use this method with nude lip colors, the neutral base allows you to layer just about any hue already in your kit on top---just make sure to test swipe the lipstick first to make sure there isn't too much contrast. Once it's in place, pick up a shiny gloss either in a clear tone or one that matches the color scheme, and concentrate a small amount on the center area of your top and bottom lip for extra dimension.