The Absolute Best Beauty Tips for Thin Lips

Plus, some shopping recommendations

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Beauty-Tips-Thin-Lips universal image: a close up photo of a woman's puckered lips
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Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe she’s not. And by “it,” we mean Angelina Jolie’s luscious lips. Whether you have always been thin-lipped or are suddenly experiencing a loss of volume (a common side effect of aging), here are a few makeup and skin-care tips to keep in mind for maximizing what you've got.

I Did a Lipstick Reading (Because Apparently Our Pouts Reveal Things About Our Personalities)

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1. Skip Dark Red Lipsticks

We love a moody lip color as much as the next girl, but deeper shades tend to recede your pout, making it appear smaller. Instead, nudes and soft pink tones are your best bet. Using a flesh-toned pencil, trace just slightly outside your natural lip line. Then fill in your lips completely with the pencil before topping them off with a lipstick in a similar shade to enjoy the magic of optical illusion.

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2. Be Strategic About Shine

More specifically, use lip gloss but don’t use it all over. Apply just a touch to the center of your upper and bottom lips. This will reflect light and give them more of a 3-D effect. Finish with a dab of highlighter (or champagne-colored eye shadow) on your Cupid’s bow (the peak of your top lip) to add even more depth.

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3. Bring Focus To Your Eyes

Whether it's bold brows, fluttery lashes or statement eyeshadow: Don’t be afraid to go big on the eyes to counteract your petite pout. And since you’re going neutral on the lips, a heavier eye won’t look too overdone.

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4. Boost Circulation

Before you even put on any lipstick, take a toothbrush, washcloth or lip scrub and gently rub it over your lips in a circular motion. Not only does this help nix flakes (dry lips reflect less light, making them look smaller), but it also promotes circulation (which can temporarily plump them up a bit).

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5. Add Moisture

Whether you prefer a convenient stick or a thicker salve, keeping your lips hydrated is key to making them look fuller. Slather on your balm of choice after exfoliating and whenever your lips feel dry.

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6. Protect Your Lips From The Sun

Surprise, surprise, UV rays can age your lips. More specifically, they break down collagen, which leads to thinning over time. Prevent future deflation by wearing a lipstick or balm with a minimum of SPF 15 whenever you’re outside.

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7. Treat Your Lips At Night

Skincare shouldn’t stop with your eye cream. Consider a nighttime lip treatment that has peptides and hyaluronic acid in it to help plump lips and soften lines while you sleep. This way you’ll be in an even better place to master all the tricks above.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023
Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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