The Spring Bee Sting
A lovely, modern way to wear a bee-stung lip is by using soft colors. This look is great for disguising uneven lips, to add definition to shapeless lips, or to show off a full mouth. Start off with a soft, neutral lip liner that is just deep enough in color to contrast your lips' own natural color. I like Julie Hewett Lip Liner in Hue 009, as it's the perfect sheer, plummy nude. Line a fat heart shape around your top lip, and round off the point on your bottom lip. Slightly over-accentuate your cupid's bow, and if you don't have one, create one! Second, take a pale color such as Nars Matte Velvet Pencil in Paimpol, and color in the outer corners of your mouth to bring out the bee-sting shape. Third, fill in with a creamy gloss. For a delicate contrast, use a soft lavender color on the bottom lip (I love Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Lilac Pastelle), and for the top lip, a slightly lighter color such as Nars Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight. Gloss over your cupid's bow as well, this further enhances the bee-sting shape.
The Chocolate Cupid's Bow
Have a funky-shaped top lip? Or no shape at all? Then this yummy look is for you. The enhanced cupid's bow shape is stunning when done in rich colors. I like a soft chocolate shade because it's not only ultra elegant, but also flatters most skin tones. First take a nice, sharply pointed liner (I used Julie Hewett Pencil in Film Noir) and gently drag liner up the lip line, going slightly above and outside of the natural line to make two peaks right over your natural cupid's bow. You need to actually overdraw and make the peaks—don't be afraid, you'll be surprised at how elegant it looks once you fill in and soften with the lip color. Go over the peaks with liner as much as you need to get your desired shape. Then connect the rest of your mouth to the Cupid's bow by lining right on top of the lip line. Once you have that nice, matte shape drawn in, fill your lips with a satin, creamy lip color. I love Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Intense 120—it's a warm hot chocolate color with a little gold stirred in. Keep the lip color right under the matte cupid's bow peaks you created with the liner, this keeps the look soft and believable.
"One Grape, One Peach, Please" Duo-Colored Lips
A two-toned lip is not only a great lip minimizer (if that's what you desire), but also a cool runway look that's safe enough to wear to the office. The color combination for this look is so fresh and pretty—perfect for spring. Start with the magic pencil, Julie Hewett Omit Concealer Pencil, and line the entire mouth. What this does is wipes out your lip shape and size, creating a canvas for reconstruction. Lightly fill in the entire top lip with Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero as a base, then slick over Nars Satin Pencil in Floralies. For the bottom lip, line your lower lip with Bolero, then take a silky grape color such as YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Rose Infinite, and apply in the center of the lip, blending outward for pretty lil pout.
I Just Ate His Heart
A mouth with a dark center that elegantly fades into a brighter color is very dimensional and can mask a multitude of flaws. This inverted lip coloring can make a small mouth look full, and a full mouth look dainty—it all depends on how you feather out the colors. For a full, lush lip, take MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo and generously apply with a lip brush at the center, then more sheer as you go out to the lip line. Then trace over the lip line with whatever is leftover on the brush. Next, take a vibrant, dark lip color to compliment the base color (I used Tom Ford's discontinued Black Orchid), and apply to the inner lips where they part, and press your lips together. This will blend the deeper color, making it look as if you had eight glasses of wine. Lastly, take a Q-tip and run along your lip line to give an ultra softening effect. You can even create a mono lip line by blending the Ruby Woo straight across your cupid's bow. Hot. To minimize a full mouth, use the same technique as above, except use a very sheer coating of the Ruby Woo allover, softening it with a Q-tip at the end of process, making the color an almost nonexistent back drop for your Black Orchid center.
The Sunset Smile
Small upper lip? Supersize it with a soft pop of color! Kryolan UV Cream has that perfect pink and orange shades, and even better, it's pretty sheer even tough it's loaded with neon pigment. Apply the pink cream with a lip brush on the entire top lip. Use the lip brush to over-trace the lip line ever so slightly on the outer corners until you reach your cupid's bow. Then shape as desired. (You'll see just how mistake-proof the UV Cream is.) On the bottom lip, do an ombré fade starting with the pink on the bottom, and fill the rest with orange into the center of the lip. What the ombré bottom lip does is glorify the top lip! Hallelujah!
Dream of having that full bottom lip? Have a crooked smile? Disguise and reshape with lots of velvety red. Take a creamy matte liner in a classic orange-red such as Julie Hewett's Belle Noir, and line the lower lip, rounding off lip shape. Line the top lip, connecting the peaks to create a mono lip—this gives a plush look, and you enhance a sad looking lip with this defining technique. Next, fill in the lips with a blue-red lip color. I used the stunning Cinematic Lipstick in Future by Nars, from the now discontinued Guy Bourdin collection. The blue-red lip color contrasts beautifully with the red-orange liner, making the lip appear multidimensional and taking away that harsh flat look. Last, I add a tiny bit of juiciness to the lips by applying Ruby gloss by Dolce & Gabbana only in the center of the lips. And there you have, a perfect pair of pillowy lips.