When it comes to lip fullness, I’m a greedy S.O.B. After the first time I got lip injections about five years ago, they never fully shrank back down to their baseline size, but I’ve still gotten them touched up every year or two because I love the way it looks. I would absolutely go even fuller with filler if my dermatologist didn’t always level-headedly temper my zealousness with her extensive understanding of facial anatomy and proportions and whatnot, so you’d think I’d be a big fan of overlining my lips as an alternative to additional injections. But oddly enough, I’ve never liked how the technique looks on me.
Although it’s a go-to temporary lip-enlarging trick for so many makeup lovers, I haven’t been able to do it in such a way that doesn’t feel either cartoonish, obvious, or unflattering. It may make my lips look fuller, but it also kind of drags down the shape. I come from a family of people whose smiles eventually, naturally turn downward with age (I call it the Grandma Ethel Smimace), so I’m not about to rush that process with some poorly placed pencil.
Needless to say, when makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic met up with some of us beauty editors over Zoom a few weeks ago and he mentioned his alternative technique for overlining, I was all ears. The Makeup by Mario founder explained how, by overlining only part of the lip, he mimics the look of the injectable “lip flip” trend and creates a lifted, fuller appearance without the illusion of heft.
I was genuinely intrigued, but I also didn’t try it immediately. Nor did I try after seeing a number of people on social media doing — and loving — it. It wasn’t until I saw someone I know, fellow Allure contributor and Gloss Angeles podcast host Kirbie Johson, do it herself on Instagram that I finally decided to give it a go.
So here’s how it works: Slightly overline only the Cupid’s bow area of your top lip as well as the center of the bottom lip. As for the rest, stay on your natural lip line — don’t overline as you go toward the corners. Dedinovic says this technique shortens the space between your nose and lip, makes your lips look fuller, and even creates the illusion of a bit of a lift.