Return Of A Forgotten Friend

Oh Pam- those lips were once revered and then just as quickly shamed.

Disclaimer: I am not happy with the pictures I took of myself for this article. Please forgive the lack of quality as I was rushed to post and the weather was not working for me. Usually I like photos by a window in the natural light, but it is crazy overcast here. I AM pleased with the writing quality though!

Lipliner is back, and in a big way. For some of you, maybe it never went away, and that is perfectly fine. It just fell off of the fashion radar as a “look” for a long time. Since the 90’s when Pam Anderson’s signature look became dated, we have been secretly sporting our lipliner in shades that perfectly matched our lips, matched our lipsticks or were even clear. Our poor little lipliner friend really got a bad rap.

Then, Kylie Jenner Instagrammed those lips. You know, the ones that are created with the magic of makeup? I cannot say that previous sentence with total conviction since I am not 100% buying that her new look completely washes off at night, but that is neither here nor there. Whatever it takes to get those lips, I do believe that this little Jenner has single handedly resuscitated a beauty category that had previously been shamed to the point of invisibility.

Kylie before and after

Fact: Lipliner is a very practical little product that is often under rated for it’s accomplishments. It helps to prevent your lipstick from hopping the fence into no-man’s land and making you look like a hot mess when you wear a bright or glossy lip. It helps the longevity of your lipstick if you apply it all over your lips as a base. It can alter or brighten lipsticks when used as a base. It really is the unsung hero of your makeup bag.

Lipliner is being touted once again as a game-changing shape shifter that can make a perfect pout out of even the most deflated lips. Overlining is a thing again, and this is where you cheat a little (or a lot) and apply your lipliner outside of your natural lip line to pump it up.

I have tried it a few times to see what it looked like on me, and it felt messy. Like when you eat something greasy and don’t have a napkin kind of messy. I guess I am just too used to colouring within the lines to do this, or maybe I need to stick to very matte lip products to feel comfortable with it. I felt I was seconds away from someone snapping a photo of me and ending up on a Pinterest board for bad makeup. I will share my results at the end. Reluctantly.

Back to overlining and the steps you would need to be very diligent with to succeed:

  1. Exfoliate your lips and just around you lip line. You will need a smooth, flake free surface to work with, especially when employing this trickery (can you tell I am not a fan of this look yet?).
  2. Moisturize lips. Since you are in search of bigger and better, go for a product that is designed to pump up your lips like Duwop Lip Venom or Lip Fusion.
  3. Use a long-wearing concealer on your lip line and around your mouth to concealer your natural lip line and to give the lipliner something to grab onto. Avoid a creamy concealer here, probably the best thing would be a liquid that dries quickly. I used Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer.
  4. Now, apply the lipliner. If you are going for the Kylie Jenner look, use a nude (dark pink or brownish) colour and create an outline just slightly outside of your lips. I can’t really tell you what I used since I did not have what I wanted to use in my own collection, I ended up using a darker one than I wanted to (and it is a discontinued shade anyhow).
  5. When you get to the bow of your lip, this is the part that will make or break your look. Dot above the lip where you want the bow to be, and then slowly sketch it in to connect the dots to the rest of your lip line. This is easier said than done, but I imagine gets easier with practice.
  6. Now fill in the entire lip inside the lines with a colour so that you can’t see you original shape. Again, if it is the Kylie Jenner look you are after use a nude slightly lighter than the lip liner. This way the liner will create a counter and redefine your lip line. I used a combination of a pinky-brown lipstick and the lipliner.

OK – now here is a reluctant share of my 2nd and 3rd overlining attempts. I have a full lip to begin with so this looks comical to me. The photo makes it look like I am pushing my lips out and making a duck face, but my expression was very similar to the one in the picture taken earlier the day.

Natural lip picture taken in the daytime with natural light. The overlined lip at night with inside light and similar facial expression.
My final attempt. I think it looks a little better, but I am not likely going to be revisiting this look on myself anytime soon.


I can certainly see the appeal in doing it if you are lacking a little, but I am concerned about how it would wear, how much you would have to touch it up, and how you would explain it to your date if they should spend the night. I guess it’s no different than any other makeup trick, push up bra, hair extensions, spanx or stilettos…

So Foxes, what do you think about overlining? Would you try it out? Do you even use lipliner at all? Is this little whiz a staple in your arsenal?


3 thoughts on “Return Of A Forgotten Friend

  1. I’m not a fan of over lip lining. I’ve never tried it as my lips are pretty full already. I think the over lip lining gives the impression of filler injected lips gone totally wrong.


  2. I adore this post! The honesty is pure genius! I also have a full pout, and being a guy I haven’t really felt the desire to increase my lip size. But I had a look I used to apply to the faces of many female colleagues when I was a counter manager at an old Holt Renfrew. I called it the j.Lo lip. This was when Jennifer was pumping out movies and music simultaneously in the early 2000s, and I had the perfect combo of a spice shaded liner, drawn ever so slightly outside the edge of the lip, then a brush to soften the edge and blend some of the liner color into the margin of the lip. Then I used a fantastic lip glaze in a peachy-pink-sheer hue over top, and the look was perfect for the gals that felt they needed a boost to their lip volume without having a procedure done.

    I sold a lot of liner and glaze as a result!


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