How To Make Mature Lips Look Fuller

ask the makeup artist: tutorial for fuller lips

makeup artist shares tips to help lips look fuller

After the first “ask the makeup artist post” (tips for hooded eyes) I received several requests for a makeup tutorial for mature lips. Brian of Makeover Workshop has put together this very comprehensive step-by-step guide to creating smoother, fuller looking lips.

Susan asked me to create a how-to for mature lips, to help them look fuller and smoother. I found many women share challenges similar to the ones I hear at my Makeover Workshop Makeup Party events. They feel their lips have changed over the years: they’re smaller, less plump and rougher in texture. Women also express frustration with lipsticks and glosses staying on, and with color seeping into fine lines around the mouth. Plus, some women say they no longer are sure what lipstick colors to choose.

Hopefully, I can provide solutions to these issues. Before I get into my how-to for lips I thought it could be helpful to look at why lips don’t look and feel the way they used to.

      • As your lips age, your skin’s thin protective barrier becomes even thinner. Unfortunately, this affects your lips ability to retain needed moisture.
      • The facial skin, particularly on your lips, is super delicate.  Because it shows aging quickly, special attention is needed to combat the loss of moisture, collagen and circulation.
      • Lip volume reduces as estrogen declines during menopause, typically around age 50-55.

What can you do to prevent this or slow it down?

If you’re so inclined, you can add a moderate amount of an injectable to help return shape to your lips, plus use a lip treatment therapy along side it. I also find shaping and contouring the lips with lip liner and lipstick and/or gloss will also make a huge difference. I’ll show you how to do this.

One amazing product I’ve created is a lip therapy that improves the plumpness, firmness and smoothness of your lips. I love this treatment. It also supports collagen production and adds moisture. It’s called Re-Creation Lip Treatment. I find this treatment works amazing used alone or in combination with other therapies.

(Susan’s note: I’ve been using this for a couple of months and love it! My lips seem smoother and don’t get chapped and flaky the way they used to.)

Lips by Brian – Step by step

Skin Treatment Step – Apply Lip Treatment apply lip treatment

Before (or after) you line, apply Re-Creation Lip Treatment using a brush or a clean finger. Using my Face | Eye Conceal Brush, I apply a small amount of Re-Creation Lip Treatment to the lip surface and around the outside of the lip line (avoiding liner if you’ve lined already).

STEP 1 – Line lips 

how to line and contour lips

If you use a serum or treatment on your lips prior to lining, apply it at the very beginning of your makeup application, so it has time to be absorbed into the skin. If there’s left over serum/treatment around the lips; blot the area with a thin veil of powder to absorb excess product. Now, line your entire lip on the natural lip line. Keep your mouth in a neutral position–neither smiling nor open. After lining the entire mouth, I often apply liner in an upwards squiggly line at the very center bottom of the lower lip. Draw horizontally left to right, and thin the line out as you continue to draw upwards, towards the teeth. This technique makes the lower lip look fuller. A long-wearing, or waterproof liner is great if you have challenges with feathering (when color bleeds into fine lines around the mouth). If you apply waterproof lip liner on the entire lip after lining, your lip color will last all day. Most often I use a lip liner that’s similar to your natural lip or matches the lipstick or gloss.

STEP 2 – Apply lipstick

I use a lip brush but it’s fine to apply straight from the tube. Follow the cupids bow on the top of your mouth, and coat the top and bottom lip with color. When I use a brush, I have greater control to create lip definition and shape. Using a lip brush can also help work the lipstick and liner together; marrying the two products can provide a longer lasting result.

STEP 3 – Gloss 

Use a gloss that is translucent or semi-opaque. Apply a thin layer of gloss over your lipstick using the wand, a brush or your finger. Using gloss adds moisture and gives a look of fullness.  But remember, you don’t have to use liner, lipstick and gloss every day. Some days you’ll use lipstick alone or liner plus a gloss. The most important thing to remember? There isn’t one way to do lips. Liner plus lipstick is a long-wearing combo for days you need your lip color to really stay put. If it’s a casual day, I always suggest my favorite Hyper Gloss shades for stand alone glossy color: Petunia Soft, Noontime, Saddle Glow or Crazy Love.

STEP 4  – Conceal

using concealer to define lips

My final secret step is to apply a very thin layer of concealer around the mouth, just outside the lip line. This technique brightens the entire lip area and gives an appearance of fuller, defined lips. Finger application will be too messy. Be sure to use a concealer brush, it will define the edge of your lips and control the amount of concealer you apply. Less is more! Use a small amount of concealer on a firm brush to clean up the outer edge of the lips. This make your lips pop!

Here are some of my favorite lip colors from my Makeover Workshop line of lipstick, glosses and liners!

All-time favorite go-to neutral lip colors


01 Bliss Perfect soft pink for everyday

02 Peony Close to almost everyone’s natural lip color

03 Ladylike Sheer glossy neutral fawn red, perfect for brunettes, adds richness to blondes lips

18 Bolden Soft beige pink, with a slight shimmer. Glow Baby and Sensual Glow gloss enhances perfectly. Reminds me of MAC Viva Glam 5.

35 rue Rivoli New favorite. I find it can go either berry or neutral red depending on the lip liner I use. S’more and Heather lip liner makes it more of a muted coral/berry tone. Raspberry Lip Liner makes is a bright berry. It’s fun to play around with different lip liners to change the color.


Petunia Soft Hyper Gloss

Glow Baby Hyper Gloss

Sensual Glow Hyper Gloss

Great lipsticks for small thinning lips:

01 Bliss

02 Peony

07 Blur Shimmery light beige silvery soft color

09 Treat Vibrant super creamy soft pinky coral. Great for spring and summer

18 Bolden

35 Rue Rivoli (Susan’s note: what I’m wearing in my headshot photo)

36 Spring Fling One of my new sheer soft neutral pink glossy spring and summer color (Susan’s note: this one is really pretty!!)

Favorite lipstick and glosses with color:


09 Treat

12 Posey

14 Ballroom Hot super creamy violet that works on everyone’s skin. I’m amazed each time I use this lipstick how it brings the face to life and pulls everything together

35 rue Rivoli

38 Cinematheque


Petunia Soft


Crazy Love

Juicy Great for red heads and bold peachy lips

Saddle Glow

Cinnamon Berry

Great nude or very light lip colors:

05 Telling A true nude.

07 Blur

17 Brazen Bronze nude. It has a soft shimmer beautiful on golden skin tones. When a woman is wary of wearing a nude shades I always recommend Brazen. Works on  pretty much everyone.

20 Pretty Belle Nude soft pink for very fair-skinned women. I use this anytime I want to keep the lips light and pretty. Sensual Glow Hyper Gloss is fantastic with this color

39 Marrekesh New favorite nude. Light golden peachy nude. It’s glossy and a perfect summer to fall nude tone.

Favorite Lip liners:




Cinnamon Sugar







Thanks so much, Brian! I’ve also been using the Invisible Long Wear Gel Liner on days when I’m going for a very natural look. It really does help keep the lip color in place!

And here are a couple of gorgeous models, Ruth and Mindy, showing their before and after shots:

make lips look fuller with makeup

creating fuller lips with makeup

Just look at those fabulous smiles!!

If you have any questions for Brian, please ask away. And do check out his schedule of Makeover Workshops, or contact him if you’d be interested in hosting one of your own.

Stay in touch.

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  1. Betty Mae R. Williams
    April 27, 2016 / 4:48 am

    I would love a tutorial on using foundation and blush to provide a smooth, dewy look. I find that as I age, my skin tends to look dry, even with moisturizer.

    • Susan
      April 27, 2016 / 9:14 am

      I have the same problem as you. When I use a richer moisturizer, my skin just looks shiny, if I use a moisture enriched foundation it seems to soak into my skin, even with the use of primer.

    • April 27, 2016 / 1:19 pm

      Betty, hi this is Brian from Makeover Workshop, I come across this challenge with many of my Makeup Party participants. The steps I use on the skin really help to keep the skin looking fresh, dewy and more youthful. I follow my skin approach almost EVERY time I do a woman with more mature skin. I layer these skincare faves each time in this order… Skin Refreshing Spray, Moisture Glow, Liquid Mineral Tint and Booming Cheeky Glow Blush. Everything I use is a creme. If I need extra moisture I’ll add my Super All-day Moisture Creme in addition to Moisture Glow. Its great to use Eye and Lip Treatments to plump up those areas with added moisture. Its all about keeping the skin plumped my moisture replenishing products.

  2. sandypatti
    April 27, 2016 / 6:05 am

    Wonderful tips here. I tend to smooth on my lipstick and go, but when I have a few extra minutes, this looks well worth it! xox


  3. April 27, 2016 / 6:57 am

    I fill in my little lines above my mouth with plain, original Chapstick. It works just like a blur and is tons less expensive. Then I “line” my lips with Mally’s “On The Fence”, a little waxy pen that keeps the lipstick from bleeding. THEN I go over THAT with NYX wonderstick. THEN I apply my lipcolor. I’ve written about this a few times on my blog:
    I especially want to thank you profusely for using real mature women as part of this post!!!!

  4. sybes1
    April 27, 2016 / 7:36 am

    This is fabulous Susan. Thank you! It made me go back to take a second look at the tutorial on ‘hooded eyes’. I keep trying to get away with less makeup b/c I find that too much gives me a mask-like look that shouts ‘OLD’. Well, shouts it to me, I guess. (not very objective) Maybe I just need to develop a lighter touch. And I agree with Betty Mae R. Williams that a tutorial on attaining a dewy look would be great. Thanks again–great post!

    • April 27, 2016 / 1:22 pm

      I’ll do a tutorial using my layer tips and techniques for creating fresh dewy skin. Check out what I posted above! Thanks Brian

  5. April 27, 2016 / 9:09 am

    Just look at what a little make up can do to those pretty ladies…WOW!
    I like the tips on thinning lips too thank you.

    • April 27, 2016 / 1:23 pm

      Thanks! I love doing what I do. I’m so glad you love the Makeup How-to’s. Brian

  6. Susan
    April 27, 2016 / 9:12 am

    Tried all those tricks, but fillers were magic.

  7. Alison Palmer Bourke
    April 27, 2016 / 10:19 am

    I’ve recently fallen in love with bright colored lipsticks (full disclosure, I work with Brian at MW). I wore almost NO makeup when I started at Makeover Workshop last year, and now I wear at the very least a little lipstick and concealer every day. My favorite lip colors right now are Peony – which makes me feel stylish and like I’m 21 again; and Berry Squeeze, which is my new everyday color for spring. I feel like it makes me look happy 🙂
    If you told me I’d be wearing (and loving) a cheek color called Blooming and pink lipsticks a year ago, I would have laughed you out of the room. Yet here I am 😉

  8. Mumbai
    April 27, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Wow…Ruth and Mindy, how they changed their appearane. Just gorgeous….even if I know these tricks for lips and use it with a little success, I don’t know this lip treatment and the waterproof lip liner and will try it and hope it helps feathering

    • April 27, 2016 / 1:24 pm

      Glad to hear your give some of the tips & tricks a try. Love hearing you enjoy the tutorial. Brian

  9. Nora
    April 28, 2016 / 8:25 am

    Can you tell me what foundation you used on the last lady pictured. Her “before” picture looks a lot like I look – some rosacea with red spots. Thanks. Nora

  10. Violeta Kelertas
    April 29, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    I don’t know how you do it, une femme, you are so often picking on things I need help with it. I bought 3 items, waiting for them to arrive. My Rosebud salve, which I loved, just hasn’t been moist enough, so I really was thinking of lip liner and something new and richer. Hope this will do the trick. I am hopeful. Will let you know. Thanks so much for your blog and all best wishes in your complicated life.

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