Skip to main content
Ask the experts

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Lip Make Up

Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert9 months ago
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
close up of pink lips

When it comes to the best lip make up, our lips are far from sealed. Brimming with a plethora of cosmetic must-haves, the lip category includes everything from lipsticks and pencils to balms, oils and more. Transforming your look with a single swipe, pout perfectors withstand the test of time.  

Don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. That’s why here at Cult Beauty we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the best lip make up – uncovering everything from how to determine your lip shape to what products you should be adding to your next beauty haul.  


It might seem obvious but, just so we cover all basis: lip make up describes a collection of cosmetics used around your (you guessed it) lips, to enhance their overall look. Want to know more about each product type and what they do? Well, head over to our Ultimate Make Up Guide to answer your most commonly asked questions…


Before we dive into the basics of how to use lip make up, it’s essential to get up close and personal with your pout – by that, we mean figuring out what lip shape you have and how to enhance it. Lips come in all shapes and sizes: there are full lips, thin lips, wide lips, and everything in between — and they should all be embraced in their own way. 

Not too sure which category yours fall into? Don’t worry, we have your chaps covered… Simply, scroll down to find your silhouette.


While full lips may look different on everybody, the principle of this silhouette stays the same. In short, they refer to pouts that are evenly plump on the top and bottom. Some might say they’re perfectly proportioned. 

Lip make up tips: Lip glosses are a great way to accentuate your pillowy pout, and if you’re wanting more definition, dab highlighter on your cupid’s bow to emphasis the natural V-shape. Then, follow with a subtle sweep of lip liner to sharpen your corners. Chef’s kiss… 


Doing what they say on the tin, top heavy lips are distinguished by their fuller upper half. Another easy way to identify them is with their unpronounced cupid’s bow.  

Lip make up tips: If you want to level out your top-heavy lips, we recommend grabbing your liner and carefully outlining the bottom half, slightly outside your natural line – this will create the illusion of a bigger and bolder pout. To finish, fill them with colour, using a darker shade on your upper lip so it appears slightly smaller.  


Renowned for their cheek-to-cheek smile, wide lips are typically longer than they are fuller. Often extended on the edges and bigger than the rest of your facial features, they are characterised by the breadth of the mouth.  

Lip make up tips: For those who would like to make their lips fuller, take a lighter shade of lipstick or gloss and dab it in the centre of your pout. This will bring more attention to the middle of your chaps while adding a pop off poutiness.  

a fair skinned and medium skinned model with coloured lips


If your top and bottom lips are the same width all the way around, then you mostly likely have round lips. Good news! This means that more often than not, they will also have a natural pout to them. Plus, your cupids bow will be very soft too.  

Lip make up tips: To shine the spotlight on your lip’s silhouette, use a liner to extend your line at the corners before bringing it down to the middle. This will increase the curve considerably. Or, if you have smaller round lips, opt for a light or transparent colour over darker lip tints as they will allow them to appear larger.  


Just like your top-heavy lips, but in reverse, bottom-heavy lips are – you guessed it – when your lower half is fuller than the top. What’s more, it’s the second most common silhouette (after a full pout) too! 

Lip make up tips: To sculpt this shape, it’s best to move away from lip make up and turn to your complexion heroes – we’re talking your firm-favourite foundation or concealer. If you’re looking to minimise the lower lip after you've accentuated the top lip, take a concealer and mute out areas you don't want to see. Then, use your liner to create the silhouette you want.  


Whether you have naturally thin lips, or your pout has started to delate with age, this silhouette is often compressed, but in line with the rest of your facial features. While your chops may be limited, your overall lip curve can be extended compared to other types.  

Lip make up tips: For those you would prefer a fuller finish, fear not, there are many ways that you can create the illusion of thick lips. A good starting point? Use a face powder to contour your outline and give the impression of shadowing on your skin. Then, the fun begins. Cue: Lip pencils. Bolster your shape by using your liner to overline. For the best results, we recommend focusing on creating more height in the centre, and then connecting them back to your natural edges. You can also use a lighter neutral skin-coloured eyeshadow in the centre of the lip to create an ombre effect. This boosts a more voluminous look. Finish by applying a light-coloured lip plumper. 


Heart-shaped lips fuse a pronounced cupid's bow with a sharp bottom lip. Just like all lip shapes, their exact outline may vary between person to person, but the common denominator here is the defined V-shaped bow.  

Lip make up tips: Bring more attention to the heart-shape silhouette by popping a smudge of highlighter on the cupid’s bow. Or, if you want to deter away from the contour, simply blur out any sharp edges by blending your colour.  


Aptly named, bow-shaped lips have a pronounced cupid's bow that is full in size and resembles a bow tie (get the reference now?). While the bottom lip may not come to a defined point, you can use the same tricks as heart-shaped lips to highlight or soften the middle of your V.  

Lip make up tips:Starting at the cupid's bow, with your liner draw along the line of your lips, going ever-so-slightly outside the line for a fuller look. For a pouty effect, only overline the center of your top and bottom lips. 


Downturned pouts tend to have a subtle dip at the corners. This usually happens as the lower lip is naturally smaller than the top. An easy way to find out if you have this silhouette is to see if the corners meet or not – if you discover the latter than you most probably have downturned lips.  

Lip make up tips: The key takeaway here is to fill in the corners of your lips with colour. Taking your preferred shade, apply the pigment outwards and upwards. Then, for optimum results take a darker liner to create a shadow and define your bottom lip’s silhouette.  


From your everyday nudes to rebellious red hues, BYREDO’s Lipstick has a shade to suit every occasion and mood. Powerfully pigmented, these nourishing formulas sit comfortably on your lips and stay put all day (or night) long. But that’s not all; they help perfect your pout and are also housed in luxurious silver and gold packaging – granting them prime position on your vanity table too! 


A lavish lipstick you’ll never want to be without, Guerlain’s Rouge G Luxurious Velvet 16h Wear High Pigmentation Velvet Matte Lipstick is inspired by the reflections of butterfly wings. Reinventing the brand’s signature colours, this iteration fuses a velvety texture with a bold, metallic, matte finish.  


Serving up the shine of a gloss with the comforting feel of a balm, Tower 28 Beauty's ShineOn Lip Jelly is the multitasking marvel you didn’t know you needed, until now. Enveloping your lips in enviable volume and gleam, this dew-drenching formula is dreamt up from a unique blend of five nourishing oils, ranging from apricot and avocado to raspberry and more.  


The ultimate triple threat, Saie's Glossy Bounce Hydrating Lip Oil acts as your new go-to oil, gloss and balm. Coating your lips in a covetable veil, this multitasking must-have blends jojoba oil with hyaluronic acid to provide a tidal wave of hydration, while locking in essential moisture. Plus, alongside its dew-delivering powers, it signs off with a reflective sheen that is ready to rival all other lip lacquers.  


No matter what shape you’re trying to achieve, VIEVE’s Modern Lip Definer has your pout covered! Helping you cheat your lip shape or accentuate its natural silhouette, this lip liner delivers a creamy formula that’s easily blended and highly pigmented. Oh, and did we mention it’s available in 11 various hues too? Impressive we know! 


Delicately tinted to give lips a sheer, soft and natural-looking sign off, Westman Atelier’s Squeaky Clean Liquid Lip Balms strikes the perfect balance between balms, oils, glosses and tints. With a nourishing blend of jojoba, almond oil and argan oils, this weightless treatment imparts a pillowy sheen while providing on-the-go colour.  


Now you know about the best lip make up, it’s time to pucker up and perfect you pout. Alexa play ‘Lipstick’ by Ariel Pink…  

Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.