Classic Kevyn Aucoin Makeup Lesson #2: Shaping Lips


 Lisa Marie Presley as Marilyn Monroe (from Making Faces, 1997, Little, Brown and Company)

In this exclusive series, we’re celebrating the work and life of one of the most celebrated makeup artists of all time, the late Kevyn Aucoin. Kevyn was known for making application techniques accessible to everyone, perhaps nowhere more so than in his two most famous how-to books, Making Faces and Face Forward_. From those tomes, we’ve adapted four basic makeup lessons. Follow along with part 2 to learn about shaping lips, in Kevyn’s own words. _

About Lip Shaping

The mouth is an immediate attention getter and the effect lipstick can have on creating the right mood is amazing. I have two methods for mouths: I often use lip liner, filling in the entire mouth with one color, or I gradate from a solid color at the outer edges of the lips and fade into nothing in the middle.  

6 Classic Lip Shapes

Changing your lip shape with a lip brush and pencil can very subtly or dramatically alter the look of your lips and face. Following your natural lip shape is only one option ... remember, all of your facial features become malleable with makeup.

LIPS TIP #1: If you choose to reshape the mouth, a bit of concealer covering the natural lip line will help make the finished shape look more realistic.

[above, l-r] GLAMOUR GIRL: Fifties, all the way. Marilyn would overdraw the top lip to heighten its seductiveness; UNI-LIP: No peaks on top lip, full and voluptuous, very Naomi Campbell and Kate Hepburn; BEE-STUNG: Takes its name from the look of a real bee sting welt (early '20s)

[above, l-r] THE SMEAR: Drawn outside the peaks of the top lip. Very dramatic, à la Joan Crawford, ‘40s; CUPID’S BOW: Exaggerated and feminine, curves drawn inside and out of natural lip lines; “BONNIE PARKER”: More of a naturally occurring shape rather than the one drawn in. Late ’60s née Faye Dunaway.

LIPS TIP #2: I personally prefer to line the lips with a neutral lip pencil, even if the lip color over that is a bright shade. This way, the finished mouth looks more natural and if the color fades or is “chewed” off, the layer underneath isn’t bright orange or red. Lining the lips also helps to prevent your lipstick from bleeding.

_Read more about Kevyn’s life here and see some of his most famous work here. _