Sans syringe, makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen schools us on the art of creating a plumper pout.
Film by EMI BELL
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Don’t get us wrong: we’re all for bold experimentation. But is there anything scarier than overly aggressive lip liner? Like the kind that’s going for “pillowy” but lands squarely at “duck-billed”? Not to mention, of course, that going the injectable route poses its own risks vis-a-vis subtlety. So are thin lips a chronic condition for those in pursuit of understated enhancement?
Actually not at all, says Matthew VanLeeuwen. The makeup artist is no stranger to creating full (not fake) looking lips. Exhibit A: Salma Hayek’s plump, plum-colored pout at last weekend’s Oscars ceremony. We asked VanLeeuwen to devise a three-step process for creating the illustion of plumper lips—but like, the kind that come from good genes and not from a syringe. With the help of Lara Worthington—the Australian model and entrepreneur is a recent LA-transplant—the makeup artist reveals how to create full-but-still-natural-looking lips at home. So go practice your pout.
Using the Chanel Le Crayon, VanLeeuwen then contoured the center of the bottom, but he notes not to “take it edge to edge.” “I feel like it looks too done when you go from corner to corner,” he says. “This way I am just creating that lift in the center. After the pencil, I come back with the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick and blend the two together so the edges are seamless.”
One of VanLeeuwen’s favorite tricks is to use a shimmery pencil at the bow and the center of the lower lip to give a “pulled-out” feel. “Each step can be used to create fullness,” he says, “but when you do it all together, it gives an effortless, natural-looking fullness.”