Ways to make thin lips look fuller 

full lips
By Elis Marcu 19th April 2021 Category: Advice

The lips are symbols of sensuality, with new aesthetic trends and shifting perceptions of beauty making fuller lips a desired trait. Lip size is an indicator of genetics and age, where thinner, smaller lips can be passed down through families and eventually lose even more volume throughout the years.  

There is help for thin lips, in the form of aesthetic treatments, at-home remedies and makeup tricks, meaning that anyone can enhance their lip area. 

How to make thin lips look bigger

Fuller lips can be achieved through a variety of natural and cosmetic treatments. The most popular, natural way to increase volume into the lip area is by learning how to correctly contour your lips with makeup

Makeup has amazing powers when creating the illusion of a fuller lip and most makeup artists would agree that when done correctly, no one will ever know. Most of the things required to create a full lip are usually found in your makeup bag. All you need is a lip liner, lipstick, a lip brush, highlighter and gloss (a plumping lip gloss would be ideal). 

Exfoliating and applying lip balm is the essential first step when creating a bold lip. Dry lips obstruct a seamless lipstick application and may look less fuller than hydrated, smooth lips. 

The second step is knowing the right colours and choosing shades that will facilitate the look you want to achieve. There is a common misconception that darker lip colours, like crimsons, plums and blacks, actually make the lips look smaller. This may be because block colours attract attention to the lip area, so if you are self-conscious of your lip size, you may want to avoid these shades.

However, bold colours with creamy, matte and satin finishes give the lips a subtle, natural shine – which can still make thin lips look good. A benefit of matte, satin and creamy finishes is that they provide a lasting fullness, which is crucial when creating a bigger lip.

Other complementary, safer colours are natural shades such as light pinks, nudes, rose, champagne and corals. Before lining your lips, choose two slightly different hues, similar to your natural lip colour. This will help you achieve a natural, subtly enhanced lip look.

A useful tip when using lip liner to create definition is to buff the lips from the inside out to make the lip look as convincing as possible. You want to use little circular motions and bring the colour slightly outside your natural shape. Smiling helps to follow your lip line evenly around the mouth. 

As lip liners have a waxy texture, they promise longevity. Afterwards, use a clean lip brush to smoothen the lines and encourage a solid hold. Once completed, you can go in with the lipstick, carefully following the line you made. Use a second, brighter colour on the centre of the lip to add more fullness.

The next step is to use gloss, either a lip gloss or a plumping lipstick. By adding a plumping dimension to the lip, you will benefit from increased volume and shine. Add a small amount of highlighter on your Cupid’s bow and just underneath the bottom lip, on the indentation between the lip and the skin. 

Plumping lip glosses are popular choices for creating a fuller lip and they work because of their mild irritant properties. They temporarily cause the blood to rush to the surface of the skin, giving a plumper, larger lip.  


Self massage can promote blood circulation in the lip area, which may help to improve firmness and the overall appearance of the lips. There are a range of massages that stimulate the lips and may temporarily boost volume. Below are few easy ones: 

  • Gently press your fingertips into the lip area – this works to improve circulation and bring the blood vessels to the surface
  • Place both index fingers at the corner of your lips and gently stretch the lips, hold for ten seconds each time
  • Pinch the lips with your thumb and forefinger and hold for twenty seconds 
  • Pout your lips ten times

Repetition is key with face and lip massages and although their efficacy is disputed, by improving circulation in the lips and stimulating blood flow, collagen can be produced. This means that the production of skin firming proteins in the lips can be increased to achieve the desired plumping effect (even temporarily). 

Temporary home remedies and products

Using a dry toothbrush to frequently exfoliate the lips may help promote a volumized lip appearance. Electric lip brushes are also available to purchase if you prefer a less abrasive approach. Certain ingredients found in the home can be used as lip scrubs and when combined with the toothbrush approach, they can help increase lip fullness. 

Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper and cinnamon can be used as natural lip exfoliators and plumpers. Peppermint oil is a natural circulation enhancer and the organic, strong ingredients found in peppermint, cayenne pepper and cinnamon (responsible for the tingling sensation), make the lips swell and look larger. 

Purchasing products with hyaluronic acid or collagen boosting contents can also help stimulate plumpness and firmness. These products can be in the form of serums, oils, lip masks and supplements. 

If you already have thin lips, taking preventative measures against the future loss of lip volume is essential. When we are young, we have an abundance of hyaluronic acid and collagen, yet as we get older, these levels become depleted, causing the decrease of lip fullness. 

With all the above approaches, permanency is not assured. If you are seeking ways to improve the appearance of thin or thinning lips, a professional treatment path may be for you.

Professional lip treatments for fuller lips

There are two main lip augmentation treatments to help make the lips look fuller, enhance their natural shape, create definition and make them bigger with natural looking outcomes.

Lip fillers are a popular aesthetic treatment that works instantly to create a fuller lip. Your practitioner will inject a solution made from hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body that is used to firm and plump the skin. Lip fillers can be used to help achieve a natural, defined lip or correct any asymmetry. 

Dermal fillers are a broad treatment which works to increase volume, fullness and enhance facial features. It can be used to treat a range of skin concerns, from wrinkles to loss of volume, thanks to its anti-ageing and rejuvenating qualities. 

Key takeaways

  • Makeup, lip plumping products, scrubs and lip massages can only temporarily give you a fuller lip
  • Your genetics and age can influence the volume of your lips
  • Skincare products containing hyaluronic acid and collagen are essential in helping increase and maintain lip volume 
  • Lip fillers and dermal fillers can help you achieve your desired shape, fullness and definition with natural outcomes

Need help?

At sk:n, our experts use a selection of lip fillers including Juvéderm® Ultra so that we can make sure we deliver the best results possible for you. Your lip fillers consultation will be with a doctor who will assess your lips and determine the most appropriate form of treatment.

Find your nearest clinic and book an appointment today!

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