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TikTok’s Lip Lift Trick Plumped My Lips (Without A Needle In Sight)

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TikTok's makeup hacks range from game-changing (it turns out freezing your Beauty Blender is actually legit) to the downright ridiculous (like drawing a pair of glasses on your face with concealer to mask dark circles — weird but it works). This week, nothing has achieved viral status quite like the lip lift trick, which promises beautifully shaped, plump lips without injectables or anything of the sort. All you need is a great lip pencil.

My liplift technique went viral! Here’s how I do it #mariosLipLift #makeupbymario #lipliftbymario

♬ Lovin It Good-JP - Bold Eagle
The lip lift hack was dreamed up by none other than Kardashian makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic and it doesn't encourage you to slather on any of those painful lip-plumping glosses or use scary microneedling tools — both of which are incredibly popular on TikTok right now. The process is simple: begin at the top lip and apply your lip pencil as normal but instead of over-lining, keep within the shape of your lips at each side. When you reach your Cupid's bow, that's when to stencil above your natural lip line. Then start lining directly underneath your bottom lip, a little bit away from your natural line. When you reach the sides, keep within the line once again.
"Do not over-line the corners because you're going to droop your face down," said Mario in his TikTok video, explaining a mistake plenty of us might make when using a lip pencil. "Instead, this is going to give you an instant lift." Using his Makeup by Mario Ultra Suede Sculpting Lip Pencil, Mario took the custom brush on the end and applied a little foundation or concealer to the corners of the mouth to make the lips super sharp. This is optional but Mario explains that it gives lips even more of an enhanced, lifted look. You can even take the brush and blend the liner into the actual lips to give them a fuller dimension.

@makeupbymario dropping the tea for that lip lifting effect! What do we think? #makeupbymario #liphack #lipstickhack

♬ original sound - Serena Lakkiss
Though Mario's video is currently doing numbers, he isn't the only one to make waves with the technique. TikTokers such as @serenalakkiss and @blueeyedcai are also sold on the trick, with 60.3k views and an enormous 561.5k views respectively. If TikTok's beauty enthusiasts are to be believed, the result is perky, sculpted and plump lips naturally. As a makeup obsessive, I had to give it a go, to see whether it works IRL or just on camera. Before I get into the nitty-gritty, though, I think it's important to say that the shape and size of your lips are all down to genetics. At R29 we want you to feel comfortable in your own skin but if social media is anything to go by, lips can be an insecurity for some. Personally, I like to use lip liner to elevate, not completely change the size of my lips, and a great nude lipstick pulls a painstakingly applied beauty look together.
Intrigued, I picked up the Morphe x Ashley Strong Lip Pencil in Gilded Spirit, and the Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Runway Royalty, two classic nude shades which create that coveted '90s lip look. I started at the top but instead of going straight in at the Cupid's bow, I used my lip pencil to stencil the sides, keeping within the line rather than over-lining like I usually do. Once I reached the Cupid's bow, I traced above my natural lip shape and went over it a couple of times for extra definition. My lips were instantly better defined and looked pillowy. Impressed, I moved on to my bottom lip, drawing quite a thick line at the base and a thinner one connecting that at the sides — again, keeping within my natural lip shape. It's up to you whether you want to shade inside the lip using the liner (I did for extra volume). A slick of lipstick or gloss makes for a finishing touch.
As a beauty editor, I thought I knew exactly how to apply makeup — but I think I've been lining my lips all wrong. The finished result didn't appear to be overdone or too much (as I thought it would), nor did my lips look slightly slumped as is often the case with lots of liner, which drags them down. Instead, my lips were given an ample boost à la Kourtney Kardashian or Megan Fox. I can totally see why celebrity makeup artists are obsessed with the hack. I've actually done it every day since discovering it.
If you're not quite sure what to use, TikTok is in love with Mario's namesake lip liner collection (which now ships to the UK and features a little brush on the end of each pencil for clean-ups). I swear by the Victoria Beckham Lip Definer, which is easy to use and stays put all day long. If you're after a classic nude lip, it has to be MAC's Lip Pencil, which is available in a wealth of shades to suit all skin tones, like Stripdown (tawny nude), Soar (pink nude) and Mahogany (deep mauve).

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