What Your Lip Print Says About You

Illustrated by Alex Marino.
We all know how annoying it is to get lipstick marks off our coffee mugs and to leave behind the shadow of a kiss on our S.O.’s cheek. Usually we just wipe it clean, but according to lip expert Anna Snodgrass, we should leave those prints alone. They may reveal more than you think.

Believe it or not, there's a field of experts who specialize in lipsology and analyze lip prints. Similar to zodiac signs and palmistry, there's a hidden meaning behind your mark, says Snodgrass, one of just six certified lipsologists in the world. But unlike the first two categories, which look at your future and stay relatively constant throughout your life, your lip print reveals your personality at the moment. "Your print changes based on your energy levels, your emotions, and what’s going on in your life," Snodgrass explains. "I’ve seen [a person] before and after a job interview or a tennis match, and the prints change."

To help you read your own lip silhouette at home, we broke down the practice into six common categories: size, shape, color intensity, stress lines, position, and fullness. Each speaks to different aspects of a lip print and unique personality traits like compassion, frugality, and more. But before you dive in, you’ll need to make your print. Slick on your favorite lipstick (we're feeling the rich, bold shades in Burt's Bees' lineup), and kiss a piece of paper. You can do one print or several if you want a larger sample to look at, says Snodgrass. That’s it — apply and pucker up. So, are you ready to give "read my lips" a new meaning?
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
One of the first ways to read your lip print is to look at the size. While it’s natural to assume that if you have small lips, you’d have a small print, Snodgrass says there's actually no correlation. "I've seen people with very full lips give tiny prints and people with very thin lips give voluptuous ones."

Small: Measuring 1 to 1 3/4 inches wide and 3/4 to 1 1/16 inches tall, this size means you’re detail-oriented, well-organized, and efficient." This person wants to get a job done with accurate, careful precision," says Snodgrass.

Medium: Prints that are between 1 3/4 and 2 1/2 inches wide and 7/8 and 1 3/4 inches tall are considered medium size. These people are jugglers — and they’re good at it. "They don’t like to keep busy in just one area of life, they like to be busy in all areas," Snodgrass explains. For example, maintaining a balanced work life, a healthy romantic relationship, and regular exercise.

Large: Anything more than 2 1/4 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches tall is considered a large print. Predictably, this personality is very much about being large and in charge. "You like to do things big, and you like to do things right," says Snodgrass. Basically, you go big or go home.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
There are four main shape categories: triangle, diamond, rectangle, and oval. To start, roughly analyze your pout. If there are three distinct corners, it's triangular; if it's pointy at the top and bottom, it's a diamond; if it's boxy with four corners, it's considered a rectangle; and if there are no corners, an oval.

Triangle: Mentors and teachers fall into this group of behind-the-scenes people who push others to succeed. "They recognize other people's skills and abilities and help them recognize it themselves," Snodgrass says. "These people often put themselves in situations where they can make a difference in others' lives."

Diamond: Those with diamond-shaped prints are invested in helping others succeed, but they also push for their own success. Think of them as the quintessential team players. "This person is not going to succeed without others coming with them," Snodgrass explains. They're perfectly suited to be mentors and philanthropists.

Rectangle: Snodgrass compares people who fall into this category to grandparents, because they're the type to help you out in any situation. Need to borrow money? They’ll front you some cash. Need to find a tailor? They’ll point you in the right direction.

Oval: Those with an oval print may live by the motto "Don't worry, be happy." This group shies away from arguments, controversy, or drama. Basically, they just want life to roll smoothly.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
This next category has nothing to do with the shade of your lipstick (though Burt's Bees Lipstick in Fuchsia Flood is particularly pretty) or how hard you kiss the paper. Rather, it has to do with the intensity of the print itself, says Snodgrass. Is there a solid swath of color, or is it almost nonexistent? "From my perspective, this [difference in color] has to do with the amount of energy a person has," explains Snodgrass. The more energy you have, the deeper the color appears in your print and vice versa.

Opaque & Even: If the color on both your upper and lower lip print is mostly solid and strong, you’ve got a high amount of energy. This personality is like a cheerleader for the winning team, bouncing off the walls (err, court?) with tons of enthusiasm.

Ghost-Like & Colorless: On the opposite side of the continuum, a person with a pale, almost-white print has zero energy. "They’re exhausted, they’re running on empty, and they need their batteries recharged." (Or a really long nap.)
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Defined as the white vertical lines that stretch from the inside to the outside of your print — but not to be confused with wrinkles — stress lines signify exactly what you'd guess they would. The more lines you have, the more stress you're dealing with at the moment. And the direction, says Snodgrass, reflects the source of that stress.

On The Upper Lip: The stress stems from outside factors that you can’t control, like things happening at work or when you're dealing with bumper-to-bumper traffic. No matter how much you try, the only thing you can do with this type of stress is to ride out the wave.

On The Lower Lip: This type of stress comes from a situation you can control, like the state of your apartment or amount of dishes piled in the kitchen sink.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
When you look at your print, you'll see some amount of white space between your upper and lower lips. This is referred to as the position of your print and suggests how open- or close-minded you are (at least today).

Open Lips: If there's white space between the corners of the upper and lower lips, it can infer that a person is open and ready to jump into things headfirst, be it a passion project at work or a new social activity. The farther apart the lips, the more open and receptive a person may be.

Closed Lips: If there’s no white space between the upper and lower lips, it can indicate stubbornness. However, Snodgrass says she often sees this print accompanied by open ones from the same person, meaning he or she is willing to try new things but will proceed with caution.
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Illustrated by Alex Marino.
Snodgrass breaks this final category down into four indicators, analyzing the upper and lower lips separately for thinness or fullness.

Thin Upper Lips: Think of this person as your cookie-cutter perfectionist. They can be picky, and they like things done or said in a very particular way.

Thin Lower Lips: Those with thin lower lips are very detail-oriented, especially when it comes to finance, says Snodgrass. They're careful with money and good with numbers, veering into frugality.

Full Upper Lips: Compassionate and great listeners, these are the people others turn to in upsetting situations. In other words, they have strong shoulders to cry on.

Full Lower Lips: This person is typically generous and expressive. They like to share their ideas whether it’s through dancing, writing, speaking, or even performing.
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