Some people might make assumptions about you based on your lip shape, but mainly lip shape is a determinant of attractiveness.
Typically, lip symmetry is more important than lip shape. Men and women often look better when their upper and lower lips are even, but it may still look good if the lower lip is fuller. What looks most attractive for you will depend on your facial features, ethnicity, etc.
Why Does My Lip Shape Matter?
The mouth is one of the first facial features that people notice. People have preferences for lip shape. Many people will agree that lip shape can enhance the face. The exact lip shape preference tends to vary culturally.
If you want people to imagine what it’s like to kiss you, you have to have a desirable lip shape.
Ideal Female Lip Shape
When it comes to what is generally considered the most attractive lip shape, it is not actually a shape. Most people agree that they prefer lip symmetry over the actual shape of the lips.
One study shows that most people preferred women with lips with a 1.0:1.0 ratio, meaning that a balance between the upper and lower lip was the most attractive (Heidekrüger et al., 2017). The survey takers came from 35 different countries, and about 60% of them stated they prefer a 1:1 ratio.
The study found that there were no differences in respect to lip ratio preference and self-reported ethnicity. The study did notice that there were preferences for a lower lip size when they analyzed subgroups.
The second most popular lip shape for women is a full lower lip; the exact ratio can differ, but ideally, the lower lip needs to be larger than the upper lip. An excellent example of that is Kylie Jenner. She used lip fillers to achieve her pout, which is one of her most well-known and sought after features.
As for the lips’ features, one of the most requested features most doctors get is to enhance lip shape is a well-defined cupid’s bow. An excellent example of a celebrity with an ideal cupid’s bow is Taylor Swift.
While a full upper lip and a cupid’s bow are preferred in women, a full upper lip can be great as well. A natural trout pout occurs when the top lip is heavier, slightly offsetting the symmetry. However, it would be best to emphasize the “natural” aspect because it can easily look overdone.
While cupid’s bows are often sought-after by women, that does not mean the opposite is completely undesirable. Some women request to get a “flat upper lip” like Julia Roberts.
Men’s Lip Shape
For men’s lip shape, there are not many studies available compared to women’s lip shape. However, there tends to be an agreement over which lip shapes are attractive on men. Thin lip shapes with a mouth that doesn’t look overly wise will be attractive on most guys.
Additionally, having thin lips with a slightly larger lower lip can be attractive. An excellent example of this would be Robert Pattinson.
If the lips are somewhat thin yet veer on the pouty side, it can be attractive as well. However, that is given that the other facial features are masculine. For instance, Jensen Ackles has thin yet pouty lips, but his overall masculine features make it work.
Of course, lip shape and how flattering it can be can vary depending on your ethnicity. For instance, a pair of full lips can look good on men who are African. Take Michael B. Jordan, for example:
Some Asian men may also look good with somewhat full lips, but it may look a bit off-putting on most Caucasian men. As stated earlier, full lips can still look good as long as the man’s overall features are masculine.
While extremely thin lips may not be ideal, even for men, that does not always mean they are bad. Some men may be able to work thin lips. For instance, George Clooney was often considered the sexiest man alive, but he has very thin lips.
Does Lip Shape Change?
Like the rest of your body, your lip shape changes with age. Our lips are very susceptible to change, so it may be a clear sign that you are getting older if you notice that your lips look different.
The skin’s structure slowly breaks down with age, causing the skin to wrinkle, sag, become frail, etc. Lips have a fragile outer layer. The outer layer gets thinner as each year passes.
Our lip’s skin structure gives it its shape, which is normally full and plump. However, time takes a toll on the structure, causing your lips to become thinner and less defined. The corners of your mouth are likely to droop, and you may lose definition in your cupid’s bow, too.
Age can also cause vertical lines or “lip wrinkles” on lips, particularly on the upper lip. Smokers often notice vertical lines on their lips earlier in their lives.
Is There A Way to Prevent Signs of Aging in My Lips?
Avoid Sun Exposure
Excessive sun exposure can make your lips dry, crack, darker, age, etc. Ideally, it would be best if you avoid direct sunlight as often as possible.
However, you should still take extra precautions. UV rays can still reach you and damage your skin and lips, even if you are indoors. You can wear a lip balm with sun protection to keep your lips protected; another bonus is that lip balm will help keep your lips moisturized.
You can wear a lip balm with at least SPF 30 daily to prevent sun damage. How often you should reapply the lip balm can vary, but every 2-4 hours is a safe estimation. You may need to reapply the lip balm more frequently if you frequently lick your lips, after you eat a meal, etc.
We know that smoking is bad for our health; it can ruin your lungs, gums, etc. However, smoking can also speed up your lip’s aging process.
Firstly, smoking makes your skin lose elasticity. The chemicals in cigarettes damage elastin and collagen, which maintains your skin’s structure and elasticity. Your lips are made of skin, so your lips will also “break down” from smoking like the rest of your skin.
Secondly, nicotine makes your blood vessels shrink and become narrow, decreasing your blood flow and depriving your skin of nutrients and oxygen. Nicotine and tar exposure, along with reduced blood flow, causes uneven and darker gums and lips. The colors can vary from black, dark brown, purple, and it may look blotchy.
Smoking can also cause “smoker’s lips.” Each time you smoke a cigarette, you pucker your lips, and the heat and smoke from the cigarette lead to the “lip wrinkles” mentioned earlier.
Other than quitting smoking and wearing a protective and moisturizing lip balm, you need to stay hydrated. You can slather as much lip balm as you want, but your lips will not be fully moisturized until you drink enough water.
How much water you need to drink depends on your weight and height. For instance, a woman who is 5’6” and 120 pounds should drink around 60 ounces of water per day. You may also need to increase your water intake if you are physically active or live in a hot or humid climate.
Keep in mind that these tips mostly serve as a way to prevent damage to your lips, not reverse it. If your lips have signs of “wear and tear,” you can use a cosmetic procedure to enhance them quickly.
How to Enhance Your Lips
Makeup is a fantastic way to enhance your lip shape, especially if you love to wear lipstick or lipgloss. For instance, many women also like to add a dash of shiny lip gloss in the middle of their bottom lip to make it look larger. Additionally, lip liner can go an extremely long way.
Look at the chart above: the dotted lines can give you a rough idea of where you should line your lips to achieve your desired shape. For example, “overlining” your bottom lip and filling the space with lipstick, and blending the lines into your lipstick can make your bottom lip look fuller.
You can also use a lip liner to create a cupid’s bow. Of course, you may need to adjust the tips from the guide above accordingly to suit your specific needs.
Colors can also have an impact on your lip size. Typically, lighter colors tend to make lips look fuller, while darker colors can make lips look smaller.
One of the most common procedures for lip augmentation is lip fillers. Lip fillers help you achieve larger, plumper lips. Celebrities who got lip fillers include Kylie Jenner, Charlotte Crosby, Scarlett Moffatt, and Ellie Goulding.
The materials for lip fillers can vary, but typically they are made from natural ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Since they are usually made of natural materials, they will fade over time because your body will “absorb” them. Most lip fillers will last for 6-12 months.
Like hyaluronic acid fillers, most fillers can add structure, shape, and volume to your lips. Most lip filler procedures are quick and often have little to no downtime after. Another bonus is that you will see immediate results.
You may need to avoid lip products for a few days (or as instructed by your doctor). You may have minimal side effects, like slight bruising, swelling, bleeding from injection sites, etc. However, they typically go away after 2-3 days.
If you want to add volume to your lips permanently, you can opt for lip implants. People can get “plastic” implants made of materials like silicone, which we do not recommend. Other implant procedures, like fat grafting and tissue grafting, tend to look more natural.
The surgery typically takes around half an hour to complete. Your recovery may only take 1-3 days, but your doctor may give you after-care instructions to follow for two weeks post-surgery.
If you want to decrease your lips’ size, then lip reduction is the procedure for you. It can reduce the size of your upper and/or bottom lip.
Lip reduction is performed by removing some excess lip tissue. Traditional methods often involve removing an elliptical strip of tissue. However, modern methods involve removing different tissue shapes to achieve better results.
Most patients may only need one treatment to have permanent results, and each treatment may only take half an hour to complete. There is often no visible scarring and little downtime post-procedure.