How to Play Up–or Conceal–Your Cupid’s Bow, According to MUAs

If you’ve ever been getting lost in a beauty tunnel on Instagram and other social media, there’s a high likelihood that you’ve been awed of the skill influencers and famous makeup artists possess with cupid’s Bows (the highest point of the upper lip). It doesn’t matter if their models that they’re working with naturally have a distinct cupid’s bow or have a more subtle upper lip somehow, in some way their pouts are always perfect.

The best part is you do not need to be an expert to put your best smile forward. All it takes is knowing how to enhance (or reduce) the bow of your lover dependent on what you want to achieve. For us, it’s a blessing that celebrity makeup artist Gregory Arlt, Sarah Tanno, Jaleesa Jaikaran, and Tobi Henney have agreed to share their best tips for doing exactly that. Continue reading to find out more.

Play Up: Get Crafty With Concealer

Whatever the meaning of your cupid’s bow, makeup artists we talked to are in agreement: a little concealer can do wonders. “To truly make your cupid’s bow ‘pop,’ I recommend using a concealer about a shade lighter than your skin,” Arlt says. Arlt. “Take a bit with an angled brush and apply it just above your lip line, following the shape of your cupid’s bow.”

The reason this trick works so well is because it can help clean the lips’ edges according to Tanno. “This will make the shape very sharp and defined,” she says.

In terms of which concealer to choose, Jaikaran recommends a brightening formula. “A great concealer with a brightening effect that works beautifully for this purpose is the Make Beauty Skin Mimetic Concealer ($28), which is a buildable concealer with a radiant finish,” she adds, noting the Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer ($31) is an alternative that is top-quality.

Downplay: Extend Your Foundation Over Your Lips

While concealer can enhance the curvature of your cupid’s bow, Jaikaran suggests that the shade of your foundation can diminish the lines of your lips by blurring them. “Make sure your lips are hydrated before going in with foundation to prevent creasing or accentuating dryness,” she suggests. “Use a beauty sponge to melt the product into the skin, creating a new canvas with a seamless finish.”

Once you’ve applied the foundation, and letting it be set, she suggests that you apply a long-wearing, creamy lipstick liner in order to “re-create a more desired lip line and cupid’s bow.” Her top lipliners are the Cosmetics By Mario Suede Sculpting Lip Pencils ($24) and NYX Cosmetics’ Slim Lip Pencil Long-Lasting Creamy Lip Liner ($5).

Play Up: Utilize Lip Liner

If you love the design the bow of your cupid and you want to make it more attractive, Arlt says to never skip lip pencils. “For a fuller-looking lip, go over the cupid’s bow with a lip pencil in more of a rounded shape, connecting the highest points of the cupid’s bow,” Arlt suggests. “Blend the pencil into the lips for a more natural look, and add lipstick in a matching or similar color over it.”

Going a step further, Tanno says that the aim is to shape your pout so that the bow of your love be noticeable. “To define your cupid’s bow, you can line using your favorite lip liner in a deeper shade, contouring the corners of the mouth and blending the sides,” she suggests. “This will make your lips appear larger. You can also apply an eyeliner brush or matte lipstick such as Haus Labs’ Le Monster Lip Crayon ($22) to sharpen your Cupid’s bow.”

Downplay: Blur Your Lip Product

Lines of your lips that are sharp and precise application of lipstick (especially in the matte type) will give you an even more defined lip. To minimize the bow of your lover Jaikaran recommends blurring lines of the lipstick. “Blurring the cupid’s bow to soften sharp peaks and round out the shape can be achieved by smudging lip color along the edges of the lip lines with a sheer lip tint or soft matte lipstick,” Jaikaran says. “Uoma Beauty’s Black Magic Hypnotic Impact High Shine Lipstick ($24) and Glossier’s Generation G Lipstick ($18) produce beautiful, diffused, and softened cupid’s bows.”

Play Up: Use Highlighter

In the past it was just for cheeks. Today it is seen on the noses, brow bones as well as bows of cupid. “I love to play up a cupid’s bow by highlighting the ridge of the bow in a highlighter,” Tanno states. “This brings attention to the lips in a soft yet editorial way.”

The trick to creating a naturally-fuller-looking pout is to highlight the cupid’s bow with the proper product, Jaikaran says–a super glittery or pink- or blue-hued highlighter is not the move. “Select a highlighter with the right undertone for your skin shade and lightly trace the cupid’s bow,” she suggests. “If you are using highlighter liquid or cream, like such as the Merit Day Glow highlighter balm ($30) as well as Rare Beauty’s Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight($22)–fingertips can be used to make an amazing payoff. If you’re using a highlighter that’s based on powder, apply a tiny brush that is fluffy and smooth over the entire highlighter’s bow.” (While this isn’t one of Jaikaran’s top picks, this one is a good choice. Sigma Beauty Highlighter is $35 and is available from six different neutral colors that all work beautifully.)

Downplay: Apply Lip Liner Above the Cupid’s Bow

If you are looking for a more feminine cupid’s bow rather than the typical form, Henney recommends applying lip liner on top of it. While it is possible to apply it directly on your skin, using a matte concealer can help to soften the bow of your natural to ensure that it appears as if it’s the real thing. To achieve this appearance, she recommends using Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Lip Definer, the shade #3 ($26) to create an edgy, natural-looking and strong lip.

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