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Ninja Beauty Secrets, Part 8

| Mar 3, 2008
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Lip Lining

This month we’re going to learn some basic and advanced lip lining techniques and determine where and when to use them.

ninja2.jpg Let me preface this article by saying that my series of Ninja Beauty Secrets articles are not meant for makeup novices, but experienced trans girls who have more than a basic knowledge and understanding of makeup. If you want a basic and intermediate treatment of makeup, please order a copy of Secrets to an Awesome Makeover and Natural Makeup Techniques from the videos section of my web site (will open in a new window).

Lip lining is about defining or redefining the shape of the lips, preventing color movement, and in some cases giving the lips a deeper, more dramatic appearance. There are three basic color options in liplining:

Option 1: Pick a shade that matches or closely matches your lipstick shade.
Option 2: Pick a shade that is much darker or in a different color family than your lipstick shade.
Option 3: Pick a clear lipliner.

Each option has its uses. Option 1 is the classic lipliner/lipstick look. You can’t go wrong with the classic look. Option 2 gives the lips a more dramatic look. The dark lipliner defines and accentuates the shape of the lips so that the lipstick color is actually irrelevant. Done correctly, it can look very sexy, but, done incorrectly, it can look absolutely hideous. Younger tgirls and tgirls of color can get away with this look a lot more easily than the older tgirls and fair-skinned tgirls. Option 3 generally applies to pink, tans, or other light shades of lipstick. When you don’t want the accentuated look of a colored lipliner, but want to still prevent color movement, a clear lipliner is the way to go.

My favorite lipliners are L’Oreal Lip Precision Automatic Lip Liner and L’Oreal Crayon Petite Automatic Lip Liner. Just twist the barrel to get a new point and sharpen the point to your liking. Some makeup books will have you apply a light coat of foundation on your lips as a base for your lipcolors. This is a good idea if you experience lipstick bleeding due to cracks and crevices around your natural lip line.

makeup2.jpgLipliners can be applied in three ways:

Way 1: Outside the natural lip line.
Way 2: Right on the natural lip line.
Way 3: Inside the natural lip line.

If you have thin lips, your best bet is to go over your lip line, just a smidge, to give the illusion that you have bigger lips than you actually do. If you have big lips, you may want to go under the lipline just a smidge to make your lips appear smaller. If you have imbalanced lips where the upper or lower lip is bigger than the other, you may have to make the thin lip bigger and the big lip smaller to look more balanced. Not everyone’s lips are symmetrical, so a colored lipliner will correct lip shape.

Line your lips with the sharpest lipliner point possible. Remember our razor sharp perfect eyeliner tip some months ago? That’s exactly how you would “sharpen” an automatic lipliner pencil, too. Manual liplining pencils can be sharpened with a makeup pencil sharpener.

One very useful tip for color enhancement is after you line your lips, fill in your lips with the lip liner. That way, after you apply your lipstick, if your lipstick ever starts to smudge, you will always have color on your lips. It is quite easy to wipe off lipstick, but a bit more difficult to wipe off lipliner. Of course, this color enhancement tip doesn’t work with clear lipliner.

I like to emphasize the “heart” on the upper lipline, the little “V” where the left and right sides of the lip meet. The V should never be sharp and straight like a V, but rather curvy like the edges of ovals. Some girls just avoid defining the heart altogether and draw a continuous line straight across a la Loni Anderson, but this approach doesn’t do justice to the true beauty of the lips.

The edges of the lips where the upper and lower lips connect are iffy areas to apply lipstick. Some girls find it nice to be able to connect the upper and lower lips with a thin line of color. A sexy pout look almost always requires that the lips be connected. However, if your lips taper too thin at the edges of your mouth, the effect of connecting the upper and lower lips with color may create an unwanted “Joker” or clown effect. To combat this, you will need to go outside the lip line towards the edges of the mouth making the lipline straighter rather than tapered. What I like to do is smile in front of a mirror and do my liplining while smiling because I want my smile to look picture perfect. Study the looks of women with beautiful smiles and you will get a better understanding of how to apply lipliner.

makeup.jpgOnce you get your lipline perfect, you can fill in your lips with your lipstick color, but be careful to keep the lipstick color inside the lipline you just created. I recommend letting the lipline show by as much as 1/32 of an inch all around the mouth.

For years, I have asked my clients if they wanted a glamour look or a natural look in their makeovers and invariably they always say a natural look without knowing exactly what that means. To many tgirls, natural means some makeup while glamour means excessive makeup. To me, natural means you look like you have hardly any makeup on at all.

For the tgirls who want to try an all-natural look, I recommend lining your lips with clear lip liner and wearing a clear lip gloss on your lips so your natural lip color shows through. Try going out in public with this all-natural look and see if it works for you. Of course, if you exhibit any beard shadow at all, you should never try this look because the clear lip gloss might not be enough to distract an onlooker’s attention from noticing your hair problem.

Next month, we’ll open the floor to questions on any of the eight chapters you’ve studied so far. Send all of your questions to [email protected].

For more ninja beauty secrets, purchase Natural Makeup Techniques or Secrets to an Awesome Makeover from my web site (will open in a new window).

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Category: Transgender How To


About the Author ()

I've been active in the transgender community since 1991 and living as a full-time woman since 2010. My books are internationally recognized as some of the best makeup and transformation books for male-to-female crossdressers and transsexuals. Each book is chock full of good information and some have stories that will inspire you to be the best woman that you can be. More than just makeup and transformation books, they are sources of inspiration and portals into my life as a transgender woman. Over 3,000 women just like you have learned from these books, many of whom have gone on to become beautiful, passable, and successful in whatever they do!

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