Makeup by Mario Lip Lift

Makeup By Mario reveals the simple lip liner technique he uses to “lift” and define the mouth

The celebrity make-up artist breaks down the effective way he likes to apply lip liner. He also reveals the common liner mistake that creates a “sad” looking mouth. 

Mario Dedivanovic (aka @makeupbymario) is one of the biggest influencers in beauty today. Counting famous faces such as Kim Kardashian (his “muse“), Salma Hayek, Ariana Grande and Kate Bosworth among his regular clients, Dedivanovic is known for his soft, sculpted, glamorous aesthetic. 

The celebrity make-up artist and founder of eponymous beauty brand Makeup by Mario has shared the techniques behind his trademark looks in live masterclasses, on Instagram and, occasionally, on YouTube. Recently, Dedivanovic revealed one of the methods he regularly uses to create a more full-looking lip on his clients. 

The two-hour episode is Dedivanovic’s first foray into applying a full face of make-up on Instagram and, starting at the 1hr 41min mark, covers the way he applies lip liner to “lift” the lips to emulate fullness. 

The technique focuses on overlining the centre of the upper and lower lip but working on and inside the lip line on the outer top and bottom corners, respectively. Pulling the corners in creates the illusion of a taller lip, something that can create the impression of a full mouth. 

“I’m going to start out on the cupid’s bow area and I’m going to lean the brush and let the shape of the lip guide me,” he begins, using Makeup by Mario UltraSuede Sculpting Lip Pencil in shade Travis, to outline his model’s lips. “I’m going right above the lip line,” he explains. “What this is going to do is instantly lift the lip up.”

Then, he starts on the lower lip, slightly overlining the centre of the bottom lip line and working inside the lip line for the bottom outer corners. “What you do not want to do… is overline the [bottom] corner,” he says. “Because what you’re doing here is making your face [look] sad.”

As he finishes, the model’s mouth appears pulled up and gently lifted. “[It] mimics a lip lift. So let’s call it ‘Mario’s lip lift,’” he muses. 

A deceptively simple trick to elevate your lip liner application, there are a few ways to make sure your hard work isn’t wasted. First of all, a small flat brush dipped in foundation or concealer will work wonders to clean up the edges of your lips when you’ve finished. Or, using the brush to buff the liner inwards into the centre of your lips, will create what Mario calls “dimension” and look more realistic.  

Secondly, try to work with a liner that holds its structure during application – if the pencil is overly soft or “creamy” the lines will appear too thick and inaccurate. The success of this effect relies on controlled liner application. 

Finally, a lip scrub before you start will help to slough away dead skin and make application easier. Nourished, moisturised lips hold colour better and for longer. 

Thanks for the tips, Mario. Now, where’d I put the pencil sharpener…

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Main image: Getty