Not all of us are blessed with a Marilyn pout but a little trickery can help create a subtle illusion. Defining the shape of your lips is especially important when wearing a strong lip colour, like red or gothic plums. Grab a lip pencil that matches your lipstick and start at the centre of your lips to achieve symmetry.
1. V SHAPE - Start by drawing a V shape in the centre of your upper lip.
2. M SHAPE - Curve the edges of your V back around the create a soft rounded M shape. Or you can create a pointed cupid's bow if you want a gothic or punky effect.
3. FLAT LINE - Draw a flat line in the middle of your bottom lip.
4. U SHAPE - Extend each side of the flat line in a curve to make a big wide U. I always think this stage looks a bit like a boat with a seagull flying above it!
5. NEAT CORNERS - To create a neat shape, start at the outside of the mouth and sketch back in towards the centre. As most people have a flat bottom lip it's important to stay well within the lines to avoid a smear effect!
6. FILL IN - Finish by filling in the colour. You can begin by sketching in with pencil or just go straight for your lipstick. I love layering the product using a lip brush to create a smooth surface.
7. REVERSE - Now that you understand the shape you're trying to create, start with step 5 and work your way backwards. You'll be surprised how easy it is!
Illustrations by Kate O'Reilly