How To Soften Your Lip Contour To Conceal Fine Lines

Here are a few tricks I’ve been using to fake a stiff upper lip.
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Sarah C.
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Here are a few tricks I’ve been using to fake a stiff upper lip.

Want to know a fun thing that happens as you age? Stuff on your face starts to look...different. The planes of your face change, the youthful contours begin to blur, and smile lines stay etched on your skin even after the laughter fades. 

Welcome to Dehydration City. Population: you.

four products used to contour youthful lips

Extreme close-up of bad lipstick application in unflattering light? I do it for the love of the game (and to prove I’m not imagining things).

PSA break: I’d like to take this opportunity to state that there is exactly nothing wrong with aging, or with fine lines, gray hairs, or any other visible passage of time. It’s truly beautiful when someone fully embraces the aging process (or just doesn’t care).  

And OK, I’m not exactly checking myself into the nursing home just yet, but I am beginning to see some changes in my skin. I lost the genetic lottery by having dry, fair skin--the skin type that shows aging first. I’m also terminally dehydrated in a way that does not seem to respond to bedroom humidifiers or copious amounts of water. So when some little fine lines set up camp above my upper lip, I noticed. 

If you smoke, you may be noticing those same lines sooner rather than later. Here’s where I’m probably supposed to tell you that you should quit smoking, but hey, whatever makes you happy in this cold, hard world of ours. Are we still saying YOLO? Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.

Here are the products I’m using to fake some actual baby lips.

four products used to contour youthful lips

Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Lip Treatment

four products used to contour youthful lips

Hi, welcome to my nostrils. Make yourself comfortable.

A 24 percent blend of eight peptides and neuropeptides, whatever that means!

So, um, I’m not science-y (cue everyone who knows me in real life snickering), but peptides and neuropeptides are basically water-binding protein molecules that are purported to increase elasticity and support collagen levels (which decrease with age).

Kind of like those lip plumpers of yore, this tingles a bit when you put it on. I actually kind of like the tingle--it makes me feel like it’s more effective (shhh, let me have this). It definitely increases the appearance of fullness right away, which is not something I’m terribly worried about as of yet. I get accused of duck lips constantly. MY FACE IS JUST LIKE THAT, OK?  

After two months of semi-regular use, I’m pleased with the results. My lines have definitely softened, and I no longer scream internally when I accidentally see myself in the magnifying side of the mirror.

Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy

four products used to contour youthful lips

A smooth mouth is a happy mouth! ( ...is what I would say if I were a LAME person, cough.)

As with the rest of the Sugar collection, this has a delicious lemon bar scent. The formula contains acmella flower extract to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, kigelia Africana fruit extract for elasticity, and, of course, sugar, which helps to moisturize and soothe. Hydrated skin will always look smoother and more plump, which is why my body lotion application will always be inversely proportional to my hemline.

No tingle with this, just a nice soft texture. I apply it as part of my morning skin care routine so it has a chance to sink in by the time I put my lips on. Used before bed, it keeps my lips supple and hydrated all night long. 

Too Faced Lip Insurance

four products used to contour youthful lips

Is this really what I look like when I apply this?

The lip primer to beat all primers--this magic doe-foot wand is a bestseller for a reason. I like the formula because it contains vitamin E and feels less drying than other brands I’ve tested. I tap it into my lips with my fingers, making sure to apply on the upper contour line. This ensures that the edges will stay crisp with no bleeding or feathering.

No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner

four products used to contour youthful lips

My hair is so big because it’s full of SECRETS.

Most brands have one of these now: A clear, waxy lip liner for use outside the lip line to corral wayward color. I like this No Cosmetics version because it’s an automatic twist-up pencil, so you don’t have to worry about residue on your sharpener. (Look, these are the things I think about, OK?)

Yes, it keeps your lipstick/gloss, etc. in place, but it ALSO temporarily fills in those little fine lines--think clear spackle. Afterward, tap a little concealer along your upper lip line and blend. Bonus points for a slightly lighter shade (Touche Eclat is excellent) to make your contour stand out.

Bobbi Brown Art Stick

four products used to contour youthful lips

We’re all familiar with the dead eye/open mouth application technique, yeah?

Pencils are so hot right now. This chubby wooden stick is basically lipstick in a pencil, which makes application super-easy. Each pencil comes with a sharpener, which I almost threw away with the package. Good on Bobbi to include it and not make us purchase her special sharpener, right?  

four products used to contour youthful lips

MAC Pure Heroine and a nice crisp line.

So, am I the only under-30 who’s seeing skin changes like this? I think many of us can commiserate about the adult acne phase, but what about fine lines? And which getting-older benefits are you looking forward to? Personally, I can’t WAIT to say inappropriate things to strangers and blame all my memory lapses on age.