The moody look may be the trend of the season, but downturned lips can sometimes make you unapproachable and standoff-ish. Upturned lip corners, on the other hand, can make you look livelier and more youthful- even when you’re not feeling like it.
This is where K-makeup tricks can help. After all, K-beauty has always been about helping you look more innocent, approachable, and youthful. Straight brows and aegyosal (puffy undereye look) are two such trends that have gone insanely popular in Korea and beyond.
The latest K-beauty trend to adopt to help you look more approachable is the “smiling lips” or “seagull-shaped lips” look. This can be achieved with makeup, although if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, the “smile lift” surgery is also very popular in Korea.
If you’re interested in using makeup to achieve the “smiling lips”/”seagull-shaped lips” look, read on for two tutorials – it would only take about an extra minute of your time to achieve it!
Easy “smiling lips” / “seagull-shaped lips” makeup tutorials
If you’re short on time, try this handy trick with a toothpick (or a lip brush) and a darker shade of lip tint or lipstick, works well.
Or, for a more natural and flawless look, you’ll find Korean beauty YouTuber lamuqe’s detailed tutorial very useful.
The trick is to use a darker shade of lip product (you can choose to use a lipstick or lip tint with a brush, a lip liner for precision, or even a natural brown eyebrow pencil will work in a pinch!) and extend the corners of your upper lip very slightly to make it look upward-curved, then filling in the rest of your lips as per normal with a slightly lighter shade.
You can even top it off with a shiny lip gloss for a juicier look! The key here is to blend both products so the look is seamless and no obvious border can be seen – similar to that of the Korean gradient lips trend.
Recommended products to achieve the “smiling lips” / “seagull-shaped lips” look easily
Huda Beauty Lip Contour Lip Pencil
Like its name suggests, this retractable, water- and transfer-proof lip liner is used to sculpt lips into your desired shape in a single swipe. Choose a deeper nude colour like Bombshell, Cheerleader, or Vixen for a more natural, shadow-like look.
Retails at Sephora for SGD40.
Sephora Collection Lip Stain Liner
From a selection of 20 shades, choose a hue like #17 Dark Red when you’re going for a bold red lip, or #40 Pink Tea for an everyday MLBB (my lips but better) look. This affordable lip pencil gives you the flawless, comfortable yet long-wearing result you want without compromising on the quality.
Available at Sephora for SGD16.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
One of NARS’ bestselling products, skip the two-step process with a single, jumbo-sized lip crayon that’ll save you that extra minute in the morning. Plus, it makes for easy touch-ups too! Just make sure you sharpen the crayon frequently for a more precise application of your lip “tails”.
Purchase yours at Sephora, at SGD38 each.
Laneige Layering Lip Bar
If you’re a K-beauty junkie like us, try Laneige’s versatile Layering Lip Bar (click to see our team’s review) that’ll help you achieve this look by using the darker shades at the corners, and your favourite gradient lip look on the rest of your lips.The product comes in two formulas, matte and cream. The latter is perfect for those with constantly dry lips that make matte lipstick a non-option.
Retails at Sephora for SGD39.
Innisfree Vivid Cotton Ink
This long-wearing lip tint promises a blurring and airy finish, so your lip look will remain flawless until you decide to take it off. The collection features more than 15 wearable shades for every skin tone, match this with one of the lip liners listed above for this look that’ll last through the night.
Retails at Shopee for SGD15.
Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick
With unparalleled pigmentation, this 4.5 star rated matte lipstick glides onto lips with nourishing sweet almond oil that leaves your lips colored and moisturised, and never dry. Plus, this one lasts through the day, so less touch-ups are necessary.
Available at Sephora for SGD40.
MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick
When in doubt, go back to the OG – MAC’s Matte Lipsticks! In classic shades that most beauty lovers would recognise, such as Chilli, Velvet Teddy, and Marrakesh, you can never go wrong with these ultra-matte yet comfortable lipsticks so many users swear by.
Grab yours at Sephora for SGD33.
Make Up For Ever Artist Lip Shot Lipstick
Not a fan of matte? This lipstick comes in a click-type pen with a thin, angled tip to navigate those hard to reach corners, and its glossy formula glides over lips to give you both a high dose of colour and long-lasting shine.
Retails at Sephora for SGD35.
3CE Soft Lip Lacquer
Leave it to Korean cosmetic brand 3CE to produce 10 affordable and flattering lip shades to suit all skin tones: this velvet-finish lip tint feels weightless on the lips yet has intense colour payoff – perfect for the blurred lip look like lamuqe’s that’ll last all day (and night)!
Retails at Sephora for SGD23.
Jill Stuart Birth Gem Lip Gloss
Who can resist a lip gloss with beautiful packaging? We’re sold by Jill Stuart’s limited edition lip glosses that are inspired by the gem stones of each birth month, some even have tiny sparkles to them to add extra shine to your pout. They’re also formulated with moisturising oils, which makes it perfect for individuals with dry lips.
Available at Sephora for SGD40.
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer
If it’s good enough for RiRi, it’s good enough for us. This non-sticky and ultra-shiny gloss made waves when it was first introduced and is no less popular now, due to its comfortable wear, large wand for easy application and addictive peach and vanilla scent.
Retails at Sephora for SGD32.