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Different Types of Lips

Your lips are unique. Their precise shape, contouring, and relation to nearby facial features might evoke others, but there’s no one with quite the same lips.

On the other hand, most pairs of lips follow one or more common lip shape patterns: heart-shaped, round, full, thin. Knowing which shape(s) your lips ensures you make informed aesthetic decisions and let your lips live their best life. 

Let’s take a look at the most common types of lips and how you can make the most of yours.

Different Types of Lip: Common Lip Shapes

These are the most common types of lip shapes. Remember, while your lips may fall into one or more of these general categories, their precise shape — and the way they complement the rest of your face — is unique to you.

  • Thin Lips. People with thin lips have less lip volume and less pronounced lips overall.
  • Full Lips. Full lips are relatively voluminous, with fullness spread evenly between the top and bottom lip.
  • Wide Lips. People with wide lips have wider smiles with a characteristic “ear to ear” look. Their lips can be thin, full, or in between.
  • Small Lips. People with small lips have narrower smiles, and their mouths appear smaller overall.
    • Wide Upper Lip (Top Heavy Lips). People with these lips have more volume in their top lip than their bottom lip. The philtrum (the groove between the lips and base of the nose) may be narrower or less pronounced as well.
  • Wide Lower Lip (Bottom Heavy Lips). Bottom heavy lips have more volume below the mouth than above it.
  • Round Lips. Round lips have rounded edges and even volume, lending the appearance of a circular or oval-shaped mouth.
  • Heart-Shaped Lips (Cupid Lips). This distinctive lip type is characterized by a pronounced philtrum and Cupid’s bow (the part of the lips just below the philtrum) and a sharper, narrower lower lip.
  • Bow-Shaped Lips. Bow-shaped lips also have a pronounced Cupid’s bow. The lower lip tends to be fuller than with heart-shaped lips.
  • Downturned Lips. This lip type is marked by subtle downturns at the corners of the lips. The upper lip may appear to overhang the lower lip a bit at the corners.

How to Enhance the Shape of Your Lips

You’re born with your general lip shape, for sure. But you can do quite a bit to accentuate and enhance that shape without resorting to invasive surgery or irreversible cosmetic procedures.

This work begins with topical products like lipsticks and lip balm. If you want a bit more help, consider hyaluronic acid fillers (dermal fillers) that temporarily define and volumize your lips.

Know Your Lipsticks, Lip Balms, and Lip Liners (And Application Techniques)

No matter what your lips are like, there’s a lip application to make them pop. 

Wide lips? Blend two lipsticks: a lighter shade around the center of your mouth and a darker shade toward the edges. Brush them together to create a smooth transition between your lip lines and skin.

Thin lips? Use a darker lip liner around the edges of your lip to add an appearance of volume, then apply a softening lip balm to produce a sultrier look. If you have uneven lips, a similar technique works well on the thinner one (upper or lower).

Naturally full lips? Start applying lipsticks that accentuate your lips’ existing curves and body, choosing a shade that complements your skin.

Use Temporary Lip Fillers

If you’d like a longer-lasting but still temporary solution, consider lip injections with hyaluronic acid fillers

Depending on your natural lip lines and volume, your aesthetician will recommend one of several types of lip fillers to achieve the results you desire. If you aim to add volume, Restylane®-L provides a structural base for repeated treatments; Restylane Kysse is ideal for softening and adding subtle volume. 

These treatments last longer than lipsticks or lip liners, but don’t worry: They’re not permanent. To maintain the lips you love, you’ll most likely need to follow up every few months.