I’ll be honest, when I heard the phrase, gym lips, I was skeptical. Not that I have anything against a sweat-proof makeup look—do whatever makes you most comfortable, be it a bare face or full-coverage concealer!—but lip moments in particular do seem a bit impractical. What’s the point of tracing your Cupid’s bow to perfection if you’re just going to take a swig out of your water bottle and smear it after a sweat session?
But the trend isn’t all about rocking a juicy, my lip but better pout. Coined by makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell, “gym lips” simultaneously hydrates and defines your lips, helping them appear plumper over time—and you don’t have to head to the gym to hop on the trend.
A “gym lips” makeup tutorial.
Despite the moniker, you can wear this lip look wherever you please—at the gym, on a hot girl walk, at the supermarket, out to dinner, etc. “It’s basically an overlined lip that I wear to the gym that’s really natural,” Sewell notes in a recent video. So if you’ve got a thing for minimal makeup looks, chances are you’ll fall in love with this easy trick.
“The key is to have a lip liner that is your lip color,” says Sewell. You may feel the urge to snag a deeper hue for a lip contour (as the richer color creates the illusion of shadow, resulting in plumper-looking lips), but you want the pigment as natural as possible here. In my humble opinion, the Kosas Hotliners are just divine—they’re creamy, hydrating, with a range of neutral shades.
Next: “Overline your lips and fill them in,” Sewell says. You’ll want to draw slightly above your natural lip line, but make sure to connect them to avoid any noticeable gaps. You’ll then want to fill in the rest of your pout with the same liner, so the color stays consistent (that’s why choosing a creamy, hydrating liner is key, since you’re applying it over the entire surface area).
If your favorite lip liner isn’t the most moisturizing, don’t sweat: Simply layer on a hydrating lip balm before using color. mindbodygreen’s lip balm works like a charm, as it’s a no-fuss, simple formula that is solely hydrating and nourishing—you won’t find any irritating exfoliants or stinging essential oils. It even has sodium hyaluronate (a salt form of hyaluronic acid) to draw water into the surface of your lips, which can help them immediately appear fuller. Plus, it delivers a satin finish that’s not too glossy or sticky, so it will prep the lips for color and keep the look totally natural.
Now, apply some sort of lip treatment—that’s what helps this look become a makeup-slash-skin care hybrid. Sewell is partial to the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm and the Laneige Lip Treatment Balm, but she recommends choosing anything “that’s going to hydrate your lips.” Or if you can get your paws on the rhode peptide lip treatment, I highly suggest you give it a whirl (you can also grab this similar Kopari Tri-Peptide Lip Cloud, if you’re on the waitlist.). No matter which product you choose, you’ll want to find one that leaves a clear, glossy finish; some lip treatments can leave an opaque white film, which is great for sealing in moisture but not so great if you’re hoping to sport a high-shine, minimal look.
And there you have it: a naturally plump-looking pout you can wear anywhere, the gym included.
Not only does Sewell’s trick help your lips look fuller, but the lip treatment can protect and moisturize the skin over time, helping your pout keep its volume for the long-haul. On the subject of plumper lips, I can’t forget about addressing them internally: One way to get more youthful-looking skin (lips, too!) is hydrolyzed collagen supplements. These have been shown to maintain dermal thickness, support elasticity, and natural moisture levels, which is important as your lip size naturally thins over time. Just some food for thought if you want to elevate your “gym lips” even further. *
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.