Everyone knows how to apply a lipstick but to apply it like a PRO, well, that’s another story altogether.

A lipstick application trend has recently gone viral on Douyin (China’s TikTok) as well as other social media platforms because of the way it makes lips look extra plump.

There are a few steps involved, with a few of them sounding a little bizarre. To find out if this hack really works, our writer Zile puts it to the test. See her honest review and tips to ace the hack. Plus, we share some of our favourite products that’ll help to achieve the look!

The original lip-plumping hack

Photo source: @picheta_kong/TikTok and stylekorean_official/TikTok

The original hack is a combination of various techniques, and here are all the products you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Concealer
  • Lip liner
  • Lipstick
  • Lip tint
  • Eyeliner or eyebrow pencil
  • Lip gloss

Step 1: Concealer

Photo source: @airheadscarlett/TikTok

  1. Apply concealer along the corners of your lips.
  2. Apply concealer on the philtrum, right above your cupid’s bow.
  3. Blend it all out with your finger or makeup sponge.

Step 2: Lip liner

Photo source: @picheta_kong/TikTok

  1. Overline your upper lip, including your cupid’s bow.
  2. Draw a line in the middle of your philtrum, between the two lines of concealer you drew on in the first step.
  3. Use your lip liner to draw another line on the area below your bottom lip.
  4. Blend it all out with your finger.

Step 3: Lighter lipstick shade

Photo source: @jooshica/TikTok

The shade of lipstick you apply next should lean on the lighter end of the colour spectrum, so think pale pink or a light coral.

Step 4: Darker lipstick shade

Photo source: @jooshica/TikTok

  1. Take a darker lip tint and apply it to the inner parts of your lips. This lip tint must be darker than the lipstick you just applied. You can pick shades like crimson red, burgundy, or vermillion.
  2. Blend the two lip products for a seamless gradient.

Step 5: Eyeliner

Photo source: @muthiaghazali/TikTok

Draw two short horizontal lines at the corner of your mouth to subtly extend your lips.

Step 6: Lip gloss

Photo source: @bbyl1ng/TikTok

This last step is optional, but if you want to give your lips extra dimension, apply a lip gloss – preferably one that’s clear or has little pigment.

Does it work?


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♬ Some – BOL4

When Zile put this hack to the test, the results were not as satisfactory as she had hoped.

The final lip look didn’t accentuate her lips as much as she thought it could. So, to help you avoid the same mistakes she made, Zile has shared with us some modifications and tips you can take into consideration when you’re trying it out for yourself!

How to improve the Douyin lip hack

Step 1: Concealer

What I did: I followed @picheta_kong’s Douyin lip tutorial on TikTok and started by using a concealer to outline my entire lips before blending it out with a Beautyblender, so the concealer paled my natural lip colour too.

What I should have done: While the concealer did help me create a softer, blurred lipstick finish later, it didn’t do anything to create a gentle upward-curving “M” shape that’s characteristic of Douyin lips. I should have only applied concealer to the sides of my lips to create an “M” shape at the top and a full “U” shape at the bottom.

Step 2: Lip liner

What I did: The second step in @picheta_kong’s TikTok tutorial was to outline the cupid’s bow with a lip liner, so that’s what I did. I first outlined my cupid’s bow with the Sephora Collection Nano Lip Liner, and then followed by outlining my entire lips.

What I should have done: Outlining my entire lips didn’t help to create the sweetheart “Douyin lips” shape. Instead, I should have overlined (not outlined) the cupid’s bow to create a more obvious “M” shape for the upper lip as well as only the centre of the bottom lip for a plumper look.

Besides the lips, I also used concealer on both sides of my philtrum (the groove just under your nose) and the same lip liner to shade in the centre.

Step 3: Lighter lipstick shade

What I did: I used the Sephora Collection Lip Blush Lipstick in shade 12 Pillow Fight to fill in my entire lips. I applied the liquid lipstick only onto the centre and inner sections of my lips, and then used my finger to blend it out, which gave a soft, cushiony finish.

In @picheta_kong’s video, she also used the same lipstick to tap over and above the “M” contour. Similarly, I used my finger to blend the lipstick over the highest points of my lips, which created a pleasant just-kissed look.

Step 4: Darker lipstick shade

What I did: The next step was to go in with a darker shade of lipstick, so I picked up the Stila Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick in shade Bacca and swept it over the inner parts of my lips first, before using my finger to blend it out slightly.

What I should have done: I immediately regretted my choice of lipstick because it was so difficult to blend and was in too purple a shade, which I thought clashed with my lighter lipstick shade – a rookie mistake.

In the future, I’ll be making sure that my lipstick shades are from the same colour family, for example, a nude rose base with a deeper red (not purple) shade. It’s also best to use an easily blendable lipstick for this second layer.

Step 5: Eyeliner

What I did: To create a Douyin lip style, users extend the sides of their lips using brown liquid eyeliner. I didn’t want the extended lines to look so obvious, so I swapped a liquid eyeliner out for the Silky Girl Hi-Definition Brow Liner for a more diffused contour. At both corners of my lips, I drew a straight line outwards to create an illusion of a wider pout.

What I should have done: Instead of drawing them straight, I should have extended the lines in a gentle upward curve to create an illusion not just of wider lips but also of a sweetheart lip shape.

Step 6: Lip gloss

What I did: Although a Douyin lip look typically ends with the eyeliner step, @picheta_kong used clear lip gloss over her lips for a dewier style. I followed suit, using the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Champ Stamp Fantasy as a final, lip-plumping layer.

What I should have done: Sweeping the lip gloss over my lips blurred the gradient too much. The darker shade bled over the rest of my lips, making the ombré less obvious. To preserve a lip gradient in the future, I’ll be applying lip gloss over the darker sections of my lips first, cleaning the applicator, and then adding the lip gloss to the lighter sections of my lips.

Products you need to achieve this look

TARTE Shape Tape Contour Concealer

We love the flawless matte finish that this concealer gives you. Its easy-to-blend formula won’t flake or crease. This makes it perfect for you to dab along the corners of your mouth and your philtrum right above your cupid’s bow since it won’t crease no matter how much the muscles in those areas move.

Its creamy and light texture can give you perfect-looking skin so you’ll get that clean look to accentuate your lips.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away! Liquid Concealer retails for RM135 at Sephora.

The Saem Eco Soul Lip Liner

With a blend of plum kernel oil, camellia seed oil, and pomegranate extract, your lips are sure to feel moisturised all day.

You can easily create a full-looking pout by drawing clear lines with it. Plus, it doesn’t feather or bleed.

Its rich and creamy formula allows you to glide it across your lips in one easy swipe. Because of its buttery pay-off, you can also easily blend it out for the diffused effect needed.

The Saem Eco Soul Lip Liner retails for RM25.29 on Yesstyle.

Sephora Collection Lip Blush Lipstick

This is one of the products Zile used when she was trying the hack.

With its creamy texture and matte blurred finish, it’s perfect for the seamless gradient we need for this lip hack. The formula allows it to naturally coat your lips in a velvet-like finish so your lips will look absolutely irresistible.

Plus, its moisturising formula will cocoon your lips so it doesn’t dry out, guaranteeing maximum comfort all day long.

Sephora Collection Lip Blush Lipstick retails for RM59 on Sephora.

Peripera Ink The Velvet

Just as the name suggests, this lippie will give you a velvet smooth effect that looks so gorgeous.

This product has been trending in the K-beauty scene for its effortless diffused finish. Because of its velvety formula, you can easily blend it out for the gradient effect you want to achieve.

Its formula also contains jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, and marine collagen, which will all provide deep hydration for your lips.

Peripera Ink The Velvet retails for RM44.39 on Yesstyle.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

You’ll definitely be turning heads when you apply this lip gloss as the finishing touch.

This gloss provides the most gorgeous shine in just one luscious swipe. Shea butter in its formula also helps to condition your lips for a plump, juicy pout.

With its non-sticky formula and addictive peach-vanilla scent, how can you not fall in love with this gloss?

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick retails for RM102 on Sephora.

Merry Monde Super Twim Pen Eyeliner

For a perfect and accurate line for the corners of your mouth, this liquid eyeliner has an ultra-thin brush for precise application.

With a tiny flick, you can easily draw a slightly curved line to accentuate your lips. Since the lines are going to be drawn near your mouth, it’s an added bonus that this formula is waterproof to prevent any smudging.

Merry Monde Super Twim Pen Eyeliner retails for RM44.39 on Yesstyle.

MERZY The First Gel Eyeliner

If you’re afraid to reach for a more permanent pen eyeliner, try a gel or pencil formula, which is more forgiving.

This one has a soft gel formula that will glide over your skin effortlessly so you can still correct any mistakes fast. The gel liner is also oil- and water-resistant, so it’ll last for hours.

It comes with a built-in sharpener so you can easily shape it for that perfect angle.

MERZY The First Gel Eyeliner retails for RM25.81 on Yesstyle.

Featured image credit: @picheta_kong/TikTok and firna.alisha/TikTok