TikTok's Bow & Arrow Contour Hack Promises Plumper Lips Without The Filler

In the past decade or so, makeup and beauty trends have put major focus on achieving full, pillowy-looking lips. For some, this means turning to fillers and lip flips to create a more plump look, but others have taken a more temporary approach with cosmetics. Overlining has become a quick and easy way to enhance the shape and look of your natural lips, but this approach often looks seamless on camera but cartoonish in real life, especially if you have a more pronounced lip line that easily shows where your lip ends and makeup begins.


In a now-viral TikTok video, makeup artist and founder of Huda Beauty Huda Kattan shared a new approach to enhancing your lips that doesn't rely on overlining at all. Instead, she uses techniques commonly seen in contouring to give off the look of filler, coining the unique application method as a "bow and arrow lip lift" thanks to the unique shape in which you map out your products before blending.

The hack

In her video, Huda Kattan uses three necessary materials: a cream contour slightly darker than your skin tone, your regular lipstick, and a lip liner in the same color family that's slightly darker. She starts with contouring the area outside of the lips, first focusing on the Cupid's bow. Here, she draws a short line in the middle of her philtrum, the area above the Cupid's bow, then creates an arrow shape pointing downwards towards her lips. She finishes out the "bow and arrow" by drawing a slight curve under her bottom lip where the shadow would naturally fall.


After blending, it's time to move on to the lips themselves. On her bottom lip, she uses the darker liner to create a downward-facing triangle in the middle of the lip, then she draws a short line extending upwards from the triangle on her upper lip to create another arrow shape. Finally, she goes in with her regular liquid lipstick on top of the liner to blend everything out and finish off the look.

Why it works

The main draw of this hack is that it doesn't rely on overlining to get that plump, just-filled look. Instead, it uses the same techniques and products you likely already use to contour the rest of your face. Because of this, it's a bit easier to pull off and will likely look more natural throughout the day, regardless of the lighting or angle. Instead of making your lips themselves look bigger, you're using shadows to create an illusion of plumpness.


Additionally, this technique is super customizable. Where you should place the contour fully depends on the shape of your lips, and you can deepen or lighten the shade if you want a more dramatic or natural look. It also works with any lip colors and finishes you have lying around. Try it out with a deeper nude liner and a plumping gloss for an everyday look, or go bold with a deep burgundy liner and a bright red lipstick.