Beauty: 1920s Lip Tutorial

Larkspur Vintage | Beauty: 1920s Lip Tutorialembracing LITTLE LIPS

Lately I’ve been investigating (ie., reading up on) different lipstick styles from decades past and thought it might be fun to share a few tutorials with you. First up is the 1920s lip, one near and dear to my heart, being a little lipped lady myself.


After the war – and to help recover from the horrors of it – many women began to assert their feminine power through makeup. There was this feminine ideal of being young and beautiful (sound familiar? A problematic ideal women of today are constantly fighting against, but it is a good example of how far back our obsession with youth and beauty is rooted) and that very much showed up in the style of makeup. I’m not going to breakdown the entire makeup look of this era however (although maybe at some point), just lippy lips for today. It’s actually quite easy to achieve, just a few key pointers before we start – bolder lipped ladies may need to downplay their lips and the ladies like me with tiny shapeless upper lips…well you might actually have to overdraw your cupid’s bow. Here we go, cuties!


Lip pencil: Follow Your Heart by MAC | Lipstick: Dubonnet by MAC and 01 by Kate Moss

Larkspur Vintage | Beauty: 1920s Lip Tutorial1. I pretty well always use a lip pencil to outline my lips before lipstick (a v much like precision), but regardless of my habits, I really believe a lip pencil is helpful in achieving this look, at least at first. 1920s lips are all about the cupid’s bow shape and not everyone has such a defined lip shape, so a pencil is v helpful in creating this look.
– using your lip pencil, starting where your peaks meet, outline your lips creating two rounded peaks
– cascade the liner down and under-draw where your natural lip begins to flare out.
– flare the liner out in the corners of your mouth ever so slightly.
I like to think of the squiggle emoji or a cartoon cowboy hat (ya, I don’t know) when doing this. Or if we are separating the lip hemispheres, like a slide.
Larkspur Vintage | Beauty: 1920s Lip Tutorial2. The bottom lip has a very rounded shape, like a wide U and like the upper lip, needs to be under-drawn at the sides. The upper and lower lip should match up, so keep that in mind when under-drawing.
– starting from the corners of the mouth, outline the lower lip beginning with a slight flare similar to the upper and bring it down, beginning to round
– bring the two sides to meet, creating a rounded u-shape, and the peak of your lower lip should descend ever so slightly, creating that doll-like pout
I like to think of a 2D smile (or stick man smile) shape when drawing this outline.
Larkspur Vintage | Beauty: 1920s Lip Tutorial3. Now the easy part! Filling in those lips. I used Dubbonet by MAC first, which is a creamy deep berry shade and fairly glossy (perfect for this era) and on top of that, very lightly brushing 01 by Kate Moss – which is a traditional matte red – over the base, which creates nice depth to the lips.
This is when you can clean things up, hide that outline and allow the lipstick to create a more rounded shape at each peak.Larkspur Vintage | Beauty: 1920s Lip TutorialEt voila! Not too hard, right? I think this lip style is not too over the top (like it’s counter-part, 1930s lip can often be), and could be worn any time.

So what do you guys think? Will you give it a go?

Skirt & Blouse: vintage


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