'Gym Lips' Is the Latest Makeup Trend Going Viral on TikTok — Here's How to Try It – InStyle

Tamim has been writing about topics including beauty, fashion, wellness, and music for nearly a decade. She has tested thousands of products including skincare, makeup, haircare, and body care. She stays up to date and informed by regularly interviewing and consulting leading experts in the beauty industry including dermatologists, makeup artists, and aestheticians. Tamim has been published in InStyle, Travel+Leisure, Byrdie, Health, Shape, Southern Living, Real Simple, and PEOPLE. She tries any and every product she comes across with a particular appreciation for eye makeup and lip liners.
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I go on TikTok to keep me feeling young. I tried to avoid it altogether for a while, but it left me feeling out of place and confused by ever-changing aesthetic trends and pop culture vocabulary. The most recent example of this is a makeup trend that’s been dubbed “gym lips” and its hashtag has over 22 million views.
I was initially stumped by this term, but according to Kelli Anne Sewell, the makeup artist who coined it, “gym lips” actually references a makeup look that’s so effortless and appropriate for everyday wear that it wouldn’t be out of place at the gym. The premise is quite simple: First, you find a lip liner in a shade that is a perfect match to your natural pout — an essential part of the process. Then, you overline your lips and then add a nourishing balm or subtle gloss. The seamlessness of the lip liner shade with your actual lips will make them appear completely natural, while the gloss will give them a luscious-looking fullness.
If you ever tried to get your hands on Clinique’s Black Honey or Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wand Highlighter, only to find out that they’re sold out and waitlisted for months, then you know how frustrating TikTok-virality can make shopping. So, there is an advantage to gym lips that doesn’t come to mind with any other viral beauty trend: there is no singular hero product. Everyone’s exact shade will be slightly different, so you are less likely to run into stock issues when millions of people decide to try the same product at the same time.
There are literally thousands of lip liners out there, so you truly shouldn't endure any trouble finding a perfect match. Then again, the endless options can be daunting, so here are some starting points.
Shop now: $22; sephora.com
Makeup by Mario is a great brand to find your perfect lip color match; I guarantee you will find one among the 19 shades. My lips are a muddy pink-brown, so my go-to is “smokey pink.” The brush on the opposite end of the pencil also makes this perfect for the gym lips trend since it makes it easy to precisely blend in the product.
Shop now: $19; sephora.com
The 12 Huda Beauty Lip Contour shades are a range of subtle pinks, barely-there nudes, and rich browns — no electric purples or hot pinks, here. I can never keep track of a loose pencil sharpener, so the fact that this has one built in is super convenient. My go-to is the shade muted pink, a matte-finish dusty mauve.
Shop now: $24; sephora.com
Lip Cheat is the caviar of lip liners, IMO. There are 15 shades; the most celebrated among them is “pillow talk,” a universally flattering light mauve-pink that has spawned its own range of products. It seems to be a foolproof option for many people, but if it’s not an exact fit, you have 14 other shades to choose from. I found my match in “love trap,” a peachy brown.
Shop now: $4; amazon.com
Nyx's lip pencils are super thin and precise. They're also only $4, so theoretically you could order a few to see which one works or blend a few together to customize your unique tone. My closest match is actually a combination of the shades "nude pink" and "peekaboo neutral." Use a lip brush to blend or the warmth of your fingers to seamlessly merge your choice of tones.
Shop now: $22; kosas.com
Kosas is a Hailey Bieber-approved hybrid makeup-skincare brand, and its plumping Wet Lip Oil comes in a clear shade that’s perfect for finishing off the gym lips look. This gloss-oil hybrid is free of any stickiness or tingling — both common in lip enhancing products.
Shop now: $8; urbanoutfitters.com
To really commit to and embrace the low-effort look, I recommend Smith's Rosebud Salve. I own at least three tins at any given moment in time, and have probably gone through at least a dozen in my life. The nourishing salve hydrates lips while maintaining a long-lasting yet subtle sheen.


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