If you needed further proof that the Clean Girl Aesthetic has officially replaced the full-glam routines influencers once labored over, look no further than TikTok’s budding beauty trend: gym lips. In a quest to achieve what can only be described as an elevated natural state, makeup artists and beauty lovers alike are finding new ways to reinvent no-makeup makeup — and gym lips is one of the best takes yet.
The clever term was coined by makeup artist Kelli Anne Sewell, who goes by the username @makeupxka on Instagram and TikTok. On both platforms, she posted a video breaking down her go-to technique for achieving a seemingly-effortless plump pout, even on days when she wears no other makeup at all.
“It’s basically an over-lined lip that I wear to the gym that’s really natural, and it’s randomly catching on,” Sewell told her followers. While most of us may not want to bust out the lip liner for the gym, the look translates quite well to most other makeup-wearing occasions — and requires just two products to pull off.
“The key is to have a lip liner your color…and you over-line your lips and fill them in. Then, you’re going in with a lip treatment…something that’s gonna hydrate your lips. And I wear this to the gym — it looks like a little natural, plump lip situation,” says Sewell.
According to her post, Sewell’s go-to products for the look include the Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lip Liner in Divine paired with either the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask or the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm.
Her other go-to gym lips liners include the Sephora Collection Retractable Rouge Gel Lip Liner in 04 Crème de la Crème, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liner in Hazelnut, Patrick Ta Precision Lip Crayon in She’s Humble and Nyx Cosmetics Slim Lip Pencil in Natural. However, Sewell recommends using a shade that mirrors your own natural lip color, so it may take a few swatch sessions to find The One.
When I tried the look for myself — using the Makeup By Mario Ultra Suede Sculpting Lip Pencil in Johnny and the Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask — I immediately vowed to keep both products on standby for future no-makeup makeup days. Even when going faux au naturel (courtesy of my beloved Cle Cosmetics CCC Cream), I like a little definition on my brows, lashes and lips. Gym lips got the job done without making me feel too dolled up.
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Photo: Bella Gerard/Fashionista
Of course, Sewell and other makeup artists churning out bound-to-go-viral beauty tips don’t pretend to be presenting us with brand new information. Any lip liner aficionado could point out the magic in finding a liner that complements your natural lip color just so. Still, a great video and a catchy name like “gym lips” is enough to birth a trend out of thin air.
“No one said I was reinventing the wheel; I realize a lip line and a lip treatment is not futuristic,” admits Sewell in a video. “But I do think it’s a fun name for a very no-makeup makeup over-lined lip that looks like you’re wearing no makeup and you just have plump, juicy lips.”
Regardless, gym lips just might be the perfect lip trend, more understated than the liquid lipsticks of the industry’s long-abandoned full-glam past, yet far more practical than the many extra-gloopy lip glosses of Gen Z’s nostalgia-inspired beauty endeavors. Don’t get me wrong — I like a good gloss as much as the next girl, but a lip mask often offers a similar level of sheen with far more beneficial ingredients.
Whether the Clean Girl Aesthetic is taking over your For You Page or you just want to look a little extra-special en route to pilates, click through the gallery below to see (and shop) our top liners and lip masks for giving gym lips a go.
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