TikTok's "Movie Lips" Is the Romantic Makeup Trend We're Wearing This Fall

Just-kissed lips, no kissing required.

Elle Fanning movie lips


As Nicole Kidman says of the movie theater in her cult-favorite AMC theaters ad, "We come to this place for magic." Film can offer something to everyone, from the screenwriter who needs inspiration for the next short they’re working on, to the stylist who wants to find new ways to work with eccentric clothing pieces. The latest thing beauty lovers are coveting from their Saturday matinees? The Tiktok viral "Movie lips" trend.

What are Movie Lips?

Movie lips are soft and diffused, offering a flushed, my-lips-but-better finish. "Movie lips are that effortless, just-kissed, perfect kind of look," Kat James of Shine Beauty Malibu says in her viral TikTok video that kicked off the trend, pointing to Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice as an example. However, James point out that “the problem with movie lips is it’s impossible to recreate, because it’s usually a mixture of colors or a blotted down formula,” meaning that no one really knows what goes into movie lips other than the makeup artists who use various liners, balms, and lipsticks on set.

How to get Movie Lips

James mentions that she's never been able to find the perfect product to get movie lips at home, until she tried Saie Beauty’s Lip Blur ($24), which launched this month. She first gently pats—not spreads—the Lip Blur directly to her bare lips, following it with “no lining [or anything] precise,” but rather just presses in with her fingers until the product is diffused over her entire lips.

While James swears by Saie's product, the technique is really what's key here. First, you should apply a small amount of product to the lip, whether that’s dabbing a thin layer onto the entirety of one lip, or applying product to the center of both lips like some TikTokers. The second secret is to use the warmth of your finger to pat or dab the product over the lips so as to melt the lipstick in for that natural, just-kissed finish. Any satin finish—i.e. somewhere between matte and glossy—lipstick will give you a velvety yet plump and hydrated look that is essential for the movie lip. Products that promise a "blotted" look like Colourpop's Blotted Lipstick ($8) or Glossier's Generation G ($18) are also perfect for this trend.

My Review

Being that lip color is the one makeup product I will *always* use day in and day out (I’d even choose it over concealer or mascara), I had to try this look out myself. Since I don’t have Saie’s Lip Blur just yet (adding it to my cart right now, though), I opted for the Chanel Rouge Coco Baume ($42) in shade 920. Following all of James’s instructions (that is, applying the product to the center of my lips and patting it out for a diffused look), I realized that this technique is just what my lazy-girl Zoom look is missing.

Izzy tries the movie lips trend

Isabella Sarlija

The finish adds a subtle pop of color to my otherwise post-mortem-looking lips, while still adhering to my preferred makeup look— which is basically to make it seem as if I never have any makeup on my face. As far as wear goes, since the routine doesn’t call for an ultra-matte formula, I notice that my lips don’t really dry out throughout the day. And finally, because the look uses a creamy formula that's so diffused, it doesn’t really matter if my product has worn off, say, after eating a salad. If my lip product does wear off, however, I’m glad that reapplication is as seamless as the initial application itself.

Whether you love the app or not, TikTok can teach some helpful hacks—and movie lips are just one of those things that I’ll keep in my back pocket for some time to come.  

Related Stories