If you are a human being on this earth with two eyes that have peripheral vision, you undoubtedly see something about a Kardashian at least once a day. Whether it’s news about Kim’s pregnancy, a paparazzi pic of Kendall and her Jonas brother, or Kylie and those lips, they are there for you, whether you want them or not. But, speaking of Kylie’s lips, and speaking of wanting them ... Yes, they are ridiculous. And yes, I do.
Would I go to great lengths to get them? Nah. I have no complaints about my own lips, really. My love of Kylie’s lips is more of an appreciation of hers, more of an oohhhh, you’re lookin’ fine, girl! than really wishing I had the same pair on my own face. And I had always assumed that you could only achieve that look through “work,” as in fillers or some other type of surgery. But, once I found out through a quick Google search that I could achieve Kylie’s puffy pout with nothing more than some lip liner, basic lip muscle control, and a blank stare, I was like, let’s get some Kylie lips on my face.
But where would I wear my new Kylie lips?
Was I really going to leave the house with drawn-on Kylie lips? Probably not. Was I willing to draw them on for fun? I don’t know. But that’s when Stella, my 2 year old, walked up behind me and said, “Why ah you watching weeyud [weird] videos about big lips?” And I knew she would give me a real, raw reaction. Adults can be more discrete, and they’re less likely to flat out tell you that you look bad. Toddlers, on the other hand, are always brutally honest. So I decided to fill in my lips like Kylie Jenner’s and see how my 2 year old -- my no-holds-barred, free to say whatever was on her mind, 2 year old -- reacted.
This is what my face (and lips) looks like on any typical day. So we will call this the “before” look:
I think my lips are of pretty average size. By no means are they big and pouty but they aren't pencil thin, either. They used to be plumper, I swear, but then again, so did my boobs.
I started off by applying a lip moisturizer because I’m dehydrated and my lips are always so dry and Kylie’s lips are never dry. And also because I had just watched a lifetime of beauty tutorials, and they always do shit like this on beauty tutorials.
Then I took lip liner and started lining my lips just outside the natural lip line.
I have to admit, it felt rebellious, coloring outside the lines. I was loving how I felt, even if I was already departing from the instruction on the YouTube vids to take 20 minutes lining outside the lips with soft, short strokes. Didn’t Desi, the beauty vlogger know, that soft, short strokes is never how I roll?
This is the “after” picture, after lining just above the lip line and filling in the rest of my lips with the same liner:
I then called my daughter into my room while I proceeded to pout her way (much harder than it looks to make that “I’m not pushing my lips into a slight pout” pout, FYI) so that she would notice the difference in my lips. She looked at me, smiled, and then asked for a cookie. I didn’t answer her, but pouted even more vigorously. I wanted a reaction! But Stella just galloped out of the room, looking for that cookie.
Alrighty then, I said, as I took a look in the mirror and shrugged my shoulders, puzzled about Stella’s non-reaction. I mean, my lips looked considerably bigger. Maybe she just didn’t notice. So I turned around and started lining some more.
Making them bigger and bolder, I would soon find out, still made no difference to my 2 year old.
I called Stella (who was emptying a tissue box just outside my door) into my room again. “Do you notice anything different about mommy?” I said, pushing my lips forward and out as I spoke. Stella rushed past me and started jumping on my bed. And I was left standing there, the duck lip smile fading from my face, feeling like the girl from all the ‘80s teen movies who gets all dressed up to impress the boy and he doesn’t even notice.
I guess I was safe to assume that if Stella hadn’t reacted to my altered appearance, yet, then maybe my lips, at this drawn-on size, would be acceptably wearable in public. But how could they be? They looked like two Vienna sausages plated on my face. Or like a kid who just ate a red popsicle.
But I couldn’t help it. So I went back to the mirror and lined my lips even bigger. And this time, I added more makeup and eyelashes to the rest of my face.
This is when I started to realize that makeup art and pouting takes some serious skill. As you can see, my lips are not fooling anyone here. It’s obvious that my lips end about half an inch below the lip liner, which is not blended well, at all. And my pout would test anyone’s patience. It’s one step away from Blue Steel and one step towards “Ouch, my hemorrhoids.”
Honestly, I don’t mind wearing more makeup from time to time. I love getting glammed when the mood is right, and as I get older and dark spots and wrinkles start to build retirement homes on my face, I’ve embraced the power of makeup. I’ve seen it do wonders. But makeup today is at a whole new level. It’s not only about enhancing your beauty anymore, but actually altering your natural-born features — giving you the illusion of a smaller nose, bigger eyes, and larger-than-life Kylie Jenner-inspired lips. And in the midst of all this makeup wizardry, I’m starting to realize, I need to up my makeup game to successfully pull off looks like these. But do I want to?
At this point, Stella had been in my room playing games on my iPhone. And this is the reaction that I got:
Really, McKayla Maroney?
I was a bit surprised that she was so unmoved by my makeover. There was no “Oooooh, I like it!” No, “You look nice, mommy!” There was nothing. Was it because she thinks this look is normal for me? Was it because she didn’t really see a difference? Or is she living in a world so full of duck lips and shot-glass lip challenges that she’s completely desensitized? I don’t know, but she didn’t say a word. And that just made me want to do more.
So I ramped it up again.
At this point, it became clear to me that Stella’s unruffled, cool as ice behavior toward my ridiculous experiment was telling me all I needed to know about how she felt about these lips: She didn’t give a rat’s ass about it. And she wasn’t going to give attention to what I was doing in hopes that I’d soon just stop the makeup madness and play with her.
I had 10 more minutes on my hands until I had to resume normal life as a responsible mother with actual things to accomplish and attention to give to my children. So I went HAM on the Kylie lips. One. More. Time.
And it was the sad, sad clown who finally got a reaction...
Which was laughter in my face.
And it was then, when she finally broke her game face and acknowledged the ridiculousness of what I was doing, that we both collapsed on the bed laughing uncontrollably at, well, my face. She was laughing because I looked funny, no doubt, but also because she was relieved that this nonsense had come to an end.
Did I Like My Kylie Jenner-Inspired Lips?
Though spending this time and effort trying to give myself Kylie Jenner lips may have seemed abysmally pointless, my daughter’s reaction to it was a good reminder about how to live life.
The experiment proved that kids are cool. They don’t really care what you look like on the outside. And they’re actually turned off when someone is drawing bass-like lips on her face and caring too much about her appearance. It wasn’t until I actually looked like Bobo the Clown that Stella showed a reaction to my face. And it was a fun-loving one, at that. Kids don’t judge your appearance or make assumptions about you based on it. They perceive beauty as what’s on the inside, not the size of your lips.
So will I try to sport Kylie Jenner lips in public anytime soon? No. My fascination with her lips has sharply declined as a result of this lip liner time suck. But will I try to be more non-reactive, unassuming, non-judgmental like my 2 year old? Yep. I think an honest, accepting, and forgiving toddler approach to life looks good on anyone.