I don't think many have people have that kind of upper lip (probably 10% of the population). To me personally, that kind of upper lip definitely makes a person more attractive regardless of gender. For example, Angelina Jolie's upper lip is also a little curvy although I believe people recognise the thickness of her lips more.

My point is that having a curvy upper lip is a outstanding facial feature and so people must have given it some name. What is it?

Intended usage:
I want to give compliment to person: "It's wonderful that you have the ... lip"

I remember watching Peter Pan on Vietnamese television when I was a kid and Wendy Darling's curvy upper lip were described with a very beautiful (and rare) phrase (in Vietnamese). Unfortunately, searching along that line didn't get me anywhere.

Below is Rio Ferdinand's super curvy lip (I count 5 curves there) vs. a Cupid's bow lip which has 3 curves (most people including myself would have this, as I have observed):

5-curve-lip vs cupid's bow lip

And this is Rio's original lip without any of my drawing:
Rio's super curvy upper lip

  • I've never heard of this before. I am probably not watching Jolie's lips very much. And who is Rio Ferdinand anyway? – Cyberherbalist Jun 26 '13 at 17:37
  • Can you add a picture to your question so we can see what you mean? – Kristina Lopez Jun 26 '13 at 18:04
  • Hi @Cyberherbalist, Rio Ferdinand is a popular footballer currently playing for Manchester United and England team :) – ericn Jun 27 '13 at 10:46
  • @KristinaLopez, sure, it seems very difficult to describe this (I've never been good at describing things anyway :D) – ericn Jun 27 '13 at 10:47
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    Oh yeah! Rio Ferdinand totally has a "kissy lip"! Lol! You did just fine, Fuzzybee. – Kristina Lopez Jun 27 '13 at 10:52

I don't think there is a technical name to describe R. Ferdinand's shaped lips. As you pointed out that they are quite rare, and unless one day they become a medical condition (how likely is that going to happen?) or a new trend for that particular upper lip reshaping constraining plastic surgeons to agree on a name, then there's probably no need to classify them differently from a Cupid's bow mouth.

One way round you could overcome this obstacle is inventing a new name yourself, if it's any good the listener will know exactly what you mean. I thought up a few just for fun:

  • a Rio pout
  • lips alla Joile
  • enhanced curvy lips
  • kissiest lips
  • bouncy lips (think bouncy/cascade slide in a funfair.)
  • roller-coaster lips

If you prefer a more anatomically faithful description then use any of the words below.

anatomy of lips

  • Millions of thanks @Mari-Lou A! I'll call it roller-coaster lips from now on :D (gosh, how lovely that name is) – ericn Jun 28 '13 at 8:13
  • @fuzzybee Glad to be of help. I love your enthusiasm! :D – Mari-Lou A Jun 28 '13 at 8:22
  • Note that "vermilion border" is misspelled on the graphic you included. (It's one L. It's commonly misspelled. It does make the graphic less credible, unfortunately.) – JLG Jun 28 '13 at 14:33

The technical term is a tubercle, though given the other meanings of that word it's not very poetic.

A more aesthetically pleasing term is Cupid's Bow.

  • Also known colloquially as a "kissy lip". :-{|) – Kristina Lopez Jun 26 '13 at 18:04
  • Sorry, I think I led you to misunderstand the idea year, have a look at the picture I've just added ;) – ericn Jun 27 '13 at 11:02
  • Note that Cupid's bow has exactly the shape you're describing here. – Bradd Szonye Jun 28 '13 at 1:10

The term for the border between the skin and the lips is the vermilion border. (Note the spelling; it's one l.) There is a vermilion border of the upper lip and the lower lip.

The vermilion border is the normally sharp demarcation between the lip (red colored) and the adjacent normal skin.

I don't know what a plastic surgeon might call the extra curves (beyond the Cupid's bow) on a lip like the one you pictured. Maybe an undulating vermilion border?

  • Thanks, @JLG. However, I'm interested in the lips or the upper lip, not the border between the skin and the lip. The only reason I drew that red line was to emphasise how curvy the person's upper lip is, the same reason why people drew the red line here. Hope I have made myself clearer here :) – ericn Jun 28 '13 at 1:02

I suggest that the footballer has a pronounced or prominent cupid's bow.

Also known on the internet as duck face.

enter image description here

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