Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you would have been aware of the ombré hair trend. You may even know that ombré means ‘fade’, but have you heard of ‘ombré lips’?
This is a relatively new make-up style that features a graduation of lip colour, typically darker from the outside edges, which then fades to light in the middle. It is usually outlined with a darker lip pencil to accentuate the lips.
It is thought that because this style makes your lips appear a lot larger, it originated from drag performers who wanted a full and lush look.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics CEO and creative director David Klasfeld agrees:
“Drag queens have absolutely popularized the look by showing the public at large how easy it is to achieve,” explains Klasfeld. “Prior to that, it’s been a trick of the trade on stage anywhere, be it on the runway or in the theater, to make lips appear as large as possible without looking overdrawn simply with lip liner.”
The ombré trend is now a huge hit with models and features regularly on catwalks and fashion shows, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to nail the look.
How to create ombré lips in four easy steps:
1. Conceal your lips with cover-all
To get the best results, once you have exfoliated and conditioned your lips, it is important to apply a concealer all over the lip area. This stops any colour bleed or feathering from the lip liner or lipstick.
2. Outline with lip pencil
Again, to prevent feathering or colour bleed, use a lip pencil to draw around the outside of your lips. This not only gives definition, but will hold the lipstick or lip gloss in place.
3. Apply lipstick to full part of lips
Now you need to apply the lipstick. Stick to a couple of shades, with one darker than the other, and using the darker one, apply from the lip-liner into the middle, but leave the middle for the lighter lipstick shade.
Now fill in the middle with the lighter shade. If you want a subtle ombré look choose colours in the same colour spectrum, such as dark and light pink. For a more dramatic look, pick colours that contrast.
4. Finally add highlights
The trick to highlighting the lips is to mimic the way the light naturally hits the mouth.
Typically the light will shine on the fullest part of the bottom lip in the middle, so apply either a lip gloss in a light colour, or highlighting powder and just dab a small amount in the centre.
Best Ombré Products
You can of course use your own lipsticks and glosses to create your own ombré look. However, if you are relatively new to the trend, you might prefer a product that has perfect two shades to mix up.
As usual, Topshop.com has come up with just that product. In four shades, including deep reds, bright pinks and mellow orange, their Lip Ombre costs $14 (£9).
The top palette has the dark colour and the bottom contains the lighter one. The colour combinations are perfect for those who are not sure about which colours go well together.
Topshop.com Lip Ombre palettes are available online and in stores.