The ombre trend that we first fell in love with started with our hair — let’s just say we paid lots of money to get Rachel Bilson and Jessica Alba’s multi-shade styles. But ombre is now taking over another part of our bodies.
These days, it’s all about the ombre lip. But what exactly is it? Well, it’s a very similar gradation of color that evolves from lightest to darkest, beginning at the center of the mouth. And it’s usually outlined by a darker shade of lip pencil or lipstick to fake fuller lips.
Ombre lips have been worn by models throughout the years on the runways of Dior, Miu Miu, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu and Kenneth Cole (pictured above). But with most trends, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics CEO and creative director David Klasfeld tells us the ombre lip has its roots in drag makeup.
“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.”
But you don’t have to be a runway model or a performer to pull off this trend. Keep in mind these three tricks when recreating the ombre lip.
1. Lip pencil is your friend.
“[This product] is not only for creating definition, but for putting down a matte base on lips that will hold any lipstick or gloss like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in place,” says Klasfeld.
To avoid feathering or bleeding, Klasfeld recommends exfoliating and then conditioning your lips, so that they are in optimal condition when bringing this much attention to your pout. Then use an invisible liner around the perimeter of your lips.
2. Stick to just three lip color products and a lip brush.
An easy ombre lip can be achieved by first lining your lips with a lip pencil, pulling the pencil in slightly more toward the center of your lip and then blending a darker shade over it. Leaving room in the absolute visible center of your lips, work a lip brush outwards with a lighter shade in the same color family to add even more dimension and fullness.
3. Remember to follow the light.
By mimicking the way light hits a glossy lip, Klasfeld says you can use two shades to create the illusion of a larger lip. “In my opinion, the most successful ombre lip is achieved by using contrasting tones from the same color family to achieve the look seamlessly,” he explains.
For a more natural effect, choose a pencil shade that is darker than your natural lip tone, a lipstick that is closest to your natural lip and one that’s a shade or two lighter to bring focus to the center of the lips.
For night, choose shades bearing in mind the lighting you’ll be around. “What may look overdone in a lighted makeup mirror, may look too natural in a restaurant, bar or club environment,” says Klasfeld. “Don’t be afraid to go bold