The ombré lip has been a beauty sensation for the past few years, but it's set to be huge this season. It’s not just a more artistic way of doing the red lip, but it also enhances the size of your lips. My first attempt to re-create the look was at about 17. Back then I didn’t have access to a fancy black lipstick, so what I did instead was use black eye shadow at the corners of my lips. It still worked and looked really good as a result. However, five years and a political science degree later, I decided to re-create the look and show you a more grown-up and civilised way of achieving the same result. (Be warned: It will get messy before it gets good.) Keep scrolling for my step-by-step guide to red ombré lips.
- Lip balm: Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Lip Balm (£20)
- Concealer and translucent powder
- Red lip pencil: MAC Lip Pencil in Brick (£13)
- Your favourite red lipstick
- Black lipstick: The Estée Edit Lip Flip Shade Transformer (£15)
- Liquid lipstick: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Spicy (around £17)
Lip balm creates the perfect base before applying anything. My favourite one this season is the Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Lip Balm (£20), which I have to thank my friend Aimee Song for (sending looove). As a primer, I’ll normally apply a few drops of concealer, as it evens out the surface and makes it easier to apply any lip pencil or lipstick.
To start with the colour, I use a MAC Lip Pencil in Brick (£13). I contour the lips and draw a line across the middle of both.
Next I apply a classic red lipstick across the whole surface. In this case, I’m using one from the MAC x Charlotte Olympia collection I got a few months ago, but you can use any strong red you have. MAC has a bunch of them, like Red Rock or Mulling Spices, and another one I really love is YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shine in Orange Perfecto (£26).
Now, a tip that I have learned from makeup artists I’ve worked with over the years: layer! Layering is the secret to long-lasting, perfect lipstick. After applying your lip colour, take a tissue and hold it against your lips. That will get rid of the excess.
This is another trick that will help your lipstick last. Take some translucent powder on your fingertip and tap it evenly across the surface of your lips. This sets the colour in place, which will allow you to add extra layers without it looking thick or messy.
As promised, I'm using a more civilised technique of shading the lips! Instead of using messy black eyeshadows, I’m using a black lipstick. This particular one is from The Estée Edit with Kendall Jenner. I’ve searched for black lipsticks online to give you ladies other options, but it seems like not many brands have a fully black lipstick. The ones I’ve found are Makeup Revolution Vamp Collection Black Heart lipstick (£1) and MAC Lipstick in Black Night (£16). I apply it to the corner of my lips and blend it well; make sure you don’t apply too much, as it’s very intense and spreads really well.
I reapply the same lip pencil as before in the middle to get rid of any traces of black and to help blend the two colours together.
We’ve finally arrived at my favourite part, which is applying the incomparable Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Spicy (around £17) in the middle of the lips. It’s unique because of the strong colour and the matte look that it transforms into about 60 seconds after applying. Blend it in and take it to the edges; that will even out the whole look.