The Korean gradient lip has come a long way. Gone are the days where all you did to get a gradient lip was dab on a tint on lipstick in the inner center of your lips and spread it out for a serviceable, if slightly blotchy, gradient look.
The modern gradient lip is much more than that: featuring flawlessly even textures and seamless ombré gradients that call for the use of lipstick, concealer, blush, and even powder. There’s no “just-sucked-a-popsicle” vibes here: perhaps fittingly for our digital age, this looks more like something applied by an Instagram filter.
Korean makeup artist Saerom documents the process in a Youtube video – so you too can try creating the look for yourself!
1. Start with a balm to hydrate and get your lips primed for the next steps. Just remember to wipe it off!
2. Conceal. This is one step that you might be familiar with from the traditional gradient lip. But instead of swiping concealer across your entire lip surface, pick up a bit with your brush and dab it just along your natural lip line, being sure to blend well.
3. Set with powder. Using a fluffy brush, dust on a bit of loose powder all over the lips. This helps set the concealer while allowing lipstick to go on smoother, as we’ve tried in the past!
4. Now it’s time for your first layer of lip colour. Instead of the watery tints of yesteryear, Saerim opts for a solid matte lipstick. Apply straight from the bullet, then dab gently on the outer line before blending further with a finger.
5. Emphasise the soft gradient even more by blend out the line of your lips even further with a matte blush in the similar shade as your lipstick. Think about overdrawing your lips, but in a more natural, diffused way than lip liner can. Tip: use the same blush shade on your cheeks to tie your whole look together.
6. Now deepen the gradient by dabbing on a darker liquid lip colour in the inner center line of your lips with a brush. Blend, and you’re done! You can also dab on a layer of clear gloss if you want a glossy take on the gradient.
Watch how Saerom creates the look below.