Tutorial: Gradient lips, done three ways

The Korean gradient lip trend features a soft bloom of color starting from the middle of the lips, blending outwards into a lighter color. It's cute and flattering - I wasn't really sold seeing it on other people, but when I tried it on myself, I was surprised by how pretty it looked! The fun thing about it is that you can use any color you already have as long as you choose a two contrasting shades. It's also a great way to finally take your not-so-flattering nudes out to play.

And so, here are three ways to achieve the gradient lip! The first one is a juicy satin, the second is matte, and the third requires the use of concealer or foundation. Which one are you digging the most?

The juicy gradient

This style is subtle, girly, and incorrigibly flirty. It's not in-your-face like the typical gradient lip! It's  super easy to do - I just used a light pink as my base color (Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk in BE101), and then applied a plum red in the middle (the same lipstick range, but in RD302).

The center part is shaped horizontally so that most of my inner lips are darker. I just mooshed my lips together to blend, and voila! Instant dolly lips!

The matte center gradient

I used liquid matte lipstick to achieve this look. First, I applied the Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream in Petal and waited for it to dry. Then I placed a dark purple, Fandango Purple (also from the Matte Me line), on the center. I kind of pulled the color down my lips with a finger so that it diffuses downward vertically instead of horizontally.

If you're doing gradient lips, I recommend using lipsticks from the same line so that they will blend together evenly and achieve a uniform look. Blend them with your fingers if the shape isn't quite right; you can always add a bit more of the base color to blend better.

The look turned out to be edgy, don't you think? ^_^ I love it too! 

The barely there gradient

This lip look tries to capture the lips of our youth, before we discovered grown-up things like lipstick. It's shiny in the middle and diffuses into a flesh tone. To achieve it, I applied a liquid concealer all over my lips (Cover Girl concealer), and then popped a peach lip gloss (Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi Gloss in 306) right in the center. The shape is similar to the first lip look above!

I just kept on mashing my lips to blend the color, then added more of the gloss in the middle to get that gradient effect. I do wish I used a concealer closer to my actual skin tone; up close, it looks way too light and didn't blend onto my skin as it should have.

Still, it was fun to try! I don't feel it's as wearable as the other two - I mean, it's still concealer on the lips, it doesn't look quite right - but it's interesting. I should try it with a flesh-tone nude and see if it comes out better.

So there you go, gradient lips, done three ways! Which one is your favorite? How do you do your own gradient lips and what kind of products do you use?