How To Create an Ombre Lip: Tutorial & Product Guide

How To Create an Ombre Lip: Tutorial & Product Guide

How To Create an Ombre Lip: Tutorial & Product Guide

Embracing the beauty of individuality and uniqueness, we invite you to explore the captivating world of ombre lips. A trend that has taken the beauty industry by storm, the ombre lip offers a stunningly distinct look that can be tailored to your personal style. 

This technique, involving the skillful blending of multiple lipstick shades, creates a beautifully gradient effect — a transition from a darker color on the outside to a lighter shade on the inside. 

In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover everything you need to know about creating this must-have look — from understanding what an ombre lip is to the reasons why you should try it, and finally, a step-by-step tutorial to perfect this lip trend. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned makeup enthusiast, this article promises to elevate your lip game to new heights.

Where Does Ombre Come From?

An ombre lip isn't a recent invention, although it has recently become more and more present on the beauty scene, even as trends like ombre highlights and balayage saturate hair influencers on every platform.

The roots of this beauty trend actually trace back to the silent movie era! Actresses used this technique to make their lips look more dimensional on black-and-white film. Fast forward to the 21st century, and the ombre lip has evolved into a versatile and inclusive style statement.

The term "ombre" hails from the French word for shadow or shade, or even foil — in the literary sense of the word, meaning a contrast. It’s a perfect descriptor for this technique. 

The ombre lip effect employs the strategic application of various shades of lipstick, from darker hues at the outer corners to gradually lighter shades towards the center. The result is a radiant, multidimensional look that adds depth and volume to your lips!

Ombre lips have gained immense popularity not only for their glamorous appeal but also for the flexibility they offer. This technique allows for creativity and personal expression — you can go from subtle and natural for a day at the office to bold and dramatic for a night out on the town. The choices are as diverse as our community.

But the beauty of the ombre lip doesn't stop at its versatility. This lip trend embraces everyone, regardless of skin tone or lip shape. Whether you have full lips, thin lips, or a cool or warm complexion, there's an ombre lip out there that will enhance your natural beauty. It's all about finding the right color combinations that complement your unique features.

Why Go for an Ombre Lip?

One of the most enticing features of the ombre lip is the visual illusion it creates — it gives the impression of fuller, more defined lips, much like contouring does for your cheekbones. 

The gradient effect, with the lighter shade at the center of the lips, reflects light and adds dimension, which enhances the volume of your lips. This trick of the light is a fantastic way to accentuate your pout without resorting to invasive procedures or heavy makeup. 

This trend has proven to be a game changer, adaptable to a variety of occasions, outfits, and even moods. Whether you're heading for a business meeting or a weekend brunch, an ombre lip can be customized to match the vibe. All you need to do is switch up the color palette and intensity according to your needs. 

From neutral earth tones for a subtle daytime look to vibrant reds and purples for an evening out, you can experiment with a plethora of color combinations. It’s basically your go-anywhere, do-anything look that will help you stand out from the crowd without making you feel out of place.

What Do You Need To Do an Ombre Lip?

Now that we've established why the ombre lip is a must-try beauty trend, let's move on to the tools of the trade. Creating an ombre lip requires a few key products, each with a specific role in achieving that stunning gradient effect. 

As we mentioned already, it’s sort of like contouring but for your mouth!

Lip Liner

You’ll want a darker shade to define the outer edges of your lips. Something super pigmented and rich in hue, like L’Oréal’s Color Riche Lip Liner, is a great place to start. This serves as the initial boundary for your ombre effect and also helps your lipstick stay put. 

It's important to choose a lip liner that's smooth and easy to blend, as you'll be doing a lot of that to create the gradient effect.

Two Shades of Lipstick

Next, you'll need two shades of lipstick: a darker one that matches your lip liner and a lighter one for the center of your lips. Matte or cream-based formulas work best as they blend easily without bleeding into each other. 

That said, especially if you have more mature skin, you’ll want to make sure the lipstick is sufficiently moisturizing, as dry lips won’t lend themselves to as smooth a blend, and you’re more at risk for dryer skin and lips as you get older. If this sounds like you, a matte yet liquid lipstick is your best bet.

We like the SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color because it’s perfect for long-stay applications, and it blends really well as long as you don’t wait too long!

When choosing your lipsticks, consider your skin tone and personal preference. The colors should harmonize well together, but they should also make you feel fabulous. There are no real rules here. While you might want to choose complementary shades or colors, you can also just go with the vibe and what makes you happy!

Lip Brush for Blending

A lip brush is also essential for precise application and blending. With a lip brush, you can seamlessly merge the darker and lighter lipstick shades, creating the flawless gradient that defines the ombre lip. 

A Little Something Extra

Lastly, you might want to consider a lip gloss or balm to add some shine. This is optional, but a little gloss at the center of your lips can enhance the 3D effect, making your lips look even fuller. 

How To Create an Ombre Lip: Step by Step

Creating an ombre lip may seem like a daunting task, but we promise you, with our guide and a little practice, you'll master this art in no time! So gather your essential products, find a comfortable spot, and let's start our journey to achieving the perfect ombre lip.

Step 1: Prep Your Lips

A canvas needs to be smooth for the paint to glide on effortlessly. The same applies to your lips. 

Start by exfoliating your lips gently with a lip scrub or a clean, soft toothbrush. This will remove any dead skin and provide a smoother surface for your lipstick. After exfoliating, apply a hydrating lip balm and allow it to absorb. This will ensure your lips are moisturized, preventing the lipstick from appearing flaky or uneven.

Step 2: Outline Your Lips

Begin by tracing the natural line of your lips with your darker lip liner. This acts as a barrier for your lipstick and creates the initial framework for your ombre effect. Don't worry if it's not perfect — this is just the first step, and there will be plenty of blending later.

Step 3: Apply the Darker Lipstick

Apply your darker shade of lipstick, following the line you created with your lip liner. Fill in the corners and sides of your lips, leaving the center untouched for now. This darker shade will provide a striking contrast to the lighter color we'll be applying next.

Step 4: Apply the Lighter Lipstick

Now, apply the lighter lipstick to the center of your lips. Avoid going over the area where the darker lipstick is applied. The aim is to create a contrast between the darker and lighter shades. It’s okay if it looks too extreme for now! You’ll fix that in the next step.

Step 5: Blend, Baby, Blend

Here's where your lip brush comes in handy. Use it to carefully blend the boundary where the darker and lighter lipstick meet, creating a seamless transition from one shade to another. Take your time with this step — blending is crucial in achieving the perfect gradient effect. 

Step 6: Add Some Shine

If you want to add some extra dimension, dab a little lip gloss or balm to the center of your lips. This enhances the ombre effect by making the lighter part of your lips look even more prominent. 

You can match the shade of gloss to your lipsticks, or you can go for that late ‘90s, early 2000s clear gleam that will have everyone’s eyes on you all night long. Super Lustrous The Gloss in Frost Queen is our go-to for that game-changing pout.

How To Master the Art of the Ombre

Mastering the ombre lip might take some practice, but don't worry, we're here to support you every step of the way. Here are some additional tips to help you perfect your new beauty routine:

Practice Makes Perfect

Learning something new takes a lot of practice, especially if you want to get good at it — there’s that classic wisdom that it takes 10,000 hours to master something… but while creating an ombre lip will require some practice, you’ll definitely master it after a few tries. 

Still, don't be discouraged if it doesn't come out perfect the first time. The more you practice, the better you'll become.

Experiment with Colors

Don't be afraid to play around with different color combinations. The beauty of the ombre lip lies in its versatility. From deep reds to subtle nudes, the possibilities are endless.

Clean Up Any Mistakes

If you make a mistake, don't fret! Use a bit of concealer or foundation on a small brush to clean up any errors and sharpen the edges of your lips. It’s also a good idea to keep a solid makeup remover or micellar water on hand, as well as some cotton buds or rounds so that you can restart if you feel like you haven’t quite nailed it.

There’s nothing wrong with starting over! It’s just one more opportunity to practice on your way to becoming an ombre pro.


Keeping your lips moisturized is crucial to achieving a smooth, flawless finish. Regularly exfoliate and hydrate your lips to ensure they're always in top condition. And hydrating your lips isn’t just about lip balm. It’s also important to drink enough water during the day so that your skin cells aren’t parched and ripe for peeling.

If you apply lip balm regularly and your lips still seem to be peeling all of the time, consider an SPF lip balm for daily wear! While you (hopefully) apply sunscreen daily, it’s easy to forget that your lips can suffer sun damage too, which may leave them dry and less than hospitable to your ombre lip ambitions. 

After all, you moisturize your face to keep your skin healthy and to ensure a smooth, primed canvas when you do your makeup. Your lips shouldn’t be any different!

Go Bold or Go Home

Learning how to create an ombre lip can open up a whole new world of beauty possibilities. From subtle, everyday looks to bold, party-ready statements, there's an ombre look for every occasion. 

So go ahead — step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and above all, have fun with your beauty journey. You're already beautiful, and makeup is just an enjoyable way to express that beauty to the world. We can't wait to see the amazing looks you create with your new ombre lip skills!


Ombre | Cambridge Dictionary

Aging Changes in Skin | Medline Plus

Sunscreen Protection for Lip Mucosa: A Review and Update | National Library of Medicine

The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance | Psychological Review

Image by valuavitaly on Freepik


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