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David Jones

How to perfect the ombre lip

Image from Louis Vuitton FW RTW 2017-2018, ombre lip close up. Getty Images

Make-up legend has it that your lip shade should complement your complexion.  Figure out your perfect colour, and you should be good to go. But the knowledge that you’re better suited to hues in orange, pink, mulberry or plum doesn’t help much when it’s suddenly on trend to be wearing more than one.

Say hello to the ombre lip.

Literally translated as “shaded” in French, the ombre lip is the gradual blending of one colour into another, generally moving tints and shades from light to dark.  Colour number one is applied around the edges of your mouth, colour number two in the inner parts of your lips, blended outwards with a lip brush.

For those days when applying one hue just isn’t enough, the ombre lip allows you to get a little more lavish with your look.  But not all shades are created equal, and not all are designed to come together as one. So where should you begin?

To help you perfect this season’s hottest lipstick trend, we’ve written a cheat sheet to help you master the look.

Close up editorial of ombre lip featuring lipstick by Yves Saint Laurent. Image courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent.

How to: ombre lip

  1. Apply a creamy lip primer to moisten your pout and to encourage staying power. MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip works a treat.

  2. Etch a liner along the upper and lower lip lines, keeping your lips relaxed and your hand steady. The Napoleon Perdis Lip Pencil in Plum Role is the ultimate in easy application.

  3. Match your lipstick shade to your lip liner and opt for a dewy consistency that can be easily blended. Sisley’s Phyto-Lip Shine in Burgundy makes a bold statement.

  4. In your darkest shade, stencil in the outer shape of your lips using a flat lip brush. A great tool for smoothing on lip colour and creating a uniform finish is Giorgio Armani's lip brush.

  5. Fill in the centre with a lighter lip colour like Shiseido’s Rouge Rouge in RD312, blending the lighter and darker shades together to create a subtle ombre look.


New in from Yves Saint Laurent

Inspired by the Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lip and Cheek, a new member of the Yves Saint Laurent family takes centre stage – the Baby Doll Kiss & Blush duo stick. The perfect option for achieving the ombré look, the product features two colours, playful and enigmatic, to be used singly or blurred together, in a compact balm that glides easily over lips, or cheeks, or both!


Inspired by the Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lip and Cheek, a new member of the family takes center stage. A gold cap, embellished with the distinctive Cassandre lifts off an intense fuchsia case, revealing a colorful duo of lip and blush heaven. Two colors, playful and enigmatic, to be used singly or blurred together, in a compact balm that glides easily over lips, or cheeks or both. A smooth matte finish to bring lips and cheeks to life. Irresistible, fresh, it’s twice as much fun with endless makeup finish possibilities. This way, that way, or vice versa!