I first heard about this trend two years ago when I was working retail with this girl who had taught English in South Korea for a year. This is a common thing people with a undergrad degree in the Arts do, but then most of them come back to North America somewhat jaded with job prospects and life in general. Anyways, so we worked together and she often complained about how ridiculous the make-up trends were there. The “gradient lip” trend was her favourite one to dis-credit. She said she hated the look of it, but I think she just hated cute ideas in general! But I digress. Basically, the trend involves painting your whole lips nude, then, just in the center, placing red so it looks as if you ate some ripe red fruit, and it had stained just the inner part of the lips. The motivation behind this trend is that it is supposed to look cuter and younger. So let’s put this to the test on me!
How I find this look:
I can see why it might be a trend in Korea. There is something very natural about this red in the center lip…because that is where lips tend to be redder anyhow. When I showed this lip trend to my kid, he couldn’t tell I was wearing lipcolour! Another thing I like about this trend is that it’s an easy way to wear a bright red lip colour without looking like you’re screaming “look at my lips”! It is more subtle. And that’s why I like it. 🙂 My tips for getting a more defined gradient is to do the center part bright red first, then outline it with the nude lip colour to blend and smudge it. What do you think about it?
Japan, Korea and Taiwan have been making some super cute, funky, and pretty make-up for the last while. I’ve noticed that here in North America and especially Canada, we are just starting to see the brands. Asian make-up packaging are a bit different, so are the scents and formulations. And then there are the trends: BB creams to compliment fair complexions, and false lashes to make eyes look doe-like…etc. There is definitely a market for these kinds of aesthetics over seas but what about here? Does Toronto’s westernized/multicultural demographic make Canada the next big market for Asian make-up companies?
It seems like we are fair game to international corporations that need to expand to survive in this global market. Already Face Shops have sprung up everywhere, not just in the Asian malls north of Toronto, but are now in almost every mainstream mall, and just the other month, another Korean make-up heavy weight Holika Holika set up a boutique on Queen Street west. I have yet to see really the public response, but throwing Asian make-up brands at the mainstream market without any introduction doesn’t seem very intelligent. Face Shop for example had to buy out Canadian company Fruits and Passion here in order to set up shop. Already they are not starting off with the most clean image as some Canadian consumers see the pop up stores as an invasion rather than them “sharing the goods” with us! Even myself, with my Asian heritage and knowledge of cosmetics, I still find it difficult to just adopt everything the Koreans are making, just for the sake of trend or readiness.
On the other hand, I guess we should be happy now that we have easier access to what is on trend at the moment, the only problem is that Face Shop make-up gives my skin allergic reactions. My skin is sensitive, so I can’t slather on things with 10 different chemical names on it! Perhaps these big make-up companies can stop working on gaining capitol on trends for a second, and work on better quality and formulations of their make up and skin care? It is not too much to ask…and consumers in any part of the world’s market can relate to this need and we deserve it too.