Gradient Lips Trend: All the rage in Korea!

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!

You need two lip colours to do this. Make sure they contrast eachother enough. The main point of this trend is nude coloured lips, with a gradient dab of bright colour in the center.
You need two lip colours to do this. Make sure they contrast each other enough. The main point of this trend is nude coloured lips, with a gradient dab of bright colour in the center.
Come close for a kiss! ha ha. This is how it should look. I don't know if you can see it. But it is indeed two toned, with the red in the center, fading out to nudey pink on the edges. Like?
Come close for a kiss! ha ha. This is how it looked on me. I don’t know if you can see it. But it is indeed two toned, with the red in the center, fading out to nudey pink on the edges. Like?

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?

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Bold lipstick colours are fashionable but also kinda gross…

There is something that is not often talked about in the make-up world, or actually should I say, over looked: and that is the sad fact that almost all bold lip colours are made up of heavy toxic chemicals and metals, some trace, and some not so trace.  The bottom line though, is that it’s in there, and that wearing a fashionable shade of red, or the current trend of fushia, is probably loaded with not so great stuff.

the classic bold red lip.
the classic bold red lip.
Lorde made fashion waves with her bold dark lips recently...
Lorde made fashion waves with her bold dark lips recently…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was younger, say ten years ago, I would always wear lipstick.  After using the restroom, I would wash my hands and reapply that creamy stick, covering up my natural lip colour.  It looked good, so I did it, ignoring the fact that lipstick gets everywhere, on clothes, on coffee cups, on ciggy butts.  But the place that it was probably getting into the most was my stomach when I inadvertently ate it.  There are statistics out there about the staggering amount of lipstick a woman ingests over a year, and over her lifetime and it’s gross.  But we don’t need statistics to use our common sense and know that we are eating it.  Anything on our lips eventually makes its way to our stomachs.  It’s on our mouths after all.  Which is why these fashionable bold lip colours are kind of scary to wear if you want to think about it.  You don’t ever want to eat lead, or mercury, or cadmium, but it’s in almost all lipsticks.  Just do the foil test to see this in your favourite lipstick shade.

My suggestion is is that if you’re not going to a red carpet event, do we really need bold lips on a day to day basis?  Probably not.  Why not wear a tinted lipbalm?  Sure, it’s usually very sheer, and less noticable, and less fashionable, but it’s healthier for your lips.  Since I stopped wearing lipsticks, my lips have naturally turned more pink, meaning I don’t actually need thick lipsticks to put colour into my lips.  Also, I barely need chapstick because my lips stay so moist, even in the winter!  I’m a bit of a crafter, so I made my own tinted lipbalm made with coconut oil, cocoa butter and beeswax, coloured it with a bit of fushia mica, and what I got was this:

Lot's of colour in tinted lipbalms, without all that gunk...
Lot’s of colour in tinted lipbalms, without all that gunk…

So pretty, no?

Am I going back to toxic lipsticks and stains? Yes, it is fashionable, and unavoidable, but for day to day, I got this moisturizing tinted lip balm to carry me through!