If you remember life in the ‘90s (or have an affinity to the decade), we’ll bet that you’re familiar with '90s makeup trends. From frosty lip gloss and spidery lashes to brown lipstick and heavy eyeliner, statement makeup looks dominated the decade. One of our favorites and arguably one of the most iconic looks from the time is ombré lips. Supermodels and celebrities alike were frequently photographed on red carpets sporting the trend. And like many beauty trends do, it’s making a major comeback. So we’re sharing a step-by-step guide on how to do ombré lips, below.
What Are ‘90s Ombré Lips?
If you’re unfamiliar with the look, ombré lips that were ultra-popular in the ‘90s featured dark, visible lip liner with a contrasting shade (often a milky, nude hue) in the center of the lips and then topped off with gloss. The lip liner was blended very subtly to create the ombré effect, while maintaining that contrast against the center of the lips. This makeup technique can be done with any shade, but back then shades of brown were usually the go-to.
How To Create Ombré Lips
To bring back all of the ‘90s nostalgia and recreate the trend, keep reading because we’re providing an easy tutorial on how to get the look.
1. Exfoliate Your Lips
Starting with smooth lips is incredibly important in order to make your lip products apply evenly 一 especially when you’re creating a lip-focused makeup look. With a lip scrub like the L’Oréal Paris Pure Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub, or a damp washcloth, gently exfoliate your lips to remove dead skin cells and reveal smooth lips. If your lips feel dry after, tap on some lip balm 一 but make sure you don't apply too much as you don’t want the lip liner you’re going to apply to slide around.
2. Line Your Lips
Next, line your lips with a brown toned lip liner like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Toffee To Be or the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in Dark Chocolate. Trace the outline of your lips, keeping the line in the center fairly thin and going thicker at the outer edges. This will help to create the illusion of fuller lips, which is important depending on your lip shape.
3. Diffuse The Lip Liner
To start creating the ombré effect, use a small lip brush to gently diffuse the lip liner. Very subtly blend the color towards the center of your lip so it’s deepest at the outermost parts of the lips and fades in towards the center.
4. Apply A Light Lipstick Shade
Grab a nude lipstick shade that has similar undertones to the lip liner you chose, but is about three to four shades lighter. If you’re looking to create a really dramatic contrast, try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-Camedia. If you prefer the ombré look to be more subtle, choose a lipstick that’s only two to three shades lighter than the liner.
Then, apply the shade to the center of the lips straight from the bullet being sure not to go over the lip liner. With your finger or a lip brush, blend the edges of the lipstick so it looks diffused into the lip liner.
5. Top Off The Look With Lip Gloss
While you can certainly leave the look as is and you’ll still have gorgeous ombré lips, it wouldn’t be a true nod to the ‘90s if you didn’t top it off with lip gloss. Back then, it was all about the shine, so applying a clear lip gloss like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Mirror will give it the perfect finishing touch.
Written by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Jasmine Adetunji, IG/@jasadetunji
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