Exactly How To Nail The Blurred Lip For A Just-Bitten Finish, From A Makeup Artist
In terms of sought-after, minimal makeup looks, the blurred lip tops many beauty fans' lists. You might come across a slightly varied moniker—gradation lips, ice-pop lips, blotted lips, et al.—but the intent is clear (or, well, blurry): concentrated pigment in the center of the lips, softening out toward the edges.
The look originated out of South Korea (like many cutting-edge beauty trends) years ago and has been stateside for a while now, too, but it has certainly stuck—especially now, when face coverings can easily smear an immaculately drawn lip. It seems only fitting to do the smudging on purpose, no?
"I think there is something very sweet, romantic, and whimsical about this ombre look," adds makeup artist Alexandra Compton, product development manager at clean beauty retailer Credo. "It can actually make the lips appear fuller because of the strategic placement of concealer and contrast of bright color." Although, you can't just smack your lips together and expect a perfect gradation of color (if you can, consider me extremely envious). Here, Compton offers a step-by-step tutorial to blotted lip success.
How to master a burred lip.
"There are so many beautiful color combinations you can try with this look, from vibrant pinks, hot corals, electric reds, to vampy berries...and beyond," says Compton. No matter your lippie du jour, though, you'll need to wield just two products: your concealer and lipstick or stain. (See? Effortless!)
- Dab a pea-size amount of concealer on your cupid's bow and the middle of your bottom lip line. Blend it out to diffuse your lip line (contrary to other lip looks, you want less definition for a blurred finish). Although, "If your lips are noticeably dry or tend to get dry throughout the day, apply a lip balm before going in with concealer," Compton says.
- Next, apply a light wash of lip color to the center of your lips. "Think where your lips would naturally stain if you were eating a lollipop or Popsicle," says Compton. Blend the pigment and concealer together with your finger; just be sure to keep the color concentrated in the center.
- Start slow, adding more color if you want a vibrant finish. As Compton notes, "It's much easier to add color instead of trying to take it away, especially when working with staining pigments." That said, take time to admire your handiwork before going back in with color.
- To increase the wear time, Compton suggests applying a translucent powder on the lip line (over the areas with concealer), which can prevent creasing throughout the day.
- If you want a juicy finish (as opposed to a velvety-soft beat), you can always top it off with gloss. Just make sure you choose a clear number, as that even pigment can take away the whole gradient effect you're striving for.
The blurred lip looks minimal, yes, but it does take a bit of practice to truly master. But if you're gunning for a go-to look, it's worth the investment—this lip look isn't too fussy, and it's beloved by many.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.