Korean Gradient Lips: The Ultimate Guide to This K-beauty Look

By: / November 27, 2019
Categories : K Beauty, Makeup

In the K-beauty scene, sporting a cute and innocent look is everything. Of course, what other K-beauty trend screams adorable other than the popular Korean gradient lips? 

A trend that has swept the world off its feet, gradient lips are meant to create that ‘just-bitten’ effect for a doll-like pout. It creates an ombre effect, drawing attention to the centre of the lip for that playful yet innocent look. So if you are tired of full lips, ditch the lip liner and go for this when you are in the mood for a K-drama look.

Even if you are a makeup novice, this trendy Korean beauty look is much easier to achieve than you think! Beauty Insider gives breaks down the steps to achieving the perfect gradient lips.

Always Apply Lip Balm


There is nothing better than having hydrated skin and that goes for our lips too! Chapped lips are never a good look, so keep your puckers hydrated by slathering on some lip balm! Plus, it will help prevent your lips from looking like a blotchy mess when you apply lipstick. 

Pro tip: Leave your lip balm on for a minute or two before going in with a lipstick or concealer for your lips to soak in the pure goodness. If you simply cannot wait, dabbing your lips on a piece of tissue helps too! 

Burt’s Bees Beeswax 


Banish your dry lips with the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. Making waves since 1991, this cult favourite lip balm promises to take moisturising to a whole new level thanks to its Vitamin E in its formula. What’s more, users can expect a hint of peppermint oil for that soothing tingle. With this lip balm, smooth and supple lips are no long unachievable.

Reviewers are raving over this product as it works wonders on chapped lips. What’s more, reviewers have even claimed that this product is perfect for people with sensitive lips. ‘The thing I can never leave my house without – it’s the only product that can remedy my chapped lips and will do so long term,’ one reviewer wrote.

Price: $10 at Sephora 

Apply a Nude Lipstick Or Concealer


The gradient lip is all about contrast. Since this look is all about creating an ombre effect, it is key to conceal your naturally pink lips to create a seamless blend.  For this step, apply a trusty nude lipstick of your choice all over your lips to cover up any pinkness. Watch how YouTuber Nara pulls off gradient lips using a nude lipstick. 

Too Faced Natural Nudes

For nude lippies, you cannot go wrong with the Too Faced Natural Nudes Lipstick. Highly-pigmented and creamy, this lipstick boasts intense colour payoff for that all-natural finish. Plus, this lipstick is infused with coconut butter complex, which will leave your lips feeling. With 10 bold nude shades, there is sure to be a shade for you.

This lipstick has become a favourite among Sephora reviewers for being moist and hydrating on the lips.  Moreover, reviewers are loving the satin finish this lipstick leaves.

Price: $34 at Sephora 

If you are want to accentuate the inner parts of your lips you can also use a concealer! Pick any concealer closest to your shade as possible and apply it on the outermost parts of your lips. Then, blend it out to blur out the lip line. Check out how YouTuber sichenmakeupholic achieves this gradient lip using a concealer here.

Choosing a Lip Colour


Here comes the fun part of the gradient lip look! When it comes to choosing a lip colour, the options are endless. Whether you are in the mood for a bright orange lip or a deep, sultry plum,  Apply the lipstick and focus the application on the innermost parts of your lips. The key to this step is to slowly build on the application onto the lips for a diffused look.

MAC Cosmetics Cremesheen Lipstick 

What better way to add a touch of colour to your lips than with MAC’s iconic Cremesheen Lipstick? With over 25 shades to choose from, delight yourself with a wide range of colours from soft pink to sizzling reds. This creamy lipstick boasts a seamless application that leaves your pout with a semi-glossy finish. One coat is all you need for an intense colour payoff.

Reviewers have highly rated this lipstick on Sephora and we can see why. With its medium, buildable coverage, this lipstick is your go-to for that casual chic look. “It is easy to use and looks very casual as if you are not wearing any lipstick at all,” one reviewer wrote.

Price: $33 at Sephora

If you do not have a lipstick on hand, a nifty lip tint works too! Just dab a few spots of lip tint onto the innermost parts of your lips before blending it out to see that obsession-worthy effect! Korean gradient lips to the rescue!

Pro tip: For that extra pop of colour, use a lipstick lip tint in a shade that is significantly darker.

3CE Velvet Lip Tint


The 3CE Velvet Lip Tint is your perfect tool to mastering the gradient lip. It delivers a smooth, sherbert-like texture and glides effortlessly on the lips, leaving the lips with a velvet matte finish. It also packs a punch in the pigment department with its oil-packed formula that promises vivid colour payoff.

A favourite among K-beauty junkies, reviewers have been singing praises about this product for its non-drying matte finish and gorgeous tints. ‘Very pigmented, not drying and lovely colour. Had a few colours already and will continue buying,’ one reviewer wrote.

Price: $23 at Sephora

Blend, Blend, Blend!


After applying your lip colour on the innermost parts of your lips,  blend the pigment out in an outward motion using your finger or a lip brush. If the colour runs off in the midst of blending, re-apply the lipstick or lip tint at the centre of your lips! 

Use a Setting Powder


Now that you are done with your flawless gradient lip look, how do you keep it in place for the rest of the day? The answer is to use a setting powder! Lock in your lip makeup with a loose setting powder to ensure it stays budge-proof! Take your favourite loose setting powder and lightly dust your lips with a fluffy brush and you are good to go. Your gradient lip look is complete!

Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder

The Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder promises a photo-ready finish and it does not disappoint. Made with superfine, silky loose powders, this loose setting powder blurs out all imperfections leaving that korean gradient lip the focus of the makeup look. On top of that, it comes in eight sheer shades to blend in seamlessly with every skin tone.

With over 400 glowing reviews on Sephora, one reviewer said that this powder makes their skin ‘look smoother and more luminescent’ while another reviewer said that this powder left their face ‘perfect and not greasy what so ever even after a 12 hour day’. 

Price: $44 at Sephora

Apply a Clear Lip Gloss


Amp up your gradient lips with a high-shine finish! Using a clear lip gloss helps add a little drama to the oh-so-cute gradient lip and gives your lips a plump look. Plus, who does not love a little high-gleam to their look? Take note to use a smudge-proof lipstick beneath the gloss to avoid any colour runs.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminiser


Looking for a clear lip gloss with a whole of glitter? The Gloss Bomb is your go-to. This clear lip gloss delivers a high-shine glitter finish without leaving a sticky feeling to the lips. Perfect if you are looking for a touch of dewy highlight to your lips. Just when you thought this lip gloss could not get any better, it also contains shea butter to moisturise your lips. That is a win-win!

With over a thousand glowing reviews on Sephora, it is no surprise that this lip gloss is a winner in our books. ‘Gives a nice juicy look to the lips, feels light on the lips, not tacky,’ one reviewer wrote.

Price: $31 at Sephora

Exfoliate Your Lips for Some Extra Care


If lip balm cannot get rid of those dry, flaky lips, turn to exfoliation as your rescue tool. Exfoliation melts away all the dead skin cells to ensure smooth lips for easier application and blending to create a flawless gradient effect. What’s more, it evens out the texture of the lips to accentuate the gradient colours! 

You Can Even Achieve This Look with One Lip Product


What we love about gradient lips is that you do not always multiple products to get these alluring look. If you forgot to bring, you can still achieve these Simply take any lipstick shade of your choice Then, use a cotton bud to blend it out in an outward motion. Fuss-free and easy!