Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

How To: Easy Gradient Lips

This post is part of my Japan 2014 Beauty Series. It's my take on "beauty-travel blogging" where I post exclusively about fashion, makeup, skincare and shopping while travelling to another land.
Click here for the Japan 2014 Beauty Series overview post. Summary of posts is at the bottom.

When I travel, I (more or less) try to plan ahead just so I don't wind up bringing too many contingencies. Aside from outfits, I plan my makeup looks too, just so I can put a finite cap on things to bring. If I didn't, I'd probably end up taking 80% of my makeup counter with me and using only 10% of it.

For this trip, I settled on the idea of a fuschia gradient lip (based on shu uemura M PK 376.) I like the idea of a gradient lip as a way to wear color really, really softly. It's discreet, and adds an innocent and sweet vibe to your look. With gradient lips, I feel like I can work with a strong color yet not call a whole lot of attention to my lips.

Here's a cheatsheet which I realize would've been more useful if I'd shown the tools used along each step. Oh well, next time notes then.


Overapply foundation on the whole lips. You may also use concealer, if you prefer.

Apply a small circle of color to the center of your lips. I have pretty big lips so and I've settled to a lip map for gradienting: I apply matte lipstick about halfway vertically and two thirds horizontally, centered.

You can use any shade of bold matte lipstick, lip stain or lip tint but I prefer matte lippies as they are the easiest to blend. I'm using shu uemura's Gangnam Pink (Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in M PK 376).

Step 2: BLEND
Using your fingers, blend the color outward. My map comes in useful for this part because all the extra space leaves me room to blend from full color to a gradiented shade.

I try to be careful not to touch the edges of my lips with any trace of pigment because I find the look is much more improved when the lip color blends seamlessly to the base color.

I like my gradient to really POP at the center so I use a nude lipstick to 'eat back' any of the overblended pigment. I love using Too Cool For School Glam Rock Smoky Nudy Lip Color in #1 Pale Beige for this.

Step 4: GLOSS
I'd been trying gradient lips on and off for a few months running and I realize now why my gradient lips looked so crusty and not as dreamy as what I see on Korean media: I skipped the gloss. Gloss is super important and really "makes" the look, because otherwise you look like you just have undone lips.


You know how they say "assuming makes an ass out of and me? They should change it to assmeme because I just made a huge ass of myself.

fotd gradient lips
FOTD: Gradient Lips + Rat's Nest hair

Practicing and packing for gradient lips was completely useless because as it turns out, gradient lips ARE NOT A THING in Japan.

assumed I'd be wearing gradient lips, as they do in Korea. Save me the you're-so-ignorant diatribe, I don't actually assume Japan and Korea are the same. It's just the closest idea I've got to a culture I don't closely follow. I know they're different but I went with the idea anyway.

Thank God I had spare MLBB lippies in my purse.

See you on the next J2014 installment!

FOTD: Trendspotting in Japan

SCOUTED: Maybelline White Super Fresh