Super-Cute Pairing: Korean-Style Gradient Lips And Freckles

Instead of trying to get rid of my freckles like every Asian skincare salesperson ever has tried to get me to do, I'm playing them up to go with a cute two-toned lip.
Publish date:
August 14, 2013
lipsticks, mac, How-To, Urban Decay, lip gloss, Benefit, highlighters, freckles

I am so into Asian skincare. I just love going into little Korean, Japanese or Chinese cosmetic shops, looking at pretty packaging and poring over all the little labels that are completely foreign to me.

Whenever I ask for help from a sales assistant, their recommendations are always they same. "How about something to get rid of those freckles?"

They aren't even glaringly obvious; I mean, they aren't distinct enough for most people to know they exist, and they disappear almost completely after a layer of foundation. But I suppose when you grow up in a culture where a clear, milk-like complexion is prized, you'll know they're there.

So, when I was looking up "Korean gradient lips," I was pretty surprised to see this photo:

These ombré lips weren't exactly the ones I was looking to emulate for today's look, but I figured I would take inspiration from the image anyway, highlighting (and adding to) my freckles rather than covering them. Combined with a doll-like, flesh-to-berry-stained lip, I think the overall effect is quite sweet and youthful.

Let's get started!

First, make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturized. I used a generous helping of Nivea Lip Smoothie in Cranberry Raspberry. This stuff smells delicious, but definitely make sure to exfoliate beforehand if your lips are flakey 'cos this look will only accentuate that.

Then, I coated my lips with Lush's Skin Tint in Light Yellow, but any foundation/concealer will do.

With a lip brush, I applied a small amount of MAC's Sheen Supreme lipstick in Full Speed (a bright, yellow-based pink) in the centre of my lips. Then to intensify the look, I then applied L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge lipstick in Forever Fuchsia on top, concentrating the colour in the centre. I finished with clear lip gloss.

To get a bit of a glow, I dotted Benefit's High Beam down the bridge of my nose, on my brow bone, cheekbones and in the centre of my forehead and chin. Blend.

For the eyes, I used the thinnest line of liquid eyeliner, and instead of doing an upwards flick, I extended the line downwards following the shape of the eye. Then, using a small, pointed concealer brush, I created freckles using the Urban Decay Basics Palette, which has various brown matte tones. (You can do this with a matte brown eyeliner, too.)

Here's what it all looks like together:

Hair makes a big difference here, I think. A combed-down, slightly off-centre part makes it Kristy-from-The-Babysitters-Club-esque. Add a deeper part and more volume, and it's got more of a Christina-Applegate-in-Don't-Tell-Mom-The-Babysitter's-Dead-is-My-Style-Icon kind of vibe.

Are you into gradient lips? Would you fake freckles? Who were your favourite Babysitters Club members? Mine were Claudia and Mary Anne. Don't make me choose!