Fear No: Ombré Lips Thursday 26 January, 2012


On the Prabal Gurung Spring 2012 runway, lips literally stopped the show. Why? Because MAC makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury painted them in the most vivid, ombré fade, your eye literally couldn’t look elsewhere. Can you pull off the ombré lip? Yes, you can—with some necessary tweaks.

While the Fall 2012 fashion shows are literally right around the corner, we can’t forget that we are still deep in the clenches of winter…and spring will soon be upon is. So, it’s still rather pertinent to speak about the Spring 2012 makeup trends, no matter how steathily the fall trends will start to dominate beauty blogs. OK. That’s my disclaimer. Moving on…

One spring look that isn’t really a trend, but seriously should be, is ombré lips. Seen at Prabal Gurung’s Spring show, the look is a little startling at first blush, but completely and utterly beautiful—and seriously unexpected. For the artist behind the lip design, MAC lead makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, the makeup is inspired (as is the collection) by “the art of [Japanese artist] Nobuyoshi Araki,” who had an affinity for snapping both exotic flowers and erotically charged images. No surprise then that the mouth becomes the centerpiece, with a lip design that echoes “an orchid bursting from within,” Tilbury says.

 Lindsey Wixson Ombré Lips at Prabal Gurung

At the Prabal show, a variety of models with differing skin tones wore the lipstick look in varying intensities. Personally, I didn’t think it looked “off” on any of the girls, but, as you probably noted from my blog, I’m not one to shy away from the more “aspirational” beauty designs. Yet, from all the two-toned lips seen backstage, one model in particular, Toni Garrn, seemed to have the lightest fade of the bunch—one that was certainly the most wearable. The effect was subtle and gorgeous…and doable. But more on that in a bit.

 Prabal Gurung Spring 2012 Toni Garrn Backstage Beauty

Overall, the Prabal bursting orchid lip is certainly not for a wilting wallflower, but is it wearable? It is, my fearless beauty friends…but you have to be willing to incorporate some minor tweaks.

 Charlotte Tilbury Inspiration for Prabal Gurung Ombré Lips

Why you too should have no fear: We’ve seen ombré in fashion time and time again, and we’ve also fallen in love with this shade-fade trend on nails, but lips seem to be a place for ombré to break new ground. Tilbury’s aim to mimic a bursting orchid by coating lips in hot pink and then deepening only the center with a ripe purple gives depth to the mouth. Because the disparity from color to color—hot pink (which Tilbury achieves with MAC Pro Process Magenta Chromagraphic Pencil) to dark purple (a mixture of MAC Pro Lipmix in Black, Burgundy and Fuchsia)—is so wide, the effect seems jarring, maybe even unwearable. But tackling an ombré lip needn’t involve two hues that are so wide apart on the color spectrum. In fact, if you take two shades from the same hue that are closer together in tint—say, a vibrant coral and a softer coral—you can create a stunning lip that is extremely wearable and ultra-dimensional. The less disparity between the two colors, the more wearable the look.

Also, at Prabal Gurung, the lip is matte, which reads really well and also doesn’t mush together, as lip gloss is wont to do. My advice: Stick to one lipstick texture for the best outcome, and preferably make that texture either matte or creamy to ensure less slippage. Happy painting!

Karie L. Frost Signature


(Photos: Beauty Launchpad)



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