Introduction: Tricolor Ombré Lips

About: I am a very energetic, friendly, and outgoing person! As you can tell by my interests, I love doing anything active or crafty. I love a good balance of nature and technology. I am a Linguistics major, curre…

I've gotten quite a few requests for a tutorial on the lips I wore to SF Pride.

You can follow these steps with any 3 colors of lipstick or face pencil. I will be using pencils. You can use lipstick but if you do, I recommend using a lip brush to apply your colors.

Your lips should always be the last thing you apply to your face. This prevents you from smudging your lips while trying to apply eye makeup or getting foundation/concealer on your perfect ombré puckers! I do my makeup in the order of eyes>face>lips. Of course, people have their preferences of what should go first or last.

Don't be afraid to get messy! We can always clean up later :)

Pick your weapons of choice and let's do this!

Please excuse how dry my lips are for this tutorial. They are sunburnt :(

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:

1) Some liquid foundation of concealer.

2) Three colors of face pencil or lipstick.

3) Translucent powder, either pressed or loose is okay.

Products I'm using:
1) Kat Von D. Lock-It Tattoo Concealer - Shade 16

2) Blue pencil: OCC Pencil - Pool Boy

Green Pencil: MAC Chromagraphic Pencil - Landscape Green

Purple Pencil: MAC Chromagraphic Pencil - Rich Purple

3) MAC Prep&Prime Translucent Pressed Powder

Step 2: Powder

Powder your nude lips with a translucent powder. This will make the surface of your lips and your skin easier to draw on, giving you more precise lines. Only a light layer is needed.

Step 3: 1st Color

Lip line the frame of your lips with your first color. It helps to use the side of the pencil tip instead of coming at your lips head on with the point. If you are using lipstick and lip brushes, use the same technique and apply your product using the side of your brush. Like a 2nd grader, don't worry about keeping your pencil clean or pretty. You can always sharpen it later if you get pigment all over the wooden part of the pencil.

Draw your Cupid's bow as round or sharp as you'd like. (See photo for placing of this feature.)

Utilize those awesome 2nd grade dexterity skills and lay this line on thick.

Once you've drawn the line, we need to graduate to 12th grade and use a lip brush or a small shading brush to blot where you've applied the color. Use small motions. You should not be sweeping back and forth. This will remove product. Blotting makes your lines less harsh.

NOTE: I overdraw my upper lip to match the fullness of my lower lip. I draw above, instead of on, my natural lip line.

Step 4: 2nd Color

Select the color you want in the very center of your lips.

Apply a 2nd grader thick line to the inner part of your lower and upper lip. Again, use the side of the pencil instead of drawing the color on with the point of the pencil.

Leave just enough space between the 1st and 2nd color for a thin line of a 3rd color.

Step 5: 3rd Color

Apply a the third color on the rest of the nude part of your lip. Use the side of the pencil to blend the colors together.

Lightly draw this 3rd color over the boarder of the 1st color. In the example, this would mean drawing the blue lightly into the purple with the side of the pencil.

Do the same to blend the 3rd and 2nd colors. In the example, this would be the blue and the green.

Do this on the lower and upper lip.

Step 6: Blend!

The first thing one should bother getting good at, when it comes to makeup, is blending. This is an important technique for face makeup, eyeshadow, and lips.

Go over the 1st color one more time with your chosen color. Use the same brush you used earlier to blot again to help all 3 colors seamlessly transition from one to the next.

You don't have to worry about your lip line being messy because we're about to be the teacher and clean up after our 2nd grade selves!

Step 7: Clean Up!

Apply a small amount of your liquid foundation or concealer to a small or medium sized paddle brush.

A paddle brush is a wide, flat, brush.

The one I'm using in the photo is the MAC brush #195.

Dab on some of the foundation or concealer to the skin that lines your lip, as seen in the example.

Press your brush flush against your skin, on top of your applied concealer, under/over the center of whichever lip you're working on. In one, slow, motion, sweep your brush from the center of your lip, outward. Repeat on both sides, top and bottom. This cleans up the line of your 1st color and gives your lips definition and will help the color stand out.

Step 8: Ta Da!

Your lips are done!

I've posted the photo of how these lips can wear as part of an entire look.

I've also added a red, white, and blue version in the spirit of the 4th of July!

This is a great look for anything that has a remote color theme like Pride, a sporting event, a school event to display school colors, or this can be a great way to pull an outfit that has extreme colors together.

To make them last through eating and drinking, throw another layer of translucent powder on top. This won't prevent it from coming off, but it will help the color stick a little longer.

Hope you enjoy your amazing lips :)



Step 9: Q & A

I add Q & A steps to the end of my Instructables as I'm asked relevant, important, questions in my comments. Chances are, if one person asks, 10 other people are wondering the same thing. Let me know if this is helpful!

Updated 7/8:

Is this hard? How much practice does this take?
I'd say the blending is the most challenging part. Definitely practice a few days before you plan on wearing this out for the first time. Always practice with the 3 colors you intend to use, at least a night in advance. If you're using a mix of pencils, lipsticks, and glosses, you never know what kind of issues you might run into with the products not blending because they are different consistencies. I don't encounter this much, but a dress rehearsal never hurt. Of course, practice makes perfect! You'll get better and better the more you do it.

Have you tried this with sealing gel to protect the application?
Author Soofv suggested sealing this look with a sealing gel to add to the longevity of the look. This is a really good idea if you're using any products that are creamy, especially lipsticks. She suggests using Anastasia beauty genius on your eyes and lips to seal the color. I use pencils and don't typically have to reapply unless I eat so I don't use any kind of sealing gel but it's not a bad idea :) Thanks Soofv!

How do you remove your makeup?
I haven't found anything I love more than the MAC makeup removing wipes.

Author LordGormyr suggested using baby wipes. This works really well! And is gentle on the skin since it's meant for baby skin.

I personally hate the smell of baby lotion/powder/wipes so this is not my ideal makeup removing regimen.

A natural solution is some virgin olive oil on a cloth, sprinkled with a pinch of sugar. If you use this, don't press too hard onto your face or your skin will turn red. Once you've removed the makeup, wash your face with some kind of face wash and then moisturize after. This is naturally good for your skin.

How do you clean your brushes when you're done?
I will make an Instructable for this soon and will link everyone to it.
- Apply nickel sized glob of baby shampoo to the palm of your hand. Baby shampoo is the best for your bristles and your face. I use organic lavender shampoo.

- Wet your dirty brush, and apply into the glob in your palm. Stroke back and forth like you would if you were painting. Some brushes will create suds, others won't, I wouldn't worry about that too much. Pressure and speed will depend on the brush but for most of my brushes I apply medium pressure and stroke pretty quickly. I do this for maybe 10-20 seconds each.

- Rince your brush of shampoo completely, but not your hand! If there is still residue on your brush, using the same shampoo already on your hand, repeat stroking pattern. ensure there is NO shampoo left on your brush because this can cause irritation and break outs to the skin the next time you use it.

- To save shampoo, you can use the same glob for 2-3 brushes. It doesn't matter that the shampoo may be the pigment you just washed off your brush. The shampoo should still do it's job.

- Once cleaned to satisfaction, let dry either bristles down (clothesline system works well for this) or sideways. I lay mine on a raised surface, parallel to the horizon, with the wet brush part hanging off the edge. I typically use a book or makeup case for my raised surface. Use a book you don't mind getting wet!

- Most brushes will need 2-5 hours to dry so ensure you only clean your brushes if you won't have to use them in the near future. Powder brushes and foundation brushes might take up to 7 or 8 hours to dry.

Why do you overdraw your lip?
A number of reasons. This is a current fashion trend in the makeup world. I first had my lip overdrawn when I was getting my makeup done by my bestfriend, makeup mentor, and professional makeup artist, Harrison. I fell in love! My upper lip is thin, so when I smile it disappears in photos and I just look like teeth and a voluptuous bottom lip. I think it adds to the symmetry of my face by matching the fullness of my lower lip. It's not everyone's cup of tea. I have never ever had anyone point it out or even notice in my day-to-day life. If anyone has noticed or doesn't like it, then nobody has ever said anything. In fact, everyone is usually gaga about my lips. I think it's extra noticeable in this Instructable because of two reasons: 1) I state that I overdraw my lip which draws attention to the lip and then the viewer is actively looking for my overdrawn lip. 2) The lighting I used to take these photos is lit from above and really shows my natural lip line.

Either way, I love the way it looks. If it wasn't fashionable, I'd still do it. If you're not particularly fond of the way it looks, don't do it :) Use the same steps but lip-line your lips on your natural lip line.

I've had a few comments saying I shouldn't do this, but just so I'm clear: I'm not going to change the way I do my makeup just because it's not everyone's cup of tea. I don't do my makeup for anyone else. I do it for me. I don't care if anyone's impressed or hates it. My makeup is my own art, my own self expression, and I love what I do. I accept constructive criticism, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but it is never okay to tell someone what they should or shouldn't, or can or can't, do and it is absolutely not okay to express your personal opinions disrespectfully. I will call you out for being rude or disrespectful, and I will flag your comment if it is rude and/or not constructive. I'm friendly but I don't tolerate disrespect/rudeness. #SorryBoutIt #FingerSnap #HairFlip

That's all I have to say about that.

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