All you need to know about two-tone lipstick

Two-toned lips have been around for a while, but the trend hadn’t picked up much so far; many of the options available consisted in a clashing duo of bright, if not neon, colors, which was probably a bit too radical – think Korean juvenile Kawai – for most women. However, recent collections now offer options that are much easier to wear and will allow you to make a statement without making a splash.

1. Two-tone is not lip contouring

Two-tone can help sculpt your lips much like lip contouring would, but the two are very different. Lip contouring is basically playing on the same palette of colors to enhance your lips’ pout, while two-tone lipsticks take a more radical road: lip contouring should in and of itself be invisible, letting its result speak for itself; two-tone lipstick SHOULD be visible, it’s the whole point.

2. Home-made two-tone

If you feel like experimenting and let your artistic freedom loose, you can use a combination of two or even three regular lipsticks and/or pencils. Line your lips normally, fill in your upper lip and the corner of your mouth in a triangular shape with the darker color, leaving the center of your mouth clear; then apply the second, lighter color on the middle. Blend carefully with a brush to get the desired gradation effect.

3. Two-swipes ombré

A number of two-toned, or even three-toned lipsticks can now achieve the perfect ombré look in just two swipes: one for the upper lip, twist your wrist and another for the lower lip. Blend the colors to get the gradient and voila!

4. Power couple

We’ll never say it enough: the whole purpose of an ombré look is to show the colors. That’s why you should: first not be intimidated and proudly boast it; second, pick a two-tone lipstick with two actual, distinct tones that will contrast and pop. If one of them is not, or barely, showing, what’s the point?

5. Shades of ombré

You want your two-tone lipstick to give you a funky look, not a bizarre one. That’s where the selection of colors is crucially important. If you’re not ready yet to step up your game a notch,

go for one of the classic combos, using complementary colors: pink and red; pink and purple; pink and orange; purple and pink… However, should you be bold enough to pull off daring colors that will clash and contrast and pop, incredible options are available too – think black and red! – and will amp the wow factor without sacrificing the elegance.

6. Reasons to love

Two-tone lips not only give you this fun, I-just-ate-candy delicious mouth, but they also make your mouth seem more three-dimensional thanks to the contrast in colors. The brighter the shade on your lower lip, the poutier your mouth will look.

7. Mouth focus

Gradient lips are a very strong look and that’s where your makeup for the day should stop. To keep the attention on your mouth and avoid a too extreme result, leave the rest of your face alone, using only concealer or very light makeup if you need to. Remember: overdoing it is killing it.