Ladies, pucker up! Gone are the days when you would apply a matching shade of lipstick and be done with the makeup for your lips. Nope, neither you can be intimidated with different bold looks for your lips, nor you can give an excuse like lack of time for not getting on with the trendy looks for your lips. Bold lipsticks are for everyone and yes, for every lip shape as well! A good lip color will transform your look from simply pretty to jaw-droppingly stunning.

gradient shimmer lipstick
Your step-by-step guide to perfect gradient and shimmer lipsticks

Now that you can get the perfect Angelina Jolie pout effortlessly (you can thank us later!), we are back with two more trends in lipsticks that have been making waves in the fashion industry. And even though they look complicated and professionally achieved looks, we can assure you that in no time you will be able to master these flawless looks. No, we aren’t kidding!


We are talking about gradient lipstick and shimmer lipstick! Read on and find out for yourself how easy it is to achieve the sexy look with these lipstick trends. Go on, play up your pout, go dramatic bold for a night out with your sweetheart with a shimmer lipstick, or I-just-ate-a-popsicle-how-cute-am-I look for a coffee date with your girlfriends!

# How to Apply Gradient Lipstick

Okay, ladies, first up in today’s article is the famous gradient lipstick that is all the rage in East and now in the US as well. And this latest look of K-Beauty is one that you should definitely steal! What the heck is K-Beauty, you are wondering? K-Beauty is THE secret to looking youthful AF. Refreshingly, K-Beauty isn't another one of Kardashian franchise situation (not that we are complaining about Kardashian fashion trends, we love them as well). K-Beauty categorizes the Korean influence on our skincare routines and the epic product imports from the country itself.

The major trend in the US is that the bigger the better (we are talking about lips here, ladies!). You must surely remember all the hype surrounding Kylie Jenner’s plumped-up pout? However, in the East, especially, Korea, the doll look is super popular; you know the one with little lips and big eyes.

You give the illusion of having a smaller and cuter doll-like lips with after-a-perfect gradient lip finish. It gives you the pretty, young, and innocent look and also the “just bitten” effect (thinking of Mr. Grey, aren’t you!). *winks*


Here’s how you can achieve it step by step:

1. Exfoliate and moisturize your lips

exfoliate and moisturize your lips
Exfoliate your lips for a flawless look

You have to get rid of the dead skin cells to make your lips appear softer and smoother for a flawless look. Before you start with makeup, rub an exfoliator gently on your lips in circular motion for about 15 seconds. Always be gentle while exfoliating your lips, they have sensitive skin, and excessive exfoliation could lead to the breaking of skin or lip bleeding and scabs. If you prefer a DIY scrub, you can opt for sugar and coconut oil. Works like a charm.

After exfoliation, apply lip balm to nourish and regenerate healthy cells on your lips. We would suggest that you try shea butter or olive oil, which are best for this purpose. Blot off the excess lip balm with a tissue paper when you start your makeup. Your lips are now smooth and ready for lip color.

2. Apply foundation for an even skin tone

apply foundation for an even skin tone
Apply foundation to even the skin tone

This gorgeous gradient look relies on the contrast of dark and light shades. Applying a layer of foundation will help your gradient lips to pop. Your lips are naturally slightly reddish, right? So the contrast isn’t as strong. When you apply foundation, your lips will lighten up so that you have a better canvas to work upon. This will also ensure that your lipstick doesn’t sink into your lips.

Be careful when you apply a very thin layer of foundation. You need to make your lips a shade or two lighter and not blend with the rest of your face.

3. Outline your lips with a lip liner

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Draw an outline of your lips

We cannot emphasize this enough, but you cannot miss outlining your lips with a lip liner. Most people avoid using a lip liner because more often than not it’s misused. You don’t really have to use a colored lip liner; you can go for one that is of natural color and matches your lips. You can also use a lip liner that is a shade or two lighter than your lipstick. You will get a nice base for applying your lipstick.


4. Apply lipstick to your outer lips

apply lipstick to your lips
Use a darker shade for your outer lips

Take a dark shade lipstick, and smoothly apply it on your outer lips. As you want the gently faded-out look for your lips, first you will have to apply lipstick to just the outer lips on both upper and lower lips. Wait for a few minutes for the lipstick to dry before you move to next step.

5. Apply the lighter shade to your inner lips

apply the darker shade to your outer lips
Use a lighter shade for your inner lips

Okay, so now you have successfully cleared the first step of creating the gradient lips look. Next, you have to take a lipstick of a slightly lighter shade and apply it to your inner lips. You see the contrast on your inner and outer lips? Yes, that is what all this magic is about - the perfect gradient lipstick look.

6. Smudge the two colors together

smudge the two colors together
Gently blend the two shades together

Now ladies, you have two slightly different shades of lipstick on your lips. You have to, very gently, blend the two shades together. You can use a brush for this or even just your fingers. You will have to work a little faster while blending the two shades together, depending on how fast your lipstick dries.

# How to Apply Shimmer Lipstick

Now that we have cleared the art of mastering the gradient lipstick for you, let’s move to the next lipstick that’s been trending lately, the one that most of you decided wasn’t for you because you thought it was too bold (as if!). There’s nothing too bold if you can carry it with confidence; so, the key here is your confidence and not the lipstick.


Shimmer lipsticks really make your makeup pop. They can be used to create a variety of looks like dramatic and vampy evening looks when you pair it with smoky eye makeup. And you need not limit shimmers to just evening, with proper texture, you can also carry off shimmer in the daytime as well.

You can transform your lips with lustrous color and brilliant shine.

1. Prep your lips & fill them with lipstick

apply lipstick
Fill your lips with color

Similar to gradient lips, you have to prepare your lips before you apply the lipstick. Even in the case of shimmer lipstick, you need to prepare the canvas before you paint it. Simple steps for preparing your lips are exfoliation, moisturizing, and applying foundation. Once you are done with the base, draw the outline for your lips.

Once again you have a canvas that is waiting to be filled with enticing colors. Go for the shade that suits you best and smoothly fill in the outline that you drew for your lips. Use a lip brush for applying lipstick. A brush will give you more control for a precise application.

Just dip your brush in your lipstick and smoothly swipe it over your lips from inside out, filling it with color. Apply color to both upper and lower lips. Blot the lipstick by gently pressing tissue between your lips.

You can apply one more coat of color if you wish for a bolder look.


2. Apply glimmer powder

glimmer powder
Use glimmer powder for the final look

After you have applied the perfect coat of lipstick and achieved the perfect lip look, apply glimmer powder to your lips. No, you cannot use glitter in place of glimmer powder. Glimmer powder will blend in with your lipstick without making them look odd. They will get the shimmery look.

Dab the brush in glimmer powder and gently swipe the brush over your lips, uniformly applying the glimmer powder over your lips.

So now you have your perfect lips ready with the shimmer look. There’s just one more thing you need to do to highlight the perfect pout. Apply highlighter to your cupid’s bow and gently blend it in with your lipstick, so that it looks smooth and flawless with a perfect bow shape. Blend it by moving your finger very softly from inside out. Do not apply any pressure at this stage. Otherwise, your glimmer powder and lipstick would smudge!

You are now ready!

Highlighting will give volume and interest to your lips.

You are now ready to roll darling!


  • Exfoliate your lips once or twice a week to avoid getting flaky lips.
  • Don’t go for one of those lip balms that contain menthol or other such ingredients that have a cooling sensation. You may enjoy this cooling effect, but these lip balms will dry your lips further.
  • Never use a freshly sharpened lip liner for outlining your lips. The sharp tip deposits color unevenly. Use a slightly blunt lip liner. After sharpening the liner, blunt it slightly by drawing some lines on your hand.
  • You may use a moisturizing lip liner because some liners can be quite drying.
  • You can change the shape of your lips by properly applying the lip liner. For instance, if you happen to have really thin lips and want a shape that’s slightly more full, then draw the outline a little outside your natural lips.
  • For a perfect application of lipstick, use an angled brush. These brushes have firmer bristles, which ensure that the color goes on evenly. You also get perfectly outlined lips.