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How to Get Korean Gradient Lips in 4 Steps

How to Get Korean Gradient Lips

Tell your matte lipsticks to move over – there’s a new K-beauty trend in town. The gradient lip is subtle, eye-catching, and easy to do.

The gradient lip trend has been around for a long time in Korea. But it’s been gaining momentum internationally, so keep reading this article to stay one K-beauty step ahead of the curve.

We’ve got tips on how you can achieve the best Korean beauty gradient lip look, so read on!

Table of Contents

What You Need to Get a Gradient Lip:

  • Your choice of light lipstick
  • Your choice of dark lipstick
  • Concealer (optional)
  • Clear gloss
  • Q-tips (optional)
  • Lip balm (optional)

Steps to Getting Korean Gradient Lips

You only need 4 steps to achieve a gradient lip. It’s the perfect finishing touch to your everyday makeup look! You don’t need to be a makeup artist to pull the blended ombre look off, either.

Step 1: Prep Your Lips

Step 1

This step isn’t a must, but it helps! You don’t want your lips chapped and cracked when you’re trying to achieve a gradient lip look.

Apply some lip balm to have the perfect canvas. It also makes sure that whatever lipstick, lip tint, or colored lip balm you use goes on smoothly!

Step 2: Start Applying the Light Lip Shade

Step 2

Get the lighter lip shade and add it to the outer edges of your lips. That’s where the gradient lips effect will start.

Focus on the outer rim, but DON’T WORRY if you get some product in the center. You can smoothen out the gradient lip look later.

If you don’t have a lighter lip shade, it’s okay! There are other ways to do it. Get your favorite concealer or foundation and apply a thin layer to your lips.

The goal is to make your natural lip colour a few hues lighter for a proper gradient lips effect.

Step 3: Apply the Darker Lipstick Shade to the Center of Your Lips

Step 3

Now, get the darker lip colour and add it to the center of your lips.

The darker color in the center will be the highlight of your gradient lips.

Make sure everything is ready to blend before you move on to the next step.

Step 4: Blend Until You See a Gradient

Step 4

It’s time to finish this gradient lips look.

Blending is the cherry-on-top of this entire K-beauty trend, so get this step right. You can either use your fingers or a Q-tip.

If you plan to use a finger, make a GENTLE DABBING MOTION to blend the colour together. Reach the edges and corners until you have an ombre look.

Don’t want to get your fingers stained? A Q-tip can help. Do slow, smooth swiping motions to blend everything together.

  • A softer gradient lip look requires more time to blend the lip colour together.
  • If you want more of a pop in your face, you can blend quickly to get a stained lip tint to look!

Top it all off with a clear lip gloss. Now you’re ready to debut your new gradient lip look to the world!

Why Can't I Get a Gradient Lip?

Why Can't I Get One

As easy as it sounds, some girls encounter a lot of issues trying to achieve gradient lips. If you’re one of them, there are common issues you can address.

Don’t worry – there’s a way to achieve gradient lips no matter what!

#1 Your Lips Are Chapped

We mentioned applying lip balm before trying the K-beauty gradient lips trend out, but it may not be enough.

Exfoliate your lips before you try this K-beauty look – or better yet, make lip exfoliation a part of your skincare routine! Use a lip scrub or a damp toothbrush to have your lips soft and smooth.

We suggest you also try a balm with peppermint or menthol for a cooling effect as it moisturizes and smoothens.

#2 Your Accuracy is Off

It’s easy to go over the corners of your lips and mouth if you’re just using a lipstick or lip tint.

Using a lip brush can help. A lip brush can get the colour where you need them to be, and it’s waaay better to blend with it than using your finger.

#3 You're Wiping It Off from Your Lips Early

Gradient lips are easy to lose if you’re constantly smacking your lips together. This can happen while you’re blending out the lip gloss or balm as a finish!

We’ve gotten so used to rubbing our lips together, but it ruins the gradient look and all your hard work.

Be careful to not rub out the lip gloss when you touch or fold your lips. Use a swiping motion again to keep the gradient look intact.

#4 It Fades During the Day

You step out of your home with gradient lips and come back with a plain color. Eating, drinking, or just having less pigmented lipstick can make this happen.

Have your lipstick ready to retouch during the day and keep the gradient lips intact! You can also top off your lips with setting powder. To keep your makeup look intact, use a setting spray.

#5 You're Rushing It

Quickly applying everything together won’t make gradient lips! The colors will just blend together into a MESS on your lips instead of having an ombre effect.

As you practice this technique, you may find ways to make it quicker. For now, it’s best to go slow! Achieving that K-beauty look PERFECTLY won’t happen overnight.



We truly love this K-beauty gradient lips beauty trick, and we hope our recommendations helped you achieve it!

The gradient technique is perfect if you’re looking to spice up your look. Or even if you’re simply just searching for something new to try.

Just follow our 4 easy steps and you’ll have luscious, eye-catching, and radiant lips in no time!

For top-rated K-beauty lip tint options to use for that gradient lip effect, read through our article on the Best Korean Lip Tints for Lasting Color.


August 31, 2021 – Improved article formatting, reviewed and updated overall content

July 14, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.