How to reinvent ombre: 6 Beauty Panel tips for updating your favourite gradient look

ombre beauty panel
ombre beauty panel

It’s been a few years since ombre hair exploded onto the scene, and it show no signs of slowing down, but who’s to argue with dye jobs that let us go more than 8 weeks between salon appointments? Everyone in the celebrity world has adopted their own version of the trend—including Jared Leto’s perfectly faded out locks, Queen Bey’s high contrast grown-out roots and even the reverse ombre seen on British It girl Poppy Delevingne. These days, it’s popping up in the makeup world, too—from nails to lips to eyes. The look will update any lacklustre routine and with the proper technique, it’s actually super-easy to achieve. Don’t believe us? This week we challenged our Beauty Panel to share their favourite ombre beauty trend and show us exactly how to copy the look.

While hair may be the most popular (and obvious) way to rock the trend, ombre lips were a fave among our panel of beauty bloggers. Working the gradient look from the outer edges of the lips to the centre, like Alexa Lowe of Stealing Beauty, makes for a babely statement, and we love the way new member Brittany Messner of Life, Set Sail went ombre from top to bottom, for a sweet and subtle take. We know celebrities have a knack for inspiring us mortals when it involves anything beauty, so when ThisWasForever‘s Emily Chan saw a reversed ombre lip on her favourite Korean actresses, she jumped at the chance to recreate the trendy style. If ombre lips aren’t your thing, you can sport ombre on your nails, because judging by Ashley Pettigrew of Lion Lace Latte‘s nail art creation, we can’t see why anyone would want to pass up on the chic opportunity.

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at [email protected]. Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


Alexa Lowe
Montreal | Stealing Beauty

The ombre trend doesn’t seem to be fading away any time soon. If you haven’t committed to ombre hair, you may find that modifying your go-to red lip is the way to go. In this look I used only two lipsticks to achieve the gradient look. For more depth, use colours, which are more contrasting and opt for a dark lip liner on the outer edge of the lip. Get creative with your ombre lips and try other colour combinations with burgundy, purple, pink and orange.

Products used: M.A.C. Paint Pot in “Soft Brown,” Urban Decay Naked Palette,
M.A.C Eye Shadow in “Bisque,” Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Liner, Lancôme Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara, Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronze Powder Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Romantic,” Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalast Lipstick in
“Stoplight Red,” Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalast Lipstick in “Carrot Gold,” Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

ombre beauty Ashley Pettigrew

Ashley Pettigrew
Calgary | Lions Lace Lattes

There are so many different ways to work the ombre trend into your beauty routine, but one of my favourite ways to test out any colour trend is to try it out with nail polish.

I looked through my nail polish collection and found that I had several purple nail polishes in varying shades. I lined up my purple polishes from lightest to darkest and picked out three colours that seemed to work together. I decided to show two different ways that you could use the ombre trend. On one hand I did each nail a different colour of purple, starting with the lightest shade on my pinky and the darkest on my thumb. For my ring finger I mixed the lightest shade and middle shade, and for my index finger I mixed the darkest shade and the middle shade together. Another way you can do ombre nails is to have a gradual colour change on each nail. I started by painting all my nails with the lightest colour. Once this colour was dry, I used a sponge to add the second lightest colour and then the darkest colour. Finish off with a top coat.

Products used: Essie Grow Faster Base Coat, L’Oréal Nail Colour in “153 Sweet Lilac,” Joe Fresh Nail Polish in “Lavender,” Essie Nail Polish in “732 Velvet Voyeur,” Revlon Colorstay Gel-Shine Top Coat

ombre beauty Emily chan

Emily Chan

My current favorite way to rock the ombre style is on my lips. More specially, I love the gradient or also known as bitten lips. These lips are very popular among Korean actresses and I love how this type of lips can easily create a young and innocent look. This style can be created with just 4 easy steps:

1) Apply a nude lipstick or dap a bit of lip concealer on your lips. It should cover your entire lips.
2) Take your favorite pink/red shade of lip stain and apply it to just the center of your lips.
3) Smoothen the lip stain out a bit by rubbing your lips together. Another good method is to dap your lips with your fingers. Remember you don’t want to rub the colour all the way to the outer corners.
4) Finally, top the look off with a clear lipgloss or a lip balm to prevent your lips from drying out.

Products used: Heavy Rotation Lip Concealer in “02 Nude Beige,” Maybelline SuperStay 10 Hour Stain Gloss in “Pink Flush,” Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in “Too Cool”

ombre beauty brittany messner

Brittany Messner
Calgary | Life, Set Sail

My favourite way to rock the ombre lip is more of a subdued version of the trend. I like my makeup like I like my clothes: comfortable, wearable and fuss free!

With a few simple steps you can create a look that is on trend without being “in your face.” All you need is your favourite lipstick, a lip brush and a Q-tip.

1. Using a lip brush, fill in your top lip with your colour of choice
2. Smack your lips together to transfer colour on the top half of your lower lip
3. Blend the bottom edge of your lower lip with a Q-tip or finger
4. Apply more colour to the top lip until desired effect
5. Optional – add some gloss if a shiny pout is your thing

And that’s all! Wasn’t that easy? The great thing about this look is that it can work with a variety of shades, but my favourite is with a neutral rose or warm pink!

Products used: Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in “Terre Nueve,”Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Chantilly,” M.A.C. Studio Fix Powder + Foundation in “NW15,” Bobbi Brown Powdered Blush in “Apricot,” Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara, Clinique Superfine Brow Pencil in “Soft Brown,” Anastasia Clear Brow Gel, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in “Turn On”

ombre beauty elaine atkins

Elaine Atkins
Toronto | Toronto Beauty Reviews

I always loved the ombre trend in nails and lipstick, but to be honest I never got on board with the ombre hair trend. Perhaps it was just too much of a contrast for me as the typical ombre you will see is super dark roots with blonde ends. I’ve been rocking red locks for a while now but before I knew it my roots were becoming super obvious. I’m lucky that with my curly hair I can go much longer without a root touch up than most people; but I had let it go a bit too long so I turned to my hair expert friend for help.

When she suggested I do the ombre thing so I wouldn’t have to worry too much about upkeep, I was skeptical, but I trusted her. I’m glad I did because the end results are fabulous! If you’re scared of the ombre trend try a darker and subtler version like I did for fall! For me, I picked a colour close to my natural hair colour at the top, a mid tone red/brown in the middle and a brighter red at the ends. You don’t have to be so “obvious” with the ombre look – it can still be on trend but completely sophisticated.

Hair colour by hair artist Crista Aguinaldo

ombre beauty Arianne DeGuzman

Arianne De Guzman
Toronto | Glitter Geek

I’m obviously a fan of the long-standing ombre trend. I not only wear it on my hair, but I also love it on my lips. An ombre lip can instantly make your lips look poutier (everyone wants Jolie-esque lips, am I right?). It also puts a fun spin on all lip colours, from neutrals to statement shades!

My favourite lip combo is a dark red with blue undertones, paired with a super bright coral. The result is a punchy summer red lip. Two tips for a successful lip ombre: (1) Stick with the same formula — matte with matte, glossy with glossy. (2) Wear the darker shade all over the lips first, then apply the lighter shade in the middle and “smoosh” the lips together for a seamless blend.

Products used: Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in “Mascate,” Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in “Melon”

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