It's going to change the way you apply makeup forever...
Blue isn’t a colour you usually associate with a killer pout. The sea? Yes. Eyeliner? Maybe, or even a bright nail varnish if you’re feeling adventurous but in lipstick form? Not so much. In fact, if you’re anything like me, the thought of puckering up and slicking on a blue lipstick fills me with something akin to terror. Which probably isn’t something I should be admitting as a Beauty Journalist, when it’s (virtually) part of my job description to be willing to try even the most wild and adventurous of trends. But there is just something about it that goes against my natural instinct. A quick straw poll of friends reveals similar fears that it could make you look tired and unanswered questions about which shades really match your skin tone and worries about whether it might clash with the rest of your makeup. Better to play it safe with my trusty red, or so I thought, until today when I witnessed the work of makeup maestro Thomas de Kluyver for Maybelline first hand at the Self Portrait AW18 show.
Within moments of arriving backstage, De Kluyver (Instagram: @thomasdekluyver) proved that everything I thought I knew about blue lipstick was wrong. Using the same shade of inky cobalt on every girl at the show, he showed that a deep tone can work on all skin and hair colours. This dark blue was offset by a hot pink shade applied to the middle of the lower lip to form what De Kluyver described as a ‘subtle gradient of colour.’ The effect was an irresistible, ombre lip that makes blue infinitely more wearable, and less intimidating, because of its pink heart.
Fancy trying it yourself? De Kluyver advises keeping skin ‘dewy and minimal in contrast to the strong lip’ so the overall effect isn’t too heavy. At Self Portrait eyes were kept bare with just one coat of mascara and concealer only applied where necessary like around the nose and under the eyes. To prep lips before application use a lip scrub to slough off any flakiness and ensure you have a smooth base. Start by applying a deep blue like Maybelline’s Colour Sensational Loaded Bold in Midnight Blue, £6.99, to the upper lip tidying any smudges as you go with a cotton bud. The key to creating the softness of the pink ombre is leaving the centre of the lower lip free from colour so, when applying, be careful to keep the blue restricted to the edges and corners only. Once you’ve lined the edges of the bottom lip with blue, use the tip of your forefinger to gently press-pat in a hot pink shade like Maybelline’s Colour Sensational Pink Punch, £6.99, until it merges with the blue edging. This technique helps create the subtle gradient that makes trying a blue lip a whole lot less daunting. It doesn’t require a precise application technique either so is ideal if you’re a first-timer. In fact you actually want to achieve a small amount of smudging to help blend the two tones.
Another benefit you might not have known about going blue? It’s the quickest way to a dazzling smile without spending hours in the Dentist’s chair. It works to make teeth look brighter because the cool undertones contrast with any yellowness so the effect is whitening in seconds.
For someone that would previously been horrified at the thought of wearing a blue lip, this ombre version really appeals to me. The application method is simple enough to do as you can carefully manage the amount of colour applied with your finger and the warming pink middle softens the look so it isn’t so intimidating to apply. I have a feeling this is going to be the start of a new, blue, love affair…