Get Glossy Two-Tone Lips With A Single $6 Lipstick

Or get 20-tone lips by buying all 10 shades and using them at the same time! (Maybe don't do that.)
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Marci
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Or get 20-tone lips by buying all 10 shades and using them at the same time! (Maybe don't do that.)

It was almost a whole year ago that Alle, in only her seventh xoVain article, taught us how to do a gradient lip.

Well, maybe she taught you, but I haven't gotten around to trying it yet. If there's one thing I have learned from Alle, it's that many of the more interesting beauty looks take practice, and I rarely have the time, energy and patience for such Alle-esque discipline.

I know I'm not alone in my search for lazy alternatives, which is why I think those of you with not-so-steady hands and/or not-so-sharp makeup skills and/or not-so-big budgets and/or a fondness for the phrase and/or will appreciate this $6 two-tone-lip shortcut.

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Hard Candy Ombre Lipstick comes in 10 different shades, which are technically 20 different shades, because each one features two complementary colors. About three-quarters of the squared-off bullet is made up of a lighter color, and the other quarter is a darker color, with varying levels of contrast.

Behold, swatches of all 10 on my freakishly pale forearms! 

From left to right: Confidence, Modesty, Playful, Practical, Daring.

From left to right: Confidence, Modesty, Playful, Practical, Daring.

From left to right: Courageous, Cheerful, Friendly, Reliable, Faithful.

From left to right: Courageous, Cheerful, Friendly, Reliable, Faithful.

They have a semi-glossy, lightly shimmery finish, and the darker color of each pair is a bit more opaque. 

I tried out three of the shades on my lips--because it's called lipstick, not forearmstick, duh--and I was surprised to see how subtle the effect was.

First, I tried Friendly, because that was my favorite restaurant when I was a kid. I positioned the stick to apply the darker color, a rosy red, around the edges, and the lighter color, in the mauve family, in the center.

Totally wearable, right?

Totally wearable, right?

Next, I wanted to try what seemed to be one of the bolder color combinations, Courageous, which appears to be a classic bubble-gum pink with a stripe of dark purple.

Definitely not as bold as I expected. Not much courage required.

Definitely not as bold as I expected. Not much courage required.

Finally, I wanted to try switching around the layout and applying the lipstick so the darker color would be in the center and the lighter color would go around the edges (and on most of my lips, really, since the lighter color takes up more area), to see if I could get sort of a just-ate-a-popsicle effect--or in the case of Reliable, which features two brown shades, a pudding pop.

Rudy! Theo! Vanessa!

Rudy! Theo! Vanessa!

Despite its glossiness and light texture, Ombre Lipstick has real staying power. Those swatches up there took two face wipes to completely remove. I also had a smoothie shortly after taking the photo of Reliable, and my lips look pretty much the same.

Although I was hoping some of the colors would show up a bit bolder, I'm really happy with how they feel, look and last. And it would be pretty easy to make them appear even more vivid by layering them over a matte lip pencil base. 

But then we're leaving Lazy Territory, and we're not interested in that.