Lips are so hot right now, they even rock — literally.
Take geode: Intricate lip art that includes actual crystal and amethyst being crushed into the pigment to make lips look like glimmering quartz. A technique pioneered by makeup artists like New York-based Joanna Adams and Aussie Genevieve Jauquet, geode lip art ricocheted across the internet after they separately posted the first hyper-realistic photos to Instagram this summer.
The instant popularity of the new invention only serves to underscore how much, well, lip service people are paying to lips. “Lip art is on fire,” said Romero Jennings, director of makeup artistry at MAC Cosmetics. “Social media has driven this trend, and the latest technology in liquid lipsticks also makes it easy to conquer.”
Instagram contains over 141,000 tags of #lipart alone, and beauty brands including MAC, Lancôme and others are all in on the trend. MAC, CoverGirl and Maybelline, have all recently shared Instagram posts featuring everything from two-toned lips to ombré lips.
Others, like Urban Decay and Lancôme, are partnering with makeup artists to give viewers DIY and behind-the-scenes tutorials with their products to capitalize on the trend. Even retailers are in on the trend, with TopShop too producing a video tutorial of its own.
Lancôme, in fact, has launched an entire series around the trend called “Lip Art, by Lancôme” on Instagram. The series features make-up artist Lisa Eldridge, showing viewers how to do the two-toned lips look or the gradient look (using Lancôme products of course), for example, in just 30 seconds. The four videos in the series have collectively been viewed nearly 125,000 times.
Lip art is such a huge trend at the moment. @lisaeldridgemakeup with Lancôme has created 2 very chic Two Toned Lip looks! An iconic look with an iconic product: the new #AbsoluRouge. Discover all the tips to achieve it [link in bio]. #LisaEldridge #LipArt #ClickTheRose #Lancome
A video posted by Lancôme Official (@lancomeofficial) on
Gradient pouts have been popular in Asian markets for the past few years and ombré lips have also made their way on fashion runways over the years, including Dior, Miu Miu, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu. But Instagram is truly where the trend has gained steam. Popular makeup artists like Adams and Jauquet, in particular, have played their part in making it mainstream.
Social media aside, the rise of the trend can also be attributed to the lip category being more popular and accessible than most other categories, said influencer Deepica Mutyala. Plus, brands are also offering customers a wide array of products that cater to the trend to choose from, from Benefit’s Double the Lip dual-toned lipstick to Lipstick Queen’s Smokey Lip Kit.
“I think the lip category is where people are more willing to experiment than other parts of their makeup routine, making these trends a little more approachable than others,” she said. “A deep blue lipstick from the Maybelline ‘Loaded Bolds’ collections isn’t going to break the bank, but it still allows you to be on trend for the season.”
Indeed, both CoverGirl and Maybelline leaning on the trend in their social media posts around Halloween, and Urban Decay incorporated lip art into its recent Halloween Unicorn-themed make-up videos.
Still, lip art may be more than just a passing fad, said Jennings.
“Many of these looks are taken straight from the international runways and the pages of Instagram, but I think they all originated from the streets,” she said. “This is not a fad, it is a new creative way of looking at make-up.”
Mutyala, however, shrugs.
“Beauty cycles fit with fashion cycles — trends happen in waves,” she said. “In the ’90s, it was about the brown/grey toned lip and now it’s more about glitter. It’s ever-evolving.”