Kiss and tell: 3 brands to make your lips pop this summer
These products promise colour in multi-tonal shades - but do they deliver? Katie Wright investigates
The ombre trend has been around for a while now - the dark-to-light shade fade promising a fuller-looking pout, no matter how thin-lipped you are.
Previously, if you wanted to create the multicoloured look yourself, you'd have to paint on two (or more) different lipsticks, taking inspiration from make-up artist extraordinaire Vlada Haggerty, but last year the first all-in-one multi-tonal lipsticks arrived, offering a supposedly fast and foolproof way to go ombre.
They were met with mixed reviews, however. The triple-toned bullets were difficult to use because you had to flip the bullet upside down, beauty buffs said, and the different shades had a tendency to blend together a bit too much.
Now, three more brands have come out with their own ombre offerings, so have they improved on the original attempts?
We put a variety of brands and shades to the test, to find out once and for all.
Hannah tried: CYO Two Tone Twist Ombre Lipstick in Life & Soul, £5, Boots
"This two-toned hot pink and cranberry shade doesn't achieve a very effective blend, because the strong pink overshadows the subtlety of the darker colour. The rectangular shape of the stick makes it quite difficult to apply, with awkward corners, but its creamy formula leaves a semi-matte finish which is pretty long-lasting. Overall though, I'd rather apply two contrasting colours from separate sticks for the finish and colour I want."
Katie tried: CYO Two Tone Twist Ombre Lipstick in Couplet, £5, Boots
"At first, I thought the rectangular shape of the bullet was strange but actually, on application, it made it easier to get a neat outline on both the top and bottom lip. The ombre effect isn't hugely pronounced but the glossy formula glides on easily, it has great colour pay-off, and the brighter red on the inside does give the impression of fuller lips. All that for a fiver? I'm pleasantly surprised."
2. By Terry
Sarah tried: By Terry Twist-on Lip in Peach & Tangerine, £29.50
"Split into two popping pink shades (one light, one dark), this thin lip crayon is surprisingly easy to apply - although a lip liner is needed for greater definition. By using the lighter shade on my outer lips and darker in the middle, my pout looked much fuller and the colour was moisturising enough to last and blend over time (albeit at the expense of losing that ombre effect). The shade isn't for everyone - it's much better suited to olive skin tones - and if I'm honest, it lacks the impact of a single, striking colour."
Liz tried: By Terry Twist-on Lip in Nude and Burgundy, £29.50
"The twist-up applicator on the By Terry's take on ombre lips makes it really easy to access the rectangular shaped lipstick inside, which has two shades running alongside one another - a mid-tone nude and a dark plummy colour. While the lipstick glided on really easily, the problem for me was that the colours didn't seem to blend very well. The dark shade left an overpowering stripe along the rim of my lips, while the nude shade on the inner part was barely visible. The result was two-tone and seriously Nineties - and not in a good way - although I did like the colour when I blended everything together."
3. Beauty Blvd
Katie tried: Beauty Blvd Trinity Tri Colour Lip Tint in Lust, £8.50
"At first glance, this seemed like a very odd combination of colours - stripes of purple, pink and orange in one lipstick? I wasn't convinced, but when I slicked it on my lips, the overall effect was closer to a berry pink on the outside with a dash of pink in the middle. So far, so pretty - but the formula is very sheer and when I blotted it, a lot of the colour came away, so it needs a couple of coats. For a subtle sheen this is lovely, but if you're looking for a strong ombre look, it doesn't really deliver."
Our testers had similar complaints for most of the lipsticks we tried - the colours were either too contrasting, leaving a pronounced line around the lips, or they all blended into one without any multi-tone effect. The one exception was CYO's Couplet, which gave a gorgeous, glossy red, but the fact remains: if you want to get a perfectly defined ombre lip, you're going to have to do it yourself.