While the rest of the world goes gaga over bold lips, South Korea reveres the opposite. In Seoul, the soft, gradient lip is the standard. And what better way is there to cop that innocent, just-bitten look than a lip tint? With its thin consistency, buildable color, and lasting stain, a Korean lip tint is one of the most versatile pigments you can own.

Now, if you’ve ever tried creating a popsicle-stained pout, you know the process is more complex than it lets on. So let us walk you through it, step by baby-step. Below, see exactly how to tint your lips like a Korean girl. We promise, it’s worth the effort!


Like all things K-beauty, the perfect gradient lip starts with skincare.
STEP 1: Exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub.
This is 100% vital to getting the look right. Proper exfoliation removes that chapped, flaky texture and creates a smooth canvas. You will need your lips to be as smooth as possible for a lip tint to apply nicely.
Don’t own a lip scrub? DIY it! We created our own by combining I’m From’s Honey Mask with brown sugar. The ratio should be 2:1. Gently massage the mixture all over your lips to remove any dead skin.
STEP 2: Clear away all debris.
After exfoliating, rinse off the lip scrub or wipe it away with a moist towel. Don’t leave anything behind. The color will cling to textured areas and end up looking patchy.
STEP 3: Prime your lips.
Apply a moisturizing balm and let it soak in completely. This will soften your lips and allow the tint to settle in evenly later on. Here, we used It’s Skin’s Macaron Lip Balm.


Time to paint your canvas!
STEP 1: Take your lip tint and wipe any excess pigment off the wand.
STEP 2: Apply a very light wash of color all over your lips. This will serve as the base color for your gradient.
STEP 3: Now, the fun part! To create the gradient effect, concentrate a thick layer of color in the center of your lips.
STEP 4: Using your fingertip, blend the color outwards. Use quick, dotting motions. Just be sure not to blend too far! The color should remain the lightest along the outer edges of your lips.
Ta-da! You’ve just applied lip tint like a koreanovela heroine.


In case you’re new to the K-beauty scene, here 5 South Korean tints you definitely want to try.
Kim wears the Labiotte Wine Lip Tint in Merlot Burgundy, a rich, purple-based wine. Shop it here for P599.
Patty wears the Missha Beautiful Lip Tint in Moisture Pink, a muted petal-pink. Shop it here for P599.
Kat wears the Holika Holika Pro Beauty Enamel Volip Tint in Flash Coral, a vivid orange-pink. Shop it here for P585.
Erika wears the Tony Moly Liptone Get It Tint in Peach Punch, a soft, cool peach. Shop it here for the sale price of P390.
Dani wears the April Skin Fixing Tint in Tomato Lady, a vibrant red-orange. Shop it here for the sale price of P410.

Credits: Video and photos by Kat Echon. Don’t forget to follow BeautyMNL on Facebook and Instagram!

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