The Pro’s Guide to Pulling Off Ombre´ Makeup

If you’ve sidelined your makeup routine down to little more than a dab of tinted moisturizer and a swirl of bronzer this summer, there’s no prettier way to step into the new season than with an exuberant dose of color—or three. “The ombré effect isn’t just for hair anymore,” says editorial makeup whiz Georgi Sandev. Blending several shades within the same color family over eyes, cheeks or lips creates “an artful multi-dimensional look that’s more fun than the usual smoky eyes and darker lips we’ve come to expect in the fall.” Better yet, it’s much easier than it looks. Here, Sandev breaks down how to pull off fall’s boldest trend like a pro.

Multi-dimensional Eyes

Whether you’re in the mood for rich jewel tones like amethyst or emerald, earthy browns, or, Sandev’s favorite, a gradient of blue and turquoise, application comes down to three rules: “Blend, blend, and then blend some more!” he says.

You’ll need at least two shades within the same color family: Trace the darkest color along the lash line with a sponge-tipped applicator, then blend it upward and out toward the temples with a dome-shaped blending brush to create a sultry cat-eyed effect. Following the shape you just created, sweep a lighter, brighter shade just above and all the way up to the natural crease of your lid, then work the palest color into the arc below the brow bone. Run your blending brush over your lids to soften any lines and create a seamless ombré. Finish with a couple coats of black mascara, but keep the rest of your makeup simple, advises Sandev. “Let your eyes be the star of the show.”

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TRY: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eye Shadow in Avant-Garde Azure; Voluminous Feline Noir Mascara; Infallible Matte Matic Liner in Ultra Black

3D Cheeks

“The key to ombré cheeks that still look believable is playing with texture as much as color,” explains Sandev. A universally flattering color palate? A matte tawny blush that’s finished with a pop of light-catching gold.

Using a dome-shaped blush brush, apply a matte taupe powder formula along the hollows of your cheekbone for softly contoured definition, then swirl the leftover pigment over the apples of your cheeks. Now, add some dimension: Dip the same brush into an iridescent gold highlighting shade and place the color right on top of the apples of your cheeks. “A kiss of metallic pigment is the most important element,” Sandev explains. “It’s what makes the look pop.”

TRY: Cle´ de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation in O20 and Cle´ de Peau Beauté Concealer in Ivory and Ochre; Cle´ de Peau Beauté translucent clear powder; Maybelline Facestudio Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Blush and Bronzer in Light Bronze; Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in 02 and 68

Two-Toned Lips

As dramatic as the rich plum lips spotted on the fall runways, but infinitely more creative, a multi-dimensional mouth is Sandev’s favorite statement makeup of the season. “It’s a surprisingly wearable look,” he says, noting that it comes with additional beauty benefits. “A dark lip line that fades into a juicy pop of color in the center also creates the illusion of a fuller lip.”

Instead of a dark lip liner, which Sandev insists can look old-fashioned, use a lip brush to trace the perimeter of your mouth with a deep orchid lipstick to accentuate your kisser’s natural shape. Next, fill in your lips with a bright fuchsia. Press your lips together, then blend both shades together with the same brush for a seamless transition. The final touch? A dab of clear gloss on the center of the lips for a vinyl, lip-plumping finish that will stand out even in a dimly lit club.

TRY: L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lip in Plum; NARS Triple X Lip Gloss in Clear Shine