The Lipstick Trend You're Going To See Everywhere This Fall

It’s the smudged eyeliner of the lip category.

What to know about fall's hottest makeup trend: the blurred lip.
Getty Images/ Shannon Finney / Stringer

Achieving a smooth, perfectly painted-on pout is overrated. According to makeup artists, the trend this fall is all about embracing the blurred lip, a finish that leaves you with a bitten, velvety bit of pigment.

The “perfect lip” is the universal standard within the rouged pout category: It’s immaculately drawn and defined, and the color is smooth, opaque, and uniform, traditionally applied within the boundaries set by a lip liner. The blurred lip is much less clear-cut. Think of the way your mouth looks after eating a cherry red popsicle: There’s that more vibrant inner ring, and it looks as though you’ve dabbed on a powdered pigment using just your fingers. Its finish is fuzzy, imprecise, and natural — basically making it like the smudged eyeliner of the lip category.

“The appeal of the blurred lip is that it swaps the usual precision and boldness for a softer and more romantic look,” says celebrity makeup artist Erika La’ Pearl. Getting a blurred pout is also incredibly easy to master, and it’s super wearable since you don’t necessarily have to worry about touching it up throughout the day. It’s about embracing imperfection, after all.

While the trend has been seeping onto the beauty shelves (just look at recent launches from Colourpop and Rouje) with the release of new soft-touch products, the look has also made an appearance at New York Fashion Week. Models at Spring/Summer 2022 Coach and Jonathan Simkhai shows went down the runways with softly-focused clouded pouts. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about rocking fall’s hottest makeup trend for yourself.

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How To Create The Blurred Lip

There are a few different methods of application that create similar results. The first is simply to use your lip product and your fingers. Make sure you’ve picked a product that’s buildable, and (usually) matte but powdery. To set your canvas, La’ Pearl says to neutralize the natural shade of your lips by applying your go-to product for facial coverage or by using a nude lip liner. Then, dot your lips with the pigment using your ring finger specifically, says Kim Baker, makeup artist and founder of Glamazon Beauty. “It’s almost impossible to go too heavy with [your ring finger],” she says.

While dabbing the product on, add layers of opacity to the inner rim and smudge the pigment across the rest of your lips. The effect will be a soft ombre. In essence: “You layer the pigment on, smudge it a bit, and you’re done,” says Baker.

Another option involves your lip product and a brush. “Apply lipstick to a closed mouth directly in the center of the lip,” Baker advises. Then, take a fluffy soft bristle makeup brush and blend outward to the rim and corners of the lip.

You could also reach for a lip stain for the effect. The experts advise saturating the inner part of your lip with color and blending out with a light hand across the rest of your pout.

Although the blurred lip tends to be matte, it works just as well with a glossy finish. “Apply the matte shade on the inner part of the lips and then apply a lip gloss over it,” La’ Pearl says. Move the lip gloss wand from the inside out to amplify the blurred effect.

Ready to try the look? Shop the best lip products for achieving a blurred pout, below.

A Classic Reimagined

M.A.C.’s Powder Kiss lipstick comes in both a classic and liquid form. Although both will work for the blurred effect, the lipstick has more of an ease to it. One swipe feels like your lips have been lightly dusted with powder. That doesn’t mean it sucks your pout of moisture — it’s cushiony and actually hydrating (thanks to vitamin E). It’s the perfect product for beginners and is almost foolproof enough to be used without a mirror.

A Subtle Lip Stain

Lip stains impart a high-impact swatch of color with little product required. This YSL option is the cream of the crop: It goes on smooth and even and is incredibly buildable. Its blend of oils also leaves your lips uber-hydrated all day long.

A Liquid-Stain Hybrid

Korean beauty brand 3CE has a vast collection of unique lip products. Its standout is this blurring liquid lipstick, which epitomizes the trend. The texture is watery but the pigment delivers a long-lasting haze of color — and you can pick from 10 gorgeous shades.

An Ultra-Pigmented Formula

Pat McGrath is famous for her brand’s covetable line of makeup essentials with a high payoff. The Mattetrance Lipstick is extra bold — regardless of the shade, the pigment won’t be shy. Upon applying it, you’ll get a velvety and opaque layer of color that’s lightweight but makes a statement.

A Glossy Tint

This product is somewhere in between a mousse and a glossy lip tint. It goes on sheer but is buildable to a completely opaque level, and it’s packed with nourishing ingredients that leave your pout hydrated — think vitamin E and antioxidant-rich Maracuja superfruit oil.

A Shine Enhancer

Lip gloss is back and bigger than ever (you can thank Y2K nostalgia for that). To add some shine to the powder-velvet look, seal any lipstick base with this tube for a high sheen without any stickiness.

A Blur-Ready Palette

For maintaining your perfectly untouched lip on the go, throw this palette into your purse — all you need for application is your finger. Just a couple of blots on your inner pout will deliver a just-kissed finish — blend a couple of shades at once for an ombre effect.