With all of our favorite '90s television shows rumored to be making comebacks, it’s only right that our lipsticks would follow suit. There’s one shade in particular (two, if you count frosted as a hue) that’s at the forefront of the throwbacks: brown. The rich, creamy color has made an appearance on the lips of celebrities including Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, and Joan Smalls in the past two weeks alone. And while the youngest Jenner’s pout is rumored to be from her upcoming Lip Kit, Smalls' came from a less likely source: foundation.
Makeup artist Sir John — the man behind Smalls’ brown lip look, and whose work you’ve also seen on Beyoncé — says he took the same deep foundation he used to sculpt Smalls' cheeks and swept it on her lips. "We shaped it up with a bit of lipliner, and put a bit of pressed powder on top of it, and she was good to go," he says. Now that's a hack if we've ever heard one.
Whether you use foundation or actual brown lipstick, Sir John recommends gravitating toward matte finishes, which will make the color look rich, rather than cheap. In terms of shade, he says to stay in the milk-chocolate range — think toffee and caramel. "You don’t want to go more than three or four shades darker than your natural [skin tone], because then it starts to look a bit Goth," he says. "Brown lipsticks are great, but you don’t want them to drain your complexion...because it can go wrong, really quick." If you're on the fairer side, he advises adding a touch of pink lipstick, which will bring warmth to your face.
While there are definitely some beauty trends that are better off staying in the '90s (looking at you, over-plucked brows), this is one we're happy to see getting a second life. "Everybody’s doing wine-stained lips, and that’s great, but this brown lip is sexy, it’s modern, it’s intriguing," Sir John says. "I’m glad it’s being introduced to a completely different generation of girls."