30 Celebs Who Rocked Brown Lipstick WAY Before Kylie

The brown lipstick trend is picking up steam — and we have a feeling it's going to keep on chugging through 2016. Though the latest iteration is much-improved compared to when the trend started, we want to give credit where credit is due. And no, it's not to Kylie Jenner.

Once upon a time, before Lip Kit fever, in an era known as the '90s, brown lipstick was pretty much a requirement for leaving the house. In the age of pencil-thin brows, Friends, and all things grunge, every makeup bag was equipped with an arsenal of moody shades (Chanel Vamp, anyone?). Every red carpet was a sea of chocolate lips. They came in a variety of hues, from cinnamon to mocha, and textures from matte to super glossy.

Though some shades were more wearable than others, brown lipstick is a trend we’re excited to revisit (let's just be sure to leave the over-plucking thing in the past though, okay?). But first, let's take a little look back at where the whole thing started.
1 of 31
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Yes, you are seeing things clearly. That is indeed Gwyneth Paltrow — with brown lips and brown hair. Though this lip color is coming back, we think it's safe to wager that the Queen of Goop will not be reliving her emo phase.
Advertisement
2 of 31
Photo: Steve.Granitz/Getty Images.
Drew Barrymore
When you think of the ultimate '90s flower child, images of Drew Barrymore with blonde baby bangs and daisies in her hair probably come to mind. But we think this black-hair-and-mocha-lip moment really better captures the essence of the era, no?
3 of 31
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
Jennifer Aniston
Mini wire-framed specs, brown lipstick, "The Rachel" — it doesn't get much more '90s than that.
4 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Claire Danes
We've all heard the rumors that Claire Danes was the reason we never got a second season of the '90s pop-culture phenomenon that is My So-Called Life (tear). But seeing her all cute-like in that reddish-brown lip makes us forgive her — that and, well, Homeland.
5 of 31
Photo: S. Granitz/Getty Images.
Jada Pinkett Smith
First Claire Danes, now Jada Pinkett Smith — pairing brown lips with frosty, violet eyeshadow was the '90s thing.
6 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Britney Spears
Britney Spears was a lady of the aughts, but before "Hit Me Baby One More Time" catapulted her into full-blown fame, she was rocking '90s coppery lips with the best of them.
Advertisement
7 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Linda Evangelista
One of the original supers, Linda Evangelista was more than a '90s trendsetter. Her brown lip color of choice, MAC Spice, was sold out for most of the decade, reports The Cut.
8 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Julia Roberts
This is a '90s moment worth revisiting for many reasons: that menswear (not even menswear-inspired; that has to be legit menswear) suit, that hair, and those full Julia Roberts (brown) lips.
9 of 31
Photo: S. Granitz/Getty Images.
Brandy
"I Want To Be Down," Moesha, "The Boy Is Mine" — Brandy was as central to the '90s as the brown lipstick she's wearing.
10 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Courteney Cox
Another Friend demonstrates how well a brown lip works with another '90s trend we've seen repurposed lately — the reverse-part hair flip.
11 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Shannen Doherty
You can't talk '90s without mentioning Shannen Doherty, a.k.a. Brenda Walsh. Just look at her: Those bangs! That choker! That mischievous brown pout!
Advertisement
12 of 31
Photo: Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Christina Ricci
It makes perfect sense that Wednesday Addams would grow into someone who dabbles in dark lipstick. Though Christina Ricci tones down the Goth factor with significant levels of frost.
13 of 31
Photo: Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Mary J. Blige
We will always have a Real Love for Mary J. and that dark-brown lip.
14 of 31
Photo: Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.
Halle Berry
Halle Berry's beauty doesn't seem to fade with age, but she has grown out of wearing gelled-to-her-head finger waves and frosty lips. (And, for those keeping score at home, here's that violet-shadow-and-brown-lipstick combo again!)
15 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Janet Jackson
Whether she was posing fresh-faced and topless (for her Janet album) or turtlenecked with shiny brown lips and major extensions, Janet Jackson was the '90s epitome of cool. Just check out her "That's The Way Love Goes" video if you need proof.
16 of 31
Photo: Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Jennifer Lopez
Though today she prefers everything a bit more golden — her hair, her skin, and her lips — '90s JLo (who appeared pre-fame in Janet's aforementioned vid) had her way with a chestnut lip.
Advertisement
17 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
What would the '90s be without Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Cruel Intentions, and the matte brown lips SMG often opted for?
18 of 31
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
Sandra Bullock
With that choppy lob and brown lippie, '90s Sandra Bullock looks like she just stepped out of North Brooklyn in 2015.
19 of 31
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
Mariah Carey
She was the top-selling female recording artist of the '90s, and she knew a thing or two about how to rock a tricky lip color — then and now.
20 of 31
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images.
Missy Elliot
Missy Elliot looks nothing short of Supa Dupa Fly in her brown ombré lips.
21 of 31
Photo: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.
Alicia Silverstone
Though her brownish-red is a little less earthy, no '90s list would be complete without Cher Horowitz.
Advertisement
22 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Liv Tyler
A baby-faced Liv Tyler rocks a shiny, cinnamon lip during the era of Aerosmith music videos and Empire Records.
23 of 31
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
Keri Russell
Sure, it was all about Felicity's hair, but we can certainly find ways to be jealous of her lips, too.
24 of 31
Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
Jessica Biel
Long before she and Justin Timberlake said "I do," Jessica Biel was rocking chunky highlights, specs, and a muddy lip.
25 of 31
Photo: Mark Cuthbert/Getty Images.
Victoria Beckham
Like many of the things Victoria Beckham did in the '90s (spray tans, matching leather outfits with her husband David, the Spice Girls) the frosted-brown-lip trend is not something we see current Posh ever revisiting.
26 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Gwen Stefani
The No Doubt frontwoman has alway been a red-lip lover, but back in the '90s she opted for a brown, brick-like shade (and that questionable bindi).
Advertisement
27 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Katie Holmes
Back when Katie Holmes was only famous for playing Joey Potter on Dawson's Creek, she owned the brown-lip look.
28 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen
This '90s queen starred in Saved By The Bell and 90210, two of the most iconic shows of the decade. Here, in her Beverly Hills period, Tiffani Amber Thiessen (she may have dropped the Amber, but we're keeping it in for nostalgia's sake) rocks a shade of brown we think Kylie would totally go for.
29 of 31
Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Jennie Garth
Beverly Hills 90210 gave us plenty of beauty inspo. Kelly Taylor, and her brown lips, was the blonde of many of our dreams.
30 of 31
Photo: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images.
Penelope Cruz
The key to pulling off this tricky color (as the Spanish actress does so well circa 1999), is finding a shade that works for your skin tone.

So, enough reminiscing: Let us help you find your perfect match to wear right here, right now.


31 of 31
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement