It’s no secret that ‘90s makeup trends have been making their way back onto the beauty scene after being seen all over the runwaysand on the faces of your favorite celebrities over the past year, and the grunge lipstick trend has really picked up steam. One of our favorite shades to wear right now? Believe it or not, brown.
Brown feels like a fresh switch back to neutrals, and is actually a universally flattering shade that complements all skin tones. Because it’s an earth tone, the color warms up any complexion—but the shade you choose definitely still matters. Avoid picking a hue that is too close to your skin color so that you don’t look washed out. Fair and light skin tones look best in a taupe or pink brown tone, medium and olive skin tones would want a product with red undertones or a more vampy chocolate shade, and dark skin tones should reach for a muted coffee brown or tan hue. When it comes to the finish of the lipstick, a matte finish often works best for darker shades, while lighter browns pop when they have a glossy finish. But you should feel free to experiment with the shades and finishes you prefer—this trend is all about stepping out of your beauty comfort zone so the rules aren’t hard and fast.
And when it comes to tips for applying the standout shade, prepping your pout is key. Always apply a lip primer or concealer on your lips before your lipstick to ensure that the color stays on your lips and doesn’t transfer. Using a lipliner in tandem with your lipstick or as a base is also helpful in getting a precise application, which is important when wearing such a standout shade. Keep the rest of your makeup simple and modern and choose products in the same warm, earthy tones for your eyes and cheeks. Make sure to add some bronzer or highlighter for dimension.
Shop our favorite brown shades below.
Clay — cool muted brownish plum
Rapture — matte red brown
Sin — gold frosted reddish brown
Taupe — honey beige pink
Tempest — silvery bronze gloss with cool shimmer
Walnut — warm red brown
Matte Spice — deep brown berry
Caramel — rich caramel brown gloss
Chocolate Cherry — dark reddish brown
Matte Cerise — creamy mauve brown
Patina — warm frosted champagne tan