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It was just a matter of time before brown lipstick resurfaced along with the other tenets of ‘90s nostalgia. Now, along with those vintage Levi’s, statement chokers, body suits and for fall, a sea of velvet, comes the nude hue that graced the lips of supermodels and Sassy magazine-reading teens more than two decades ago.
Berry stains and orange-red matte lip pencils are bowing out as a beauty trend (for now) and making way for warm, neutral browns. From putty to brick, brown will be the ubiquitous lip shade of the season.
But brown can be tricky to wear. Go too gray and you can look lifeless. And that deep ‘90s trend of dark lip liner around a lighter brown lip-gloss is just wrong altogether.
Rachel Goodwin, celebrity makeup artist to Brie Larson, Emma Stone and Alicia Vikander, breaks down how to wear brown (as seen on the lips of Zendaya, Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid) so it’s complimentary, not corpse-like.
LADIES IN BROWN LIPSTICK: From left: Zendaya in August 2015; Kylie Jenner in June 2015; and Gigi Hadid in March 2016. (Photos: Getty Images)
What are your thoughts on the brown lipstick trend coming back for fall?
I like it because we’ve seen a lot of berry, vampy lips. And just the right amount of time has passed for brown to have its heyday in a new way.
Did you wear the look the first time around in the ‘90s?
I wore it the first time around. I was a big fan. I wore it into the ground, specifically a brick color from Revlon called Toast of New York. Browns were everything. People were wearing everything from chestnut to beige.
How is it different/more modern this time?
In the ‘90s we saw flat foundations, flat, matte lip color and heavy, overly made up and perfected makeup looks. This time, formulas have changed and women are savvy and incredibly educated. We understand that the thing that makes makeup beautiful is mixing textures. Now it’s about colors being sheerer and everything being softer and more blended.
How can people successfully wear it so they don’t look lifeless or ‘90s grunge literal?
Browns that have warmth to them are much more complimentary, but it depends on the statement you want to make. Gray-brown feels more modern because it has a space-age feel. It’s a non-color, putty shade that has a real edge to it.
Have you used a brown shade on a client recently?
I did a brick color on Brie at Comic-Con. I used a mixture of Charlotte Tilbury Foxy Brown liner and Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in Rouge Vie. I also love Shiseido perfect rouge in Cocoa Rose and Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #25 Satin Caramel.
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