'90s Metallic Lips Are Having a Moment—and We're Into It

Updated 01/28/18

Beauty trends are cyclical, and right now, as we gear up for the festive season, the team at Byrdie HQ is digging metallic lipsticks and glosses again. We've been major matte lip advocates for a long time, but with all sort of Christmas celebrations hitting our diaries, we fancy something a little more frivolous. A soft shimmering lipstick or gloss is also extremely forgiving; you can slick it on from the bullet or wand with ease. Find the right shade, and it will help to illuminate your face. Matte lipstick, on the other hand, requires expert application.

A shimmering wash of colour is as easy to apply as a balm.

best metallic lipstick: metallic lips by Katie Jane Hughes

So why the return to shimmers and metallics? We predicted this pendulum swing back in February, but our focus was on eyes and highlighter, and now we want to make everything shimmery, including our lips. It's totally in line with the '90s aesthetic that is still huge, and it's a breath of fresh air from all the matte lips that have been filling up our Instagram feeds. But don't think we want you to choose—we still love the power of a strong matte lip, but we're inviting you to try something a bit different.

Makeup is created for play, after all. To help you, we've rounded up 13 metallic, shimmery lipsticks and glosses for you to choose from.

Keep scrolling to see our top picks.

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Metallic Lip Paint in Internet $7

L'Oréal's lavender hued lip paint is surprisingly wearable on all manner of skin tones and almost melds with your natural lip colour, so the overall effect is a soft shimmer, rather than a harsh, flat pastel.

INCredible In A Dream World Iridescent Sheer Gloss in 99% Unicorn 1% Badass $8

INCredible's metallic offering is more like a thick high-shine gloss. This blue-meets-purple shade is like a strobe cream for the lips.

best metallic lipstick: Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip in Moscow Muled
Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip in Moscow Muled $19

With a rich pigment and gorgeous shimmer, this rust-hued lip will look great with a tan.

best metallic lipstick: Guerlain Gloss d'Enfer' Maxi Shine Lip Gloss
Guerlain Gloss d'Enfer' Maxi Shine Lip Gloss in Rosy Bang $25

Want to dip your toe in the trend with a subtle hint of shimmer? Try this plush, rosy lip gloss.

best metallic lipstick: Estee Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick
Estee Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick in Pocket Venus $19

A rich, vampy berry lip, this is shot through with shimmering pigments that make your lips appear plumper.

best metallic lipstick: Buxom Lip Polish
Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in April $15

A pretty, easy-to-wear pink lip gloss, this plumps lips while the shimmer makes the gloss appear even glossier.

best metallic lipstick: Lancome Metallic Effect Lip Lacquer
Lancome Metallic Effect Lip Lacquer in Molten Magenta $22

A rich magenta shade, this metallic lip gloss gives lips a molten 3D effect, such is the shine quality.

best metallic lipstick: Milani Amore Mattallics Lip Cream
Milani Amore Mattallics Lip Cream $10

Don't want to give up matte? You don't have to—this lip cream combines a matte finish with a metallic shimmer.

best metallic lipstick:
Urban Decay Metallized Vice Lipstick in Conspiracy $16

Want a serious '90s look? Urban Decay has come up trumps with a brown lipstick that imparts a hint of golden shimmer.

best metallic lipstick: Lime Crime Velentines Liquid Matte Lipstick
Lime Crime Velvetines Liquid Matte Lipstick $15 $12

A shimmering pale pink, this lipstick is matte rather than glossy. What's great about this shade is that the pretty colour doubles as a highlighter for the Cupid's bow (we also pat it onto eyelids too, because why not?).

best metallic lipstick: Kevyn Aucoin The Molten Metals Lip Color
Kevyn Aucoin The Molten Metals Lip Color in Carbon $24

A deep purple-black, this will look seriously striking. Not sure how to wear it? Pair with a little black mascara, and warm up your skin tone with a wash of bronzer.

best metallic lipstick: Beauty Bakerie Metallic Lip Whip
Beauty Bakerie Metallic Lip Whip in Royal Tea $16

Seriously long-wearing, this velvety metallic liquid lipstick imparts a punchy colour. The shade here is a "spiced" plum with a shimmering but not shiny finish.

best metallic lipstick: Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Topcoat in Excitation
Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Topcoat in Excitation $26

Need any more convincing? Chanel is on board with the metallic lip trend, having launched a gold, shimmering gloss topcoat that you can layer over a matte lipstick or a tinted balm.

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