The ’90s were the best—just ask any millennial. Aside from the music and style (hello, boy bands and slip dresses), it was also a memorable time for beauty. Frosty shadows, brown lips, and defined curls reigned supreme. But recently, while traveling down the nostalgia rabbit hole, we realized that a lot of what we wore decades ago is on trend again.
Take brown lipstick. It’s rich and sultry, but more subtle than burgundy. While the idea of wearing such an earthy lipstick might seem like a bold move, it can be done in an elevated way. So how can you pull it off in real life? We tapped beauty and fashion influencer Amy Serrano for the details. Her main tip? “Layer! You can easily tone down any shade by mixing and matching,” she says.
Get your products ready (hit up Nordstrom if you’re missing anything), and follow Serrano’s lead…
Before starting on your lips, complete the rest of your makeup look. Since the focus of the look is on my lips, I like to keep my skin clean and fresh, Serrano explains. She also adds a wash of copper to her lids and along the lower lash line to keep in the same color family as the brown lipstick.
To start your lip look, begin with a rich brown shade. This won't be the final shade, as this look is all about layering. Start at the center of your upper lip, and apply the lipstick outward toward one corner; repeat on the other side. Press your lips together to transfer color to your lower lip, and fill in any spots that are missing. “This is such a beautiful, deep rich brown that packs a serious punch,” Serrano says. “The texture isn’t drying at all and makes for a perfect lipstick to layer with.”
If you want the pigment to be less intense, you can tone it down by layering another lipstick on top. The key is using a different formula for a unique finish. “This is a softer brown that has mauve undertones, which makes it really flattering,” explains Serrano. “I concentrate the application on the center of my lips, and blend it out for dimension and the illusion of fuller [lips].”
“I love all the warm tones and how they all complement each other,” shares Serrano. “It’s a nice change from the classic lip shades that are seen year after year.” It's nostalgic, while still feeling very now.