Scroll through your Instagram feed and you’ll be met with so many different makeup looks: a photo-ready graphic cat eye, winged liner so sharp it deserves its own art exhibit and bold lipstick looks we screenshot (but don’t actually wear on our own). An example of a shade you’ve probably saved, and/or fawned over in the past year is brown lipstick — a look that gives us ’90s, I’m-cool-and-I-know-it vibes. Whether you’re into the look of a chocolate brown matte lip, an oil-based lipstick with a glossy finish or a chic lip liner and lip gloss combo, know that this whole thing doesn’t have to be intimidating — lipstick is just lipstick, after all.
To help us figure out how to achieve the look at home so that our lipstick complements our skin tone, we reached out to makeup artist and influencer Jaleesa Jaikaran for her input. “Besides being a ’90s baby, I love that brown lipstick can be worn in so many ways: matte, glossy, frosty,” says Jaikaran. “It’s something you can play with to match your mood.” But as is the case with most makeup products, brown lipstick isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. “The first step in finding the perfect brown lipstick is to consider your undertones,” Jaikaran explains. “Are they warm or cool? If you’re not sure, the best way to find out is to compare two different shades [one with a warm undertone and one with a cool undertone] and if you can, try them on. If it blends in and doesn’t have a pasty finish, then it’s a good option for you.” If both look good on you, chances are you have neutral undertones.
Ahead, check out how some of our favorite beauty vloggers wear brown lipstick — and see their picks.
Light Skin Tones
Beauty vlogger somegirljess shares her favorite formulas to complement her fair skin, including NYX Professional Makeup Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Sandstorm, Bite Beauty Multistick in Honey and Maybelline Color Sensational Loaded Bolds in Gone Greige.
Medium/Olive Skin Tones
Dark Skin Tones
Lifestyle and beauty vlogger kiitana tries on her favorite shades of neutral shades, but she always preps her lips by defining them with a brown lip liner. She tries on a range of shades like NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi, Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Limbo and NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream in Berlin.
And if you’re trying to decide whether or not to pair your brown lipstick with a lip liner, consider the following: “It all depends on the look you’re going for,” says Jaikaran. “For a glossy, natural finish, it’s not always necessary. I do love to buff lip liner out so it’s a soft contour on the lips that gives the lipstick or gloss a little more longevity.” If you want to give your lips more dimension, simply define the shape for a natural finish, or use it as a base to make your brown lipstick last longer, lip liner might be a good option for you.
So no matter the season, we implore you to give a brown lippie a try. To complete the routine, snap a photo, tag the brands you used in your latest Insta and if you’re extra-daring, channel your inner-vlogger to create your own YouTube beauty review — we’ll watch.