13 Brown Lipstick Hacks To Pull Off The 90s Trend

by Melodi Erdogan

At first, brown lipstick was a fad, but now it's back, baby! Someway, somehow, this look has stuck around. So, if you have yet to develop some favorite brown lipstick hacks, have no fear. It's not too late to rock the fabulously grungy '90s beauty trend with maximum ease and skill. If you've been waiting for a sign to take the brown lipstick plunge, consider this your moment!

There's no doubt brown lipstick was once a beauty faux-pas. In the '90s, the look was super dark with lot's of heavy eye makeup and overdrawn lips, but since the look reemerged a few season back, it's been adopted by countless celebs (*ahem* Kylie Jenner), on runway models, and in magazines. With a few updated elements, there's no doubt brown lipstick looking rather beautiful these days. However, dark lip colors are always tough to apply, and when it comes to a trendy shade like brown, the stakes are at their highest.

If you have yet to jump on the brown lipstick bandwagon, or are still struggling with perfecting your application, let these 13 hacks guide you in the right direction. From picking the right shade to setting your lipstick, these tips will ensure your brown lippie endeavors go as smoothly as possible.

1. Get Inspired

Scott Barbour/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you're not inspired to rock a beauty trend, then you'll probably let it pass you by. But considering brown lipstick has been in the scene for quite some time now, there's a chance it'll stick around, forever. OK, that might be overstating it. But really, in order to gear up for such an unconventional lip shade, it's good to look for inspiration that'll motivate you to try the look. A perfect example is the queen of brown lipstick herself, Kylie Jenner. Follow her Instagram page (if you don't already!) and you'll be down for rocking this look in no time.

2. Pick The Right Shade For Your Skin

Trust me when I say I know the overwhelming feeling of trying to pick the right shade of lipstick. If you boil the options down to shades that will compliment your skin tone, you'll have an easier time picking one or two. According to, light complexions should opt for brown shades with red and/or orange undertones, medium complexions look best in cooler, taupe-like browns, and deep complexions rock pale, pink tones best.

3. Opt For Satin Or Matte Textures

The texture of a lipsticks will tell you a lot about how it will apply and what it will look like on the lips. Lauren Conrad writes on her blog that dark lippies are bold so you'll want to look for satin and matte textures.

4. Try Something Different

You don't have to stick to a traditional lipstick if you're afraid to take the plunge. YouTube beauty guru ULoveMegz created a gorgeous chocolate lip shade with a basic brown eye shadow stick. Other options include combining a primer and eye shadow to create your own lip color (matte brown shadows, or even ones with metallic finishes, would be perfect) or even blending two lipsticks together for the right shade (opt for brown-based shades, like plums and nudes) like Refinery29 suggests.

5. Set Aside Time For A Test Run

Make sure to set aside extra time to really play around with your brown lipstick. The first application is never going to be perfect. If you have time to practice, then you'll get the hang of what you're doing and how you want it to look. When you're working with a dark and rather unforgiving shade like brown, it's worth thinking ahead.

6. Rub In A Lip Liner

It's a rule of lipstick thumb to apply liner before a dark lip shade. Even though I'm totally one for simplifying the process and would normally never use a lip liner, it's basically required with brown lips. Take a neutral shade (it can be a slightly brown version of your natural lip color) and work it around the edges of your lips. Blend this in with your finger to get an ombre look. This will ensure the brown will stay within your lip line and also apply smoothly.

7. Overline Your Lips

Dark lip colors give off the illusion of smaller lips, so take this as your chance to try overlining if you'd like. Using that same neutral lip liner from before, follow XoVain's directions on how to subtly draw outside your natural lip line to get a fuller look.

8. Draw Lightly

It's time to pick up that lipstick and draw! Lightly fill in your lips with the product you're using, and intensify the color if need be. But be sure to...

9. Inspect The Shape

Check the shape of your lips before moving onto the next step. It's easy to get lost in a close-up mirror and forget your face is inches away from it. Try and remind yourself to lean back and inspect your lip shape and shade from a distance to make sure you're happy with it.

10. Do The "Pop"

Ahh, the "pop." It may look odd, but it works — and with a brown lipstick, it's absolutely necessary. You don't want to risk someone spotting brown lipstick on your teeth! Squeeze your lips around your pointer finger to get all that excess lipstick off, like Bianca Balconis, founder of Honey Artists, recommended to Allure.

11. Set It With Powder

Celebrity makeup artist Clarissa Luna then recommends setting your lip color by taking a tissue, blotting with powder, and then applying more lipstick if need be. This will ensure your lip color is intense and stays intense for as long as you'll be wearing it.

12. Use A Concealer

If there are still some patches to clean up, it's best to go in with some heavy-duty concealer and wipe away any stray marks or jagged eges. My personal favorite way of doing this is to take a small makeup brush and use concealer to wipe anything away close to the lips.

13. Work It With Confidence

Huzzah! You are officially rocking a gorgeous brown lip! You deserve to take some flawless selfies, and dance to your reflection in the mirror. With brown lips at the ready, feel confident and comfortable in your own skin! Seriously, wearing lipstick is a sure way to feel empowered, and wearing brown lipstick will make you a trendy beauty goddess. So, rock it!

Want more lipstick tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

Images: Melodi Erdogan/Bustle (11)