Pastel eyeshadows and fuchsia lipsticks need to make some room because there’s another color that’s reigning supreme in the beauty world: Brown makeup. All ranges of the hue are back from the ‘90s (just look at Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid as proof). And so, if you’re not accustomed to wearing the shade, pros are here to help.
While supermodels from decades past — like Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington — deftly applied their brown shadows and lip liners with ease, those who are used to wearing colorful eye makeup and statement pouts will need to get acquainted with the newly-trending shade category. “Brown makeup is definitely having a fresh moment,” says Misha Shahzada, a celebrity makeup artist. “I find brown tones to be very reminiscent of the ‘90s era which consisted of some very iconic makeup looks.”
The key to wearing brown? Remember it’s just a neutral shade — so it’s quite easy to work with. “Everyone is wanting a more natural look, and what’s more natural than earth tones?” says Tarryn Feldman, a celebrity hair and makeup artist. Her take? If you don’t think brown hues work for you, think again. “It’s all about how you wear it,” she says. Shahzada agrees, noting the secret is finding the color combinations that play well with your features and skin tone.
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Find Tones You Like
The first thing to remember is that color tones look different on everyone, says Shahzada. “There are hundreds of different shades of brown, and some are more neutral than others,” she tells Bustle. “Also, not everyone has the same lip pigment, so some brown lipsticks or liners will look completely different on the next person.” Play around with palettes and tubes of lip products to figure out your best match.
Try A Smoky Look
An easy way to dip your toe into the ‘90s makeup look is to start with a light application rather than a boldly pigmented product. Feldman recommends trying smoky styles: “I love a good brown smoky shadow or a brown smoky liner,” she tells Bustle. Use a brush or your fingers to dust a wash of the earth-toned shade over your lids, or trace a subtle outline around your lips with a liner — you could always add more.
Pro tip: Your bronzer can double as your brown eye makeup. “I love using bronzers as shadows,” says Feldman. That means it can work as your eyeshadow and your blush-bronzer for contouring. Pair that with a chocolate lip and you’re good to go.
A monochromatic style works for any makeup color, and that includes your brown tones, says Shahzada. “I love a monochromatic look that consists of a bronzed cheek in lieu of blush and accompanied by a matte brown or nude lip,” she says. “Use a fluffy brush and a liquid bronzer on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose for a realistic sun-kissed look.” For your lips, she recommends contouring with a [bronzer or liner] shade slightly darker than your lipstick to create “a little depth” before applying. Then, voila: ‘90s supermodel vibes.