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brown lipstickEverything old is new again. Nineties fashion is back in full force. Doc Martens. Flannel shirts. Body suits. Brown lipstick. Personally I vote to revive baby doll dresses. The rolled tube socks, however, can stay in 1995.

Every television character in the 90s rocked brown lipstick and the over-exaggerated neutral look (I’m looking at you, Donna Martin). Now that brown lipstick is making a resurgence, let’s talk about wearing it in a modern way.

It’s time to dust off those brown shades and make Winona Rider proud.

Choose the right hue

Brown lipstick comes in spectrum of shades. Often when I mention brown, many women balk at the thought. Most women have no problem with lighter nude shades. It’s the idea of the bold brown lip that causes shudders, repulsion, and memories of the goth kids from high school.

I mention frequently that people will use the excuse that they can’t wear a particular style or color when really they don’t like it or have some preconceived rule in their head that prohibits them from embracing a trend. Usually it’s rooted in body and self image. They convince themselves that they horribly lack style and eschew any trend that they perceive may not fit or flatter them.

I mention light nude shades for a reason. Light nudes still have some element of brown in the color formation. It may not be very pronounced. Many women crave the no-makeup look.

As with reds, oranges, purples, and other bold colors, the undertone of the lipstick is important. In the 90s, women were wearing extreme brown, almost black, shades with very pale skin. Some brown shades have red, pink, and lavender undertones. The trick is to find a shade that enhances your natural skin’s undertones. There’s no rule that says you have to choose a very dark shade either.

Avoid matching eye makeup

The 90s really gravitated toward the heavily-exaggerated neutral look. Brown shadows, brown blush, brown eyeliner, brown lip liner. It’s a look that is quintessentially 90s.

To modernize the look, avoid strictly brown colors or at least minimize the amount you use. Use pinks, roses, and apricots. Avoid bronzer. If you do a bolder lip, stick to the modern minimalist eye look — almost nude shadow, minimal eyeliner or a cat eye, and mascara. you can also mixed some shimmers.

By the way, pinks and browns look fabulous together.

Easy on the lip liner

Lip liner sales must have been through the roof during the 90s. Lip liner was very pronounced and frequently brown. I purchased a brown lip liner to prevent feathering, which one must do if extending the longevity of a bold lipstick.

If you use lip liner, line the whole lip, not just the edges. Blend in the liner to give a light base before putting on lipstick. Otherwise, you will have a very defined edge that is very dating. You can still focus more lip product on the center of the lip to add definition and still avoid the harsh lip liner lines.

So there you have it — a new take on a vintage look. If you still experience some trepidation about a particular style or color, visit your local cosmetics store for a free makeover. Try before you buy. Remember, it is only makeup. It is removable. You may discover a new signature look in the process.