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We have a little secret to let you in on: The ‘90s are back. Not only are your favorite TV shows from the decade coming back to the small screen in rapid succession, but the biggest beauty trends (particularly makeup ones) are popping up again, too. One of the most popular ‘90s makeup trends was brown lipstick—and we’re seeing it all over the place these days. While you might think that brown is a shade that not many can pull off on their lips, we’re here to let you know that that’s not actually the case. It’s all about finding the best brown lipstick for your skin tone, which we’re explaining exactly how to do below—along with a few product picks!
Before grabbing any ol’ brown lipstick, take your skin tone and undertones into consideration. Certain shades of brown will flatter different skin tones and undertones better than others. Not sure which hue will complement you most? Follow our guide to brown lipstick below.
If you have fair skin and warm undertones…your best bet will be a brown that falls on the nude side. Try one with orange undertones, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Shine Lipstick in Dazzling Doe, L’Oréal Paris Pro Matte Les Chocolats Scented Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Tooth, or the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-Itude.
If you have fair skin and cool undertones…opt for a brown that’s pink or blue-based, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Ultra Matte Highly Pigmented Nude Lipstick in Full-Blown Fawn, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-Cadamia, or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible PAINTS/LIPS Matte in Skinny Dip.
If you have medium skin and warm undertones…experiment with a brown lipstick that is red or orange-based to complement the warmth in your skin. Add the L’Oréal Paris Infallible PAINTS/LIPS Matte in Tongue Tied to your makeup bag.
If you have medium skin and cool undertones…just about any brown shade will look stunning on you—just choose one with blue undertones. Give the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Ultra Matte Highly Pigmented Nude Lipstick in Cutting Edge Cork, L’Oréal Paris Pro Matte Les Chocolats Scented Liquid Lipstick in Bittersweet, or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Shake Down a whirl.
If you have deep skin with warm undertones…opt for a rich, brown color with orange or red undertones to flatter your deep skin tone. Try the L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature, Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in I Explore or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cowboy.
If you have deep skin with cool undertones…avoid shades that may be too light and reach for a brown that’s dark with blue undertones. Try the L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature, Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in I Stand, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Ultra Matte Highly Pigmented Nude Lipstick in Sienna Supreme, or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints/Lips Matte in Cinna-Bomb.
Once you’ve picked out the brown lipstick that’ll most flatter your complexion, it’s time to apply it! Follow our step-by-step instructions for applying brown lipstick like a pro.
Create a smooth base for your brown lipstick application by exfoliating with the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub. Smooth a tiny bit of the scrub onto dry lips, then massage it over your lips with wet fingers before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water and patting dry.
After you’re done exfoliating, dab on a lip primer to create an even canvas. Foundation or concealer can work in a pinch.
Don’t forget about this step! Using a lip liner before applying lipstick can help prevent color from feathering outside the lines. Try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner in a shade that closely matches your lipstick. You can also use an invisible lip liner.
Start applying your brown lipstick at the outer corners of your upper lip, working your way inward. Then, glide your lipstick across your bottom lip.
Once you’re ready to take your brown lipstick off, do so with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types. All you have to do is saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe the pad across your lips.
Brown lipstick is definitely striking—which is why you may want to think about keeping the rest of your makeup look pretty subdued. Create a flawless-looking base with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer, L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, and L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer. Finish off with a coat of the L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Washable Mascara and you’re good to go!
Ready to move on from brown lipstick? Here’s Our Best Red Lipstick for Every Skin Tone.