Kim Kardashian in the Brown Lip Liner Trend
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Picture this: you are getting ready to meet up with friends and pull your hair back into an effortless claw clip, tight-line your eyes, dust on some body highlighter, and overline your lips before popping on a coat of gloss. No, it's not 1997 (although it very well could be based on your beauty look) — it's 2021, you're on top of all of the latest Instagram trends, and you look damn good.
Plenty of '90s makeup trends have made a strong comeback over the last few years, but the return of the '90s "supermodel lip" — aka brown lip liner — is long overdue. With celebrities and their makeup artists leading the charge, the resurgence of the lip liner trend has been slow moving, but it's finally hit the mainstream. In case you needed any further proof: Megan Thee Stallion, Maren Morris, and Lizzo all rocked the look at the Grammy Awards this year.
As much as we loved the look back when Brandy and the Spice Girls were wearing it, the new and improved brown lip liner trend is much easier to pull off. "Depending on how the lips are lined and lipstick colors used, it is a very wearable trend," celebrity makeup artist and Catrice Cosmetics ambassador Robert Sesnek told POPSUGAR. "The late-'90s version was almost a dark ring of liner without blending, where the lip liner almost looked like a ring around the upper and lower lips. The best way to update this trend is better blending and diffusing of the deeper liner shade into the lip color."
The key to bringing the supermodel lip into the 21st century is finding the right shade of lipstick and liner. Instead of using a liner that's four or five shades darker than your skin tone, Sesnek recommended using a liner that's only two or three shades deeper and using warm shades rather than cool tones. Also: blend, blend, blend.
"I love using a deeper lip liner and warmer shade of golden brown gloss to make this look more modern and wearable," Sesnek said. He likes the Catrice Lip Foundation Pencil ($4) in shade 040 I Take You to the Chocolate Shop, paired with the Catrice Powerful 5 Liquid Lip Balm ($6) in the shade 080 Golden Ginger. Some of our other favorite brown lip liners include the Smashbox Be Legendary Line & Prime Pencil ($19), About-Face Matte Fix Lip Pencil ($17), and Lawless Forget The Filler Definer Lip Liner ($21).
Focus the liner on the outer corners of the mouth before lightly feathering it around the rest of the mouth. Fill in almost the entire lip with the liner, then apply the balm or gloss to the center of the lips for a gorgeous shine.
Keep scrolling for more brown lip liner inspiration from celebrities who have recently worn the trend.