The dark lip is making itself known in the era of the nudes, and it’s about time for the '90s brown to make a comeback. After all, not everyone’s “nude” is under the pink family hue. But just like wearing a dark red, sporting a brown lip can be quite a challenge, too. Here are a couple of ways to take it to the next level.
1. Choose your preferred undertone and shade meticulously.
The specific shade of brown that you choose will affect how the rest of the colors on your face will look, so choose wisely. Do your research and pick your poison among warm (like Kylie Cosmetics’ True Brown K) or cool tones (ex. Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Sepia) to steer your look to the direction you desire. Plus, you can save some cash by skipping a tedious trial-and-error process.
2. Use tones similar to your lipstick for the rest of your makeup.
If you have something like Jeffree Star’s Dominatrix in your arsenal, going for warm-toned eyeshadows and bronzers will help you achieve a well-incorporated look. It’s basically like wearing black with black. Foolproof.
NARS Blush in Madly, P1650, Glorietta 4
3. Skip the neon blush.
Wearing a brown lip, especially a warm-toned one, can make any type of redness on your face stand out. So if you prefer not to enhance those, piling on a shocking pink blush is a no-no. A subtle or muted blush like NARS Madly or a bronzer without a red undertone will add dimension to your face more effectively without making you look swollen.
4. If wearing foundation, don’t forget to contour.
A simple sweep of bronzer or contouring powder along the outer perimeters of your face to bring back all natural shadows lost from foundation will do. This prevents you from looking flat and helps your lipstick complement your face instead of fully stealing the show (unless that's the plan, of course).
5. Eyebrows, lashes, or both.
If you have no time or patience for eyeshadow, you can play up your eyes by defining your brows or lashes (or both) to balance the intensity of a brown lip.
6. Use a lip liner.
This might be a no-brainer for a precise application, but lip liners are also good for subtle gradient lips. If a full brown lip is too much for you, lining your lips with something closer to your natural lip color before blending in a hint of brown at the center can make what’s otherwise a bold statement a more casual, daily lip.
MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Whirl, P1000, Rustan’s Shangri-la Plaza
Got that? Now it's time to take a selfie!