February 23, 2015

The 90s Lip: Swatches & Tips

So, I admit that I have a bit of a problem... in that I have obsession with all varieties of the quintessential 90's lip. Now, I will begrudgingly give Kylie Jenner some credit for re-introducing me to the glory of a lip-plumping browny-nude. And I say 're-introducing' because I was borderline obsessed with Kevyn Aucoin's 'Making Faces' book as a preteen and remember using a tube of medium red-brown Wet-n-Wild lipstick to the veritable bone in 1999. 

But now, older-wiser-smarter (?) Siobhan has learned a lot more about this enviable lip look and I have come bearing gifts (lip swatches) and tips! 

Tip 1: Before you do anything moisturize your lips with a lip balm. Do the rest of our makeup while your slugs absorb the moisture and then wipe off the excess lip balm. You don't want a thick base of lip balm because it will inhibit the pigmentation of the lipstick and cause lip liner to slide around. 

Tip 2: If you have highly-pigmented lips or upper/lower lips that are different colors like me, apply some your foundation on your lips before you put on your lip liner. This will create a neutral base for your lip color and ensure that the color is even. I usually just daub the leftover foundation from my makeup sponge or brush lightly on my lips rather than apply more foundation directly on my lips. You if want to change the shape of your lips (enhancing your cupid's bow or overdrawing the lip line) this is an essential step for a seamless look. 

Tip 3: Fill your lips completely with lip liner before applying your lip color if you want to make your lip color last all day. This trick will also make shinier lipsticks look more matte when applied over it. Caution -- this can alter the final color result of your lipstick as your lips will look more like the lip liner base (keep in mind cool and warm undertones). If you're unsure of what lip liner to wear underneath a lip color, I recommend asking the makeup artists at MAC -- they've always been very helpful to my obsession. 

Tip 4: And conversely, do not apply lip liner if you want a more natural looking (less full-on InstaKylie) look. But remember the foundation trick so that the color looks even. 

In all the lip swatches below, I have lightly applied my foundation on my lips before the application of the lip color, but no lip liner. 

Revlon Matte Lip Balm in Sultry
A rosy cool-toned mauve that is super pigmented. The smell is an amazing mint scent that gives me joy. It's fault though is that it bleeds horribly. This can helped with a base of lip liner applied all over the lips and just daubing this lipstick lightly over it. But as you can even see in the picture above, it colors wants to travel outside my lip lines even on a fresh application. 

This lippie was my first foray into the 90s lip and it is what got me addicted to hunt for more variations. It's very moisturizing and creamy; definitely not matte although marketed as such. It pairs perfectly with MAC Spice lip liner. It's a good beginner color for those wanting to dabble in browny-nudes since it's more warm-toned. 

MAC Pander Me
This is such a happy nude color -- a lot of nudes can make you look quite moody, (which I do like most of the time) but this lipstick has that lovely coral undertone that livens up your face. I will probably be wearing this shade a lot more often for Spring.  

MAC Velvet Teddy
I'm convinced that most people look great in this matte lip color. It's one of those universal shades that looks incredibly different on each wearer depending on their skin tone, but somehow is still flattering.  This color should (and maybe already does?) rank among the MAC lippie all-stars like Russian Red and Cyber. It's slightly cool-toned but mostly a 'my lips but better' shade. Not drying. My No. 1 favorite! 

MAC Spirit Lipstick
This matte lipstick is my second favorite out of my collection. More cool-toned and moody than 'Velvet Teddy' and looks great alone or with a lip liner based (I recommend MAC Stripdown or MAC Oak). Not drying. It would probably look fantastic with a gloss over top for people with smaller lips. 

Maybelline Color Sensational 'The Buffs' Touchable Taupe Lipstick 
Another moisturizing finish on this *super* cool-toned browny nude. It applies so heavenly and the price point is well.. on point. I'm glad to see these kinds of shades in the drug store without all the nasty glitters and awkward iridescent sheens. I love wearing this shade with an all-black outfit -- makes me feel like a kawaii soft goth.

MAC Stripdown Lip Pencil
Good to pair with cool-based lipsticks. In particular, this lip pencil matches best with 'Velvet Teddy.' One could probably wear it alone, but it tend dry out your lips (as seen above). 

MAC Spice Lip Pencil
Warmer and darker than Stripdown, this lip pencil looks great alone with just a swipe of lip balm over top. Use it as a base for the warm browny lippies. I actually got this lip pencil for free at London Fashion Week a year ago and while happy to receive any sort of free makeup, I thought that I would probably never use it and of course now it's my most-used lip pencil. Ah yes, Fashion Week, subtly brainwashing us into liking things that we thought we didn't. 

That's all I have for now, but I am of course eyeing up MAC's 'Oak' and 'Whirl' lip pencils. SIGH. I have a problem, everyone! But I hope this post helped those are searching for their next fix of the 90s lip. 



  1. Those colors really suit you and it looks sooo natural ! I love it

  2. Spice lip liner and Spirit were my go to lip products during the 90's!!

  3. Spice lip liner and Spirit were my go to lip products during the 90's!!

  4. I've heard that taupe isn't that cool toned. Maybe it's the lighting?

  5. Heighten your fashionable classic looks now with the stylish freckle pen


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