Here is Part III of III in our reliving of the decades through iconic beauty looks. To recap: First was '70s pastel eyes; then we had '80s hair; now for the '90s lip—apparently every 10 years we see fit to highlight another part of our faces. We'll admit that this one was our favorite of the bunch. It seems the '90s as a reference point just won't die, and we're pretty OK with that. To guide you through what is actually a pretty vast trend, we've picked through our '90s lip moodboard to highlight our four favorite looks and their corresponding reference points. Have at 'em:
Inspiration : Lily Rose Depp
Look : Ultra Nude
Products : MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown, Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Milky Way, Clinique Lash Power Mascara, Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation in Toffee
Everyone's current muse has the '90s lip look down pat—and she was only alive for six months of that decade. No matter, we can all learn from her early showing of excellence. The main takeaway is to take down your lip color to its tawniest self—maybe leave a hint of pink. First, line them along the apex of the lip. Do not, we repeat, do not overdraw. Work with your natural shape instead. Once you're all lined, add your lipstick in the center and blend it out. This will give a full look—pillowy, even. This nude lip doesn't disappear. Done right, it can be just as pronounced as something colorful. (Note: The skin here, and throughout, was kept natural, if a little matte. Eyebrows were groomed but otherwise left natural.)
Inspiration : Naomi Campbell
Look : Slightly Frosted Liner
Products : CK One Soft Defining Lip Pencil in Kinkette, CK One Pure Color Lipstick in Undressed, Make Up For Ever Pro Waterproof Eyeliner in Black
First things first: Pick a liner color that's two shades darker than your natural lip color and a lipstick that's one shade darker. Consider which color family you want to be in for this. Depending on your skin tone, it can be a mauvy pink or something rosier. Sounds drastic, but in application, it's not as big of a leap. To prove it, we even added some eyeliner here—just a small, thin flick. Shimmer on the lid, too, if you're feeling it.
Inspiration : Sade
Look : Not-Quite-Brick Red
Products : Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick SPF 15 in 14 Rouge Feu, MAC Eye Shadow in Charcoal Brown, MAC Shaping Powder Pro Palette in Emphasize
Wear this one right here, right now—it works best when you're a little sun-kissed. It's inspired by that iconic, '90s brick red but a little more vibrant than that. To make it modern, keep the lip line natural and go with a sheerer formula as opposed to the more true-to-the-decade sticky mattes. If you are concerned about not lining, take some concealer and a brush, and outline your lips. This will make for a defined canvas that'll stand out better. Contour the eye with a taupe shadow and highlight from the eyelid up to the brow.
Inspiration : Drew Barrymore
Look : Dark Plum
Products : Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Bloodroses, Dolce & Gabbana The Lipstick Classic Cream Lipstick in Amethyst
Hello, grunge, happy to see you again. Now, down to business: Fill in the lips with your choice of dark lip liner (again, purples work well here). That'll help retain the stain of the lipstick. Go over the liner with a coordinating lipstick to deepen the color. Blot. Then add more lipstick—really press it in there. Blot again (this time with some translucent powder). Add a little mascara—but nothing else. Let the lips do the talking.