Where’s my flip phone? Because I’m calling it.

By Kaitlyn Yarborough
January 16, 2020
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Picture it: Your hair is crimped, your brows are plucked into submission, your foundation is at least one shade too light and matte to the point of powdery, and your lips. Oh, your lips. Brick-brown lipstick, frosted purple lipgloss, or ultra-dark lip liner are hitting harder than Gwen Stefani’s hairsprayed punk pompadour. 

The 1990s were a wild time for trends, and many have come back mainstream in 2020. Fanny packs, high-waisted Levi’s, bucket hats, and Dr. Martens are basically dragging us back in time inside every clothing store—and we’re not necessarily mad about it. We can get behind the tummy-taming power of a good high-waisted jean all day long. Now if the over-plucked brows came back...we’d set fire to the tweezer store ourselves. 

Other trends, we’re not so sure about how we feel. Arguably, all of the ‘90s lip trends mentioned above are back in some capacity. (To be fair, reddish brown lipstick never truly went out and frosted lip gloss could always be found in the nearest Claire’s, if you really needed it.) 

The one we're seeing unexpectedly pop up everywhere? Lip liner. As in, the two-shades-too-dark lip liner. The kind of lip liner that makes itself very known and is often paired with a semi-translucent gloss to really accentuate the contrast. Yes, that lip liner. 

The 1990s might have taken it overboard, with burgundy lip liner and frosted lip gloss á la Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, and Naomi Campbell, but an updated take is worth a second chance. Using a lip liner shade darker than your lipstick shade is theoretically smart: By accentuating the outer edges of your lips, you can simultaneously give your pout extra sneaky definition and make your lips appear fuller. Plus, liner ensures your lipstick color won’t bleed. 

Applying a nude liner two shades darker than your natural lip color actually creates a defined, fuller-looking pout, but the real trick to keeping this lip trend in the 21st century is to slightly blur the middle portions of liner (above the cupid’s bow and at the fullest part of your bottom lip) into the lipstick to create a more natural finish. You'll find it’s surprisingly flattering. One of our favorite nude liners right now is Bobbi Brown Lip Liner Pencil in Nude or Pale Mauve

Choose a rose-colored lip liner like Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk and top with a glossy lip color like NYX’s Butter Gloss in Tiramisu to achieve the glowiest take ever on the throwback lip trend. The middle parts of your pout will catch the light like nobody’s business. 

The votes are in: We’re officially on board with this ‘90s makeup trend comeback. Next stop, blue eye shadow?