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Your Guide to the Iconic Lip Liner and Gloss Look

Instagram baddies like Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner may have brought the lip liner and lip gloss combo to the forefront recently, but this killer beauty look has actually been around for years. And, although this iconic look debuted decades ago, we’re loving the way lip liner with lip gloss has been reintroduced into the mainstream—with a bang. 

A True Beauty Legacy

Simple to execute but with a dramatic payout, the cool combination of dark brown lip liner with lip gloss is timeless. Originally popular by Black women and Latinas in urban areas during the ‘90s, a rich, dark lip liner and lip gloss pairing has been making an impact on the beauty world for over 30 years.

In fact, it was the lack of diversity in the beauty industry that made women of color reach for the only shades available to them. And it wasn’t just everyday consumers. Even professional models and makeup artists had to improvise. You might be surprised to find that the style didn’t even include lip liner at first. The only shades dark enough were brow and eye pencils. But beauty experts are nothing if not creative, so they produced a unique beauty look that remains a true showstopper. 

Hoping to pay homage to the many fierce women of color who conquered the lip liner with lip gloss look before us? We’re here to help you pull off the ‘90s brown lip liner with clear lip gloss look of your dreams. 

The Lip Liner and Lip Gloss Love Story

Lip liner’s popularity has fluctuated over the years, yet the beauty benefits of this one little product remain the same. Besides helping lip color last longer, lip liner can also add dimension to the lips, creating the illusion of a fuller pout. From preventing feathering to creating a more defined, polished look, it’s no surprise that today’s beauty insiders are reaching for lip liner once again to create flawless makeup looks that stand the test of time. And if you’re hoping for a blast from the past to the ‘90s, brown lip liner with clear lip gloss is a pairing that never misses. 

The Best Lip Liner and Lip Color Combos 

To achieve the best lip liner and color combo, start with a dark liner that is at least two shades darker than your skin tone. You’ll want to overline the lips slightly, taking care to create a smooth line around the lips. Then, reach for a clear gloss or nude lipstick and fill in the lines carefully.

For an ultra-dramatic look, opt for a black lip liner and lip gloss pairing. Create a sultry holiday look with a bold burgundy lip liner and red lipstick. Add a pop of shimmery gloss to finish.

While some beauty looks call for blending your lip color and lip liner, the opposite is true if you’re hoping to pull off the ideal dark brown lip liner with lip gloss look. To stay true to this hot ‘90s lip liner trend, avoid blending and keep the lines pronounced, making the look all the more eye-catching.

And when it comes to the perfect glossy pout, application matters. For a subtle yet irresistible sheen, place a dab of gloss in the center of your lips and smack. For a bolder look, apply a coat or two to create maximum shine. 

Thanks to the fearless trendsetters of the ‘90s, the lip liner with lip gloss look is back and bigger than ever. Stoked to recreate the vibe? Whether you opt for a dark brown lip liner with clear lip gloss for a traditional take or an updated black lip liner and tinted lip gloss look, imitating this iconic beauty trend will ensure you’ve got a fresh look from now until well into the new year. 

We love to see you smile, so show off your style on Instagram! Then, find us on TikTok and Pinterest to see what’s inspiring us today.

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