Hands up if you’re a 90’s baby!
The 90’s has to be my favourite era. I feel like it’s had such a heavy influence on my style, whether its fashion, hair, makeup or music (FYI I’m talking Jodeci and Aaliyah, not Bewitched!). From Cindy Crawford in her Levis, to Jennifer Aniston in her New York Knicks sweater, there is just something so cool and effortless about 90’s style that I’m always drawn to!
The hair and makeup also has that laidback, understated vibe. Search any female icon from the 90’s and you’ll see big voluminous hair, matte skin, coffee brown lips and soft, smudgy eyes. It was all about enhancing natural beauty without trying too hard – think ‘All American girl next door’ with a bit of sexy thrown in there. So whilst there are definitely some things that we should leave in the past and pretend they never existed (blue, glittery eyeshadow, anybody?), there is so much about classic 90’s ‘beauty’ that can be modernised and worn today.
A heavily influenced trend that I’ve seen brought back to life lately is the ombre lip. I decided to recreate this in a really wearable way that totally embodied the whole 90’s vibe, so I threw on some denim, gave myself a good old ‘Saved By The Bell’ do, and got to work. I ditched the highlighter and bronzer (if you know me, you know how emotionally traumatising this was for me!) and went for a velvet finish on the skin, with a terracotta blush to add some warmth instead. For the eyes, I started with cool toned shadows and a really matte nude lid, and then modernised things by adding a heavy wing and wispy lashes. I kept the brows strong and natural, and finally created a brown, matted out ombre lip.
I am OBSESSED with this look, and I think everyone should try it. It’s so flattering, but so effortless! It’s such a refreshing break from the usually smoky eyes and bright highlight, and you only need a few basic products to recreate it.
Keep scrolling to see the finished look, a breakdown of all the products that I used, and a step by step tutorial on how to create the perfect ombre lip!
THE OMBRE LIP
1) It’s super important to make sure that your lips are smooth and hydrated before applying any sort of matte lip. Liquid lipsticks in particular can be quite drying, so make sure to exfoliate away any dead skin and use a really good lip balm before you apply anything. I love using my Lush Cosmetics Lip Scrub in ‘Mint Julip’ (and eating it after, obviously) and then applying some coconut oil, and letting it sink in whilst I do the rest of my makeup.
2) Once your lips feel completely moisturized, dab away any excess oil or balm so that the liner and lipstick don’t slide around too much. I like to take whatever product is left on my foundation brush and lightly buff it over my lips to take away any pigmentation and give a smooth base to work on. This will also make your lipstick last longer! Next, line your lips using a brown toned liner. I used MAC Cosmetics Lip Liner in ‘Stripdown’, but some good dupes are NYX ‘Nude Truffle’ and Rimmel London ‘Cappucino’. For this look, it’s really important that you only line the outer parts of your lips and leave the centre of the lips bare – this will avoid that tacky over lined look. This tip will also gives the illusion of fuller lips!
3) Once you’ve lined the lips, it’s time to fill them in and start to build some colour. Take the same lip pencil and begin shading in the lips, starting at the outer corner and leaving the centre of the lips bare again. Remember, we want a ‘gradient’ effect where the outer corners of the lips are a deep, neutral brown and slowly fades into a softer, paler colour in the centre!
4) Next, it’s time to mattify those lips! You can do this using either a liquid lipstick or just a normal lipstick – as long as it has a matte finish it will give the same effect. I used my NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in ‘Satin Ribbon’ which is a cool toned pale pink, but any nude shade which is a few shades lighter than the liner you used will work. Apply it to the centre of the lip (where you didn’t apply the liner) and use a lip brush or you finger to gently blend it outwards using patting motions. Be careful not to blend it too much though – we still want this colour to remain in the centre of the lips that that we don’t lose the ombre effect!
5) Now all that you need to do is wait for the product to set, and voila! Cool, matte lips that still look natural and full. If you want to build more drama, you can go back in with the lip liner to deepen the outer corners again until you’re happy with the colour.
For the base:
- NYX Shine Killer Primer
- Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in ‘Siberia’ and ‘Vallauris’
- Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in ‘SX06’ to conceal
- LA Girl HD Pro Concealer in ‘Porcelain’ to highlight
- Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in ‘Translucent’
- Illamasqua Powder Shadow in ‘Vernau’ to bronze and contour
- MAC Powder Blush in ‘Gingerly’
For the eyes:
- MAC Paint Pot in ‘Soft Ochre’
- Morphe Eyeshadow Palette in ’35K Koffee’
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in ‘Dark Brown’
- NYX Control Freak Brow Gel in ‘Clear’
- Maybelline Gel Liner in ‘Black’
- Maybelline Lash Sensation in ‘Very Black’
- Eylure Lashes in ‘157’
For the lips:
- MAC Lip Pencil in ‘Stripdown’
- NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in ‘Satin Ribbon’