The '90s Lip Trend That's Making Its 2022 Comeback

Many trends of the past are making their way back into the present day, and the '90s are definitely on that list. Sitting close to the Y2K comeback, the '90s aesthetic is officially back. It's easy to see by looking at the low-rise jeans, chunky shoes, and stringy clothes that everyone is obsessed with right now. Along with that, the beauty department brings its own looks, too. From strong blush and eyeshadows to thin eyebrows and lip gloss, many beauty looks of the '90s can be seen on influencers and on the runways yet again (via PopSugar).


One lip trend in particular is taking social media by the storm, offering a unique playability for a powerful lip look. It's one that is easy to create, easy to style, and most of all, fun to wear. As beauty trends continue to evolve and come back, it's always fun to give it a try as you tap into the nostalgia of where it comes from (via The Face).

The lip liner trend

Perhaps one of the most popular lip trends in the '90s was using a contrasting lip liner, often a dark one, paired with your lipstick (via The Face). The look is back in full swing with a modern twist. "Depending on how the lips are lined and lipstick colors used, it is a very wearable trend," Catrice Cosmetics ambassador and celebrity makeup artist, Robert Sesnek tells PopSugar. "The late '90s version was almost a dark ring of liner without blending, where the lip liner almost looked like a ring around the upper and lower lips," Sesnek explains. 


The makeup artist shares, "The best way to update this trend is better blending and diffusing of the deeper liner shade into the lip color." Sesnek admits that the look today is often done by blending the liner a little bit more into the lip color itself while still using contrasting colors. Because of its flexibility, it offers you the freedom to try it the original way or experiment with techniques like blending.

History of the lip liner trend of the '90s

Today, celebrities like Meghan Thee Stallion, Kim Kardashian, and Hailey Bieber can be spotted with the '90s lip liner look, but it carries a deeper cultural history. In fact, according to Allure, it can be dated back to a time when Black women and Latinas within Chola culture wore dark lip liner as a way to get innovative with makeup that wasn't created for their skin tones. "Shades of brown weren't even considered in the makeup industry," celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine tells Allure. "Black and brown women had to be the creators of their own beauty with so few references and tools."


These women at the time did so in a way to create their own beauty standards before it went mainstream. As it evolved, it was often seen on supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford in the '90s. Now the new generations are bringing it back again.

How to create the look

To create the same look, begin by exfoliating and preparing your lips with a thin layer of lip balm before applying your liner and lipstick. When choosing your colors, the key is to make sure they are contrasting each other, but complimentary as well. For example, you can try a brown or black lip liner with something red or your natural lip color. Another option, as makeup artist AJ Crimson tells Bustle, is to use a deeper shade "in the same family" of colors as your lipstick. For example, Crimson says if you are using a beige lipstick, opt for a brown liner. If using reds, opt for deep shades of purple for the liner. Once you've picked out your colors, it's time to apply it on your lips.


Proceed by outlining your lips with your lip liner. This can also be done to your liking as you choose how thick or thin you want the line to be. If you are trying a blended look, you'll have to apply lip liner before applying your lipstick. "After applying the liner, blur and blend towards the center using a lip brush," celebrity makeup artist Erin Parsons tells Bustle. "Then add your lipstick directly in the center." For a softer look, Parsons recommends dabbing the lipstick outwards. This helps blend better with the liner.

Because it's makeup, there's no right or wrong way to do it. With over 665 million views for the hashtag #lipliner on TikTok, many users also show ways this look can be versatile enough for anyone to rock it.