The 90s Called, They Want Their Lipstick Back

By Kristine Rose, AP Contributor

I’m going to be straight with you: I’ve watched about 19 hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the past two weeks. I’m not going to annotate that with some kind of manufactured regret that I don’t actually feel, it was a good use of time. I stand by that use of time. I could have, and probably would have been doing far worse things with that time OK?


I am happy to report that the show completely holds up to the test of time. While it really came into its own in the last few seasons with profound dialogue, tight character arcs, and the perfect mix of irreverence and existentialism, one thing really stood out in the first few: brown lipstick. In one form or another, the brown lip made an appearance on all. From stuck up Cordelia to dorky but lovable Willow, everyone rocked the brown lip trend. This not only made me nostalgic but reminded me how wearable brown lipstick can actually be.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Nars Bansar: This matte brown with a hint of peach is the quintessential 90s lip. It could read neutral or edgy depending on the outfit. The texture is velvety without drying your lips out, so it never settles in the creases.


NYC Cashmere: If you’re looking for an edgier and more metallic brown, this is for you. It’s opaque, but applies evenly. A truly unique grey brown. It is also only $1.

Revlon Coy: Somewhere between a red and a brown, this shade starts off sheer but becomes more intense with a few coats. One of the more wearable and flattering browns, it would compliment most skin tones.

Revlon Ingenue: If you’re looking for a peachy nude with a hint of brown, try this. One of the sheerest and most glossy versions.

MAC Explicit: This one is a gloss that’s brown, silver, and gold. Layer it over any lipstick to get a more muted brown tone.


NYX Vamp: Super gothed out metallic bronze brown. If you’re looking for a statement, try this dark color. I’m not thrilled with the texture which is a bit dry, but the color is completely worth it. Try a lip primer underneath so it wears off evenly.

All you have to add is blue eyeshadow, crimped hair, and razor thin eyebrows and you’re ready to star in your very own WB show.

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3 Responses to “The 90s Called, They Want Their Lipstick Back”

  1. Rad Redneck Diva

    Oh, 90s makeup! So greatly missed. I’m glad that body glitter has evolved from that sticky, gooey stuff that was basically just like slathering hair gel all over your person, though.

    I am delighted but also somewhat sad to see this post, because my old favorite from middle school, Jane Cosmetics’ Browned Down Red, was NOT brought back when the brand revived. If I could find a lipstick that looks like that one did, I’d be SO happy.

  2. Anamarie

    I watched Buffy season 4 last week! I was always a fan of Buffy’s whitish nails. I finally found a pinky white by Essie called Adore-a-ball that works great!

  3. Heidi/FranticButFab

    I totally forgot about brown lipstick, but reading this post gave me a total ’90s flashback. I used to wear mine with one of those Y shaped necklaces. Very “Friends”!