The ’90s beauty trend that you’re about to see everywhere

You'll only need two products to pull off the look.

With the resurgence of ‘90s fashion trends, it was only a matter of time until we saw the revival of ‘90s beauty trends too – and no, we’re not talking about tweezed brows! Lately, a nostalgic trend has been sweeping the beauty community and not only is it super glamorous, it’s also both easy and affordable. 

‘Ombre Lips’ is the modern name given to an unmistakably nostalgic trend. The trend is all about carving out the lip silhouette with a dark lip liner, leaving the rest of lips to be filled in with gloss or a lighter shade of lipstick.

“We are seeing stronger definition of the lip line paired with low maintenance toppings of lip gloss or lip balm hybrids,” says MECCA Makeup Artist Lenita Seker. 

The ombre lip trend is characterised by a dark lip liner and a glossy, lighter overlay over the lips.

The first step for ombre lips is to pick the perfect lip liner – which can make or break the look. Ideally, it should be rich in colour and the darker the better. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even use black.

“Rich shades of lipliner are used to contour and shape the lip with various degrees of intensity, we recommend Nars Precision Lip Liner in shade Spunk and Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lip Definer in Pure for a long-lasting application,” Lenita tells The Weekly.

“There are many different types of lip liners, some more wax based than others – which is a great way to prevent lipstick bleed,” Makeup Artist and Smith Kit founder Susan Lilian adds.

However, don’t feel restricted to just lip liners, rich shades in browns and blacks can be more easily found in eyeliner pencils than lip liners. As Susan says, “There are no rules with makeup, have fun.”

“I would say why not use an eyeliner that sits well on your lips? The Artist Colour Pencil from Parisian brand Make Up For Ever can be used on the eyes, lips and even cheeks,” Susan says.

After you’ve sculpted your lip silhouette, the next step is to add a wash of lush gloss over the top.

“Treatment rich balms and glosses work well over the top of the liner as they plump and catch light for a volumised effect. We love Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm for an ultra-glossy finish,” Lenita recommends. 

You can stick with a clear gloss or, if you’re looking for something that gives an extra ‘pop’, you could try a red gloss instead to create a cherry Cola lip effect instead.

However, if gloss isn’t your thing, you can simply opt to pat out a lighter shade over the lips for a true ombre effect.

The best products to shop for ombre lips


Make Up For Ever – Artist Colour Pencil

$35 at Sephora

This pencil from Make Up For Ever can be used on the eyes, cheeks, face and lips. So not only can you carve out the perfect ombre lips but you can use this versatile pencil for a number of fun makeup looks too.


MAC – Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick

$38 at MAC

The MAC Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick will not only plump up your lips, but it’ll give your ombre look a perfectly glossy finish.


Half Magic – Sculptitude 2-in-1 Lip Liner

$28.50 at Beauty Bay

For those who are a little more adventurous, this 2-in-1 lip liner from Half Magic – created by the Makeup Artist behind Euphoria – features both a warm brown and a black lip liner.


MCo Beauty – Lip Plump 4-in-1 Hydrating Lacquer

$18 at MCo Beauty

This lip plumping hydrating lacquer is the perfect wash of colour over your dark ombre lips.


Rare Beauty – Kind Words Matte Lip Liner

$29 at Sephora

The Rare Beauty Kind Words Matte Lip Liner is not only super creamy, it’s also long-lasting so your pout will be in tact all day.


Ole Henriksen – Pout Preserve Peptide Lip Treatment

$29 at Sephora

The Ole Henriksen Lip Treatment will give your ombre lips a delectably (and non-sticky) glossy finish. The lip balm also has peptides which can help to support the health of the skin on your lips by reducing lines and boosting hydration.


Revlon – Colorstay Lip Liner

$13.77 at Big W

With anti-bleeding qualities and at a fabulous price point, the Revlon Colorstay Lip Liner is perfect for carving out a dark lip look.


Airyday – Lip Me Vanilla SPF50+ Dreamscreen

$24 at Airyday

If you’re looking to make your ombre lip look more of a day look, try layering the Airyday Lip Me SPF lip gloss over your dark lined lips for a dreamy and sun-safe finish.


Barry M – Lip Liner Chocolate

$6.20 (on sale) at Priceline

This chocolate-coloured lip liner from Barry M is velvety and cruelty-free.

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