The hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week always provides tons of inspiration. Aside from the curated styles making their way down the runway, the looks sported outside of the shows are just as relevant — especially in terms of beauty. Each season brings a new crop of trends, but according to the street style beauty looks at New York Fashion Week, it’s clear that ‘90s-inspired brown lips are a top choice for fall. Many of the era’s makeup trends, like matte finishes and sultry smoky eyes, have remained popular over the years. But the earthy lip combinations seen on attendees outside the NYFW S/S 2024 shows are fairly new development, having evolved from the formerly polarizing style. Instead of being the stark focal point, the modernized version serves as an easy complement to other makeup trends, helping to create a softer, more pulled-together look.
As one of the more notable lipstick color trends for autumn, sights of the updated chocolate hue during NYFW come as little surprise. In fact, celebrity makeup artist J Guerra previously predicted the look ahead of the season. The artist explained that, this time around, it’s about fusing the warm look with more multi-dimensional makeup. Think glossy coats, blurred lines, and glazed (not frosted) finishes.
Ahead, TZR gathered the best ‘90s brown lip looks seen on NYFW guests thus far. Whether you’re well accustomed to the trend or giving it a try for the first time, the streets of New York are serving up plenty of inspiration for your next makeup moment.
Soft & Romantic
The soft glam makeup of yesteryear has been going strong in the beauty community for a few years now. With millions of views on TikTok and even more on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, the look embraces brown lips with more subtlety. Seen outside of Khaite’s Spring/Summer 2024 show, model Elsa Hosk demonstrates why it continues to reign supreme. Combined with dewy and lightly bronzed skin, her soft brown lipstick feels so romantic.
Rich espresso shades that embrace deep brown and black tones are a nice alternative to a nude or caramel lip color. The look is even more alluring when paired with minimal makeup and a simple middle-parted ponytail.
Matte Lip Combo
The original brown lips of the ‘90s were often paired with minimal makeup to create a dramatic statement. But as Lexi Wood shows, they can still be the star when worn with coordinating looks. Her full glam, complete with a smoky brown eyes and chiseled contour, is complemented by a dark nude matte lip, enhanced with a deep brown liner.
An off-shoot to earthy brown lipstick, cherry cola colors were just as popular with NYFW show-goers. Similar to the recent hair color trend by the same name, this lip artfully blends rich brown tones with juicy berry colors to create a unique hue. The final look is topped with a touch of gloss to give a subtle shine and multi-dimensional appeal.
There’s nothing more decadent than gold-dusted chocolate. That same ethos applies to lip color, as seen on the streets of NYFW. Here, Malvika Sheth demonstrates how to amplify a chocolate-coated lip with a few dabs of gold placed in the center of the lip.
Similar to espresso, beige can be a hard lip color to pull off. But pairing it with minimal makeup in coordinating colors will make it easy. Take a cue from Mary Leest and softly apply a matte eyeshadow in a similar shade around the eyes and keep the lip completely shine-free for a simple, yet chic, look.
Deep Brown Lipliner
Brown lipliner was a staple item for all of the best ‘90s lip looks and it holds this same value today. For a 2023 version, first, use it to line, then slowly take the color into the plush part of the bottom lip, and blot them together for a quick nostalgic style.
Mauve Meets Brown
Despite the many iterations, the most well-known ‘90s brown lip color is a pinky brown shade. With earthy and mauve undertones, it’s the ultimate accessory for fall and looks divine on most skin tones.
Clay-colored lips, like taupe or terra cotta, might be the most modern approach to the nostalgic beauty trend. If you plan to give this look a try, be sure to opt for a shade that’s warm and close to your complexion. As this guest shows, it will add a bit of edge and give your makeup a contemporary feel.
The beauty of caramel is that it works on almost every complexion but is especially complementing with darker skin tones. After finding a lip color that fits best, top it with gloss a shade or two lighter to give the final look a glazed effect.