Ask any random Gen Z-er a celebrity they’d most want to be like and chances are it’s Zendaya. She’s creative, cool, and a bonafide fashion darling, sweeping through Paris’ couture shows like she’s strolling through a Studio City mall. But perhaps even more so than her outfits, her best beauty looks and go-to favorites are worth copying — they’re also more accessible and easily applicable to fans’ everyday lives. Just check out Zendaya’s brown lip liner from her Jimmy Kimmel Live! taping on Feb. 1. The smooth matte finish helps define, outline, and add a touch of color to her lips without the all-over pigment of a lipstick, and it happens to be a pretty major craze at the moment, too. But trust Zendaya to make even the most saturated TikTok “trend” feel downright innovative — that’s part of her appeal.
To be clear, lip liner has been around for centuries, and brown shades have been a key part of major beauty movements, especially for women of color, for decades now. But there’s no denying that the defined look is reaching new generations thanks to the proliferation of peer-to-peer social media sharing.
Even with her A-list status, Zendaya is clearly tapped in to the trends of the moment. At the live show taping, which she recorded alongside Dune castmates Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh, the darker shade is kept along the outline of her mouth, softly blended out toward the center to make a seamless blend with the color concentrated in the middle of her lips. The combination of rich brown and dusty pink works remarkably well, and the matte finish just make it look all the more natural, too.
The rest of Zendaya’s makeup is in a similar color palette and style, with some warm matte eyeshadow and fluffy lashes balancing out her two-tone lip combo. Her cinnamon-brown hair pulled back into a ponytail, she’s the picture of low-key glamour — this is a look that would fit into so many different social scenarios and outings.
While it’s unclear which makeup artist created the incredible combination, the key to Zendaya’s liner hinges on matching undertones. Each shade used should be all either warm, cool, or neutral, and it’s always a smart idea to sync those up with your skin’s undertone, too. Clearly, getting it right can yield one incredible moment.