How to Get that 1990s Brown Lipcolour

1990s icons: Shannen Doherty, Claire Danes & Liv Tyler

1990s icons: Shannen Doherty, Claire Danes & Liv Tyler

As someone who was in highschool and university in that decade, I sort of know from 1990s brown lips, and its super exciting to me that this look is back in. In the 90s, makeup (from foundation to lip colour) was totally matte. My friends and I actually filled in our lips with lipliner and would never have thought of wearing gloss. The lipliner we were all obsessed with was Bonne Belle “Chutney”, a warm, orangey brown (sadly discontinued). Since I can’t get in a time machine and go back to a drugstore circa 1993, I thought I’d suggest some other good lip pencils for rocking a retro 1990s matte brown lip.

Lipliners for a 1990s brown lip

Lip pencils for a 1990s brown lip

MAC Lip Pencils for a 1990s brown lip

MAC Lip Pencils for a 1990s brown lip: Oak, Spice, Cork, & Subculture

Here are my 9 picks from a number of different brands in various price points:

  • MAC “Oak” ($19 CAD)
  • MAC “Spice” ($19 CAD)
  • MAC “Cork” ($19 CAD)
  • MAC “Subculture” ($19 CAD)
  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Lip 3C “Medium Natural Beige” ($23 CAD)
  • NYX Slim Lip Pencil in “Natural” ($4.99 CAD)
  • Annabelle Lipliner in “Nude Lustre” ($5.95 CAD)
  • Milani Color Statement Lipliner 04 “All Natural” ($3.99 CAD)
  • Milani Color Statement Lipliner 09 “Spice” ($3.99 CAD)

swatches 1990s brown lipAre you into the brown lip trend?

Thanks for stopping by ❤


Nerdy Librarian Girl


Filed under Favourites, Lip Liner, Lips

17 responses to “How to Get that 1990s Brown Lipcolour

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  4. Emily

    Thank you so much for this article! I wish I had found it sooner. Would you consider the MUFE 3C to be quite a close dupe for MAC spice? I’ve been trying to find a MAC close to me that has spice in stock, but no luck. I also adore make up for ever’s creamy, waterproof formulas, as it makes for less touch-ups throughout the day. Thank you again so much, this is super helpful 🙂


    • You’re very welcome! I am such a lip liner fan. I wouldn’t say MUFE 3C is a dupe for MAC Spice. Spice is much warmer. The MUFE is a cooler-toned brown. The closest dupe I have to MAC Spice is Milani Color Statement Lipliner also in Spice. They are pretty much dead on. The others that are close are NYX 810 Natural, Cover Girl 20 Nude, and, if you’re in Canada, Annabelle Waterproof Lipliner in Nude. Hope this helps!


  5. I’m in love with this article! I’m also obsessed with the brown/terracotta colours. QUESTION: Do you have Mac Nice n Spicy liner? If so, do you have a dupe for it? If not, what Milani liner color would you say is closest to Mac Spice? It’s harder to tell with photos. I’m looking for a dupe for nice n spicy or spice. Would you say Milani liners are as good as Mac for creaminess and staying power?


    • Thank you so much! I don’t have Nice n Spicy (but now I want it! lol). Although not exact dupes, the closest pencils I have to MAC Spice would be Annabelle Nude, NYX Natural, Maybelline Nude, & Milani Spice. I swatched them side-by-side for you: MAC Spice dupes Annabelle Waterproof Lipliner in Nude is probably the closest, but is slightly more brown. NYX Natural and Maybelline Nude are very similar in tone but are lighter/less pigmented. Milani Spice is very similar in tone but is darker.

      Yes, I think the Milani lip liners are every bit as good as the MAC. Very pigmented, creamy & long wearing. I did a whole post on them –


  6. I’m so happy that this trend is making a comeback! I really like that lighter Milani shade, I’m going to have to check it out. Also, Shannon Doherty is the bomb. Great picks!


  7. I’ve been rocking the NYX lip liner in natural lately 😉 For a good matte lipstick, you should check out Clinique’s pink chocolate! per.fec.tion


  8. plus+beauty27

    I remember that trend all too well myself as I was in middle school/high school in the 90s lol…


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