The following feature appears in the March 2016 issue of NYLON.
Although we can’t be sure of who started the trend, it’s hard not to picture Jean Harlow when we think of brown lipstick. This came from necessary “movie magic” in the ’30s, since silver screen sirens were portrayed in black-and-white and had to use unconventional makeup colors to trick viewers: The majority of women at the time weren’t actually wearing red lipstick like you’d think, but were really rocking dark browns. It wasn’t until the ‘70s that brown lipstick had its glorious heyday, made popular by makeup brands like Revlon, and seen on goddesses like Lauren Hutton and Farrah Fawcett. Of course, bronze lips ruled the ‘90s the hardest, and became a beauty staple for grunge girls like Winona Ryder and Drew Barrymore. Fast-forward to 2016 and the lip color has been spotted on the pouts of everyone from Kylie Jenner to Frances Bean Cobain, once again making waves in the beautysphere. Lucky for us, the shade selection has grown exponentially over the years to suit all skin tones—now you just have to find the perfect hue for you.
Check out our favorite brown lipsticks after the jump.
1. Make Up For Ever, Rouge Intense Color Lipstick in M3 Matte Caramel, $20, available at Make Up For Ever.
2. Kat Von D, Studded Kiss Lipstick in Piaf, $21, available at Kat Von D Beauty.
3. Clarins, Rouge Eclat Lipstick in 19 Chestnut brown, $27, available at Clarins USA.
4. Sonia Kashuk, Satin Luxe Lip Color in 81 Barely Nude, $10, available at Sonia Kashuk.
5. Giorgio Armani Beauty, Rouge D’Armani Sheers in 114 Chestnut, $34, available at Giorgio Armani.
6. Cle de Peau, Extra Rich Lipstick Refill and Holder in 308, $65, available at Cle de Peau.
7. M.A.C Cosmetics, Lipstick in Double Shot, $17, available at M.A.C Cosmetics.Photographed by Graham Pollack.