The Return of the Nineties Lip

September 18, 2014 • Beauty

The nineties revival continues and even though I say I’m sick of it, I still like to douse myself in nostalgia every so often. Maybe I have a thing for very late nineties, yet still pre-Y2K, music videos that experimented with digital visual effects and super saturated colors. They must also feature close-up shots of your favorite rapper, rockstar (I’m looking at you, Marilyn Manson), or whoever wearing sparkly lipstick. Luckily, similar shades are slowly seeping back into the lipstick world.


Loose pigment over lipstick, similar to methods used at Christian Dior Fall 2013 Haute Couture and Rodarte Fall 2014.

The lipstick world is intense right now. There’s a growing demand for more interesting lip products as people battle it out on Instagram to make the most bizarre combinations by layering MAC paint pots, loose pigments, eye and lip liners (using anything over MAC lip liner in Nightmoth will supposedly look amazing), and uniquely-hued lipsticks from indie brands like Melt Cosmetics which continue to sell out and force you to tough it out until the next restock. Yeah, you’ll have to wait a few months for that grey lipstick.


Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Poe.

Mainstream beauty brands have been releasing more lip color options, such as NYX Cosmetics with their Macaron Lippie collection, and in a variety of finishes, making my rare trip to the mall a little less boring. Kat Von D’s reformulated lipstick line at Sephora gives me a little hope with the bold variety of colors and a few shades with metallic finishes. The majority are just as moisturizing as a Crayola crayon, but the most unusual shade called Poe, a shimmery navy, is one of the better performing colors. It’s cool to be able to purchase a lipstick like this in stores.

I like Poe, but I want to level up. I want something with the same intensity of sparkle and shine as my favorite nineties lips. I’ve been wanting Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics to make a dark, inky blue lip tar in a similar formula as Black Dahlia, but they came out with something just as good. Technopagan. It’s like a sequel to Black Metal Dahlia (the stunning metallic version of Black Dahlia – trust me, it’s one of their best sellers for a reason), but a metallic, vibrant indigo. According to Sephora, it’s not within 100 miles of me, but if it means I can have the same lip color as Left Eye in Blaque’s I Do music video, I’ll do whatever I can to make my nineties lip dreams come true.


OCC metallic lip tar in Technopagan.

Last week, Viva Glam Rihanna 2 at MAC was released. The lipstick is a bronze-y taupe with slight mauve tones and silver frost, while the accompanying lipglass adds a sparkling pink iridescence. The lipstick alone is the epitome of nineties frosted lip colors, something usually considered a faux pas, but it’s a refreshing and complex shade to see on the market today. The response to the collection varies, but it’s mostly been a frenzy of white tears as people realize that Rihanna made a lipstick that doesn’t cater to white people. Oh, the horror!

I’m hoping more mainstream brands will give into this trend, especially more on a drugstore level. Bring back the days of buying metallic and iridescent lip colors at Walgreens! I know there are a lot of indie brand options, like Portland Black Lipstick Company and Fierce Magenta (they seem to have truly magical stuff, I don’t know why I’m taking so long to try them), and I love to buy from indie brands, but I’m a stubborn butt who just thinks it’s cool when certain brands release certain products.



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