Getting That ‘90s Lip Liner/Gloss Look is as Easy as 1-2-3

~ It is the vibe. ~

By Kindra Moné
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There are some ‘90s trends we wish would just stay in the past. Chain wallets? No, thx. Thin eyebrows? Never again! But there’s one trend we’re welcoming with open arms and a prepared makeup bag: that lip liner/gloss combo. It used to rule the OG runways, and now it’s back and all over our TikTok feeds.

With the help of celebrity makeup artist Kayla Strachan, we’re comin’ through with tips to help you replicate this lewk in three easy steps.

1. Prep Your Lips

The thin tip of your liner isn’t going to glide on smoothly if your lips are dry and flaky. Exfoliate with a lip scrub first, and if you don’t have one, make your own by mixing together honey and sugar. After exfoliating, apply a hydrating lip balm, allow it to work its magic, and then, pat off the excess. Your lips are ready to go!

2. Find Your Shade

A nude liner won’t have the contrast you want, and going too dark is gonna give goth instead of glam. Strachan recommends getting a brown liner about two shades deeper than your skin tone. No lip liner? “A pro tip would be using your eyebrow pencil or dark brown eyeliner to really give [your lips] that shading and deep lining,” she says.

3. Fill ‘Em In + Add Gloss

Trace your natural lip line, and for the smoothest results, Strachan suggests smiling as you apply your liner. “It stretches out the lips for an easier application.” Feel free to exaggerate things a bit by enhancing your Cupid’s bow or overlining just a tad for a fuller look. To get that signature ‘90s ombre, use a thick line and softly shade in your bottom lip towards the center, about halfway. Finally, apply your favorite gloss, and use it to blend your liner into a smooth ombré transition.

Our Fave Lip Liner/Gloss Combos to Nail This ‘90s Vibe


LYS Beauty lip liner in Devoted for the perfect lip liner and gloss look

LYS Beauty Speak Love Smooth Glide Lip Liner Pencil in “Devoted”
This medium-brown lip pencil is a standout because it glides on seamlessly, making it great for beginners. Plus, it’s from a Black-owned brand, so cop it for the culture.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in “Hex”
Bring on the drama with this bold, dark lip liner. The price is a bit of a splurge, but it has nourishing ingredients to hydrate your lips, and the waterproof formula keeps on giving.


LipLoveLine Plum Gloss in “Power”
Somewhere between purple and red, this plum shade spices up your look while keeping it effortless.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Heat Lip Luminizer + Plumper in “Hot Chocolit Heat”
Turn up the heat with this sultry gloss. It plumps your lips while giving a rich sheer, brown color for that authentic ‘90s style.


Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™