How To Perfectly Execute The Latte Lips Trend

It appears the latte makeup trend is here to stay — and TikTok is all for it. The iconic latte lip uses a dark liner (think chocolate brown or deep plum) and lip gloss to create an eye-catching combo. While this look originates from '90s Mexican-American chola culture and African American style, it now features a modern twist that makes it flattering for different trends and skin tones. "I love the trend, because a clean '90s lip is the cheat code to looking like you've worn a full face," professional makeup artist Ranti Adeyemi shares with Vogue. "The '90s lip transcends eras, because it works for everyone. Who says no to a cool, over-structured lip?"


What's more, the latte lip can be worn all year round if you adapt your makeup accordingly. For instance, this lip pairs perfectly with the minimal makeup obsession, vampy autumn glam, and caramel macchiato makeup, the rich fall evolution of latte makeup. Latte lips, ultimately, complement a range of '90s and Noughties beauty trends due to their playful versatility, which allows you to experiment with different shades and lipsticks to suit whichever look you're going for. Learn how to perfect warm latte lips with three simple steps.

Latte lips vs. classic '90s look

The key difference between the modern latte lip and the '90s beauty look lies in its adaptability. For instance, the original '90s vibe made use of a deep brown lip and clear gloss. To create a latte makeup look, you can reach for a wider range of lip colors and finishes. Typically, the latte makeup trend calls for a lighter shade of lip liner, as this enhances the soft effect of the neutral brown shades. However, darker liners also work well here, and this is what makes this '90s-inspired look so much fun to recreate.


This trend also allows you to play around with different lipstick consistencies and colors, such as matte lipstick, clear lip gloss, colored gloss, or even lip oil. The modern latte lip gives you the freedom to mix and match your lippie combo, which is an upgrade from the '90s brown lip.

Prep your lips for color

If time permits, consider exfoliating your lips to prep for liner and lipstick. Buffing away the dead skin cells will create a smoother base. "Exfoliating the lips reveals fresh, smooth skin beneath," explains board-certified dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, M.D. to Byrdie. "An added benefit is that lipstick can be applied evenly, and the lips immediately look plumper."


You can exfoliate your lips by using either a chemical or physical exfoliant, such as a lip treatment or scrub. "Chemical exfoliants do not involve any rubbing of the skin, and they are not composed of granular particles that can be abrasive, so they can be gentler and safer than most physical exfoliants. Enzymes or acids in chemical exfoliants also can penetrate the skin for a deeper result," board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., tells Byrdie. "Physical exfoliants are readily available and cost-effective. They are very effective for removing dead skin. However, they are not always the most gentle."

Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to start with dry lips. Be gentle and avoid rigorous scrubbing. After exfoliating, apply a nourishing lip balm or mask to lock in moisture before the next step.


Line and define

As you wait for your lip balm or mask to work its magic, decide on the lip liner you want to use for this look. To follow the classic '90s lip, it's best to avoid soft pinks or reds. Instead, opt for a brown or purple. "Choosing a pencil two shades darker and cooler [than the skin] helps create dimension," Ranti Adeyemi shares with Vogue. "The classic '90s lip is brown, but in order to accommodate all skin tones, ashy plums and soft greys can also create the same effect. And the neutral, matte lipstick in the centre is universal."


Additionally, try overlining the lips for a plump look. Makeup artist Mary Phillips (@makeupbymaryphillips) recommends starting from the outer corners and working inward to create a fuller appearance. Another simple liner hack that gives you plenty of pouty benefits is to accentuate the cupid's bow, and then focus on contouring the center of your lips.

Once you've applied your liner, blend out the harsh lines with a small, fluffy brush. In Phillips' video, she also cleans up the outer edges of her lips with concealer and high-precision concealer brush.

Lock it in with powder

Smudged or faded lip liner will take away from your look, so you'll want to set your makeup before applying your lipstick or gloss. You can keep your lip liner in place by following TikTok's setting powder hack shared by Yara (@yar4g). In the video, Yara applies a translucent setting powder along the outside of her lips using a soft makeup brush. The setting powder helps keep your liner in place throughout the day, which reduces the need for frequent touch-ups. For extra staying powder, try using the setting powder before and after applying your lip liner. However, be sure to use a minuscule amount of powder to avoid making the skin around your lips appear chalky or cakey.


If you prefer matte lipstick over gloss, apply setting powder twice — before lip liner and after lipstick. A double helping of powder will ensure your lipstick stays in place.

Swipe on some color or shine

After dabbing on a smidge of setting powder, it's time to complete the look. There's an endless number of shade combinations to try. This can be a blessing if you're someone who loves to experiment with a different look every weekend. However, if you're uncertain about which color suits your skin tone, it's best to follow makeup artist Ranti Adeyemi's advice and select a liner that is two shades darker than your natural lip tone.


That said, lean toward a muted brown or deep plum liner for a genuine latte lip. In an interview with Byrdie, celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney recommends the highly rated Mac's lip pencil in the shade Cork, which pairs well with light to medium skin tones. Try the shade Chestnut for a darker look or to match a purple-brown lip tone. If you're unaccustomed to wearing a dark liner, feel free to play it safe with a lighter shade and work your way down. Don't worry too much about trying to find the "perfect" liner, as you can always manipulate the color and finish with lipstick or gloss.

Next, swipe on a juicy gloss or satin lipstick. There's more leeway when it comes to selecting the lip color, so have fun combining different shades until you achieve your desired look. TikToker Merna Hermexz, for instance, uses a cool pink lip gloss for an ultra-soft take on the warm latte lip.