I’ve never had to walk into a makeup store to get my makeup matched but I’ve heard so many stories from people who’ve had to do that. A lot of these stories aren’t pleasant I tell you especially those from sisters in diaspora who were on the hunt for great lipstick shades that’ll showcase a gorgeous pout and give them confidence. Their experience usually went something like this (let’s say the sister’s name is Barbara)

“Hi. I’d love to buy a lipstick but not sure what suits me best. Can I try on some shades?”, says Barbara.

“Sure”, replies the attendant and whisks her to the makeup counter. Swiveling the makeup chair, Barbara is faced with a dizzying row of browns.

Turning slightly in the chair, Barbara goes, “I was wondering if I could try that lovely shade of pink or red over there”, and reaches out for it.

“Oh no, the browns would suit you better”, the attendant replies almost hysterically.

Sorry if I exaggerated *grin*

After so many years of being assaulted by browns, it’s no wonder African women stay away from the shade. But it’s not all bad. If it was, different shades of brown lip colours wouldn’t have been able to make their way back into our makeup purses in 2015, resuming from the long sabbatical they took after the 90s when all our favourite female stars wore one version of the brown lip colour or the other.

Here's Mel B wearing a dark brown lip liner with shimmer in her inside lip and JLo wearing a super shiny brown lip. Both from 1997.

Here’s Mel B wearing a dark brown lip liner with shimmer in her inside lip from 1997

JLo wearing a super shiny brown lip. From 1997.

JLo wearing a super shiny brown lip. From 1997.

Brown lip colour on African skin is super flattering when worn properly. All you need to know is the best shade for you and/or the finish you like best keeping in mind that these shades range from nude browns to dark browns.

Let me introduce you to some of my favourites – which I’ve categorised into matte & moisturising finishes – they look great on African skin

The best part of wearing brown lippies is they can be topped with any complementary shade of gloss (if you wish that is) so go right ahead and have fun with it. And of course a short how-to video for achieving a gorgeous rich brown lip (hint – layers are key)

Watch Video


By Lawrence Micheals

An incurable optimist, a writer, poet, a technopreneur in the making, a resource personnel, an event planner who is technically gifted and clinical when it matters.

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