If you’ve got been on beauty TikTok not too long ago, then you definately’ve most definitely seen Hailey Bieber’s “brownie glazed lips.” The method is straightforward sufficient: Bieber strains her lips with a brown lip pencil, mixing it barely along with her fingers, and tops it off with a clear glossy balm from her skin-care line. As with most of Bieber’s magnificence movies, the look instantly went viral — with brownie glazed lips taking TikTok by storm.
Here’s the problem with that: just some years in the past, the brownie glazed lip was simply brown lip liner (and in some circumstances an eyeliner or eyebrow pencil) topped with lip gloss. More importantly, it was a glance predominantly worn by Black and brown folks as a result of it was the solely coloration deep sufficient to point out up on their pores and skin tones.
Now, this isn’t a condemnation of Bieber or to say, in any approach, that she can’t partake in the brown lip liner and clear gloss pattern. In reality, it is the reverse — the ’90s are back in an enormous approach and the lip look was worn on on a regular basis ladies BIPOC and Hollywood starlets alike throughout the decade, so it solely is smart that magnificence traits of that period would find yourself on just a few temper boards as we speak. The downside right here lies in the repackaging of an aesthetic, by each Bieber and her followers, that was popularized by Black and brown folks out of shortage. BIPOC merely didn’t have the wide range of options as they do as we speak, so the brown lip liner pattern of the ’90s was a necessity as a lot because it was a cute aesthetic.
People turned to this mix when ashy, beige-toned lipsticks marketed as a “common nude” did not work for them. It allowed them to realize a lip look that was flattering with out having to change into beauty chemists — mixing and matching shades to get their right tones. Many folks have not forgotten that feeling of isolation that got here when this was the solely alternative for years.
It’s value noting that darkish lip liner and gloss additionally turned the antithesis of what was seen as the magnificence ideally suited in predominantly white media — a obvious distinction to the way it was portrayed on Black and brown actors. In white media, on quite a few TV reveals and mainstream films in the ’90s and early ’00s, this look was relegated to the antihero; the uniform for the sidekick that the viewers was supposed to like to hate (assume Gabrielle Union in “Bring It On” or Bianca Lawson in “Save the Last Dance”). Whereas in Black and brown media, it was the aesthetic (see: Nia Long in “Love Jones,” or frankly any music video by Aaliyah).
No one is saying Bieber must be vilified for utilizing brown lip liner and topping it off with a gloss. But not every little thing must be a pithy advertising and marketing phrase to promote a product.
Though there are many lip-liner choices on the market as we speak, you’ll be arduous pressed to discover a Black or brown one that would not personal a brown lip liner — at this level, it has been so entrenched in our tradition by generations that it is simply one thing we do. That’s why slapping a brand new identify on a glance that’s nearly instinctual for a overwhelming majority of the inhabitants is just not solely redundant but in addition slightly insulting, particularly if you take a look at who will get “credit score” for the pattern.
Again, nobody is saying Bieber must be vilified for utilizing brown lip liner and topping it off with a gloss. But not every little thing must be a pithy advertising and marketing phrase to promote a product. As a lot attain as Bieber has, she — similar to her viewers — is influenced by traits that got here earlier than her. There is not any a part of her aesthetic that hasn’t been carried out earlier than, so here is my recommendation earlier than you rename one other magnificence look that holds a deep significance to a marginalized group on this nation: simply do not.