Nowadays, it seems as though the world and his dog (a rather adorable one with perfect contouring) is a beauty expert. YouTube is full of wannabe beauty bloggers who are showing us how to perfectly crease our eyeshadow, how to make our eyes pop, and how to become a human unicorn with highlighter. Of course, we’re not complaining. We’ve waited our whole lives to become a unicorn and we’re not going to turn down the opportunity now. Were going to take our brush, we’re going to grab our highlighter, and we’re going to buy a gosh darn horn to stick on our head… and nobody can stop us. Ahem, excuse us. What we’re trying to say is that the world of beauty has now become an international phenomenon. We can turn ourselves into works of art with a few flicks of color and a few of Kylie’s Lip Kits and were laughing. There’s no need for professional makeup artists, there’s no need for magazine tutorials, and there’s no need to look at celebs and wonder how the heck you can look like them. Just take a trip down to Sephora and max out your credit card – it’s simple!
Although we’re totally in love with the fact that we can make ourselves look like Kim K with just a few lines on our face, were conscious to not forget our roots – no matter how awkward and embarrassing they may be. After all, we started from the bottom now we here, and we have to remember our dodgy past. You know what we’re talking about. The blue eyeshadow, the cheap lip gloss you got in magazines, the hairstyles that required all kinds of accessories and (*shivers*) the crimpers. Yes, ladies and gentlebeans, we will be taking you on a guided tour through awkwardville and showing you all of the cringey ‘90s beauty trends we were obsessed with before beauty bloggers showed us how it’s done. You can thank us later… actually, you might not want to.
Light foundation and ruby-red lips
We’re not quite sure why this trend came about – maybe it was because Buffy the Vampire was all the rage in the ‘90s? But having your foundation just a shade lighter than your actual skin and pairing that with bright red lipstick was THE beauty tip of the century. All of the best celebs used to rock this look – including our ‘90s fave, Reese Witherspoon. We’re going to call it Vampire-Chic.
Butterfly clips were all the rage in the ‘90s, and they were the perfect accessory to your otherwise mediocre hairstyle (that we tried to copy from our favorite celeb but just couldn’t get the hang of). There were two types of butterfly clips – you either had the plain plastic ones that came in every color imaginable, or you bought the ones that were on springs and moved every time you moved as if they were flying. We always chose the moving ones. Because we just loved anything extra. It was the ‘90s after all.
The best we could do for our hair back in the ‘90s was to team up our Butterfly Clips with some crimped hair. Let’s be honest, we knew it looked awful – but the ‘90s was all about embracing the pop-princess look. And if Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Christina Aguilera, and Ginger Spice could crimp their hair – well, so could we!
The ‘90s didn’t hide anything – we didn’t have ombre, we didn’t have low-lights or subtle tones of color in your hair. Instead, you had to go full out. It was either go hard or go home. So we had to rock the thick, chunky highlights. Of literally any color – the bolder, the better. Blonde, red, orange, blue, or green…which color did you have?
Super thin, drawn-on eyebrows
The phrase, ‘go big or go home’ didn’t apply to eyebrows. Instead, the aim of the ‘90s was to shave (or wax) off all of your actual eyebrows (a bit like Pamela Anderson) and draw them back on in the thinnest lines possible. Oh, and you had to use a pencil that was a different color to your actual hair. That was a must.
Slicked hair with side bangs
If Julia Roberts could rock this look, why couldn’t we? The trick was to make it look like, from the front of your hair, you had absolutely no hair sticking out the sides. Lots of gel was used in the process of this hairdo, and you had to make it as shiny as possible. Otherwise, what was the point?
The Rachel Haircut
Okay, so Rachel Green (A.K.A Jennifer Aniston) was our ultimate ‘90s idol. We wanted to be like Rachel Green; we wanted to dress like Rachel Green, we wanted to look like Rachel Green…basically, we just wanted to be Rachel Green in general. So we stole her haircuts. Throughout Friends, she had so many new hairstyles that we couldn’t keep up – but we definitely tried to.
If you didn’t fancy red lipstick and wanted to be a bit more edgy – the ‘90s go-to was a matte brown lipstick. Yup, brown. The best way to wear this was to team up your pale makeup with black clothing and a choker necklace a la Drew Barrymore. Iconic.
Because what better way to keep your hair our of your face than clipping it back with some super glam, super sparkly barrette clips? Answer: nothing. If J-Lo could rock them, then so could you. And you did. But you just seemed to buy packet after packet, because they just disappeared from your room ALL.THE. DANG. TIME.
Frosted tips and lip gloss
Frosted tips weren’t just for our favorite boy band members. Oh no, take a seat, Aaron Carter – because we rocked the frosted tips too. You had to be a certain kinda girl to rock the pixie cut, but it was made even cooler by dying the tips a nice, cool blonde color – Winona Ryder style. And of course, if you had frosted tips you had to have frosted lip gloss too. Because otherwise, you’d just look silly…
This isn’t a beauty trend we like to talk about – so we’ll keep this brief. Yes, this happened. No, we don’t know why and still don’t know why this happened. Yes, we absolutely hated it. And yes, we still have nightmares about blue shadow. Really? Who came up with this idea? Horrible.
Cornrows became a huge hair trend in the ‘90s, and everyone wore their hair like this at least once. Or until the cornrows became so painful and tight that we all just wanted to rip out our hair. This hairstyle was usually only done to the top part of your hair, in a Half-up, half-down ‘do. Or you could just go all out, and go the whole hog. We thought we were super cool and hip. (NOTE: We were neither super cool nor hip).
Super red hair
Let’s be honest; nobody is born with this color hair. Sorry, Ginger Spice. But we still tried to color-match with her. We couldn’t just have any red color – we had to have an unnaturally red color on the top of our head. Match this with pale foundation, thin eyebrows, and red lipstick, and you were on to a winner.
The fountain-flipped ponytail
This hairstyle all stemmed from 10 Things I Hate About You – even though we could name 110 things we loved about this movie. One of those things being Katarina Stratford’s hair. We all wanted to be like Kat, the kinda gal who doesn’t really care about anything looks effortlessly cool every single day, and has a boyfriend like Heath Ledger. But the nearest we could get to this was to try and create her fountain-flipped ponytail on our hair too.
Opalescent eye shadow
It seems like our favorite celebs wanted to take the Vampire look to the next level – and wanted to sparkle just like Edward Cullen in the sunlight. Opalescent eyeshadow became the everyday makeup choice for every young girl in the ‘90s – because there was nothing better than making your eyes look super white, sparkly and powdery, right?