I Followed an Early-2000s Beauty Routine for a Week—Here's What I Learned

Amanda Montell

Google “’90s nostalgia” and your search results will not disappoint. It’s fair to say that over the past five years, wistful listicles documenting the brown lipstick and butterfly clips we left in the old millennium have conquered the web. After all, the teens of the ’90s are now in their 30s and running the internet. It only makes sense that their nostalgia would enjoy a healthy renaissance.

But I have to admit that ’90s nostalgia falls a little flat for me. I’m 24, so in the ’90s, I was just a little kid. While I can certainly appreciate a throwback photo of Winona Ryder or a quiz informing me which My So-Called Life character I most closely resemble (Angela Chase, duh), my teendom didn’t begin until a few years later.

I, like many millennials born at the tail end of our generation, am instead a teen of the aughts. My awareness and participation in beauty trends coincided not with Alanis Morissette and Dawson’s Creek but with the Olsen twins, Gilmore Girls, and Avril Lavigne. I’m talking thick black eyeliner, glossy pink lips, bone-straight hair, and Bath & Body Works perfume. Remember?

I figured it was high time we 20-somethings quit pretending we’re teens of the ’90s and acknowledge our true nostalgia: the early to mid-2000s.

So for one week, I decided to re-create an iconic celebrity look from the era I best remember, using the very products that were popular at the time. The goal was simply to cake my lips in Lancôme Juicy Tubes, douse myself in Victoria’s Secret Love Spell, and have a blast. But what actually ended up happening, I did not expect.

Swipe the arrows below to reveal my nostalgic trip through the early-2000s!

What was your favorite product or trend of the early 2000s? Sound off in the comments below!

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