These 9 Beauty Looks Were Massive 20 Years Ago

'90s beauty looks: Kate Moss with minimal makeup and striped top
Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images

There's no doubt about it: The '90s are up there as one of the best decades. There might be some bias here, as most people have nostalgia about the years they grew up in, but still. It brought us good things like Friends, Spice Girls, Tamagotchi, and jelly shoes in every possible color (just to name a few).

Every few years, we cycle back to the '90s for style inspiration. And although there were some absolute shockers, there were a lot of beauty trends that work now. Case in point? Slip dresses and brown lip liners. We decided to hop into our beauty time machine to look back at the beauty looks that defined the decade.

Supermodel Sculpting

'90s beauty looks: Naomi Campbell with curly hair and glossy lips
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images

If there's anyone we need to look to for contouring inspo, it's '90s supermodels. You won't find any harsh lines here, as the supermodel sculpt was all about naturally defining the cheeks and lids. Make like Naomi Campbell and keep blending your contour through before adding a nude gloss to finish the look.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium
Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium $44

This foolproof powder won't leave a chalky or blunt finish. Instead, it'll create killer cheekbones without looking like you've spent six hours carving them in the mirror with a heavy product. 

Barely There Makeup

'90s beauty looks: Kate Moss with minimal makeup and striped top
Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images

Baby-faced Kate Moss showed us all how to perfect the minimal makeup look. The skin comes first here, so it's all about achieving a radiant base. With a wash of color on the cheeks and Popsicle-stained lips, it will have you looking like an off-duty model.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Demure
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Demure $36

This organic coconut-, jojoba- and argan oil-infused pot are all you need for this look. You can swipe it over the cheeks for a natural blush and then add a few layers to your lips. Done and done. 

Super-Straight Hair

'90s beauty looks: Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet with straight hair
SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images

We can all remember the day when a hair straightener entered our lives for the very first time. While we're all for embracing our natural hair texture now, Jennifer Lopez has us lusting after poker-straight strands with blunt ends.

Ouai Smooth Spray
Ouai Smooth Spray $26

You'll need a helping hand to get your hair in its sleekest state. Spritz this conditioning mist into your hair to nourish and smooth flyaways for a smoother finish.

Brick-Brown Lips

'90s beauty looks: Gwen Stefani with baby buns and lipstick
Jim Smeal/WireImage/Getty Images

You can always spot a '90s lip when you see it (it's usually a brown base with a brick-like red running through it). Gwen Stefani's dark lipstick shade is an absolute classic, and it can be brought up to date with a matte finish.

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte in Spice Girl
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte in Spice Girl $20

The name of this shade says it all. This is the Instagram version of the go-to '90s shade in a budge-proof matte finish. Satin lipsticks in a brownish-red color can look a bit dated, but this is a great way to keep it looking fresh.

Frosted Eye Shadow

'90s beauty looks: Julia Roberts with half-up, half-down hair and frosted eye shadow
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images

There was always a free mini frosted eye shadow or lip gloss that came with our favorite teen magazine. Most of our makeup experimentations resulted in some sort of glitter look, as seen on Julia Roberts. However, if you go for a darker shadow, then you can still make a frosted shadow look modern.

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect $29

It just doesn't get much prettier than this light-reflecting shadow. It's made with crushed pearls and is an absolute pleasure to glide on to the lids. The deep metallic shades are great on all skin tones too.

Pastel Lids

'90s beauty looks: Alicia Silverstone on the red carpet with purple eye shadow
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images

Pastel eye shadows (and Alicia Silverstone) will always have a place in our hearts. When done correctly, soft eye shadows will make you look super fashion-forward. The key to nailing this one is to go for a shade that complements your skin tone and eye color.

Zoeva Sweet Glamour Eye Shadow Palette
Zoeva Sweet Glamour Eye Shadow Palette $23

This palette is as sweet as can be, and it knows how to make an impact with its pastel hues. If you're not ready to go for the full lid, use a liner brush to create a thin wing with one of the shades instead.

The Gloss-and-Liner Combo

'90s beauty looks: Brandy wearing fur scarf and braids
Frank Trapper/Corbis/Getty Images

Ah, Brandy's signature liner-and-gloss combination. We saw our fair share of bold lip-liner looks during this decade, but if you focus on blending it out and diffusing the line, a brown lip liner can be very now.

Nyx Butter Gloss in Ginger Snap
Nyx Butter Gloss in Ginger Snap $5

Pair this soft gloss with a lip liner a few shades darker to get the ultimate '90s-girl look. Bonus points if you wear it with a slip dress.

Smudged Eyes

'90s beauty looks: Winona Ryder with short hair
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images

Winona Ryder had the grunge-makeup look down. Smudged eyes paired with a neutral lip and super-natural skin is the laid-back look we need in our lives. Bonus points if you do the look with a short, cropped hairstyle.

Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl in Bedroom Black
Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl in Bedroom Black $27

This will create the best "slept in" eyes. Charlotte Tilbury's eyeliner is all you need for re-creating this look, as the inky pigment and blendable formula make it such a breeze to smudge in.

All the Hair Accessories

'90s beauty looks: Melissa Joan Hart with hairband
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

A '90s hairstyle wasn't complete without a hair accessory—whether it was butterfly clips (oh, the memories), scrunchies, or oversize headbands like the ones Melissa Joan Hart wore. Believe it or not, there's still a place for them in your 2018 wardrobe.

Topshop Red Check Scrunchie
Topshop Red Check Scrunchie $12

Consider yourself an extra in Clueless with this checked scrunchie. Wear it with a topknot bun or on your wrist for extra style points.

Ready to go in full throwback mode? Try one of these '90s beauty looks as you get ready with a packet of Iced Gems and Sabrina the Teenage Witch playing in the background.

Next Up: 16 '90s Hairstyles We're Kind of Still in Love With

Related Stories