Retrospect is a crazy thing. At the time, no one in the ‘90s thought twice about brick-brown lipstick, spindly brows, blue-gray shadow, and over-gelled curls on the red carpet. These things weren’t “so ‘90s” then; they were simply what you did to look pretty. And heck, if Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Love Hewitt endorsed something, you knew it was the real deal. Years later, the defining beauty looks of the decade seem so distinctly dated as to be unfathomable. If you’re not sure what we mean, keep scrolling to see some truly mind-boggling red carpet photos from the ‘90s.
At the 1994 MTV Movie Awards, Alicia Silverstone (who had yet to appear in Clueless) rocked the '90s straight hair we know so well.
We hardly recognize Celine Dion in so many quintessential '90s beauty hallmarks at once: from the cropped cut to the dusty mauve eye shadow and dark red lips.
Leave it to supermodels to pretty much transcend trends. Seriously, only Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson (next slide) look as stunning and timeless in the '90s as they do today. Schiffer manages to be 20 years ahead of her time with loose, deconstructed beach waves.
We spy some overly thin brows and Rachel-esque layers, but for the most part Macpherson evaded the most egregious '90s beauty trends.
The stunning Garcelle Beauvais wore the brick-brown lipstick + cascading curls uniform of fellow '90s babes Keri Russell and Sarah Jessica Parker.
At the height of No Doubt's heyday, Gwen Stefani showed up to the VMA's in 1998 showcasing blue hair styled in three mini top knots and a matching blue bindi and fuzzy bra. With roots in punk-rock music and an ever-experimental side, it's safe to say she somehow pulled this daring look off, though it still screams '90s-era Stefani.
Even classic beauty icon Gwyneth Paltrow was not immune to the ubiquitous blue-gray shadow of the day.
Giving the '60s a run for their money in a fringed suede top and patchwork denim, Berry nonetheless looked the '90s part with penciled brows and dark lip liner. What's more surprising is the fact that she doesn't look a day older today.
The girl-next-door dream girl from Party of Five and Can't Hardly Wait, Jennifer Love Hewitt rocked flat-ironed hair like no other '90s teen icon.
This photo might seem like a cliche, but it's undeniable proof that full-blown adults (including mega-famous pop stars) willingly wore sparkly, glittery clips in their hair, and then walked the red carpet. It's hard to believe, but it's true.
Jodie Foster's curled-under, voluminious mushroom layers are bringing us back to how we styled our hair in 8th grade. How times have changed.
Kerri Russell's curls were the curls heard 'round the world in the late '90s. RIP.
But of course the only curls more famous than Russell's were Sarah Jessica Parker's, which she routinely paired with dark lips and pencil-thin brows like a true '90s poster child.
There was something about pale blue-gray eye shadow in copious quantities that celebs in the '90s couldn't quit.
Popularizing and glamorizing the pixie cut like Audrey Hepburn and Mia Farrow before her, Winona Ryder made boyish charm oh-so-charming indeed. But there was that pesky pastel eyeshadow again...
Can you believe these epic '90s looks? Which was your favorite? Tell us in the comments! And click here to shop the best red lipsticks, as a cooler update to the dated '90s brick-brown!