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Roaming through a clothing store in 2020 can feel like an instant trip back to the ’90s. Platform sandals, mini backpacks, and high-waisted jeans—it’s all there. While you’re sporting your favorite fast-fashion spins on these throwback styles, don’t forget to bring beauty from the decade into the mix, too. ’90s makeup trends are equally as deserving of a comeback, whether that means embracing grunge makeup looks or trying a nostalgia-inducing eye shadow finish. Pick a few of the following ’90s makeup looks to try, and you’ll be feeling like the ’90s beauty fan that’s in all of us.
Super-slick lips aren’t just a fad from your childhood—this look is also the major ’90s makeup trend that’s about to be on everyone’s lips (once again). Don’t you want to relive the days of having your makeup bag stocked with glosses in every color and scent? Think: shimmery marshmallow for a hot playground date or pink lemonade to pass amongst your pals during lunchtime. Bring lip gloss back into your life with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 HR Le Gloss. Have your pick of 20 shiny shades. Pro-tip: Wear a hydrating balm underneath.
Revisiting your favorite ’90s grunge makeup looks can feel like you’re kicking things into high gear, but it can also mean shifting into neutral. Channeling your inner nostalgia doesn’t always mean having to don chunky body glitter or temporary tattoos. Rather, you can simply swipe on a neutral lip color. Browns and beiges so often dominated every aspect of the ’90s girl aesthetic—and lips were certainly no exception. Find your perfect brown hue from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Ultra Matte Highly Pigmented Nude Lipstick line and smooth it on for a neutral pout that still pops.
Back in the day, there was a 50/50 chance of whether your berry lips came from a lip stain or were temporarily stained from indulging in a berry popsicle on a hot day. When working this ‘90s makeup look back into your makeup repertoire, try the L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature, Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in I Enjoy. Or, for just a sheer wash of pigment, opt for the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Shine Lipstick in Splendid Blackberry.
While deep purples and reds will easily evoke thoughts of everyone’s favorite decade, do dark lips ever really go out of style? No way! It’s always on trend to vamp it up a little or go all out goth for a night out. For a prime pout, start with a lip liner that matches your lipstick. Dark colors can be more prone to bleeding, so you’ll want to grab a liner to keep your color in place.
After following with a lipstick, put your pointer finger between your lips and pull out. This can help remove color from the inside of your mouth and keep it from transferring to your teeth—which would make it appear like you’ve been feasting on beets. It’s a super-easy fix that could be an essential embarrassment-saver!
Imagine it: your first foray into beauty during the ’90s. A creamy aqua shadow rubbed across your lids, butterfly clips adorning braids in your hair, and, of course, a frosty pink lipstick painted on your pout. Now, how far off is that from your current style? Gone are the whimsical accents of girlhood—they’ve been replaced with nude eye shadow, simple metallic hair pins, and matte liquid lipsticks. Allow yourself to retain a bit of fanciful fun by becoming reacquainted with frosted lip colors. If you can’t find the just-right finish you’re looking for, create your own. Start with a creamy pink lipstick, and pat a powder highlighter with lots of luminosity on top.
Another lip color trend that was a star of ’90s makeup trends? Burgundy lips! This is the perfect hue to sport on your next night out on the town. Paint your pout with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Stirred, and you’ll instantly feel as if you’re the star of a ’90s teen soap.
It’s easy for lip liner to cross the line from subtle accentuation to overkill, but when used correctly, it can be a real asset to any beauty routine. In the past, liner wasn’t matched to a lipstick. Instead, a much darker shade was chosen to line your lips. Are you remembering joining in on this cosmetic craze and experiencing retrograde regret? That’s reasonable—after all, it wasn’t exactly the most flattering look anyone rocked back then.
While it may be a challenge, work up the courage to welcome lip liner back to your beauty routine. Not only can you layer liner underneath your lipstick to help keep color from fading, but if you line just outside your natural lip line, this can help create the appearance of fuller-looking lips. Choose a shade of the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner that is only slightly darker than your lipstick for definition sans too much contrast.
All that glitters is…making a comeback. That’s right: The beauty world is once again taking a turn toward arts and crafts. Pasting glitter around your eyes is an artsy good time and makes for the ultimate eye-catching looks. For a modern touch, put a cream or liquid shadow all over your lids. Before the color has completely dried down, take a cosmetic-grade glitter in a coordinating color and add it to only the centers of your lids. This can help open up the look of your eyes. Plus, it’ll keep your makeup looking classy and fun without veering completely into kindergarten art project territory.
Blue eye shadow was such a hit that it took over people’s lids in the ’80s and kept right on into the ’90s. Chalky pastel shades commonly covered eyelids during both decades, serving as everyone’s choice statement eye. Leave the sky shade behind and resurrect this trend with a smudge of navy shadow against your lash line, fading upward. A deep blue makes for a smoky eye alternative that looks elegant without being too harsh and acts as a subtle nod to the days of smearing a blue base all around your eyes. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Midnight Blue.
When all else fails, make it metal. Adding a hint of metallic color can completely spice up a bland makeup look. Sweep on any metallic shadow and its instant glitz and glam for your eyelids. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Crushed Foils Metallic Eye Shadow or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Metallics Eye Shadow. For a more classic take, try gold or bronze. To switch things up, use an unexpected color like metallic purple or pink.
Paired with a heavy flannel and combat boots, grungy eyeliner made for one of the most iconic fashion statements of the decade. Revive this messy, ‘90s grunge makeup style with smudged eyeliner. Choose a black or grey pencil with a creamy formula, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Black or Charcoal Shimmer. With the pencil, line along your top and bottom lash lines, then use a smudge brush to blend out your lines before the liner dries down. Blend out further on your lids than underneath your eyes to avoid a raccoon look.
To keep your rocker-chic liner just grungy enough but not smeared all over your face, make sure to use a long-lasting eye shadow primer underneath. Tie your preferred plaid around your waist, and you’re good to go—not to mention totally grunge.
You may think of intense smoky eyes as a byproduct of the early 2000s, but they actually first stole the scene back in the ’90s. To travel back in time via your eye makeup, consider making bold, black smoky eyes the center of your next makeup look. Learn how to get the look in our article, How to Wear Bold Black Eye Makeup.
We have our fingers crossed that the teeny-tiny brows that were so popular in the ’90s won’t be back anytime soon. Your eyebrows play a large part in how expressive your face is, and over-plucking can fully change that. Instead of picking up tweezers, complete any ‘90s-inspired look with subtle brows that won’t take over the look. Use a clear brow gel, like the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara in Clear, to brush through hairs and help keep your eyebrows in place. While your brows won’t be almost nonexistent like those that came before them, they also won’t make a statement.
Not only were thin, perfectly plucked eyebrows a must for ’90s eyebrows—defined, precise arches were also a necessity! Clean up and define your arch with the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Waterproof Eyebrow Mechanical Pencil. First, use the tip pencil to outline your brow shape. Then fill in the gap with light strokes and comb up to follow your natural arch shape for a defined look.
While glitter and blue eye shadow may have been all the rage, natural, barely-there makeup was just as popular. It sounds contradictory, but it’s true! The modern version of the ’90s natural look is no makeup, makeup. Get the look for yourself by reading our article, How To Rock The No Makeup, Makeup Look: The Complete Tutorial.
Before glitter-everything was trending, ’90s gals sought out matte complexions. The goal was to have a virtually flawless face with a natural-looking finish. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in your next makeup look to give your complexion medium coverage with a matte finish.
Remember when we mentioned that ’90s makeup was often kept simple and natural? This meant that blush was kept subtle, too. When mimicking this ’90s look, color your cheeks with a light peachy hue like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Blush in Bare Honey.
Nowadays, harsh contouring is undeniably trendy—just take a look at your Instagram feed. But not everyone loves that look! That’s why we’re oh-so-happy to see more subtle shading coming back in vogue. Give it a try and forgo the dramatic contouring in favor of brushing bronzing powder, like the L’Oréal Paris True™ Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer, onto your temples, cheeks, and jawline.
Shimmer and spice and everything nice—for teens, that’s what the ’90s were all about. Back then, large flakes of glitter were spread over your skin to achieve supreme sparkling, but that trend hasn’t quite made it to 2020. Rather, it has inspired a new one. Using shimmer only on key places makes for a more mature way to shine. Look for a body oil with shimmer mixed in and spread it over your calves and clavicles for a lit-from-within glisten.
Shimmer wasn’t reserved for your body back in the ’90s. Special occasions called for sparkles all over—including on your face. The 2020 take on this trend is slightly upgraded, involving getting your shine on with highlighter instead of straight-up shimmer. Give yourself a more natural-looking shimmering complexion with the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer.
Next up: Now that you have the perfect ’90s makeup looks to choose from, it’s time to turn your attention to your mane. Here are 20 ’90s Hairstyles to Take You Back in Time to complement your throwback makeup.
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