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Reviving the Glam: Exploring Iconic 90s Makeup Looks

The 90s was an iconic era for fashion and beauty, and the makeup looks from that time continue to inspire and influence trends today. From minimalistic and natural styles to bold and edgy statements, the 90s had it all when it came to makeup.

One of the most popular makeup looks of the 90s was the “no-makeup” look. This look focused on enhancing natural beauty with subtle enhancements. It involved using sheer foundations or tinted moisturizers to create a flawless yet effortless complexion. A touch of brown or nude eyeshadow on the lids, paired with thin eyebrows and a swipe of clear lip gloss, completed this understated yet chic look.

Another trend that dominated the 90s was matte lips. Deep burgundy, brown, or brick red lip colours were all the rage. Women would line their lips with a dark lip liner and fill them in with a matching lipstick shade for a bold pout. This look exuded confidence and sophistication.

For those who wanted to make a statement, grunge-inspired makeup was at its peak during the 90s. Heavy black eyeliner rimmed the eyes, often smudged for a smoky effect. Dark eyeshadows in shades like charcoal, navy blue, or forest green were applied generously on the lids. To complete this rebellious look, dark lipstick in shades like deep purple or black would be applied with attitude.

The 90s also saw an emphasis on brows like never before. Thin eyebrows were all the rage, often plucked into pencil-thin lines or arched into high arches for a dramatic effect. Many women would even tweeze their brows excessively to achieve this desired shape.

However, it’s important to note that beauty trends evolve over time, and what worked in the 90s may not necessarily work today. Today’s beauty standards celebrate diversity and individuality more than ever before.

That being said, the 90s makeup looks continue to inspire and influence modern beauty trends. Elements of the “no-makeup” look, matte lips, and grunge-inspired eyes can still be seen on runways and red carpets today, albeit with a modern twist.

So, whether you’re feeling nostalgic or simply want to experiment with a retro vibe, don’t hesitate to take inspiration from the iconic 90s makeup looks. Adapt them to suit your own personal style and enjoy the journey back in time while embracing the beauty trends of today.


Commonly Asked Questions: 90s Makeup Looks in the UK

  1. What makeup products were popular in the 90s?
  2. How can I recreate a 90s makeup look?
  3. What kind of eyeshadow looks did people wear in the 90s?
  4. Are there any tips for achieving a classic 90s makeup look?
  5. What type of foundation was popular in the 90s?
  6. How can I add a modern twist to a 90s makeup look?

The 90s saw the rise of several makeup products that became iconic and synonymous with the era. Here are some of the popular makeup products that were widely used during that time:

  1. Brown Lipstick: Deep, brown-toned lipsticks were a staple in every makeup collection during the 90s. Shades like brick red, chocolate brown, and burgundy were particularly popular.
  2. Lip Liner: Lip liner was an essential product for achieving the perfect pout in the 90s. Dark shades like brown or plum were used to outline and define the lips, often creating a stark contrast with the lipstick shade.
  3. Clear Lip Gloss: To achieve a glossy finish on the lips, clear lip gloss was a go-to product. It provided a shiny, wet look that was favored by many.
  4. Matte Foundation: The 90s embraced matte skin finishes, and matte foundation formulations gained popularity during this time. Matte foundations helped create a flawless complexion without any shine or dewiness.
  5. Brown Eyeshadow: Neutral eyeshadow shades took center stage in the 90s, with brown being one of the most commonly used colours. Soft browns or taupes were applied on the eyelids for a natural and subtle look.
  6. Black Eyeliner: Black eyeliner was heavily used in various forms during this era. From thin lines along the lash line to creating dramatic wings or smudged effects for grunge-inspired looks, black eyeliner was an essential tool for defining and enhancing the eyes.
  7. Mascara: Big lashes were a trend in the 90s, and volumizing mascaras were popular to achieve that desired effect. Thickening formulas and wands with bristles designed to add volume to lashes were widely sought after.
  8. Thin Brow Pencils: Thin eyebrows were all the rage in the 90s, so thin brow pencils or eyebrow powders were used to shape and fill in the brows. Many people would tweeze their eyebrows excessively to achieve the thin, arched look that was popular at the time.

These are just a few examples of the makeup products that were popular in the 90s. The era had a diverse range of trends and styles, allowing individuals to experiment with different looks and express their unique personalities through makeup.

How can I recreate a 90s makeup look?

Recreating a 90s makeup look can be a fun way to embrace nostalgia and experiment with a retro vibe. Here are some steps to help you achieve that iconic 90s aesthetic:

  1. Flawless Complexion: Start by prepping your skin with a moisturizer and primer. Use a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer to create an even base. Avoid heavy coverage as the 90s embraced a more natural look.
  2. Minimalistic Eyes: Opt for neutral eyeshadow shades like brown, taupe, or beige. Apply a wash of color across your lids, keeping it subtle and understated. Add definition by lining your upper lash line with brown or black eyeliner, keeping it thin and close to the lash line.
  3. Thin Brows: In the 90s, thin eyebrows were all the rage. If you have naturally thick brows, consider plucking or shaping them into thinner lines using tweezers or brow wax. Fill in any sparse areas with an eyebrow pencil or powder for a defined but slim shape.
  4. Matte Lips: Choose lip colors that were popular in the 90s, such as deep burgundy, brownish nude, or brick red shades. Line your lips with a lip liner in a matching shade to create definition and prevent bleeding. Fill in your lips with the chosen lipstick color for a bold matte finish.
  5. Subtle Blush: Apply blush sparingly for a natural flush of color on the cheeks. Opt for soft pink or peachy shades and blend it onto the apples of your cheeks using gentle strokes.
  6. Mascara: Finish off your eye makeup by applying mascara to your upper lashes only, keeping them long and defined without going too heavy on volume.

Remember, recreating a 90s makeup look is all about embracing simplicity and minimalism while adding subtle touches of boldness where desired. Feel free to adapt these steps to suit your personal style and preferences. Have fun experimenting and channeling that iconic 90s vibe!

What kind of eyeshadow looks did people wear in the 90s?

In the 90s, eyeshadow looks varied from subtle and natural to bold and vibrant. Here are some popular eyeshadow looks that were commonly worn during that time:

  1. Neutral Tones: Natural and earthy tones were a staple in 90s eyeshadow looks. Shades like beige, taupe, brown, and nude were used to create a soft, understated eye makeup look. These neutral colours were often applied all over the lid and blended out towards the crease for a seamless finish.
  2. Smoky Eyes: The smoky eye look was a go-to for creating a sultry and mysterious vibe. Deep shades of gray, charcoal, or black were applied on the lids and blended out towards the outer corners of the eyes. This created a gradient effect with darker colours closer to the lash line and lighter shades towards the brow bone.
  3. Shimmer and Frost: The 90s also saw a rise in shimmering and frosty eyeshadows. Metallic silver, champagne, or icy pastel shades were popular choices for creating a luminous and ethereal look. These shimmery shadows were often applied on the inner corners of the eyes or swept across the entire lid for a glamorous touch.
  4. Coloured Eyeshadows: Bold and vibrant eyeshadow colours made a statement in the 90s. Bright blues, purples, pinks, greens, and even yellows were used to create eye-catching looks. These vivid hues were often applied on the lids or used as accents along the lower lash line for an edgy pop of colour.
  5. Two-Tone Eyeshadow: Another trend that emerged during this time was using two contrasting eyeshadow colours to create an eye-catching effect. For example, some people would apply a light shade on the inner corners of their eyes and then transition into a darker shade towards the outer corners.

It’s worth noting that makeup trends have evolved since the 90s, and what was popular then may not necessarily be the go-to looks today. However, some elements of these eyeshadow trends have made a comeback in modern makeup, with updated techniques and twists to suit current styles.

Remember, makeup is all about self-expression, so feel free to take inspiration from the 90s eyeshadow looks and adapt them to your personal style preferences.

Are there any tips for achieving a classic 90s makeup look?

Certainly! Here are some tips to help you achieve a classic 90s makeup look:

  1. Flawless Complexion: Start with a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer to create a natural-looking base. Avoid heavy coverage and opt for a lightweight formula that allows your skin to breathe.
  2. Subtle Contouring: Contouring was not as prominent in the 90s, but a touch of bronzer or a neutral-toned blush can add dimension to your face. Apply it lightly along the hollows of your cheeks and temples for a subtle contour effect.
  3. Nude Lips: Embrace the 90s trend of nude lips with matte or satin finishes. Opt for shades like brown, mauve, or beige that complement your skin tone. Line your lips with a matching lip liner to define their shape.
  4. Thin Eyebrows: To achieve that quintessential 90s look, thin eyebrows were popular at the time. You can use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in any sparse areas and create a thin, arched shape. However, keep in mind that fuller brows are more in vogue today, so adjust this trend according to your personal preference.
  5. Smoky Eyes: For an edgier look, go for smoky eyes using dark eyeshadows like charcoal, navy blue, or deep green. Apply the shadow on your eyelids and blend it out towards the crease for a soft gradient effect. Line your upper lash line with black eyeliner and smudge it slightly for that grunge-inspired vibe.
  6. Mascara: Don’t forget to apply mascara generously to both your upper and lower lashes to make your eyes pop.
  7. Minimalistic Cheeks: Keep the focus on either your eyes or lips by opting for minimalistic cheek makeup. Use a light sweep of blush in neutral tones like peachy-pink or dusty rose on the apples of your cheeks for a subtle flush.

Remember, while it’s fun to recreate the 90s makeup look, feel free to adapt it to suit your own personal style and preferences. Experiment with different shades and techniques to make it your own. Enjoy the nostalgia and have fun embracing the classic 90s aesthetic!

In the 90s, the popular foundation choices varied depending on the desired look. One of the most sought-after foundation styles was a sheer and natural finish. Women often opted for lightweight formulas like tinted moisturizers or sheer foundations that provided a subtle coverage while allowing their natural skin to shine through. This “no-makeup” look was all about achieving a flawless yet effortless complexion.

On the other hand, for those who preferred more coverage, liquid foundations were also widely used. However, compared to today’s trends, heavy and full-coverage foundations were not as popular during this era. Instead, women tended to lean towards medium coverage liquid foundations that could even out their skin tone while still maintaining a relatively natural appearance.

It’s worth noting that in the 90s, matte skin was not as coveted as it is in some contemporary beauty trends. The focus was more on achieving a healthy glow and embracing a dewy complexion. Therefore, foundations with satin or slightly luminous finishes were often chosen to give the skin a radiant and youthful look.

Overall, whether it was sheer and natural or medium coverage with a dewy finish, the foundation choices of the 90s aimed to enhance one’s natural beauty while still providing enough coverage for a polished appearance.

How can I add a modern twist to a 90s makeup look?

Adding a modern twist to a 90s makeup look can be a fun way to incorporate nostalgia while keeping up with current beauty trends. Here are some ideas to help you achieve a fresh and updated version of the classic 90s makeup:

  1. Play with Colour: While the 90s were known for their earthy and muted tones, experiment with pops of colour to give your look a modern edge. Incorporate vibrant eyeshadow shades like electric blue, neon pink, or metallic hues into your eye makeup for an eye-catching effect.
  2. Bolder Brows: Instead of thinning out your brows, embrace the trend of fuller, more natural-looking eyebrows that is popular today. Use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in any sparse areas and create a defined shape that flatters your face.
  3. Dewy Skin: Swap the matte finish for a fresh and dewy complexion. Opt for lightweight, luminous foundations or tinted moisturizers that give your skin a healthy glow. Highlight the high points of your face, such as cheekbones and brow bones, with a subtle illuminator for an added radiance.
  4. Glossy Lips: While matte lips were all the rage in the 90s, glossy lips have made a comeback in recent years. Choose lip glosses in modern formulas that provide hydration and shine without feeling sticky or heavy. Experiment with sheer or shimmery finishes for an updated take on 90s lip looks.
  5. Graphic Liner: Put a contemporary spin on the classic black eyeliner by experimenting with graphic liner styles. Try creating winged liner shapes with different angles or even experiment with double-winged liner for an edgy look that stands out.
  6. Blush Placement: In the 90s, blush was often applied in circular motions on the apples of the cheeks. For a more modern approach, try applying blush slightly higher on your cheekbones towards your temples. This technique creates a more sculpted and lifted effect.

Remember, the key to adding a modern twist to a 90s makeup look is to experiment and have fun with it. Play around with different colours, textures, and techniques to create a look that feels fresh and reflects your own personal style.