Step into a time machine and travel back to the fabulous era of the ‘90s, where bold and iconic makeup looks ruled the scene. From shimmering eyes to glossy lips, ‘'90s makeup trends are a treasure trove of beauty inspiration. Whether you’re a fan of grunge, glam, or minimalism, there’s a ‘'90s makeup style for everyone.
In this article, we'll take you on a nostalgic journey through the 10 best '90s makeup looks that continue to inspire and influence the beauty world today. Get ready to relive the glory days and discover your favorite throwbackbeauty trends!
1. The Iconic Red Lip: Classic, Timeless, and Bold
The red lip is an iconic and timeless '90s makeup look that never goes out of style. It exudes confidence, sophistication, and a touch of old Hollywood glamor. Celebrities like Cindy Crawford and Gwen Stefani were often seen rocking this bold lip color on the red carpet and runways.
- To achieve the perfect red lip, start by selecting a shade that suits your skin tone and undertones. For fair complexions, opt for blue-based reds, while warm-toned reds flatter medium to dark skin tones. Use a lip liner in a matching shade to outline and define your lips, preventing the color from bleeding or feathering.
- Fill in your lips with the red lipstick using a lip brush or directly from the tube for a more intense color payoff. For a precise application, start from the center of your lips and work your way outward. Blot your lips with a tissue and reapply a second layer to ensure long-lasting color.
The key to rocking the iconic red lip is confidence. Embrace the boldness of this classic look and let your inner superstar shine. Whether you're attending a special event or simply want to add a touch of glamor to your everyday style, the red lip is a timeless choice that will never go out of fashion.
2. The Shimmering Goddess: Ethereal, Radiant, and Glamorous
The shimmering goddess look was all about embracing luminosity and radiance. It's a makeup look that channels the ethereal beauty of supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. With strategically placed shimmer, this look creates a mesmerizing and captivating glow.
- Start by prepping your skin with a moisturizer to ensure a smooth and hydrated base. Apply a lightweight, illuminating primer to add subtle radiance. Then, use a foundation or a tinted moisturizer that matches your skin tone to create an even canvas.
- For the eyes, choose a shimmery eyeshadow in a soft, neutral shade like champagne or rose gold. Apply it all over the lids, focusing on the inner corners and the center of the lids to catch the light. Blend a slightly deeper shade into the crease for dimension. Finish with a coat of mascara to define the lashes.
- Highlighting is key to achieving the goddess-like glow. Apply a liquid or powder highlighter on the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and the cupid's bow. This will enhance your natural features and create a luminous effect.
- Complete the shimmering goddess look with a glossy or shimmery lip gloss in a neutral or sheer shade. This will add a hint of shine and enhance the overall radiant vibe.
3. The Matte Skin Perfection: Flawless, Velvety, and Long-Lasting
The '90s witnessed the rise of the matte finish — a trend that focused on achieving a flawless, velvety complexion with a shine-free finish. Celebs like Victoria Beckham and Brandy were known for their impeccably matte skin, which served as the perfect canvas for other makeup looks.
- Start by prepping your skin with a mattifying primer to control excess oil and create a smooth base. Then, apply a matte foundation or a powder foundation that matches your skin tone, using a brush or a makeup sponge for an even and seamless application. Blend it well, ensuring there are no visible lines.
- To keep the complexion matte throughout the day, lightly dust a translucent powder over the entire face, paying extra attention to the T-zone, where shine tends to appear. This will set the foundation and minimize any unwanted sheen.
- While the focus is on matte skin, it's essential to add dimension and warmth back to the face. Use a mattebronzer in a shade that suits your skin tone to contour the cheekbones, the jawline, and the temples. Blend it well for a natural-looking finish.
- Keep the rest of the makeup simple and understated. Opt for a neutral eyeshadow, a thin line of eyeliner, and a coat of mascara for definition. Choose a nude lip color or matte lipstick to complement the overall look.
The matte skin perfection look is all about achieving a flawless and long-lasting complexion. It provides a blank canvas for other makeup elements to shine and allows you to experiment with various eye and lip looks without overpowering the face.
4. The Sultry Smokey Eye: Seductive, Mysterious, and Intense
The smokey eye is a classic '90s makeup look that exudes sultriness and allure. It's a go-to choice for glamorous evening events and a favorite among celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Drew Barrymore.
- Start by applying an eyeshadow primer to ensure the longevity of your smokey eye. Then, choose a dark eyeshadow shade, such as charcoal, deep brown, or black. Apply it to the eyelids and blend it upwards and outwards towards the crease, gradually building the intensity.
- To create depth and dimension, layer a slightly lighter shade in the crease and blend it with the darker color. Use a mattehighlighter shade on the brow bone to lift and open up the eyes.
- For added intensity, line your upper and lower lash lines with a black or dark browneyeliner. Smudge it gently to soften the lines and create a smoldering effect. Apply several coats of volumizing mascara to the lashes to complete the sultry look.
- To balance the intensity of the eyes, opt for a neutral lip color. A nude, a soft pink, or a mauve shade works beautifully with the smokey eye, allowing it to remain the focal point of the look.
The smokey eye is a versatile look that can be customized to suit different eye shapes and preferences. Experiment with different color combinations, such as bronze, plum, or navy, to add a unique twist to this timeless makeup look.
5. The Brown Lip Obsession: Earthy, Trendy, and Edgy
The '90s were all about the brown lip, a trend that brought earthy, edgy tones to the forefront. It was a departure from the traditional pinks and reds, offering a statement-making alternative. Celebrities like Cindy Crawford and Brandy embraced this trend, making it a signature part of their iconic looks.
- To rock the brown lip, start by selecting a shade that complements your skin tone and undertones. Fair complexions can opt for lighter brown shades, while deeper skin tones can embrace darker and richer browns.
- Begin by lining your lips with a lip liner in a matching or slightly deeper shade to define the shape and prevent the color from feathering. Fill in your lips with the brown lipstick, using a lip brush or directly from the tube for precise application. Blot your lips with a tissue and reapply a second layer for a long-lasting finish.
- Keep the rest of the makeup balanced and complementary to the brown lip. Opt for neutral eyeshadows in soft taupe or beige tones. Apply a coat of mascara to enhance the lashes, and groom the eyebrows to frame the face.
- To add a touch of radiance, apply a subtle highlighteron the high points of the face, such as the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. This will bring a fresh and glowing element to the overall look.
The brown lip is a versatile choice that can be worn for both casual and formal occasions. It adds an edgy and trendy twist to any outfit and complements a wide range of skin tones. Embrace the earthy allure of the brown lip and make a bold statement with this iconic '90s makeup look.
6. The Trendsetting Blue Eyeshadow: Playful, Bold, and Unconventional
Blue eyeshadow was a daring and trendsetting choice in the '90s, breaking away from traditional neutrals and introducing a pop of vibrant color. It was embraced by style icons like Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears, who confidently rocked this unconventional shade.
- To create a captivating blue eyeshadow look, start by priming your eyelids to ensure the color's vibrancy and longevity. Then, choose a blue eyeshadow shade that complements your skin tone and eye color. Lighter blues work well for fair complexions, while darker blues enhance medium to dark skin tones.
- Apply the blue eyeshadow all over the lids, focusing on the center and the outer corners for a gradient effect. Blend it with a clean brush or a blending brush to soften any harsh edges. Layer a slightly deeper shade of blue on the outer corners to add depth and dimension.
- To balance the intensity of the eyes, keep the rest of the makeup understated. Opt for a neutral or a soft pink lip color that doesn't compete with the blue eyeshadow. Apply a coat of mascara to define the lashes and complete the look.
The blue eyeshadow look is a playful and bold choice that allows you to express your individuality and experiment with color. It's perfect for special occasions, themed parties, or when you want to make a vibrant statement. Embrace the unconventional and channel your inner trendsetter with this iconic '90s makeup look.
7. The Pastel Dream: Soft, Ethereal, and Whimsical
Pastelmakeup looks were a whimsical and enchanting trend in the '90s, adding a touch of softness and femininity to the face. Celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Brandy embraced this dreamy trend, showcasing pasteleyeshadows, blushes, and lip colors.
- To create a pastel dream look, start with a soft pasteleyeshadow palette that offers a range of delicate shades. Choose colors like lavender, mint green, baby pink, or light blue. Apply the pasteleyeshadow of your choice all over the lids, blending it gently for a seamless transition.
- Add depth and dimension by applying a slightly darker pastel shade on the outer corners or in the crease. Blend it well to create a gradient effect. To make the eyes appear bigger and more awake, apply a shimmery white or champagne eyeshadow on the inner corners.
- Opt for a soft pink or peach blush to enhance the natural flush of your cheeks. Apply it to the apples of the cheeks, blending it towards the temples for a subtle and rosy glow.
- Complete the pastel dream look with a lip color that complements the overall softness. Choose a pastel pink, peach, or lilac shade to keep the focus on the eyes and create a harmonious color palette.
The pastel dream look is perfect for spring, summer, or when you want to add a touch of whimsy and romance to your makeup. Embrace the soft and dreamy aesthetic of the pastel trend, and let your inner princess shine through with this enchanting '90s makeup look.
8. The Glamorous Supermodel: Striking, Polished, and Runway-Ready
The glamorous supermodel look captures the essence of the '90s fashion scene with its polished and striking makeup choices. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford epitomized this look, exuding confidence and runway-ready beauty.
- Start by creating a flawless and radiant complexion as the base for the supermodelglam. Prep your skin with a hydrating moisturizer and apply a luminous primer to achieve a glowing effect. Use a medium to full coverage foundation that matches your skin tone, and blend it seamlessly for an even and polished finish.
- Contour the face to enhance the natural bone structure and create definition. Use a mattebronzer in a shade that suits your skin tone to sculpt the cheekbones, the jawline, and the temples. Blend it well for a seamless and natural-looking contour.
- For the eyes, opt for a neutral eyeshadow palette that offers a range of browns, taupes, and beige shades. Apply a medium-toned shade on the lids, a slightly darker shade in the crease for depth, and a light shimmer on the brow bone to highlight and lift the eyes. Define the lash line with a thin line of black eyeliner, and finish with volumizing mascara for a dramatic effect.
- Supermodels are known for their bold and defined brows. Use an eyebrow pencil or a powder to fill in any sparse areas and create a structured and well-groomed brow shape. Keep the brows full but groomed for a polished and sophisticated look.
- Complete the supermodelglam with a nude or soft pink lip color. Opt for a satin or a glossy finish to add a touch of shine and sophistication. This will allow the focus to remain on the flawless complexion and defined eyes.
The supermodelglam look is perfect for special events, red carpets, or when you want to exude confidence and sophistication. Embrace the polished and striking aesthetic of the supermodel trend, and let your inner supermodel shine with this glamorous '90s makeup look.
9. The Playful Pop of Color| Vibrant, Fun, and Expressive
The '90s were a decade of experimentation and self-expression, and the playful pop of color trend embodied that spirit. It involved incorporating a vibrant and unexpected splash of color into the makeup look, adding a fun and youthful twist. Celebrities like JLo and Britney Spears embraced this trend, showcasing bold and bright makeup choices.
- To create a playful pop of color look, start by choosing a vibrant shade that complements your skin tone and eye color. You can opt for a bold eyeshadow, a colorful eyeliner, or a vibrant lip color — it's all about choosing a hue that makes a statement.
- Apply the pop of color on the desired area, whether it's the eyes, the lips, or both. If you choose to focus on the eyes, apply the colorful eyeshadow all over the lids or use a colored eyeliner to create a graphic shape or a winged effect. If you prefer to accentuate the lips, choose a vibrant lipstick or a lip stain that grabs attention.
- To balance the look, keep the rest of the makeup minimal and understated. Opt for neutral shades on the areas that are not the focal point. Use a light dusting of bronzer to add warmth to the complexion, and apply a coat of mascara to define the lashes.
The playful pop of color look is all about embracing your creativity and adding a touch of fun and vibrancy to your makeup routine. It's perfect for parties, festivals, or when you want to make a bold statement. Embrace the expressive and vibrant spirit of the '90s with this playful makeup trend.
10. The Minimalistic Chic: Effortless, Natural, and Timeless
While the '90s were known for their bold and extravagant makeup looks, the minimalistic chic trend provided a refreshing and effortless approach to beauty. It celebrated the idea that less is more and focused on enhancing one's natural features with subtle and understated touches. Celebrities like Winona Ryder and Kate Moss were often spotted embracing this minimalistic aesthetic, proving that simplicity can be just as striking.
- To achieve the minimalistic chic look, start by prepping your skin with a lightweight and hydrating moisturizer. Follow it up with a tinted moisturizer or a light coverage foundation that matches your skin tone, allowing your skin's natural beauty to shine through.
- Instead of heavy contouring, opt for a subtle bronzer or a cream blush to add a touch of warmth and dimension to the face. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks and blend it towards the temples for a natural-looking flush.
- For the eyes, choose a neutral eyeshadow palette with soft browns, taupes, or beige shades. Sweep a medium-toned shade on the lids for a subtle wash of color. If desired, add a slightly deeper shade in the crease to create depth. Finish with a coat of mascara to define the lashes. Keep the brows groomed but natural-looking. Use a brow gel or a tinted brow mascara to shape and fill in any sparse areas without creating a heavily sculpted look.
- To complete the minimalistic chic vibe, opt for a nude or a sheer lip colorthat enhances your natural lip tone. Choose a lip balm, a tinted lip gloss, or a creamy lipstick in a shade that complements your skin tone. This will add a hint of color while maintaining a fresh and effortless appearance.
The minimalistic chic look is perfect for everyday wear, work settings, or when you want to appear timeless and elegant. Embrace the simplicity and natural beauty of this trend, and let your true self shine through with this classic '90s makeup look.
Wrapping Things Up
As we wrap up our exploration of the 10 best '90s makeup looks, it's clear that the beauty trends of that era continue to captivate and inspire us today. Whether you're drawn to the sultry grunge aesthetic, the glamorous supermodel allure, or the playful pops of color, there's a '90s makeup look for everyone. The beauty industry has evolved, but the charm and timelessness of these trends remain.
Now it's your turn to embrace the nostalgia and infuse your own personal style into these iconic looks. Avenue B is here to support you on your beauty journey, offering an array of attainable beauty products that will help you achieve your desired '90s-inspired makeup looks. Don't forget to take advantage of our Skin Quiz and Foundation Finder, designed to help you find the perfect products for your skin type and tone.
Visit Avenue B, your go-to marketplace for attainable beauty, and unlock a world of possibilities. Let the beauty of the '90s guide you as you explore, experiment, and express yourself through makeup. Unleash your creativity, enhance your natural beauty, and relish in the nostalgia of the '90s. Your makeup adventure starts now.
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