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Our Favorite '90s Makeup Looks to Try No Matter Your Age

A photo of a woman with highlighting foundation on

Beauty trends come and go, but having fun with makeup will never change. Some makeup trends define an era, and then like clockwork, they resurface again. Need proof? Now a full 30 years later, ‘90s makeup looks aren’t just making their way back into the beauty lexicon—they’re being wholly embraced by people of all ages. 

Thinking about trying a ‘90s makeup look but aren’t quite sure where to start? You’re in the right corner of the internet. We’re showcasing some of our favorite ‘90s makeup trends coming back, so grab your ‘90s eyeshadow palette, put on some Spice Girls, and let’s do this.

(Psst. Before peacing out we just want to add one caveat about these ‘90s makeup trends. We’re all about having fun and not about keeping hard rules here, especially when it comes to makeup. If you're digging the idea of wearing glitter at age 105 or you want to play with pastels regardless of your age, go for it. And if you want to wear all the above trends at once? We’re here for it. Just make sure to snap a selfie and show us how great you look! )

All Over Shimmer

Here at IT Cosmetics, we're all about the subtle glow, and we can hardly believe the chunky glitter of those ‘90s days is back in full force! We’re talking roll-on body glitter, festival glitter gel, speckled body lotion, prismatic highlighters, and metallic eyeshadows, peeps. For a contemporary update, we say have fun with this trend by leaning into the luster. 

You could go bold—and enjoy an authentic ‘90s makeup look—by applying body glitter to your collar bones and arms, or you could keep it subtle with a wash of shimmer across your cheeks or lids. If you want to be even more subtle, use CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50+ as your foundation. This full-coverage foundation is infused with a hydrating serum and contains micronized light-reflecting pigments for an illuminated effect.

Frosted Lids

Soft purples, bright blues, and creamy silvers were the bomb in the ‘90s. Basically, if the eyeshadow helped achieve that coveted frosted look, it was a winner. Recreating this ‘90s makeup eyeshadow look is pretty simple—you just need the right shade.

The Naturally Pretty Essentials™ Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette allows you to keep one foot firmly planted in 21st-century soil while also dabbling in this easy ‘90s makeup trend. To create a frosty appearance, simply apply a wash of the Transforming Hello Light radiant pearl shade on whatever eyeshadow you're wearing for instant ‘90s eye makeup. 

Superhero No-Tug Longwear Eyeshadow Stick in Passionate Pearl and Amethyst are two more ‘90s approved options.

Brown-Toned Lips

If you were going to wear lip color in the ‘90s, you couldn’t go wrong with a brown-toned hue. Think chocolate, mauve, burgundy, beige, and cinnamon. These shades were worn all over, including cheeks and lids, but you reached new levels of fly when wearing them on your lips. To try this easy '90s makeup look yourself, apply Pillow Lips Lipstick in Nude Cinnamon, Terracotta Brown, or Nude Espresso.

Thick Brows

When it came to eyebrows in the ‘90s, there were two extremes: barely-there pencil brows and the fluffiest, bushiest brows you could possibly obtain. Because thick brows just look and feel more vibrant and healthy, we’re going to champion that one. 

Even if you have sparse brows, which tends to become more common as we get older, you can still fake a bold brow look. Start by combing your brows upward, then fill in sparse areas with hair-like strokes using Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil. (Check out our guide on how to shape your eyebrows if you’re unsure how to do this.) For even more definition, you can use Brow Power Filler Eyebrow Gel.

Dramatic Liner

The ‘90s makeup game was all about playing with drama, and liner was one of those areas where you could really go big. Lips got the dark liner treatment, and black eyeliner was a staple in everyone’s bag. For that classic ‘90s glam, line your top and bottom lids with Superhero No-Tug Sharpenable Gel Eyeliner in Super Black (for a colorful ‘90s makeup spin, try Powerful Plum or Bold Blue instead). Follow up with Tightline™ 3-in-1 Black Primer - Eyeliner - Mascara, which features a super thin wand that allows you to reach every inch of your lashes.

Glossy Lips 

Along with brown tones, glitter, and frosted lids, ‘90s makeup was the heyday for a juicy lip. While the formulations back then were a bit sticky and difficult to wear, we’ve come a long way. Now you can get your glass-like pout and rest easy knowing your lips are being nourished at the same time. Case in point: Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss, a lip gloss and serum in one that delivers high shine and rich pigment while offering hydration and protection. 

Subtle Contouring 

Oh yes, contouring existed way before the age of Instagram. It just wasn’t nearly as dramatic or chiseled. The look was more natural and effortless—perhaps a notch just above “no-makeup makeup.” For this '90s makeup tutorial, all you need is a bit of bronzer, such as Ombré Radiance Bronzer. Simply apply to the areas of your face that would naturally get a bit more color from the sun and you’re golden. 

Looking for more ways to spice up your beauty routine (pun intended)? Try one of these fun makeup trends.

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