This Major '90s Beauty Trend Is Back and Better Than Ever

From animal-print everything to slip-skirt madness, there has been a huge resurgence in '90s fashion trends over the past year. So it's of no surprise that the throwback is happening in the world of beauty too. While we spotted the grungier elements of the decade on the streets of London this month, where cool-girl eyeliner and bare skin reigned supreme, it's a more polarising makeup trend that I've noticed has made a fully-fledged comeback: lip gloss.


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Don't be alarmed—I know that even uttering the words can conjure images of tacky lips and hair that sticks to your face whenever the wind blows. "In the old days, the look and application of gloss almost resembled that of glue," said celebrity makeup artist Gary Cockerill.

But this new generation of lip gloss is different. Unlike the formulas of the '90s, the new wave of lip glosses has been specially formulated to be nonstick without compromising on a high-shine finish. And not only that, but lots of them have skin-friendly ingredients to nourish and pamper your lips in the same way a lip balm would. "Gone are the days of gloss looking and feeling like an 80s throwback," confirmed Cockerill.

"Most trends do a full circle, coming back into style again and again," Sacha Jackson, Stila UK's national lead artist and trainer, told us. "We have seen a huge display of '90s-inspired fashion making a comeback, so it's no surprise that the makeup trend followed suit. We have also seen an increase in a more natural approach to makeup, and having a more glossy, moisturised look on the lip really compliments that."

Keep scrolling to see the girls that are giving me lip gloss inspiration and see the best lip gloss formulas to shop now.

Holographic sparkle

Nicely natural


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Lip gloss doesn't have to always equal high shine. In fact, the new wave of glosses are all about the ingredients—blending oils for a natural sheen, rather than a wet-look finish.

Plumped up


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I remember trying a whole array of lip-plumping glosses during my teenage years—often characterised by the burning sensation they had when applied. Some of the new lip gloss formulas offer the same pout-boosting benefits but without the irritation. 

Related: Turns Out Pantone's Living Coral Is Surprisingly Flattering

Clear and concise


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Sometimes basic is best and there's something effortlessly cool about a clear lip gloss. A great option if you're wearing a dramatic eye look or bright shadow, or if you just want to bring a healthy-looking glow to your lips.

Colour pop


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The new generation of lip glosses isn't compromising on colour. In fact, they're bridging the gap between a lip balm and liquid lipstick in terms of comfortable wear and pigmentation. This is definitely the way I'll be embracing gloss in 2019.

"I love peach and pink tones, or a burnt orange or red for a more sheer approach to colour." Sacha Jackson told us.

Related: This Not-So-Classic Makeup Colour Combination Is Trending All Over Instagram

Nude shine


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For 2019, nude is the new clear. Soft pinks, beige and tawny hues are top of the shade range in glosses and it's easy to see why—they're chic, grown-up and an easy way to wear colour. 

Next up, I tried every single Glossier product—this is what I really think.

Mica Ricketts