The 5 '90s Makeup Trends We Want to Bring Back—and 5 We Want to Forget for Good

Makeup trends come and makeup trends go—such is life. From Twiggy's iconic eyelashes that defined the '60s to the neon blush that took hold in the '80s, there are more archived makeup trends out there than we can even count. But every so often we're reminded of those beauty-related relics from the past that feel like they could fit right into the modern zeitgeist without a second thought. When considering the '90s, in particular, there are a few instances where that's the case.

That's not to say that all of the makeup trends from that decade should make a comeback any time soon. (More on that later.) But, if you're as nostalgic as we are, then you'll appreciate this rundown of the five makeup trends from the MTV era that we would (and do!) wear right now. And to keep it all the way real, we're also pinpointing the five we really don't care to see again. Keep scrolling for the greatest makeup hits and the most epic makeup misses of the '90s.

Hit: Glossy Lips


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Clear, coloured, glittery or matte, a glossy lip is an easy way to add a youthful pop to any makeup look. Shown here on Gwyneth Paltrow in a peachy hue, this high-shine look still translates decades later.

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Miss: Frosty Lips


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The '90s were a frosty decade. From hair to eyes to lips, there was a serious trend of keeping things icy. Unfortunately, the look hasn't aged well and nowadays reads decidedly dated.

Hit: Bold Brows


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Brooke Shields was the exception back in the day for rocking thick, bold eyebrows. When all of Hollywood seemed the glom onto barely there brows, this icon stuck with a more full look, and we're willing to bet she's so happy she did—full brows have made a triumphant return, and the looks just keep getting bushier.

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Miss: Skinny Brows


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It's no secret that the unfortunate lot of us who put our brows through this over-tweezed hell are still paying the consequences. This trend is a thing of the past.

Hit: Vivid Blue Eye Shadow


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Vivid eyelid hues were certainly all the rage in the '90s, and we can see why. The potent dose of colour, especially those in the blue colour family, is so chic.

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Miss: Frosty Blue Eye Shadow


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Again with the frost—it's still a no from us. Sorry not sorry.

Hit: Glowy Skin


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There's nothing better than a sunkissed glow to keep the skin looking as fresh as a daisy. We love the seamless dimension in '90s-era Beyoncé's face. It's soft and elegant and makes it look like she's glowing from within (which she definitely is).

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Miss: Ultra-Bright Concealer


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Let's face it: Makeup artists were concealer happy 20-something years ago. Everyone who was anyone back then has got their fair share of red carpet photos with a blinding flashback radiating from under their eyes. Pass.

Hit: Black Eyeliner


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This may be a controversial pick, but we're big fans of black eyeliner on the waterline. Makeup has softened in many ways since the '90s, but we're still so into this particular memento from the grunge era. Done right, like it was here on Jennifer Aniston, the look delivers the perfect amount of drama.

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Miss: Spider Lashes


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We're not sure why this trend gained as much popularity as it did, but we're just not fans of the spider-leg mascara look. Call us crazy, but we'd rather lengthen and define our fringes, not clump them together. 

Up next, 10 throwback beauty products that I love as much now as I did in 2005.

Associate Beauty Editor

Courtney Higgs is a Cancer sun, Libra rising beauty enthusiast with about six years of experience in the editorial space. She was previously Who What Wear's associate beauty editor after spending many years working on the West Coast edit team at InStyle Magazine. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a BA in communication studies and pivoted to editorial after spending her college years working in the legal field. Her beauty philosophy is simple: She believes there are no wrong answers and that discovering our favorite beauty products and rituals is a journey, not a sprint. When she's not geeking out over products, she can be found adventuring around L.A. with her fiancé; watching reality TV with their French bulldog, Bernie Mac; or relating way too hard to astrology memes.