Drew Barrymore’s classic 90’s look: brown lipstick, plucked and arched eyebrows, choker necklace.

I’ve been saying for awhile that the 90’s are back—when Gin Blossoms songs start popping up everywhere you go, you know something’s up (I hear them in a store at least once a week, and it’s surprisingly not “Hey Jealousy” 100% of the time). It’s not just the music: 90’s beauty and fashion are back with a vengeance, and this recent post on Makeup and Beauty Blog made me feel like taking my own walk down memory lane. I definitely had both the Revlon Toast of New York lipstick and CK One perfume that Karen wrote about in her post! I’ve put together my own list of some other distinctly 90’s beauty and fashion items that stand out in my mind. For age reference, I graduated from high school in 1996; college in 2000. Thanks to Karen for the inspiration!

1. Revlon Vixen Nail Polish: this was the drugstore brand’s Chanel Vamp knockoff, and it was a pretty damn good one. Both Vixen and Vamp were a super dark oxblood with a hint of brown, because everything was better with brown back then. You can still buy this color on Drugstore.com…I might have to get myself a bottle for nostalgia’s sake.

2. Sunflowers perfume by Elizabeth Arden: this stuff was huge amongst my group of friends. HUGE. Every time we went somewhere in public together we probably had a visible cloud of Sunflowers surrounding us. I still have a bottle of Sunflowers in my closet at my parents’ house in St. Louis. No joke.

3. Revlon ColorStay Lipstick: I’m sure I had this superdry matte lipstick in several colors, but the one that sticks out most in my mind is a brown shade…because 90’s. I can’t seem to find the name of the color, but I did find a vintage commercial for the lipsticks starring Cindy Crawford (did I really just use the word “vintage” in reference to something from my youth?!). Revolutionary!

Here I am at my senior prom (I went dateless) rocking what’s very likely my brown ColorStay lips with a shiny baby blue dress. Yaaaaasssss!

prom (1)

Strong eyebrow game, 1996 me.

4. Clinique’s Skin Care System: also huge among my group of friends. I believe I used the “number two” option from this skin care line that included bar soap which came in its own awesome case with a slide-out tray, “clarifying lotion” (toner), and the classic yellow Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Bonus points for snagging a special gift with purchase from the Clinique counter at Dillard’s or Famous Barr.

5. The Body Shop Kiwi Fruit Lip Balm: I could not get enough of this stuff, which legitimately smelled like kiwi and went on clear despite its green hue. They offered other scents too, but kiwi was king.


6. J. Crew: I attended the preppiest of prep schools and J. Crew was HOT SHIT. Barn jackets, anoraks, rugby shirts, polo shirts, Fair Isle sweaters—you name it, I coveted it (and sometimes actually got it). In colors with fun names, of course. I had this exact anorak:


6. Eddie Bauer Backpacks: these were also big at my high school, so I got one, duh. It had so many pockets and places to keep my pens and pencils and lip balms!


7. Patagonia: their pullover fleeces were in keeping with the preppy trend, and I carried it on to college. I can be seen below rocking mine whilst enjoying a 40 and eating Pokey Stix from Gumby’s, like you do. Oh man, do I miss those Pokey Stix. Let’s pretend I’m 21 or over in this picture. Also, I apparently only bought blue clothes and accessories.

Pokey Sticks

8. Naturistics Roll-On Lip Gloss: this may have been more 80’s than 90’s, but it’s stuck in my mind. The rollerball applicator was so fun, and these were flavored as well as scented. I’m pretty sure I had the strawberry flavor. Plus, they made your lips so, so shiny.


9. MAC Spice Lip Liner: this pencil was THE lip liner that every single beauty magazine article recommended to get that quintessential 90’s nude-brown lip. This cult classic is supposedly flattering on all skin tones, and of course I had one. MAC Spice is still around, too, so we can all go out and buy it to keep up with this 90’s beauty resurgence. I’m gonna have to draw the line at that frosted, opalescent eyeshadow, though.


10. Hard Candy Nail Polish: I would be remiss if I left this stuff my list! Now carried at Wal-mart, Hard Candy started off as a somewhat higher-end nail polish line. HC, along with Urban Decay, was one of the first brands that I can recall to offer nontraditional nail polish colors (read: not red, pink, brown, peach, or nude). I particularly loved their opaque pastels, each of which came with a matching plastic ring around the top. So. Cute.


Which 90’s beauty and fashion items/products do you remember most? Let me know in the comments!