90s Makeup Trends That Are Making A Comeback – We’re Here For It!

90s nostalgia is in full swing, and nowhere is that more apparent than in fashion and beauty. Whether you’re looking for a breezy, natural look or all-out bad girl glam, here are the 90s makeup trends making a comeback that you can add to your beauty routine.

The brick lip

Somewhere between a deep red and a warm brown, brick lipstick was as ubiquitous on the 90s red carpet as slip dresses and Julia Roberts. Stars such as Drew Barrymore and Beyoncé made it a staple, leaving you to wonder why it’s taken so long for it to make a comeback. With variations from terracotta to dark cherry to caramel,  there is a shade of brick to suit every skin tone. It might sound daring, but it’s actually a surprisingly flattering look.


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Skinny brows

This is one of those classic 90s makeup trends that was desperate for a comeback. Thanks to the likes of Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins, maximalist eyebrows have been so dominant in the past decade that it was starting to feel like one of the few fixtures in the beauty industry that was not subject to seasonal trends. All that is changing, however, thanks to the current rampage of 90s nostalgia. The pencil brow —eyebrows so thin they could cut you — is back. So if you’re brave enough to follow along, it’s time to whip out your tweezers (maybe even a razor) and your finest-tipped pencil and get to work.


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Lip gloss

Any kid who grew up in the 90s remembers the lip gloss craze. Every cool girl had at least three options in her backpack at any given time (or “flavors,” as they were often categorized then) and it was as prevalent on the red carpet as it was in the bathroom cabinets of tweens. As with every retro trend, lip gloss has had a makeover. With less sticky formulas and even glossier finishes, this beauty staple feels as sophisticated as it does nostalgic. Of all the 90s makeup trends on this list, it’s hard to believe this ever went out of style.


The bedazzled look was a big thing in the 90s. Gwen Stefani’s iconic blue hair and face jewel combo at the 1998 VMAs took the glittery trend to new heights and cemented it in the 90s fashion playbook. With the Instagram generation taking makeup artistry to the extreme, facial jewelry has become all the rage again.


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Matte skin

Dewy skin may have been a dominant craze over the last few years, but the 90s matte look is on the rise. Perhaps a backlash to the dewy look which was becoming shinier by the month, the matte look is not powdery as the name might suggest, but simply fresh-faced and natural-looking. It suggests that the bearer has simply rolled out of bed, splashed some water on their face, and bounced out the door.


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Spider lashes

Chances are, one of the first rules you learned about makeup went something like, “Whatever you do, do not let your mascara get clumpy.” Thick mascara that makes your eyelashes stick together and form clumps has, for quite a while, been any makeup wearer’s worst nightmare. But it might be time to rethink those fears. Love it or hate it, spider lashes are back in style, with A-listers like Kim Kardashian jumping into the fray. If you want to go for the full look, do top and bottom lashes.


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Everyone’s seen photos of a young Kate Moss, bare-faced and impossibly ethereal. While this may not be the most achievable aesthetic for us mere mortals who were not blessed with porcelain skin, it has nevertheless returned as one of beauty’s hottest 90s throwback trends. “No-makeup makeup” is about as difficult to pull off as its paradoxical name suggests, but if you want to try it without all the effort, you could always just, you know, not wear makeup and see how it goes.

Metallic everything

There’s something warrior-like about the metallic trend. Whether it’s silvery eyeshadow or chrome-tinged lipstick, the look is ferocious, playful, and elegant all at the same time. It could even be argued that the obsession with over-the-top highlighter has always been just a modern take on the classic metallic look. Whether you go for an all-over shimmer or simply opt for small pops of silver in the inner eye or the lips, you’ll be nailing this 90s trend.


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Blue eyeshadow

Another 90s throwback fad that might not be everyone’s cup of tea is blue eyeshadow. Yes, some of us may cringe when we see old photos of every female star from the era rocking this look, but one glance at a red carpet these days will show you that it is well and truly back. And to be honest, it’s not as bad as it used to be. If New York Fashion Week is anything to go by, blue eyeshadow has had a much-needed glow-up, and it’s actually kind of gorgeous.


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Visible lip liner

Few 90s trends are as widespread as the current obsession with visible lip liner. A former staple of OG supermodel glam and favored by the likes of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, it is undergoing a major resurgence. Now a darling of TikTok, it’s one of the most easily achievable and versatile looks to come back from the 90s. Whether you’re going for a low-contrast option or a bolder ombré look, you can tailor it to suit your unique style.


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The charcoal smokey eye

One of the strongest holdouts from the grunge era is the smokey eye. Now linked to the modern bombshell look, it’s seen on the most glamorous red carpets without fail, from Cannes to the Met Gala. For those of us who are not professional makeup artists, it can be difficult and time-consuming to master, but with a little practice and the right products, you, too, could be strutting down a carpet looking like Hollywood royalty.


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Frosted lips

No list of 90s makeup trends is complete without the frosted lip. To know 90s pop culture is to conjure images of stars such as Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice at the time) and Pamela Anderson rocking this look, and now it’s back. Achieved through layers of icy lipstick or gloss, it’s not the hardest look to achieve, but it is one of the riskier options given its association with less-timeless 90s trends such as chunky highlights and animal print.


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Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.