A couple of years ago, the 2000s’ clothes we’ve come to re-adapt and tremendously re-popularize would irk fashion-philes. Low-rise bottoms? Pass. Uggs? Probably not. Velour zip-up hoodies revealing cropped tees stamped with tacky graphics? Reserved for the “off days”. Yet there’s no doubt that Y2K’s aesthetic has had an influential ripple affect in recent years. Posted on social media, worn by celebrities, and making its way into luxury houses, anyone could picture today’s iteration of a Y2K outfit without even glancing at one. But what does the era’s sartorial reclamation say about its beauty fads and is the world ready to embrace it for a second time?
Chances are a strong yes. The reoccurrence of the era’s makeup and hair trends have come as naturally as its fashion predecessor. Back then, beauty was experimental and was bold in its “more is less” philosophy. What other time than quarantine that to master that practice. Eyelids were coated with frosted metallics, pastel hues, and blatant white, and accented with rhinestones; lips were either sheened with layers of gloss, overly lined, or both when it came to two-toned looks; eyebrows were ultra-arched and plucked thin; pink blush and bronzer piled on – though, the look wasn’t complete without a heaping dose of body glitter. It was different from the photo-ready formula and the “no makeup” natural look that would emerge and thrive in the 2010s.
Hair was also playful and bohemian as celebrities played with texture, color, and accessories. When it wasn’t crimped, braided in sections, or micro braided it was tossed in a laissez-faire side ponytail, middle-parted, or plastered with side swept bangs. If styles didn’t take on another form of their own (à la spiked spaced buns) or weren’t painted with chunky highlights they were accessorized with kitschy clips.
Y2K beauty has gained traction on TikTok, the app that was presumably one of the catalysts for the subculture’s reoccurrence. Many of the videos show users transforming into glittered and glossed personas while Britney Spears’ “Oops!… I Did It Again” (the 2000’s anthem) plays in the background.
Beyond TikTok’s borders, celebrities like Megan, Lizzo, SZA, and Dua have picked up on the Y2K cues, bringing it back to its pop culture roots. Even Gwen Stefani, the singer who brought us the iconic 2000s anthem “Hollaback Girl” in 2004 (which also turned the spelling of “bananas” into a lesson kept for a life time), wore a nostalgia heavy makeup look not too long ago.
On the runway, beauty looks have also reminisced over the fun of it all. For Spring 2020 houses including House of Holland, Balmain, and Christian Siriano tapped into pastel eye looks while Dior walked the opposite direction with thick eyeliner.
While it’s been over two decades since the Y2K lifestyle first made its mark, products to replicate its beauty looks are becoming readily available as the trend continues to hold a grasp on Gen Z. Remember the quirky tween Disney show, Lizzie McGuire? Colourpop made a collection dedicated to the eponymous character’s looks (both the snappy cartoon and the in-real-life version played by Hilary Duff). Morphe’s collaboration with Lisa Frank rekindled the psychedelic, dreamy fantasy present in our childhoods and added funky pastel shades perfect for the Y2K aesthetic with it. Even beauty conglomerate Lancôme has answered the call, releasing a retro Lip Smackers set and bringing back their Juicy Tubes.
Want to transform into a 2000s pop star, relish in your childhood, or simply hop on the Y2K trend? Browse through the products below to replicate your Y2K vision.
FOR THE FACE
FOR THE EYES
FOR THE LIPS
By Terry Shine Expert Lipstick in “orchard cream”
FOR THE HAIR
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