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The Beauty of the 90’s

BlogBeauty Tips, Fashion Trends | November 1, 2013

The 90’s are back.

Looks from the decade that brought us both grunge and Orlando teen pop were all over the Spring 2014 fashion shows. Designers like Alexander Wang and Rodarte were sending models down the runway dressed in flannel, crop-tops, overalls, and logos.

This could all go horribly wrong.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy a little nostalgia. The fashions of the disco-era 1970s and the glittery excess of the 1980s leave me inspired and excited. The ‘90s, however, seems to be when everything fell a little flat.

Of course, we can’t write off an entire decade. So here are “The Good”, “The Workable”, and “ The NEVER AGAIN” of ‘90s beauty fashion trends

The Good

Image from Kevyn Aucoin's second book

Dark Berry Lips
(courtesy of

Looks by Kevyn Aucoin- Kevyn Aucoin was a gifted make-up artists who defined the best of the 90’s look and changed the way we look at make-up “ rules” forever. He used nude colors with matte textures to bend facial features to his will.  He was even able to make Martha Stewart look like ‘40s screen idol Veronica Lake.  Although we lost him in 2002, the looks he created will be inspiring generations to come.

The Lip – A dark berry lip, and little else, was the look in the early ‘90s. It was as simple as a floral baby-doll dress, but it was easy, polished and edgy.

Organic Looks– I will admit, after a decade of teasing my hair into submission, being able to wash and go was actually refreshing. With the aid of talented stylists, natural, healthy hair textures were everywhere. Of course, ten minutes after we got our hair shiny and strong, we started flat ironing!

The Workable

Clip-In Butterfly
(courtesy of

Matte Foundation – Foundation in the ‘90s weren’t always pretty. They covered a multitude of sins, but they were harsh and mask-like. Luckily the new generation of matte foundations is also luminous. Our skin has been “dewy” for so long, I think a modernized texture change is due!

Clip-in Butterflies– Rave culture brought us a lot of unfortunate looks, but it also brought some much-needed whimsy to the decade of Nirvana. While a head full of multi-colored butterflies isn’t going to be back in style any time soon, incorporating a few clips into a loose up-do would look fresh and modern.



The "Rachael" haircut
(courtesy of Getty Images)

The Comma Eyebrow – While a thin, or even bleached, brow can be a magnificent change, an eyebrow shaped to make you look both confused and surprised is just wrong.

Matte Brown Lipstick– To make sure we knew the neon ‘80s were over, the fashion world threw a lot of sludgy colors our way. Nothing was less flattering than the matte brown lip. This color immediately drained all life from the face. I would even venture to say this trend was worse than the dark lip liner with the light lip. At least that trend didn’t make one look like a well-preserved zombie.

The Rachel – This haircut was created by celebrity stylist, Chris McMillan, while he was… altered.  Despite its popularity, even Jennifer Anniston hated it.  Why don’t we leave this one behind?

Although retro looks are fun, we need to keep moving forward.

How will you incorporate the trends of the ‘90s into innovative new looks?

Megan Murray

Written by Megan Murray

Megan Murray is an Empire home office employee with a passion for make-up and pop-culture. She has been a contributor to various health and beauty blogs. At any given time, Megan owns at least 12 different shades of green eye shadow.

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