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’90s NOSTALGIA: The decade’s defining makeup looks are back!

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Most of us look back at the ’90s through rose-colored glasses, and there’s a good reason why – it was the decade we learned to ride bikes, had our first schoolyard crushes, and feigned coolness with Phantom cigarettes. It was the decade Kerala achieved 100% literacy and the Macarena gyrated its way into every birthday party; a half-blooded boy with a scar on his forehead won over our hearts, and the World Wide Web arrived, changing our lives forever.
For little girls everywhere, it was also the decade of crush-quality teen queens that dominated our dreams and gazed out from their perches on our bedroom walls, lips glazed and kohl smudged for the canons. And here we are, three decades later, to find those painted faces have persevered – Britney Spears, Baby Spice, Courtney Love and Winona Ryder –  dishing beauty blasts from the past, all back en vogue come 2017.
Here are our favorite ’90s looks, courtesy the cooler-than-cool kids who wore them first.
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Generation X’s baddest babes were strictly #SorryNotSorry about how they wore their scowls. Winona Ryder, Courtney Love, Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie made gothic grunge sexy, wearing their rebellion in the form of carelessly dishevelled hair, dark lipstick and smudged kohl. Along the way, the look – first seen in the sweaty basements of underground gigs – was adopted by Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent, reiterated by the Olsen twins, and most recently seen on It Girls like Cara Delevingne. The exact opposite of the fresh, dewy styles all around us, the look is strung out, sloppy and focused on carefully crafted imperfection. Start with a sheer, all-matte base, using a BB cream that allows your skin to peep through a little. Use a kohl pencil in brown, blue or grey under your eyes, smudged out to look smoky and slept-in, and finish with a nude lipstick. If you’re scared to look raccoon-eyed, wear messy boy brows instead, dressed up with a rich, berry-stained pout.
Go back in time with:
Nykaa EyemSMOKY Kajal, Colorbar Smokin` Eyes Smudger Brush, Maybelline New York Color Show Lipstick Wine Divine-410
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The ’90s popstar was all about nubile, innocent glamour, with a vanity kit dominated by pretty pastels, translucent sheaths and all that glitters. Over time, the full-face shimmer sported by Britney Spears and Baby Spice gave way to the matte frenzy. And while we’re glad for it – it’s hard to sport without looking like a light bulb in our weather – there’s still some room for their brand of pop. Rather than go all-out pop princess, add that porcelain-like delicacy to your look by focusing on a single feature. A shimmery, tinted lip gloss works great to add light and lustre to your lips, but if you hate lip gloss, focus on your eyes, instead. Pastel eyeshadows have made a pretty comeback with mint green and millennial pink lids coming down the runways. But if that’s all too much, get your pop princess on quick and easy with some electric blue liner, lots of highlighter and a pink lip stain. Go back in time with: L'Oreal Paris Glam Shine Balmy Gloss - Pinky Cherry, Faces Ultime Pro Eye Shadow Duo - Rose Quartz & Serenity, Makeup Revolution Strobe Highlighter
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The most lowkey of the lot, monochrome or matchy-matchy makeup never really went out of style – it just found more subtle iterations. Sported by the likes of Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford and J LO (who’s still seen rocking it around town in present day), the look was characterized by all-over earthy tones, including distinctive brown lipstick, matched with brown eyeshadow and peachy gloss. Kylie J seems to have brought back brown lipstick with her lip kit, but the overall look has received an upgrade, moving from browns to soft pinks and peaches pulled from the same palette, translucent textures and highlights for a more natural glow. Too much matte makes you a dull girl, so add depth and dimension with highlighter, and use a dual-toned or metallic eyeshadow. When using earthy tones, it’s also important to blend well (use a brush or sponge) so you don’t end up looking muddy. Go back in time with: Maybelline New York The Blushed Nudes Palette, Nykaa So Matte Lipstick - Royal Honey 22M, IsaDora Perfect Blush
SPOT IT. SHOP IT.
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