Beauty throwback: 90s nostalgia

9 February 2016
By Fashion Quarterly

There are past trends we’d rather file away in the ‘never again’ folder (like over-plucked brows), but we are loving that these beauty looks are making a comeback.

The trend: Berry and brown lips
Revive it for: Summer parties


Apologies to cocktail reds and pastel pinks but, as of right now, the classic hues of the ’90s are knocking them off the shelf. Yep, the burgundies, berries and muddiest of browns are making one killer comeback. The key to pulling off a deep lip as flawlessly as Gigi is picking out the perfect shade. If you have a fairer complexion, you should opt for a pink-based berry lip, like Clinique’s Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Raspberry Pop, $46; this will draw equal attention to your pout as well as your eyes. A confident slick of a blue-based lipstick, like Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturising Lipstik in Ultra Violet, $49, will not only complement medium skin tones but make your smile look whiter. Sleek brown hues, like L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Lipstick in Cristal Cappuccino, $23.99, often suit olive skin tones, adding a soft plumped look to the pout. Pairing a bold berry or brown lip with subtly bronzed features and lightly dusted cheeks will give skin a pop of colour for that perfect summer glow.

TIP: Keep your eye make-up simple when going for a rich, bold lip. A sweep of a nude or natural shimmer should be enough to complete your fun, party look.

The trend: Flat twists and butterfly clips
Revive it for: Beach to barbeque


90s beauty trends
Remember when school discos were a sea of flat twists and butterfly clips? It was seriously the ’do of the decade. Now you can slay similar styles over summer, minus the butterflies. To keep the ’90s vibe, take style cues from Sofia Richie and braid multiple sections of your hair tightly to your head corn-row style, creating a faux undercut look. Secure each braid in place with clear hair elastic and pop in a hair ring, like Sportsgirl Gypsy Hair Rings, $12.95 (for set). For an edgy look, rather than tying off your braid at the bottom of the ear, up your hair game by taking it from root to tip – perfect for dancing.

TIP: Pre-braid, pop a root volumiser in your hair and work it into your locks from the roots to mid-lengths. This’ll give your hair more grip to braid.

The trend: Shimmery shadows
Revive it for: A Sunday session

90s beauty

We aren’t suggesting you reach for the brightest blue eye shadow in the box (here’s looking at you Cameron), but there are a few gorgeous, wearable ways to sport brighter shades, especially during summery nights out. Firstly, don’t blanket coat your lids in one bright shadow, you want it to be a smokey eye but with colour, like Cara’s. Start with the darkest shade, like Maybelline New York Color Tattoo Eye Studio in Fierce & Tangy, $13.99, and sweep it over the lids and along the lash line. Next, work a lighter shade of the same colour into your eyelid and blend it softly up towards the brow. Make sure you don’t extend the shadow too high; you still want to be able to see a little skin under the brow. With an angled brush, gently sweep a colour, like, Revlon Colorstay Shadowlinks in Melon, $12.95, along the bottom lash line and blend it into the outer corner of your eye. Finally, add a sweep of shimmer to the inner corners and outer edges because nothing says ’90s like glitter.

TIP: An eye primer, like NP Set Eye Primer, $19, will help your shadow last the distance, no matter how long you stay out for.

The trend: Body glitter
Revive it for: Summer festivals

90s beauty

The sparkly Spice Girls’ trend is creeping its way into our festival kits in the form of cute, geometric glints of gold and silver temporary tattoos. These flashy tatts do the rounds at festivals everywhere, with celebs like Alessandra Ambrosio as fans. Try Luludk Moon Dance Jewelry Tattoos, $26 (for set). Applying them is as easy as you remember it – cut around the bedazzle tatt and place it over the part of your body you wish to stick it to, wet with a cloth and hold it against your skin for a few minutes. Then, gently peel off the backing sheet to glimpse your ’90s dream. The only catch with wearing these to a festival is that they don’t go well with sunscreen, so it’s best to rock them during those nighttime acts.

TIP: Get the most out of your tattoos for those big three-day festivals by making sure your skin is clean and dirt-free before applying.

Subscribe & Become an FQ VIP

As a Fashion Quarterly subscriber you enjoy exclusive content, giveaways, invitations to VIP events, and more.

Subscribe & Become an FQ VIP

As a Fashion Quarterly subscriber you enjoy exclusive content, giveaways, invitations to VIP events, and more.

Sign up to the FQ newsletter and WIN*

Get the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle news delivered straight to your inbox each week.

*Ts&Cs apply.

Find out more at