Best 90s Makeup Looks You Actually Want To Recreate In 2024

Even today, the 90s have a huge influence on fashion and makeup trends — for a good reason.

As soon as you watch music videos or movies from the 90s, you’re quickly captivated by the vibe and want to recreate the look immediately.

That’s exactly what this article will help you do. I’ve selected the perfect 90s makeup looks and will explain exactly how you can achieve them.

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90s Makeup Looks

The 90s makeup era balanced minimalist chic with grunge influences, creating iconic styles that remain influential today.

These are the most important aspects:

  1. Matte Complexion: Matte foundation or powder for a smooth, shine-free finish.
  2. Neutral Eyeshadows: Muted shades like taupe, beige, and soft browns for a subtle eye look.
  3. Grunge Eyeliner: Smudged or smoked-out eyeliner in dark hues like brown or charcoal.
  4. Thin Brows: Thin, arched eyebrows often with minimal shaping or filling.
  5. Brown Lipstick: Darker, earthy tones of lipstick such as brown or mauve.
  6. Minimal Mascara: Light application of mascara for a natural lash look.
  7. Contoured Cheeks: Soft contouring to define cheekbones without harsh lines.
  8. Shimmer Highlights: Subtle use of shimmer or highlighter to add a touch of glow.

Characteristics of 90s Makeup

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Matte brown and burgundy lips reigned supreme, with lip liner often darker than the lipstick. Pastel-colored eyeshadows, such as pastel-blue were also popular.

Let’s break down some defining traits of 90s makeup:

  • Lips: Matte dark lipsticks and deep purples
  • Eyes: Pastel or blue eyeshadows
  • Brows: Thin and over-plucked
  • Face: Simple, matte foundation

These bold and iconic looks also paved the way for unique combinations of colors and textures.

 Britney Spears aesthetic
by Pinterest

Influential celebrities and supermodels rocked these makeup looks in the 90s, leading the trends and inspiring everyone to follow.

Here are a few icon names and their trademark 90s makeup styles:

  1. Christina Aguilera: Frosted blue eyeshadow
  2. Britney Spears: Smoky eye and nude lip
  3. Destiny’s Child: Bold eyeshadows and lipsticks

With the resurgence of 90s trends in recent years, many of these makeup looks are getting modern upgrades, like using metallic or shimmer finishes, and are more wearable than ever, as mentioned by InStyle.

20 Iconic 90s Makeup Looks

The 90s was an era of nostalgia and some really memorable makeup looks. Here are 20 iconic 90s makeup looks that you can appreciate and even recreate:

Brown lipstick: Shades of brown were hugely popular, giving a subtly bold look. Pair this with a frosted eyeshadow to complete the 90s vibe.

 brown lipstick aesthetic
by Pinterest

Frosted eyeshadow: Shimmery and icy, frosted eyeshadows were a staple in the 90s. They were often paired with brown lipstick or smoky lids.

 Frosted eyeshadow aesthetic
by Pinterest

Smoky eyes: A sultry and versatile trend that continues today, Christina Aguilera’s smoky lids were a 90s favorite.

 Smoky eyes
by Pinterest

Thin eyebrows: Pencil-thin eyebrows defined the 90s, with celebrities like Drew Barrymore making it a must-try look.

 thin eyebrows aesthetic
by Pinterest

Crimped hair: While not strictly makeup, crimped hair was a popular accessory that complemented the bold makeup of the time.

 Crimped hair
by Pinterest

Blue eyeshadow: Pastel-blue eyeshadow paired with burgundy lips was a classic 90s look, sported by celebrities and makeup enthusiasts alike.

 Blue eyeshadow 90s
by Pinterest

Body glitter: All things sparkly were in, and body glitter added a touch of shimmer to the skin and hair.

 Body glitter
by Pinterest

Dark lip liner: Darker lip liner with a lighter shade of lipstick was a go-to look, especially with nude and brown shades.

 dark lip liner and gloss 90s
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Candy-colored makeup: From cotton candy pink to powder blue, colorful makeup was a fun way to show off your playful side.

 Candy-colored makeup
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Matte makeup: As makeup artist Omayma Ramzy mentions, matte makeup, particularly matte lipstick, was a hallmark of the 90s.

 Matte makeup
by Pinterest

Grunge look: Smudged eyeliner and bold red lips were key to achieving the grunge look, embraced by bands like Nirvana and Hole.

 grunge look 90s
by Pinterest

Babydoll: A contrast to the grunge look, this featured youthful pastel shades and rosy cheeks.

 Babydoll makeup 90s
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Vampy: Dark, dramatic lips and smoky eyes were key for this sultry look, reminiscent of the goth subculture.

 Vampy makeup 90s
by Pinterest

No makeup makeup: Minimalists also had their moment with the “no makeup makeup” trend, focusing on a natural and fresh-faced appearance.

 No makeup makeup aesthetic
by Pinterest

Butterfly clips: Hair played a big part in the 90s and butterfly clips were often used to spruce up makeup looks.

 Butterfly clips makeup 90s
by Pinterest

Glossy lips: Accompanying the matte trend, glossy lips were also popular, adding a touch of shine and freshness.

 Glossy lips
by Pinterest

Waterline eyeliner: Lining the waterline with a dark pencil was common practice, adding drama to the eyes.

 Waterline eyeliner
by Pinterest

Full-coverage foundation: A flawless base was essential, and a full-coverage foundation took center stage.

 Full-coverage foundation 90s
by Pinterest

Blush draping: Sculpting the cheekbones with blush, rather than bronzer, was another standout technique of the 90s.

 blush makeup
by Pinterest

Neon accents: Pops of neon color were added to eyes, lips, and nails to make a statement.

 neon accents makeup
by Pinterest

So there you have it! Incorporate these iconic 90s makeup looks into your routine and unleash your inner 90s diva!

How To Recreate the 90s Makeup Look

With a few simple tricks, you can bring some of the best 90s makeup looks to life again! Follow these steps and enjoy your fun trip down memory lane.

1. Bold brows: A major 90s makeup trend was thick, bold eyebrows. Put down your tweezers, and let your brows grow naturally.

Fill them in using an eyebrow pencil that matches your natural brow color. Keep them defined and bold, and channel your inner Brooke Shields.

2. Brown lips: Remember the iconic brown lipstick and lip liner duo? You can rock it too! Choose a brown lipstick in a shade that flatters your skin tone.

Line your lips with a slightly darker brown lip liner, and fill with the lipstick. Be careful not to overdo the lip liner, keeping it within the natural shape of your lips.

3. Grunge eyeliner: Want an edgy look? 90s grunge eyeliner is the way to go! Use a black eyeliner pencil to line both your upper and lower lash lines.

Don’t worry about being precise, as this grunge look encourages a bit of messiness. Smudge your liner with a cotton swab or your finger to give it that grunge effect.

4. Pastel eyeshadow: Pastel blue eyeshadow is another 90s staple. Apply a light pastel blue on your eyelids, building up the color as desired.

Use a fluffy brush to blend the edges for a soft, diffused look that’ll take you back in time.

5. Mascara and mascara alone: The 90s loved voluminous lashes but without the falsies! Use a volumizing mascara and coat your upper and lower lashes. Skip the eyelash curler to be true to the 90s!

Remember to keep it light and friendly, just like the era it belongs to. Have fun experimenting with these 90s makeup looks, and rock that retro vibe!


How do you get the 90s makeup look?

To achieve a 90s makeup look, apply matte foundation for a smooth base. Use neutral eyeshadows like taupe or brown, apply smudged eyeliner, shape thin, arched eyebrows, wear matte lipstick in brown or mauve, finish with light mascara and subtle blush for a minimalist yet edgy appearance.

Who influenced 90s makeup?

90s makeup was influenced by various sources, including supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss, as well as pop icons such as Madonna and the grunge movement led by bands like Nirvana.

How does the 90s dress up?

In the 90s, dressing up typically involved casual and grunge-inspired fashion for everyday wear, often characterized by oversized flannel shirts, ripped jeans, combat boots, and band t-shirts.

What factors influenced 90s fashion?

90s fashion was influenced by grunge and hip-hop music, icons like Cindy Crawford and Madonna, TV shows like “Friends,” global influences, and textile innovations, creating a dynamic and eclectic style era.

If you liked this blog article about the topic: “90s Makeup Looks”, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience.

Luk Endres
Luk Endres

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