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The 5 Hottest Y2K Makeup Trends and How to Get Them

By Gabriella Buckner - 1 year ago | Updated
Y2k cover image

Those of us who lived through the early 2000s have long regarded it as a blight on the world of fashion, but the reign of TikTok and Gen Z’s nostalgia for days of yore has brought this era’s looks back in full force.

And while there’s certain things that some of us at Cosmetify will never try (you can’t take our high-waisted jeans away from us!), there are plenty of Y2K eye, lip and brow trends that are (sometimes surprisingly) totally wearable in our day and age.

Whether you wear them subtly with a modern twist or flaunt them in full force, here are five of the hottest Y2K makeup trends to try in 2022.

Frosted eyes and lips

Metallic and shimmer shades have maintained their place in eyeshadow palettes for a while, but it’s particularly pastel, frosty colours that are making a comeback now—for eyes and lips. An old favourite of ‘90s and early 2000s stars like Christina Aguilera, you can now see these shades on newer celebrities such as Dua Lipa, on shows like Euphoria and of course, all over the general public social media.

Choose either your lips or your eyes to make the star of the show, or opt for eyeshadow and a gloss or lipstick to really commit to this look. We recommend using a primer and lightly press your shadows in to keep the glitter payoff strong for eyeshadows. Just remember to keep it frosty with pale blues, purples or silvers!

Get the look:

Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Diamond Dust

Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow

Stila Shimmer & Glow Eyeshadow Freedom

Stila Shimmer & Glow Eyeshadow

Morphe Avani Gregg Lil Beb Mini Lip Gloss Kit

Morphe Avani Gregg Lil Beb Mini Lip Gloss Kit

dark lip liner

Most often seen in shades of brown with a gloss on top, this trend was a makeup staple of Latin and Black communities in the 80s and 90s long before it rose to popularity in the 2000s and then again today. Hailey Bieber may have spread the term ‘brownie glazed lips’ to a larger audience and made a lot of people go crazy for it, but it’s important to remember the roots of this trend, and many others, when enjoying them for yourself.

While the beauty lovers at Cosmetify adore this look, we’re also conscious that it stemmed from people with darker skin tones not having products to match their skin and resorting to eyeliners to line their lips. Luckily, makeup is much more diverse now, and so let’s also do the work to honour where this trend came from and wear it respectfully!

Get the look:

Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lip Definer Pure

Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lip Definer

Jane Iredale Pencil Lip Definer Cocoa

Jane Iredale Pencil Lip Definer

£13.95 £14.00 (1% off)
L.A. Girl Gloss Topper Clearly Clear

L.A. Girl Gloss Topper

glossy lip

If you’re still not sure about adopting a Y2K trend, there’s really no way you can say no to a glossy lip!

The perfect accessory to barely-there makeup or an additional pop of shine on top of more dramatic lip colours, gloss has come back into the spotlight after years of matte liquid lipsticks. Most formulas have evolved from the early 2000s too, trading in stickiness for nourishing formulas in a wide range of colours.

Whether you’re a low maintenance makeup gal that needs something to elevate your look that you can swipe on without a mirror or you’re a makeup fanatic salivating over lip gloss looks on Pinterest and TikTok, this is the perfect addition to your cosmetic bag.

Get the look:

Jane Iredale HydroPure Hyaluronic Lip Gloss Berry

Jane Iredale HydroPure Hyaluronic Lip Gloss

ZOEVA Melody Lip Gloss Become A Butterfly

ZOEVA Melody Lip Gloss

£11.91 £13.23 (10% off)
Colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35 Champagne

Colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35

Messy eyeliner

Graphic eyeliner and sleek wings might still be in, especially with all the Euphoria inspiration still running hot in our veins, but a trend on the opposite end of the spectrum from such precise lines is messy, smoked out eyeliner.

Think of early 2000s grunge and famous faces like Avril Lavigne and Janis Ian from Mean Girls—makeup that looks like you might have been partying all night or fallen asleep with it on.

For this look, we recommend using a thick pencil liner, kohl liner or smudge pot to get that really lived-in look (because you shouldn’t actually be sleeping in your makeup), and remember to line your waterline too.

Check out more of our favourite kohl eyeliners in our round-up here.

Get the look:

Sweed Lashes Satin Kohl Eyeliner Black

Sweed Lashes Satin Kohl Eyeliner

£16.14 £20.31 (21% off)
Stila Smudge Pot Black

Stila Smudge Pot

Scott Barnes Eye Blender Brush #62

Scott Barnes Eye Blender Brush

£18.58 £19.00 (3% off)
skinny brows

When skinny brows started coming back in fashion, we were aghast. I mean, didn’t we all spend years trying to coax our over-plucked hairs into regrowing? What were all those serums and pomades and hours of watching people do Instagram brows on YouTube for??

Well, fashion is cyclical, so there’s really no point in shouting at the heavens—plus, at least this time the skinny brows are a lot more natural.

Slightly more on the 90s side of things than Y2K, people are using this trend to accentuate the natural arch of their brows this time around, rather than the teeny tiny lines we saw on the likes of Gwen Stefani and Drew Barrymore back in the day. You’ll still want to fill them in for definition, but the width of the brow is much smaller than what we all craved during the era of Cara Delevigne’s and Lily Collins’ brows. And if you don’t want to remove any hair but still want to try this out, you can use a gel or wax to brush your hairs towards the centre of your brow to thin down the shape.

Get the look:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel Ash Brown

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel

£11.99 £20.00 (41% off)
ZOEVA Remarkable Clear Brow Gel 3.8ml

ZOEVA Remarkable Clear Brow Gel

ICONIC London Liquid Brow Silk Max Hold

ICONIC London Liquid Brow Silk Max Hold

SOSU by SJ Lash & Brow Tweezers

SOSU by SJ Lash & Brow Tweezers

£6.86 £7.00 (2% off)

Looking for more trends to try out this year? We've also rounded up some hot looks for this autumn and TikTok-approved makeup and skincare you'll want to add to cart ASAP.

Gabriella is a junior content writer with a background in creative writing, content marketing and journalism. She’s passionate about all things makeup and skincare, but especially vegan and cruelty-free beauty that is effective and inexpensive.

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