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The Beauty Routine Every '90s Cool Girl Followed

Peter Engel Productions

Not to sound like a crotchety old woman, but back in my day I had to decipher confusing diagrams in Seventeen magazine to figure out a Grade A makeup look. I even put on eye makeup with the sponge tip applicators that came with the compacts — none of this fancy brush business. Yes, long before the days of YouTube beauty gurus and #instamakeup tags, young women had few options for mastering their own beauty routines. This was information passed down from family members, culled from friends, and carefully studied in magazines. And from these closely guarded sources, the beauty routine of every ‘90s cool girl was born. These whippersnappers with Internet shopping and a Sephora on every corner should feel lucky; I had to walk uphill in the snow to get the weekly supply of body glitter.

Drawing inspiration from music videos and movies, ‘90s girls had a bunch of beauty looks to choose from. Fresh-faced Britney Spears, funky Gwen Stefani, and all of the Spice Girls could be held up as beauty icons. And whether you went for a darker, more edgy street style or a softer (and inevitably frosted) look, you could be anything you wanted. As long as you wanted to be doused in glitter. These were the steps required to create those fly looks.

1. Apply Foundation

Maria Morri / Flickr

Did contouring exist in the '90s? Not for most girls, but lots and lots of foundation certainly did.

2. Lather On The Lip Smackers

John Brawley / Flickr

Whether you went for the lovely shades of brown that dominated lipstick trends or the classic hit of Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers, lip products were a necessity. And chances are you finished off this look with a healthy dose of Naturistics roll-on lip gloss.

3. Brush On Blue Eye Shadow

Courtney Rhodes / Flickr

It could have been light sky blue or a deep navy, but it was definitely blue. And most likely sparkly, too.

4. Swipe On The Mascara

fotografierenderpunk / Flickr

Whether you opted for basic black or a more edgy blue shade, mascara topped off that frosty eye look. Bonus points if your mascara had sparkles in it, too.

5. Coat Yourself In Body Glitter

Britney M / Flickr

You put it on your face, shoulders, arms, legs, and any other swath of skin. Because you had to look rave-ready at all times, even when you were just going to school.

6. Polish Those Nails

mbtrama / Flickr

Chances are your manicure was a dark metallic hue or some shade of blue. And do you have to even ask if there was glitter involved?  

7. Butterfly Clip Back Your Hair

Amazon

You basically needed an entire swarm of butterflies attached to your head at all times. And there's also a high possibility you scrunched gel into your hair for that "wet" look.

8. Massage On The Lotion

m01229 / Flickr

Bath & Body Works' Cucumber Melon was a necessity, although any of their other scents were well-regarded too. Plumeria and Juniper Breeze are classics.

9. Spritz On A Fresh Scent

Gonna Fly Now / Flickr

Maybe you had the Bottled Emotion set from Bonne Bell. Serious cool girls rocked CK One, the most '90s scent of all.