Don’t get me wrong. Experimenting with makeup and beauty trends is incredible fun, but there were without a doubt some beauty fads we all followed in our awkward years that were just not flattering in the slightest. It’s okay, though. We were young and just copying what we saw celebrities wearing, right?
Well, it has been at least a decade, so you are forgiven for those questionable style choices. But, now that we’re older and wiser, we should be able to look back at those cringe-worthy beauty moments with nostalgia, some laughs, and maybe just a tear or two.
Suppose you were amongst the 5% of your class that remained tweezer-free through junior high, lucky you. For the rest of us over plucked and even shaved brows seemed to be the only way to mimic a celebrity’s look without a trip to Sephora in 2006. And boy, what a look? The worst part is that even once we all realized our natural brows were pretty great, we had to wait patiently for years to see them again. I mean, not only would these almost invisible brows completely change what your face looked like, but it took away all depth and dimension.
Since our brows were making our faces lack depth, that was what the heavy black eyeliner was for. And this was our natural school makeup look too. Pretty much no makeup, but heavy-duty black eyeliner. What this did was pull your eyes down, causing them to look droopy, tired, and closed off. Whether you went towards the emo vibe or not, this was most likely a staple in your small makeup collection at the time.
And then there was scrunched hair and straight bangs. This was all the rage during prime Myspace days. If you didn’t have a profile picture with scrunched hair, straight side bangs, and either a peace sign or duck face, were you even on Myspace?
The ever-popular orange fake tan… This started with digging into your powder bronzer and covering your entire face with it. Then it led to slathering your whole body (including your palms and face) with Jergens self-tanner, and boy, did that stuff smell rank or what? Waking up with orangey-brown blotches of residue on your PB Teen sheets seemed like an every weekend occurrence. Not to mention the streaking, the spots you missed, and the stains you left on your mom’s nice bath towels. Thankfully, fake tanner has improved in both tone and scent in recent years, but that does not mean we have forgotten about the good old Oompa Loompa days.
Visibly dark lip liner is probably the least embarrassing look on this list. It is something you could pull off nowadays, just with quite a bit more blending. But with that, it was still not a great look. It did give you endless lip color combinations, but was it worth it? Nope. If you want dimension on the lips, stick with a subtle ombre effect.
Nude matte lips may still be a go-to, but concealer lips? Not so much. And wearing concealer on your lips or a skin tone shade of lipstick was considered more than a trend. It was pretty darn common. Not to say that a nude lip is bad. It is super flattering in many cases. Yet, back in the day, not only did it exaggerate all dryness in your lips, but just like a red lip, different tones of nude suit different people. And when your lip color is identical to your skin tone, you can come off looking washed out.
And then there were the intense chunky highlights that everyone begged their mom to get them at the end of summer vacation. We all thought we could get away with telling our friends that the sun naturally bleached our hair in humongous bits like this while we were at the beach.
So you may want to go and hide under your covers until you burn all your old photos, but we should be proud that we owned those ridiculous looks, and to be honest, we rocked them. We had confidence and should look back at those moments as style and beauty education. If it weren’t for those somewhat questionable years, we would not have come as far as we have. Cheers to your tween self, and thank her for all that eyeliner, bronzer, and her other bold beauty choices because she helped you become the woman you are today.