In the late 1990s, the only thing more exciting than the release of a new Disney Channel Original Movie was the "look" I'd curate to watch the premiere. If you left the house without first adorning your entire face cheeks with a decent amount of roll-on glitter, you were doing it wrong. Beauty in the '90s was defined by fruity scents and blunt bangs, and then we got into the '00s, when hot hair tools and an over-application of bronzer were must-haves in your beauty arsenal.
Yes, there were some mistakes made, but there are also some golden nuggets to be mined out of the time when TGIF meant Cory Matthews would grace our televisions.
Now, maybe you can't sport 19 butterfly clips at the office, but there are some great hair hacks we can still apply to in our adult lives. French braids, fishtail braids and half ponytails are made 97 percent more awesome with a Topsy Tail. It's like the '90s knew we'd need a solution for when our blowouts reached their maximum expiration dates.
With the advent of dry shampoo and an acceptance of the "messy hair" look, you can spritz and twist, top it off with a sleek blazer and rock that tousled braid to your 9 am meeting. Once happy hour hits, you can let down your now awesomely textured hair, and you can throw in a few more waves with a curling wand (the matured iteration of crimping).
If you're picturing the final look as something similar to Hilary Duff in the "Lizzie McGuire" opening credits, then you are definitely on the right path. H. Duff is definitely one of the guiding lights of 2000s beauty hairdos.
When it comes to other hair trends, headbands were king. They also dug into the sides of your head as though they were trying to get you to give up information. Less painful variations of head ornamentation now exist, and a pretty beaded (or gem-filled) stretchy headband can add a little fun and whimsy to any look.
Now that we have our hair taken care of, what can the age of Tamagotchi and Furby teach us about cosmetics? One thing is for sure: You won't have to worry about a dull, dry smile. Lipgloss was plentiful, and it was available in every flavor imaginable, including root beer, orange soda and PB&J.
The necklaces filled with Lip Smackers could easily be mistaken as contents from the school vending machine, but they were the height of fashion. Today, you can still be nostalgic as you swipe some Dr. Pepper-scented chapstick across your smile.
If you want to get fancy with it, you can throwback to the Macy's makeup counter, where you sampled every MAC lipgloss and Lancôme Juicy Tube you could get your hands on. Those classics are still alive, but they've been updated with shades that don't include "vanilla glaze." A pretty pink sheen is just the touch needed right before you meet up with the Jonathan Taylor Thomas look-alike you chatted with on Dream Phone (OK, Tinder).
With your glossy smile, you just need to add a little color to the rest of your face. Turning your head into a disco ball by rolling an entire tube of glitter gel over your face is probably not the look you want to go for anymore. The same goes for emptying a full compact of bronzer on your cheeks. But, a little shimmer never hurt anyone.
Thanks to YouTube beauty gurus, you can attempt to contour your face. But if you're anything like me, you can watch it 15 times and still come out looking like a Picasso painting. That's when we can go '00s and give ourselves that popular sun-kissed look. A touch of bronzer and a shimmery highlight on your cheekbones is a definite upgrade from the heavy powder applications of 2005.
Eyes are the last stop on the face. Once again, a heavy application of every makeup was the hallmark of '00s beauty. A smoky eye is still totally doable, though. Now that we've grown up and stopped wearing men's ties around our waists as belts, we can perfect the subtle shading of this look.
Scrounge up your blackest pencil, and take it to your upper lid. Toss a little flick up at the end of your eye, and then put the pencil down. Do not even touch your lower eyelid. Now you've mastered the art of not making your eyes disappear.
Your makeup and hair are on point, but like any '90s child, you know your look isn't complete without some sweet bling. Claire's may no longer be a regular stop on your weekly mall trips, but maybe it's time to change that. I mean, where else are you going to find a 72-pack of stud earrings for $7?
But, you're older and wiser now, so you'll choose the "sensitive solutions" pack. That way, your ears won't turn the same shade as those adorable frog earrings you scored in middle school. You'll also know how to stand your ground when they try to sell you the little trinket at the counter that can hold like one mood ring "for just $1.99!"
All you need now is to top off your look with a tattoo choker necklace. I know Coachella is over, but the '90s are back in a big way. The most important decision to make when you wear this final piece is to choose an event or activity that will last three hours or less. Even though it's 2016, those babies will still choke you out if you wear them one second longer than that.
Our 12-year-old selves had some great ideas back then. Most of them needed a little polishing, but the cool factor was definitely there. In a time when trends come, go and come back again, the '90s and '00s are definitely home to classics that will always be fitting in one way or another. (Seriously, they're totes kewl.)
This article was originally published on the author's personal blog.