What to Take from the 90s

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's impossible to sum up an entire decade's worth of fashion and beauty into a few simple observations, but the 90s had a few pretty consistent trends, on its glamorous side, that I think can be easily integrated into your current look. (Pictured above: Helena Christensen & Vanessa Paradis).

Makeup: Makeup consisted mostly of "my lips but better" lip colors (just a bit darker than the natural color of one's lips), somewhat pale foundation compared to one's natural skin tone, dramatic brows -- sometimes thin and highly arched & sometimes left very thick, like Brooke Shields', and pop of colored eyeshadow or a smudge of pencil liner all around for a smokey eye. Even the most beautiful women in the world weren't afraid to don some makeup. They embraced the power that it had to emphasize their womanly features.

In trying to emulate this myself... Starting with foundation, I try to go one shade lighter than what looks good applied on your hand as a test. A little bit lighter makes your face look brighter, and pairs well with the subtle application of bronzer. I've personally stopped wearing liquid eyeliner lately, and instead smudge a tiny bit of light brown eyeliner all around for a very subdued smokey look. I then try to emphasize my eyebrows and lips more, with some L'Oreal blonde eyebrow pencil and tinted Chapstick or rosy liner.

Stephanie Seymour                                                     Brooke Shields

Hair: The best hair of the 90s was usually refined and sleek (like in the "makeup" photos up top), but oftentimes still big (like directly above). I tend to think of a simple, but elegant & dramatic blowout of thick hair. Short hair was also in. Bobs and pixie cuts were donned by the likes of Kate Moss and Winona Ryder at certain points. Nonetheless, hair was always relatively simple, meant mostly as a means to frame a tastefully made up face.

This is fairly easy to achieve on your own. When I had long hair, I would work a palm full of mousse through my wet hair and spray the roots with sea salt spray, then use a large round brush to blow it out in sections, starting from the undermost layers and keeping the top ones twirled up in a clip until I got there. If your hair is naturally somewhat thin, try taking Viviscal for a nice boost in thickness at your roots.

        Kate Moss                                                              Paulina Porizkova

Silhouette: Long legs and a tiny waist were highly sought after in the 90s. High waisted jeans, shirts tucked in, form fitting jersey tops... You name it. Save for a few boyfriend shirts here and there, fashionable 90s women tended to show off their feminine frame at all opportunities. One thing I'd like to bring up, since it is summer after all, is the one piece and high waisted swimsuit trend, people! This is something I am totally embracing right now, and I think it is such a flattering shape for swimsuits. It makes your legs look longer and is sexy without being obvious about it/having to show more skin than necessary.

The best places to shop for this silhouette include-- the thrift store for actual 90s finds, American Apparel for high waisted trousers and denim, Victoria's Secret & Mime Swim for great one-pieces, and Zara for flattering, form fitting tops.


  1. I was waiting for you to post something :) Amazing as always. I definitely agree with all the things you said. We could all take a little something from the beauty and fashion trends of the 90's. Thanks for sharing, Dayna!

  2. Queen of the 90s: Christy Turlington, absolute icon!! ❤️

  3. This is off topic, but how's little Bosch?

  4. I preferred the previous theme to this one... the words and font were much more easier to read. Also not really a fan of the "read more" for each post. Still, i love your posts and thoughts so maybe this is something i need to get used to. X

  5. Loved this!
    Could you do some look books (like for work or a casual day)?

  6. Love all of your fashion/beauty posts! I was wondering if you could make another makeup video soon?



By Dayna Frazer