Why the retro make-up finish is making a resurgence

Frosty, pearlescent and foiled make-up finishes epitomised beauty trends in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Now the retro make-up look is making a long-awaited comeback.

If BeautyTok is any indicator, the matte, neutral make-up trend might be making way for a more vibrant retro make-up look.

Frosted eye make-up and foiled lipstick have become a hot topic in the beauty community once more.

In addition to gaining traction on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, the trend was also heavily featured on the runway at Milan and New York fashion weeks.

For make-up artist Joel Phillips, the trend’s revival evokes a sense of childhood nostalgia.

“Growing up as a millennial, every pop star I was obsessed with in the 90s had a frosted eye look and I loved it,” Joel says.

“I always want to recreate those music videos and Vogue covers, so now the trend is being revived I’m excited to recreate all those looks again.”


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How to achieve a retro make-up finish

The eyes

For Joel, a purple frosted eye was the defining look of the 90s, and it’s just as relevant now with the retro make-up trend.

“Everyone from the Spice Girls to Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child wore a frosted purple eye look at some point in the 90s,” he says.

“For light skin, I recommend silvers and pale purple tones, and for darker complexion I recommended gold, dark violet, shimmer golden browns and glittering black creams.”

According to Joel, cream shadow formulas work best when it comes to shimmering colours, or try wetting a make-up brush while using powder shadows for a similar effect.


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The lips

Foiled lipsticks are another way to add dimension to retro make-up.

Keep in mind their reflective nature can draw attention to the creases and lines of your lips if they are dry.

“I’ve seen more and more shimmery lipsticks in-store, so I think this trend revival is only just beginning,” celebrity make-up artist and hairstylist Tanielle Jai says.


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The nails

The glazed donut nail trend characterised by frosty, shimmery finishes and popularised by celebrities such as Hailey Bieber, also compliments retro make-up.

“I have been getting into shimmery nails and I think the glazed donut trend has really catapulted these shimmery, frosty finishes into the beauty mainstream,” Tanielle says.


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For more make-up trend ideas:

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.