Y2K Beauty Is Set to Make a Major Comeback In 2022—Here’s All the Inspo You Need

It’s true that the re-emergence of era-defining trends in the worlds of both fashion and beauty is nothing new—this year alone we’ve seen the rise of charmingly retro ‘70s-inspired nail art, ‘80s-esque colour block eyeshadow and ‘90s hair accessories to name a few. But there’s something about trends rolling around again when you truly lived them the first time that just feels different. Yet that is exactly what’s happening with the resurgence of Y2K beauty. Thanks in huge part to TikTok where the #Y2K hashtag has over 3.8 billion views, Gen Z have rediscovered some of those turn-of-the-millennium trends and are giving them a new lease of life. And while I never thought I’d be pleased to seen the return of frosty eyeshadows, skinny brows, or excessive amounts of lip liner, I have to say that some of the Y2K makeup looks that I’ve spotted actually look, dare I say it, kind of cool. 

Ahead, I’ve rounded up five of my favourite Y2K-inspired makeup looks that look set to be everywhere next year—and the products that you need to recreate them at home. Yes, there might be shimmer, glitter and excessive amounts of gloss, but thanks to a flurry of new product launches and next-gen formulations, your Y2K look will feel decidedly modern. 

1. Frosted Eyeshadow 

While this summer was all about bold, bright, crayola colours in a nod to the ‘80s, the Y2K takes a softer approach to eyeshadow colours—think baby blues, pastel pinks and minty greens. The key, though, is the finish. For a true nod to the era go for frosty finishes with a soft sparkle.

Blue Frosted Eyeshadow



2. High-Shine Lip Gloss

There’s no denying that the ‘90s has dominated the world of fashion and beauty this year, and lip gloss is definitely one of those late-’90s/early-’00s crossover trends. For me, the reason that ultra-glossy, high-shine lips have managed to make such a comeback lies solely in the fact that today’s lip gloss formulations are so damn good. Long-lasting, super-sheeny and with none of the stickiness associated with formulas from the year 2000. Layer it up and prepare to dazzle.



3. Maximalist Lip Liner

While the last ten years have seen a real shift towards minimalist makeup routines and barely-there products in the beauty industry, the turn of the century was very much about a more-is-more approach to makeup—and this is never more evident than in the case of lip liner. Forget Charlotte Tilbury’s subtly defining Pillow Talk, the Y2K look is about overtly-defined lips in shades of mahogany brown and rich taupe. And do you know what? I kind of love it. As someone that skips eyeliner entirely because I’m totally useless at it, a boldly-drawn lip is a fun way to add some definition to an otherwise basic makeup look.

4. All That Glitters

Y2K Beauty Trends: Glitter



If you came of age during the turn of the millennium then you will know that glitter was the cornerstone of any self-respecting makeup bag—from glitter hair mascaras to body gel packed with sparkle, there was no point showing your face at the school disco unless you could be mistaken for the disco ball itself. Thankfully, the modern take on this Y2K mainstaple is a little less intense and more about carefully placed glitter on the eyelids and lips which makes it surprisingly wearable. This is the grown-up way to sparkle.

Gigi Hadid wearing glittery eyeshadow



5. Skinny Brows



I can’t believe I’m saying this but after all of the repair and regrowth that we’ve been doing to our over-plucked eyebrows during the last two decades, it turns out that skinny eyebrows are having a moment. Sure, there is something undeniably chic about a razor-thin brow (hello, Bella!) but for those of us that are still dealing with sparse patches from being tweezer-happy in our youth this is undoubtedly the scariest Y2K trend for me. To give it a go without having to remove any hairs, you can use a concealer to ‘hide’ thick brows and give the illusion of a barely-there, throwback brows. Are you brave enough? I’m still on the fence…

Skinny Brows


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