I know all trends are cyclical, but I never really thought about the day that I would see trends from my youth come back again in my 20s and 30s. The reemergence of the Y2K beauty trends we’re seeing now is an elevated version of the trends that we millennials wore in our pre-pubescent and teenage years. They have a new spin; the trends look cooler and more finessed blended with new trends; they are entirely more wearable. For example, thick, full brows with dewy, natural skin and Y2K frosty lids are a Euphoria vibe we can get in on. It’s about taking a Y2K detail and bringing it into now.
The best part about Y2K beauty trends is the nuance they can easily give a look. Whether it’s through hair or makeup, they bring an element of fun to an overall look, perhaps because when we saw these trends the first time around, we were so much closer to childhood. When I spoke to Ky Wilson, BaByliss ambassador and founder of The Social, he agreed. “I love Y2K hair trends because of the details. The accessories like beads and butterfly clips,” he said. “It’s all about honing in one little attention to detail, creating a style out of it and owning it. But mainly it’s individual to each person. It’s a chance to express yourself but mainly just to have some fun. It’s a little bit cheeky, but that’s why we love it.”
Take a look at some of the Y2K trends that’ll be sticking around for a while to come.
Y2K Hair Trends
Don’t be fooled. This might look like a cutesy trend revival, but it’s actually super practical as well. Long fringe you’re trying to grow out? Sorted. No time to restyle your hair between work and drinks? No worries. And the best part is that these suit every single hair type, length and texture. What’s not to love?
The tendril trend’s early adopter, Bella Hadid, proved that you don’t need super-thick hair to pull them off. In fact, finer hair makes the look a bit more delicate. But the trend looks just as great on curly hair, too. If you do want thicker sections, it’s easy to cheat the look with two small clip-in extensions. Just be sure you have enough hair out to cover above and below each tendril.
This more boho take on the tendrils trend can be crafted with single plaits, or you can braid down your hairline. The braids are a good alternative to hide any hairline breakage. Just use some styling spray to tame the frizzy strands.
Arguably the coolest lazy-girl style out there, throwing your hair in a claw clip is pretty much as easy as it gets. If you have super-long hair, it can be a little harder to gather all your hair into the clip. Try folding your hair into a French twist (twist hair and wrap in on itself) before securing it with your clip. A half-up, half-down hairstyle also works for claw clips in long hair.
Bandana hairstyles have come a long way since the days of 10-year-old me rocking one at camp. Now, they are a chic way of hiding an overdue washday or protecting your hair and scalp in the sun. Go old-school with paisley print, or experiment with neon.
A divisive trend for sure but one that came at the top of the Y2K resurgence and isn’t going anywhere. If you love the look but aren’t ready to fully commit, why not try some face-framing babylights instead?
This trend is all about super-healthy hair. If you don’t have naturally straight hair, then make sure you’re protecting it every time you straighten it and are on top of your heat treatments. These are key for the glossiness to shine through.
Not only are pigtails a cute daytime style, but they’re also perfect for styling damp hair when you want natural waves. After washing, smooth a small amount of styling oil through straight to wavy hair, and then plait and secure. Allow to air-dry, and when you’re ready, unravel for natural waves.
Blondes or light brunettes can fully take advantage of this trend with wash-in, wash-out colours. Grungy pastel hues like lilac, peach and pale pinks scream Y2K e-girl mash-up.
Bold greens, blues and purples are reminiscent of noughties nightlife. A palette is your best bet for re-creating this look, as you can mix and match hues, using deeper shades in your eye crease and lighter ones near your tear duct for a full-blown look.
Anyone else remember Stephanie Pratt’s iconic frosty blue shadow and eyeliner moments on The Hills? This time ’round, it’s a little more sheered out. Think Euphoria vibes. It’s easier to do this trend with liquid shadow, as you can apply a lighter layer with your fingers.
When it comes to lips, the glossier, the better. It needs to channel old-school Juicy Tube vibes for super-high-shine, vinyl lips. If you aren’t a fan of the sticky, hair-on-your-lips feel, then don’t worry. The formulas have drastically improved over the last 20 years.
More is more with glitter for this Y2K beauty trend. It’s everywhere—hair, body and, of course, face. Go bold with an eye look by dappling on light layers of either loose pigment or cream shadows to build your look.