There are reasons teenagers become so obsessed with make-up – it shows your personality, makes you feel grown-up and might help you look like your favourite pop and rock stars.
However, teenagers have limited budgets and even more limited knowledge of what to do with the beauty products they can actually afford.
Which is why so many of us – even those who went on to become pro make-up artists – ended up buying the same cult products from the high street as all the other teenagers, then recreating the same looks.
If you were a teenager from any of these decades, you’ll probably recognise some of these products and beauty trends…
Who in the Seventies didn’t want to look like a rock star? Luckily, you could recreate that on a teenager’s budget with the help of one magic beauty product: blue eyeshadow. We’d apply it liberally, and basically become Debbie Harry or Mick Jagger.
This was also the time of disco and ABBA – and even if you were a teen in your bedroom and not living it up at Studio 54, you could still try some of those glamorous looks. This involved finding some kind of glittery palette and applying it on your cheeks and eyes whenever possible.
Of course, we’d all try to recreate the classic Farrah Fawcett flick in our hair, but it turns out this was harder to replicate at home than you’d think.
The fad for blue make-up continued into the Eighties, and few teenagers would be without a tube of blue mascara. It wasn’t just about the eyes in the Eighties – if you wanted to be bang on trend, you’d source some kind of bright blusher to over-apply onto your cheeks. Needless to say, this was very far away from the era of contour we now find ourselves in.
Subtlety wasn’t exactly fashionable in the Eighties, so an extra-strength hairspray was a must for any teenager’s bathroom cabinet. This often came with hair gel, so you could actually construct your ‘do into the crazy shapes pop stars were sporting.
And of course, no handbag would’ve been complete without Lipcote – how else would you seal in your lipstick?
I won't accept that 90s fashion is on trend until I see women on nights out with crimped hair laden with hair mascara and glitter spray— Lauren (@TheEmeraldDove) March 22, 2019
We have two words for your: hair mascara. Few things sum up being a teenager in the Nineties better than this.
And dragging a brightly coloured wand through our hair wasn’t the only way we styled it in the Nineties – after all, this was the era of crimping.
In terms of make-up, subtle sparkles were a must. We’re talking silver liquid eyeliner and frosted pink lipstick – Rimmel’s Heather Shimmer lippy if you wanted to be like the cool girls.
If you weren’t liberally applying shimmer somewhere on your face, it was all about eyeliner on your lower lids – drawn on with a black kohl pencil.
Ah, the Noughties – otherwise known as a black hole of beauty. This was the era of overplucked eyebrows and orange fake tan – it truly was a glorious time.
Obviously, everyone’s favourite beauty tool was tweezers, which helped you attack your brows on a daily basis.
In terms of make-up, we don’t know any teenager who didn’t own Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse – the trendiest foundation which you would trowel onto your face. Sure, it might not have been skillfully matched to your skin tone, but it was bang on trend, particularly if you applied it to your lips as well.
Girls I’m still so confused how as a generation we used to wear dream matte mousse foundation (applied with our hands), foundation lips, bright pink bourjois blusher and about 5000 layers of mascara and actually think it was ok— Meg Reed (@meeegxo) September 4, 2019
With mascara heftily applied from a green and pink tube, Impulse body spray wafting and make-up set with hairspray (yikes), you’d be ready for the school disco.
Another classic Noughties item was sticky, shiny, fruity lip gloss. The tendrils of your hair, which you’d artfully separated from your ponytail, would continually get stuck in it.
Idk one girl that didn’t ever own the pink tube, green cap mascara— •rejones• (@rejoness) April 9, 2018
Luckily, the 2010s saw an explosion in inclusive beauty and vloggers detailing their multi-step make-up routine on Instagram and YouTube. This means teenagers nowadays are much more clued up about things like contouring and properly accentuating cheekbones, so we’re sure they’ll have nothing to be embarrassed about when they look back at their youthful beauty decisions…