Is the ’90s love affair with thick brown lip liner and chunky brows really worth a second look — or best left in the past, asks Katie Wright.
IF the SS16 catwalks told us anything, it’s that the ’90s fashion revival is in full swing, and it was no different backstage.
We lost count of the number of make-up artists citing influences from those hazy pre-millennium days, but thinking back, is ’90s make-up really something we want to bring back — all that lip gloss and bronzer?
As it happens, yes, it is — because this time round, the make-up maestros have translated the best of the decade, making it super wearable and ideal for spring.
Kneeling unabashedly at the altar of that ’90s goddess, the Supermodel, make-up artist Tom Pecheux gave models at Moschino huge brows, shimmering skin and mahogany lips, all topped off with Linda Evangelista-style pixie crop wigs.
At Christopher Kane, Lucia Pieroni said the brows were “a bit feral”, which means you should be combing them up and out, before filling in with a brow pencil that matches your natural shade.
If you’ve gone a bit tweezer-happy and plucked beyond recognition, there are some measures you can take.
Try Illamasqua’s new Brow Build, which contains micro-fibres to subtly thicken and fill brows.
* Illamasqua Brow Build in Flow, €23.50 ( www.illamasqua.com )
* MAC Big Brow Pencil in Spiked, €18 ( www.brownthomas.com )
TAME YOUR TAN
Back in the ’90s, before Instagram, the Kardashians, and the rise of the YouTube make-up tutorial, contouring wasn’t ‘a thing’ and bronzer was applied liberally with a huge brush, the aim being an all-over tan, as if you’d just returned from two weeks in Miami.
Nowadays, it’s all about carefully placed colour, so use a small contouring brush and a shimmery (rather than matte) bronzing powder across your cheekbones, temples and down the sides of your nose, then use a larger brush to blend out.
You’re aiming for what Lynsey Alexander at Kenzo called “a desert sepia-toned tan”.
* Illamasqua Beyond Powder in Epic, €40.95 ( www.illamasqua.com , from April 21)
* Givenchy Les Saisons Healthy Glow Powder in Ambre Saison, €47.52, free p&p ( www.feelunique.com )
* Blank Canvas Cosmetics F40 Small Tapered Contour Brush, €11.99, plus p&p ( www.blankcanvascosmetics.com )
Lucia Pieroni designed the make-up looks for Emilio Pucci and Chloe, claiming ’90s grunge and “rave girls” were the inspiration, which explains why both had a gorgeously smudgy eyeliner look.
To recreate this slept-in feel, dust a pale grey or nude shadow on the upper lid, then apply a fine line of black or slate grey kohl on the waterline and below the lower lashes, smudging with your finger tip — and for an authentic ’90s carefree feel, go mascara-less.
* New Cid I-Smoulder Smoky Eye Pencil and Shadow in Charcoal, €22.95, free p&p ( www.hennessyhb.ie )
* Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow Fresh Effect Eyeshadow in Vert Grise, €28.50 ( www.debenhams.ie )
GET THE GLOSS
Make-up artists got really creative when coming up with ways to achieve a pale, matte Nineties lip, using anything but lipstick.
At Alberta Ferretti, MAC Da Bling eyeshadow was patted onto lips, and at Blumarine, a pink cream shadow was used.
A matte liquid lipstick is an easier way to get the look, and has better staying power, but for the ultimate Nineties homage, it doesn’t get better than a shiny brown lip, as seen at Kenzo.
Either slick on a heap of caramel-hued gloss or, for longer-lasting colour, fill in your pout with a tawny liner and finish with clear gloss on top.
* MAC Eye Shadow in Da Bling, €16.50 ( www.brownthomas.com )
* MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in LadyBeGood, €28 ( www.brownthomas.com )
* Jane Iredale Puregloss Lip Gloss in White Tea, €27, plus p&p ( www.millies.ie )
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