I Get Sentimental Just Thinking About These Beauty Products From My Early-2000s Youth

I have many fond memories of testing out pastel-colored cream eyeshadow and ungodly amounts of body spray.
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Publish date:
September 17, 2014
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shoppables, fragrances, eyeliner, glitter, nostalgia, lip balms

Fall is a time for nostalgia. How could it not be? The air outside smells like back-to-school and the earth slowly dying -- two scents that surely send my mind to dreams of yesteryear.

Lately, for me, those dreams have been about the beauty choices I have made over the years, some of which were very unfortunate.

But others leave me feeling pangs of nostalgia. I have many fond memories of digging through that forbidden makeup drawer with my BFF, testing out pastel-colored cream eyeshadow and ungodly amounts of body spray, blessed with the naiveté to think my mom wouldn’t notice.

Don’t you too, occasionally, yearn for these simpler, uglier times? I know I do. So I’ll share my favorite trends from the early 2000s in order to get your nostalgic hearts panging too.

Bath & Body Works Spray

At what time in history have more young women smelled like cookies than 2001 to 2005? Warm Vanilla Sugar, I’m looking at you. Now, I know, about 46% percent of you are like, What?! Cucumber Melon all the way! And I hear you. This was a delicate social issue of the time. Were you a Warm Vanilla Sugar girl or a Cucumber Melon girl? Or were you perhaps in the 8% who branched out to exotic scents like Juniper Breeze? Bath and Body Works owned the world in my tween years.

And while the company is still alive and well, there is a judgy part of me that’s like, Still?, when grownups use these fragrances. (But now, I have to admit, after writing this, I kind of want to get me a Warm Vanilla Sugar candle or something.) Bath & Body Works, you’ll always have a special place in my nostalgic heart.

Lip Smacker

I remember my first experience with Lip Smacker with fervor. I was 10, and it was bright red and cherry-flavored -- which at the time was all I needed to reach worrisome levels of infatuation.

These tantalizing lip balms are likely responsible for my habit of sniffing literally everything that goes near, on, or around my mouth. And who could blame me when there’s a chance it could smell and taste like soda pop?

Lip Smackers are also likely responsible for my rather irresponsible habits surrounding lip products. I purchase and apply it in excessive amounts, and always have roughly seven different lip products on me at any given time. There’s something about the memory of applying Lip Smackers until my lips were drippy and gooey that I never quite grew out of.

Tweens today have it so good, too, because there are now Girl Scout Cookie-flavored Lip Smackers, the existence of which I can only assume results in multiple incidents of accidental chapstick consumption per year. (I’m afraid to even try.)

White Eyeliner

I loved me white eyeliner something awful. Specifically, I liked extremely thick, crayon-style white eyeliner, and if it had a shimmery finish, all the better. (I’m also realizing that this preoccupation with white eyeliner directly preceded a deep intimacy with black eyeliner that’s still going strong. I guess this is growing up.)

What I was actually obsessed with was a set of Hello Kitty eyeliners, introduced to me by the aforementioned BFF and which came in a variety of shimmery pastels from white to yellow to baby blue -- and no, I’m not talking about the current collection of Hello Kitty makeup currently available at Sephora (that I also want). These were around in the late '90s/early 2000s and were available at Target for like a dollar, which means they were probably made of plastic. I remember holding the package up to my mom with watery doe eyes, hopeful that she would let me have a set of my own. She reluctantly put them in the cart with the promise that I wouldn’t wear them to school. Do you remember them? (I can’t find them on the Internet.)

Roll-On Body Glitter

While my glitter obsession is projected to be lifelong (thanks, Granny), there are certain forms of glitter that I have moved on from. RIP, roll-on body glitter.

You remember these rolly contraptions. They usually had a screw-off lid, which revealed a moist ball, which was then rolled around on your arms, neck, chest, cheeks and any other conceivable part of the body that you might want glittery. The glitter was adhered to your body with whatever poisonous liquid it was floating around in -- usually something smelling of artificial blueberry or bubblegum/glue. Unfortunately for me, this mysterious adhesive always gave me a rash, which combined with the glitter, drew a lot of attention and it just never worked out. Still, it didn’t stop me from using it for at least four years, hoping that “this time it will be different.”

I’ve since moved on to more sophisticated forms of glitter, the fancy kind pressed into pigment that doesn’t contain crushed beetles, or even occasionally a loose glitter which requires an adhesive to be purchased separately!

What are your favorite throwback beauty products/looks? Did you have two pieces of gelled bangs with cornrows in your eighth grade picture, too?