8 Y2K Beauty Trends We’re Welcoming Back (and One We’re Saying “Bye, Bye, Bye” to for Good)

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

It’s official: Y2K aesthetic is back, baby! So much so that the term ‘Y2K’ has over 2.3 billion views on TikTok alone. Since we spent a lot of time at home during quarantine, it gave us the opportunity to get nostalgic and experiment with our looks. We said goodbye to contouring and neutral shades and hello to fun, colorful styles.

While our early memories of the 2000s consist of writing fan mail to Hilary Duff and running to the nearest Limited Too to buy a pair of flares, nothing brings us back like the popular beauty trends of that era. Here are our eight favorites that we’re welcoming with open arms (and the one style we’re leaving in the past).

Y2K Fashion Is Back. Here’s How to Wear It in 2021 Without Looking Like a Spice Girl

1. Butterfly Clips (and Other Snazzy Accessories)

Your first thought might be, how in the heck am I going to make these *not* look like I’m heading to my 8th grade dance? Well, let celebs like Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo and Ariana Grande inspire you to try these Y2K classics in a super chic way. Whether you’re rocking a high pony, space buns or a head full of curls, a simple accessory (or five) can really elevate your hair. And if you’re not into butterfly clips, you can opt for sleeker barrettes or bobby pins instead.

Shop the look: Urban Outfitters ($10); Scunchi ($12); Willbond ($12); 8 Other Reasons ($47)

2. Glossy Lips

We’ll always have a special place in our hearts for lipstick, but there’s something about a good ol’ lip gloss that will forever be a staple in our beauty bag. When finding the right lip gloss, you want one that packs a punch. Yup, we’re talking ultra-shiny and super plumping. You want it to maximize your pout all day (minus the stickiness). While bubblegum pink tubes were the standard back then, we’re looking into more adult options now—like a rosy red or clear finish.

Shop the look: NYX ($5); Tower 28 ($14); Fenty Beauty ($19); Lancome ($20)

3. Colored Eyeliner And Eyeshadows

It was all about having fun with your eye makeup throughout the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. And we’re happy to report that the same rings true in 2021. Any color works but all-time favorites include a variety of blue, green and purple shades. So grab your palette and cover your whole lid in color—or show off your eyeliner skills with an over-the-crease or modern cat eye style.

Shop the look: Haus Laboratories ($18); Urban Decay ($22); Huda Beauty ($27); Makeup Revolution ($28)

4. Zig-zag Part

The Gen Z vs millennial debate over whether you should part your hair to the side or down the middle was intense. But something we can both agree on is the zig-zag part. This style works in either direction and gives you a runway edge (no matter your hair texture). Use a comb to create alternating lines to get that crisscrossed pattern down your part. Once you perfect the look, it’s time to pop in Freaky Friday and jam to “Ultimate” by Lindsay Lohan.

5. Ombre Lips

A dark lip liner + nude lipstick = every celeb’s pout in the early 2000s. While it was intentionally contrasted in those days, we’re switching it up for a subtler, ombre effect in 2021. To look like a modern-day supermodel, the key is to not go too overboard on the liner. Find a shade that’s no more than two tones darker than your complexion and make sure to blend the edges, so they melt into your lipstick (or gloss).

Shop the look: Maybelline ($8); Make Up For Ever ($20); Charlotte Tilbury ($22); Bite Beauty ($26)

6. Glitter Lids

Bright colors on your eyelids are one thing but glitter lids are the bomb. Faves like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera rocked this shimmering look everywhere. A decade later and we’re ready for our eyes to sparkle—regardless of the occasion. There are plenty of glittery options out there, but you can also amp up your regular shadows by layering on a glitter base or your go-to highlighter to boost the shine.

Shop the look: Lime Crime ($20); Stila ($24); Lemonhead LA ($28); RMS Beauty ($38)

7. Hair Crimping

We admit we went a bit overboard with the hot tools back in the ‘00s, but this time around we’re doing our crimps right. Instead of covering our heads in tight, uneven bends, we’re going for larger, gorgeous waves. The right hot tool will turn small crinkles into a flowing pattern that’s less severe.

Shop the look: Revlon ($25); Aleath ($26); Alure ($26); Bedhead ($29)

8. Face-framing Tendrils

FYI, you don’t need curtain bangs to try a face-framing ‘do. Just pull two loose strands out in the front before putting the rest of your hair in a pony or a pair of space buns (another Y2K fave). Not only will the tendrils soften your jawline, but it also gives you a cooler, looser vibe (like you just stepped out of a music video).

But The One Trend We’re Leaving In The Past: Skinny Eyebrows

Sorry but full, bushy brows are here to stay. While pencil-thin arches might have been a hit in the past, we’re so not into the look now. In fact, we prefer to keep our brow gels nearby because the fuller, the better, amirite?

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...