March 23, 2016
Time to do a #throwback – for all the 90s kids out there, these are the products that you’ll probably remember using back then. We get nostalgic and look at the most iconic beauty items of the decade, and how they’ve grown up together with us.
CLEAN & CLEAR FOAMING FACIAL WASH
Then: This was probably the first-ever cleanser you used (it was for us), and this small, no-frills bottle was everything your teenage skin needed, provided you didn’t have any acne woes. The clear scented gel performed the straightforward task of cleansing the skin of grime without stripping it of too much moisture; and more importantly, was within our shoestring teenage budgets.
Now: Clean & Clear definitely grew up with us, with a logo redesign in 2009 that unveiled more modern typography and colours on both the logo and packaging. Our trusty old cleanser still exists – there’s still the familiar orange and purple colour combination on the bottle, and the product itself feels and smells the same. It’s probably no longer sufficient for our skincare needs at this age, but it’s still nice to get a bit nostalgic as we browse the drugstore shelves.
Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Wash, $4.10. Available at Watsons and Guardian. cleanandclear.com
MAYBELLINE GREAT LASH
Then: Practically every girl in the 90s had the immediately-recognisable pink and green tube in their makeup pouch. The Great Lash mascara was actually first launched in 1971, but the 90s was really the time when pro makeup artists couldn’t stop raving about its ability to really make lashes “great”, getting this ubiquitous little tube all over the glossy magazines and into the stashes of teenage girls everywhere – being a drugstore brand, Maybelline was extremely accessible, after all.
Now: The Great Lash line has gotten multiple temporary additions through the years, including a clear version that also doubles up as a brow gel, and coloured variations. Unfortunately, it’s not available on local shelves – but don’t fret: Maybelline Singapore already has a large array of mascaras to choose from, easily available in drugstores. The product that’s the most similar to Great Lash would be the Lashionista, another Maybelline cult favourite for its super-lengthening abilities. But if you really, really need your Great Lash fix, the range is still stocked in the US.
Maybelline Lashionista, $22.90. Available at Watsons and Guardian. maybelline.com.sg
THE BODY SHOP PERFUME OIL
Then: Before we could afford the luxury of an eau de parfum, The Body Shop’s Perfume Oil was what we turned to to keep our teenage selves smelling fresh. We were partial to the fruity scents like Fuzzy Peach and Dewberry, and a few debs on the wrists and neck were enough to make us feel all grown up.
Now: The Body Shop is honestly not the first brand we’d turn to when we’re looking for a new fragrance, but they still do make a pretty impressive range of fragrances, whether in oil, eau de parfum or eau de toilette form, spanning everything from musky to fruity. If you want a dose of nostalgia but in the form of a more mature scent, try the new perfume oils such as the Red Musk Perfume Oil.
The Body Shop Red Musk Perfume Oil, $45.90. Available at The Body Shop stores. thebodyshop.com.sg
CALVIN KLEIN CK ONE
Then: It was one of the advertising campaigns that defined the decade, and firmly cemented the fragrance’s place in pop culture history. The CK One campaigns of the 90s featured black and white photographs of a bevy of unaffected male and female models slouching around, led by a young Kate Moss, then the epitome of “heroin chic”. The unisex fragrance was made to be painfully cool, from the deliberately minimal packaging to the fresh citrus notes. No wonder this was one of the first perfumes we lusted over.
Now: Through the years, Calvin Klein has released numerous limited edition spins on the CK One, such as the CK One Electric, and CK One Summer. But the original CK One still exists, just with a slight update to the packaging – the modernisation of the CK logo, so that it’s now all sleekly sans serif. Just this year, Calvin Klein released the CK2, also a unisex scent made for this generation. In the 21st century, “cool” now smells like notes of wasabi, mandarin, and sandalwood.
Calvin Klein CK2 Eau de Toilette, $60 to $106. Available at Sephora and major departmental stores. calvinklein.com
CHANEL LE VERNIS IN VAMP
Then: When Chanel launched this particular shade in 1994, Uma Thurman was seen wearing it in her role as Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, released the same year. This made the nail polish even more of a bestseller than it already was, and it became one of Chanel’s most iconic pieces of makeup. Vamp is a dark berry mixed in with subtle glitter, for a boldly glamorous manicure – then, it was considered to be the first time such a dark colour had been catapulted into the mainstream, so it was seen as a tremendously exciting beauty trend to try.
Now: Many insist that Vamp went out of fashion sometime around 2000; and the Vamp of this century would be the Rouge Noir. The interesting thing is, Rouge Noir made its first appearance before Vamp – the former in Chanel’s Autumn/Winter 1994 show, the latter in Spring/Summer 1995 – but this dark berry comes without the glitter, making it more evergreen when it comes to trendiness. Till today, Rouge Noir remains as the brand’s most iconic nail polish shade, even prompting an entire makeup collection inspired by it for Holiday 2015.
CHANEL Le Vernis in 18 Rouge Noir, $39. Available at CHANEL Beauty stores and counters. chanel.com/en_sg
CLAIROL HERBAL ESSENCES
Then: One of the defining smells of the decade had to be the scent of hair washed with Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner. The iconic bottle with the dark green cap promised a real shower experience smelling of a field of the most fragrant flowers, or the juiciest and sweetest fruits.
Now: Somewhere along the way, the Herbal Essences range became unrecognisable. Gone were the clear bottles revealing the inviting coloured shampoo gel inside; in their place were groovy neon colours and a complete logo change, with unfamiliar product ranges with names like Dangerously Straight, Hello Hydration and Long Term Relationship. These revamped products still smell pretty sweet, but can’t really compare to the originals. Thankfully, Clairol brought back a very limited selection of the old range, complete with the familiar, nostalgic packaging. We’ll take what we can get.
Clairol Herbal Essences Shampoo & Conditioner, $7.65 to $7.70. Available at Watsons and Guardian. herbalessences.com
REVLON COLORSTAY LIPSTICK
Then: Brown lipstick is a beauty trend that is widely associated with the nineties, and at that time, many women were rocking a brown lip courtesy of Revlon’s ColorStay Lipstick. The ColorStay makeup range was first introduced then, and went on to become one of the most popular longwearing makeup, made extra accessible by the drugstore prices.
Now: Today, the ColorStay range is still a cornerstone of Revlon makeup. As beauty trends evolve and consumer demands become more sophisticated, the ColorStay lip products have also multiplied into a variety of modern options, such as a glossy stain. For a matte take on the original lipstick, try the ColorStay Ultimate Suede, or the ColorStay Moisture Stain if you prefer the lightweight liquid formula that seems to be so trendy these days.
Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick and ColorStay Moisture Stain, $20.90 each. Available at Watsons and Guardian. revlon.com
CLINIQUE ALMOST LIPSTICK IN BLACK HONEY
Then: The name “Black Honey” brings to mind an intense, intoxicating colour that makes a good bold lip, but in fact, Clinique’s most popular Almost Lipstick shade was a sheer and light gloss that appeared beige on the lips. Upon its launch in 1989, it went on to become a lip colour staple for teens trying out their first-ever lipstick, to full-grown women and even celebrities during their red carpet appearances.
Now: Black Honey is still sold today, but if you want an update, Clinique has plenty of other lip colour offerings that get you the same effect. There’s the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Whole Lotta Honey in a handy crayon form, or the Clinique Pop in Bare Pop, which is conveniently a lipstick and primer in one, so you’ll never have patchy, chapped lips.
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, $26; and Clinique Pop, $33. Available at Clinique counters and Sephora. clinique.com.sg