How To Wear The '90s Makeup Trend Every Day

A retro-inspired look that falls between "whatever" and "I made an effort."
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A retro-inspired look that falls between "whatever" and "I made an effort."

"Put together" is not a concept I'm generally compatible with. I am perpetually in a rush. A lot of the looks I post, I'm like, Yeah that looks dope, let me share it with the Internet, but I've done them on my days off when I have plenty of time to sit and fuss with makeup.

So it's time for a semi-tutorial on my everyday makeup. This is for when I have turned off my alarm instead of hitting snooze and am meant to be at work in 15 minutes (read: most days). It also conveniently happens to borrow from the '90s, which are back

STEP 1: A quick and seamless base. 

laura mercier silk creme foundation

Paint over your face so you can put on a new one.

I love primers and concealers and other fussy base products as much as the next blogger, but a weekday morning is not the time for them. Instead, let me introduce my fiancee, Laura Mercier. She understands that sometimes you just want to put skin-colored paint on your face and be done with it. This is the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, and although I could follow it up with concealer, it will do just fine on its own.  

STEP 2: Defined brows and a natural flush. 

peachy pink blush

I was doing so well at hiding my bra straps in these photos, until now.

After painting out all that redness, I've gotta put some back in. Time for a natural, peachy pink blush (which is of course discontinued by MAC so I won't tell you the shade) with the e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush. I also filled in my eyebrows, because I feel like my face looks weird without them.

STEP 3: Smudge on a little cream shadow. 

mac paint pot

Now it's time for the eye makeup. This is the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Constructivist, but any shadow-y brown color will do.

applying eye shadow

Cream shadow is good because you can put it on with your fingers. I mean, I guess you can put any shadow on with your fingers, but cream seems to benefit from this. I think the warmth from your fingertips works the color into the skin better.

I rub the brown all over my lid and up past my crease, as well as bringing it under the eyes. I'm not going for a perfect shape.

brown eye shadow

Could do with some more finger blending on my right eye.

Sometimes the aesthetic of a deep, bruise-y shadow all around the eyes is described as "heroin chic," but I'm not really down with that term. There's nothing chic about heroin.

STEP 4: Skip eyeliner and focus on dramatic lashes. 

l'oreal miss manga mascara

I never have time for eyeliner, but I think defining my lashes really grounds a look. At the moment I'm using L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara, but that's only because I opened it and don't want to waste it. I'm really not fussed on it.

STEP 5: The requisite mauve-y '90s lip. 

mac lip pencil

I tried to draw over my Cupid's bow because I thought that was a '90s thing, but it might just look like sloppy overdrawing, IDK.

And last up, time for lips. I really, really like MAC Lip Pencils because they are creamy to apply, give lots of pigment with little effort, and stay on your lips for ages. If I'm wearing a lip pencil, I won't bother with lipstick or gloss or whatever the hell else over top. This one, Soar, is being touted as a '90s color at the moment, but it seems fairly pedestrian to me. I mean, a muted mauve-berry shade? In what era have women not worn lipstick in this color?

berry colored lips

The finished face that greets my colleagues, most days.

If my Aquarius look had you concerned, rest assured that this is how I usually wear my makeup. It's quick, it's a bit sloppy, but it makes me presentable, and I like the result.

  • What's your go-to almost-late-for-work makeup routine? 
  • What makeup do you most associate with the '90s?