How To Achieve A Y2K Make-Up Look In 2022

y2k makeup

Let’s set the scene: you’re sitting in your bedroom, which is covered wall-to-wall in Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears posters, singing “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, while bejewelling your hair and updating your daily Dear Diary entries. Taking inspiration from your collection of iconic, collectable Bratz dolls, we are talking all things Y2K make-up.

What Does Y2K mean?

The flaw, faced by computer programmers and users all over the world on 1 January 2000, is also known as the "millennium bug." The letter K, which stands for kilo (a unit of 1000), is commonly used to represent the number 1000. So, Y2K stands for Year 2000.

y2k bedroom

Oops, I did it again

Y2K make-up is definitely making a comeback – #Y2Kaesthetic has over 175 million searches on TikTok at the moment and showcases make-up and fashion from this beloved era. From neon, graphic eyeliners to ultra-thin eyebrows, and my personal favourite, lustrous glossy lips – there’s a flavour for everyone. 

Besides the butterfly claw clips and matching bestie necklaces, we also all carried around oddly shaped, impractical Hello Kitty handbags that housed everything from stick-on tattoos and beaded bracelets to Wicks bubblegum and the overly sweet Barbie perfume. The standout of our entire outfit had to be the twenty-three layers of lip gloss we painstakingly applied, coupled with the delicate plaits that framed our face and the bright make-up.

Y2K make-up consists of a few trends that seem to clash. Bold colours, thin eyebrows, and glittery shadows are just the beginning. We may not all want to look like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2001, but we do appreciate a flared jean, charm bracelet, and iconic retro make-up moment.

Let’s break down the must-have items to achieve a Y2K look in a modern revival sort of way. 

Gloss On, Worries Gone

Lip gloss is probably the most important of any of the Y2K make-up ingredients, and it has to be high gloss! If you have applied a layer or two, keep going… Because there is no limit to how many layers you can apply. When it comes to high-gloss Y2K, the secret is shiny glossed up lips on pure untouched skin with graphic eye liners and eyeshadows, and bobbing butterfly clips in our hair to complete the look.

With the high-performance applicator, first apply the Bronx Colors Smoothie Lip Gloss to the centre of the lips and then to the mouth angle.

y2k gloss

Read my lips

The Revlon Colourstay lipliner is offered in new colours and ultra-sleek new packaging (that makes finding the shade you want in your bag simple). Try a dark brown to accentuate the lip line for a Y2K trending lip.

y2k lip revlon

All that glitters doesn’t have to be gold

The MAC Lunar Year F22 Eyeshadow palette is a warm neutral eyeshadow palette. The glistening gold, caramel and orange tones create the perfect tools for your Y2K eyeshadow looks.

Have fun with bold single-shadow lids and striking glittery graphic looks – this is the Y2K palette of your modern aesthetic dreams.

Mac y2k

Ombré lips are double the fun

What are ombré lips? They’re a make-up look that seamlessly blends two lipstick shades (or a lipliner and lipstick) to create a fading effect. The colours transition from the natural cupid’s bow towards the outer lips.

Blending has never been more fun than with this ombré effect. Create two-toned lip combinations that the cast of Sex and The City would be proud of with MAC Retro lipsticks.

Mac lipstick y2k

You’re making me blush

Blushing never looked more on-trend. Vibrant pink blushes are all the rage in the recreation of Y2K make-up looks. Creams, liquid tints and, of course, powder blushes are good to use, as long as they have the pigment. 

The Bobbi Brown Silky Powder Blush glides on smoothly and offers a matte rosy finish. Available in a few shades.

blush y2k

Now that you’ve travelled back to the year 2000, it’s your chance to recreate these fab Y2K-inspired looks. Which will you be trying out first? Tell us in the comments. 

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