Cringeworthy Beauty Trends From Our Awkward Years

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for experimenting with makeup and beauty trends, but there were without a doubt some beauty fads we all followed in our awkward years that were just not flattering in the slightest. It’s okay though. We were young and just copying what we saw celebrities wearing...

Well, it has been at least a decade, and we have all been forgiven for those questionable style choices. But, I was thinking, now that we are older and wiser, we should be able to look back at those cringeworthy beauty moments with nostalgia, some laughs, and maybe just a tear or two.

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If you were among the 5% of your class that remained tweezer free through junior high, lucky you. For the rest of us, over plucked and even shaved brows seemed to be the only way to mimic a celebrity’s look without a trip to Sephora in 2006. And girl, what a look? The worst part is that even once we all realized our natural brows were pretty great, we had to wait patiently for years to see them again. I mean not only would these almost invisible brows completely change what your face looked like, but it took away all depth and dimension.

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Since our brows were making our faces lack depth, that was what the heavy black eyeliner was for. And this was our natural school makeup look too. Pretty much no makeup, but heavy duty black eyeliner. And if you were anything like me you skipped lining the inner rim, and kept it solely on the lower lashline. What this did was pull your eyes down, causing them to look droopy, tired, and closed off. Whether you went towards the emo vibe or not, this was most likely a staple in your small makeup collection at the time.

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My favorite of all the trends might just be this one. Scrunched hair and straight bangs seemed to be all the rage during prime Myspace days. If you didn’t have a profile picture with scrunched hair, straight side bangs, and either a peace sign or duck face, were you even on Myspace?

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The ever popular orange fake tan... This started with digging into your powder bronzer and covering your entire face with it. Then it led to slathering your whole body (including your palms and face) with Jergens self tanner, and girl, did that stuff smell rank or what? Waking up with orangey brown blotches of residue on your PB Teen sheets seemed like an every weekend occurrence. Not to mention the streaking, the spots you missed, and the stains you left on your mom’s nice bath towels. Thankfully in recent years, fake tanner has improved in both tone and scent, but that does not mean we have forgotten about the good old oompa loompa days.

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Visibly dark lip liner is probably the least embarrassing look on this list. In fact it is actually something you could pull off nowadays, just with quite a bit more blending. But with that, it was still not a great look. It did give you endless lip color combinations, but was it worth it? Nope. If you want dimension on the lips stick with a subtle ombre effect.

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Nude matte lips may still be a go to, but concealer lips? Not so much. And wearing concealer on your lips or a skin tone shade of lipstick was considered more than a trend, it was pretty darn common. Not to say that a nude lip is bad, it is actually super flattering in many cases. Yet, back in the day not only did it exaggerate all dryness in your lips, but just like a red lip, different tones of nude suit different people. And when your lip color is identical to your skin tone, you can come off looking totally washed out.

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You probably saved up for a crimping iron, spent an hour using it once and then never touched it again. Yes, pin straight hair was a go to for just about everyone in the 2000s, but crimping had its moment too. And to be honest, I can actually get on board with this one. It may not have been suitable as an everyday style, but it certainly stood out.

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And then there were the intense chunky highlights or extensions that everyone begged their mom to get them at the end of summer vacation. Apparently we all thought we could get away with telling our friends that the sun naturally bleached our hair in humongous bits. I, for one, am so relieved this trend died a slow painful death, let’s just hope it never makes a comeback.

So do you want to go and hide under your covers until all pictures of you from the 2000’s are burned? Sometimes I do too. But we should be proud we owned those ridiculous looks and totally rocked them. We had confidence, and should look back at those moments as style and beauty education. If it weren’t for those somewhat questionable years, we would not have come as far as we have. Cheers to your tween self, and thank her for all that eyeliner, bronzer, and her other bold beauty choices as she helped you become the woman you are today.


P.S. Me Circa 2005 - #AwkwardUntilTheEnd

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Photo Credit: Cover and first photos via Buzzfeed, second and third photos via Pinterest, fourth photo via Life and Style Mag, fifth photo via Lipstick Alley, sixth photo via Refinery29, seventh photo via Zala Clip Hair Extensions, eight photo via Bustle, and ninth photo courtesy of Samantha Ann. 

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