Every Makeup Product You Need For A Believable Y2K Beauty Look

The Y2K era was a time of fun fantasy looks. From moon boots to butterfly clips, the trend was all about being fun and playful. You couldn't see a red carpet without celebs like Britney Spears and the Spice Girls wearing sparkly outfits and platform shoes. Of course, no early 2000s getup is complete without a full face of makeup to match and there were certain products that were synonymous with the time. Think lots of pastel eyeshadows and super shiny baby pink lipgloss.


Now that it's been over two decades since the clock struck 12 and we headed into a new century, the early aughts trend has made its way around again. If you want to recreate the look as authentically as possible, you've got to have the right tools. Thankfully, it's not hard to gather Y2K makeup. Many of the products can be found at your local beauty supply store — or if you have a tween living with you, they'll likely have some of what you need in already their makeup bag.

Matte foundation and powder

In the early 2000s, the glass skin trend hadn't been invented yet and it was all about having a perfect matte finish. Having flawless skin is the basis for a Y2K look, as all the fun, colorful, and glittery makeup won't look complete without it. Back then, celebs preferred full coverage and there was nary a freckle to be seen. The days of heavy contouring weren't popular then either so the focus was just on evening out your skin tone with a foundation shade that matched your skin.


After applying foundation, you'll need a pressed powder to go over the shiny areas of the face. Be sure not to overdo it and cause the makeup to look cakey. Powder foundations were popular then as well, so if you want to skip a step, you can opt for a 2-in-1 deal. Don't worry if your skin looks flat — you'll add more dimension later on.

Shimmery bronzer

You couldn't be tan enough in the Y2K era but the days of basking in the sun or going to tanning salons are no longer considered de rigeur. You also don't want to look orange like 20-something-year-old Paris Hilton, so don't overdo it with the spray tan. To get that J.Lo glow that she made so famous, you're going to need a good powder bronzer, which is great for novice makeup users. Look for one with a bit of shimmer so that you can add some dimension to your face.


Using a large brush, apply the bronzer generously to your forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose. You can sculpt your cheeks by dusting some powder right underneath your cheekbones, but you want just enough to bring out your features. If you're showing some skin, make sure to hit your chest and collarbones with some bronzer as well so that your face doesn't look darker than your body.

Bright pink blush

Subtle makeup was not the name of the game during the time of frosted tips. That meant bold color everywhere, including your cheeks. Bright pink blush was the color of choice for many millennials and depending on your skin tone, you can opt for a bubblegum pink if you're fair, or a bold magenta if you have a deeper color. To recreate Y2K makeup, placement is key for blush. While it's trendy now to bring the color right up to underneath your eyes, back then color was applied only on the apples of your cheeks.


To get the look, smile widely and apply your pink blush with a medium-sized fluffy brush onto the high points of your cheeks. Be sure to blend well so that the color looks diffused, but you'll want enough pigment so that the blush is noticeable. Add some to the tops of your cheekbones as well and you're well on your way to looking like your favorite 2000s celebrity.

A thin eyebrow pencil

The Y2K era began at the tail end of the '90s so thin eyebrows were still popular. While they weren't so pencil-thin as made popular by Kate Moss, they hadn't yet reached the level of the thick, fluffed-up brows you see these days. Still, brows were neatly groomed and drawn in to look as natural as possible. The best way to achieve this look is with a thin eyebrow pencil a shade or two lighter than your hair color if it's on the dark side. If you have blond or light hair, choose a color that's a shade darker than your strands.


To get thin brows without removing them completely, NYX suggests brushing your hair first with a spoolie and then defining your brows with a thin pencil, focusing on making your arch pronounced. Use concealer to mask any hair that will make your brows appear thicker. Next, give your arch a highlight by applying a light, shimmery shadow underneath your browbone, which you'll need anyway, as it's part of your Y2K makeup arsenal.

Frosted eyeshadows in various colors

Colorful frosted eyeshadows were seen on practically everyone's lids during the early 2000s. While pink, blue, and light purple were most commonly used, makeup lovers were rushing to buy white eyeshadow for a bright look after Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again" music video came out. TikToker @michaila.cothran combined white with sky blue and lilac purple to create her version of Y2K eye makeup. After applying white eyeshadow all over her lids up toward her brows, she applied the blue and purple just on her lids. After dusting on more white shadow on her browbones, she used her fingers to apply frosty silver shadow onto her lids over the blue and purple colors.


Highlighting the inner corners of your eyes was also a Y2K trend and you can either use your white or silver shadow. Using a small, flat brush, dust some shadow right outside your tear ducts, being careful not to get any in your eyes. Smudge it with your pinky finger to blend it out a bit so you get a pretty, diffused look.

Black mascara and eyeliner

To make your pastel eyeshadows really pop, you'll need a good, dark black mascara and either a black or brown pencil eyeliner. During the emo heyday, the look was a smudged, smokey eye with lots of mascara. For extra oomph, choose a volumizing formula, preferably waterproof just in case you cry while listening to Dashboard Confessional. Since we're not going for the natural look here, it's okay to pile on several coats of mascara on your top and bottom lashes. Just make sure to comb in between coats to avoid clumping.


When it comes to your eyeliner, forget about using a liquid one to draw precise lines. Opt for a soft pencil that is easy to blend. The eyes were usually lined all the way around, including the bottom waterline. Don't worry about a clean application — once you have your eyeliner on, use your finger or a small brush to smudge it for a lived-in look.

Dark lipliner and pink lipgloss

While deep maroon lipstick was all the rage in the '90s, come 2000, baby pink lipglosses were everywhere. In the time of teenybopper music and boybands, the look was more youthful glam than moody. Even Avril Lavigne, the self-proclaimed "rock chick" wasn't immune to having a bubblegum color on her lips. Shades ranging from a pale pink to a dusky rose graced the lips of Y2K celebs everywhere, but the one thing they had in common was the high shine, so make sure your lipgloss has extra sheen to it.


Overlining lips with a darker liner happens to be trending now, but it was also done back in the beginning of the 2000s. You're going to want a lipliner a few shades darker than your gloss. Start by tracing your lips slightly outside of your natural lipline, using the side of the pencil to gently smudge the color inward. Finish it off with a couple of swipes of lipgloss and you're good to go.

Bonus product: body glitter

Now that your Y2K face is complete, you can amp up your look with some body shimmer. Belly-baring crop tops and low-rise jeans showed off a lot of skin during that era so body jewelry and makeup were the norms. So much so in fact, that Jessica Simpson came out with her own edible body shimmer for her line called Dessert Beauty in 2004. Although the company has since gone kaput, there are plenty of options out there to choose from now. Thankfully, body shimmer has stood the test of time and it's easy to rock the trend like a Y2K queen.


You can choose one area you want to highlight, such as your chest and collarbone, or you can be like Ashanti or Paris Hilton and apply the body glitter everywhere. We recommend using shimmer oil for maximum shine because, after all, there's nothing more extra than Y2K makeup.