Back when pop was about bubblegum and hot boys had frosted tips, we had certain trends and beauty products that will always give us a wave of nostalgia. And that nostalgia will sometimes be laced with cringes. There were fashion and beauty struggles in the '90s that kids today will never have to endure. While it's true that our generations share many things — from a love of Britney Spears to a penchant for choker necklaces — there are still many things that the new Millennials and Generation Z-ers missed out on. They might wear overalls like we used to, and they have the '90s dark lip on point, but there are still many holes in their experiences.
For example, have they ever donned sour lipgloss? Or felt the nervous panic that was wearing a bubble backpack that could pop at any minute? Nope, didn't think so. Chances are you probably know what I'm talking about and thinking back happily to your collection of Lip Smacker glossies and weird '90s-centric outfits. From sticker earrings to peel-off nail polish, there are many nostalgic things that have been left behind at the turn of the century. Some were good, most were bad, but all of them were ours. Below are 11 fashion and beauty struggles most '90s kids went through that kids today will never understand.
1. Your Friend Stealing Your Favorite Flavor Of Lip Smackers
Angel Food Coake, $2.50, lipsmacker.com
I don't care if you said it was just an accident, Becky, you know what you did when you put that Angel Food Cake tube in your pocket. I saw you side eye me when you did it. Don't you play coy.
2. The Angst You Felt Not Owning A Lip Smackers Collection
Bonne Bell Lip Smacker Cupcake Lovers Lip Gloss Collection, $8, ebay.com
At a time when you were dependent on your parents to give you spending money, not having enough cash in the piggy bank was a nightmare when new Lip Smacker flavors were debuted and you couldn't buy them. It was like not having enough spending money to buy a Kylie Lip Kit in 2016. Pure torture.
3. The Madness That Was The Zig Zag Part
It took a special level of skill to do the zig zag part on your own in the morning. Whether you did it to leave your hair down after or to sweep your mane into pigtail braids, the thing usually looked like a hot asymmetrical mess that required at least four tries to get somewhat right. So many missed school buses. So little time.
4. The Disappointment That Was The Sticker Earring
Kid Girl Crystal Stick on Earring, $2, ebay.com
Remember the earring stickers that you could just glue onto your lobes? They were bubbly and hard, but all it took was a too-swift move of the head for them to fall off and show the world that you were a non-ears-pierced fraud.
5. How Stingy Roll-On Body Glitter Was
Scented Strawberry Body Glitter, $6.30, ebay.com
Rather than dousing yourself in lines of glittery goodness, roll-on glitter tubes were more chemical water than anything else. You'd have to roll and roll in one spot until a satisfying amount of glitter was applied. And if you were a girl in the '90s, you probably knew that "a satisfying amount" actually didn't exist.
6. The Hot Hell That Became Your Jelly Shoes During Summer
Glitter Jelly Sling-Back Sandals, $13.50, ebay.com
You were essentially boiling your feet alive, but it didn't matter when they looked so cute slapping across the playground. The clear glitter ones were my favorite, and I was super confused over this immense love-hate feeling I felt every time I strapped them on in 90-degree Chicago weather.
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7. The Horror You Felt Loosing A Butterfly Clip Wing
Golden Butterfly Clip, $0.30, ebay.com
Talk about a major faux pas. If you came back from school and noticed — while taking out the colony of Monarch butterflies currently clipped to your head — that one of them had lost its wings, you'd turn scarlet from mortification. And there you were thinking you looked so put-together all day. My god.
8. The Paradox That Was The No-Top Bucket Hat
No Top Bucket Hat, $5, ebay.com
It was a bucket hat... with the top cut off. Which meant it did absolutely nothing when it came to protecting your head from the sun in the middle of summer, while simultaneously making you look like a Pinterest craft gone wrong. How did these become a thing?
9. Worrying About The Status Of Your Bubble Backpack
French Canal Bubble Backpack, $28, ebay.com
Oh dear god, did one of the bubbles deflate?!
10. Wondering If Your Popcorn Shirt Was Stretched Out
Popcorn Shirt, $11, ebay.com
If it didn't snap back to its babydoll size, then it was useless. Useless! What did mom do to the laundry this week?
11. The Temptation That Was Sour Lip Gloss
Smacker was clearly on a mission to make young girls everywhere eat their lip balms and glosses, and the sour lippie was no exception. It was like a melted Ring Pop, and it was all too easy to go through a tube during a school week. It was like the perfect snack.
While kiddos nowadays won't be able to experience these same struggles, the question has to be asked: Are they lucky, or worthy of our pity?
Images: Hazy Lazy Daze/Etsy (1); Lip Smackers (2); Ebay (8); RCA (1)