9 Totally Nostalgic Beauty Uses For Gel Pens

I remember the days when all I needed was a pack of gel pens to make me happy. Those guys could be used for many purposes and were like the coconut oil of the stationery world. However, you might not remember all the beauty uses for gel pens, because there were so many you likely lost track at the time. Never mind over a decade later.

Let's get one thing straight: Gel pens were predominantly used for all our stationery needs. From doing our algebra homework, to practicing writing our crush's last name after our first, gel pens were, for many, the instrument of choice when it came to making our mark in middle school in the late '90s and early '00s.

There were so many types to choose from, too. If you had a stationery fetish, you probably felt completely overwhelmed when you went to your nearest Claire's to stock up on school supplies. There were neon gel pens, scented ones, and even metallics. But the crème de la crème, IMO, were the milky gel pens that let us write using barely-visible, unicorn-like pastel hues.

Back in the days when I wasn't allowed to wear makeup, gel pens were my lifeline into the beauty world, since I could use them for a plethora of decorative purposes. So here are all the beauty uses for gel pens that you may have adopted when you were growing up as well.

1. Tattoos

Considering that many of us Millennials were a little too young for tattoos in the '90s, my classmates and I went through a phase of illustrating ourselves with our favorite pop star names, cartoon characters, peace signs, and anything else we fancied at the time.

If there was a kid who could draw really well in our class, they could make a quick buck (or a shiny Pokémon card) by drawing some next level art on our bodies.

2. Nail Art

If you went to a school with a strict dress code, where nail polish was forbidden, your only choice was often to turn to your trusty gel pens to give yourself a DIY manicure. Of course, the glitter gel pens were the best for nail art.

3. Earrings

Perhaps you were a kid who wasn't allowed to get their ears pierced. You likely saved your stick-on earrings and clip-ons for special occasions and blended in with everyone else by drawing some earrings onto your lobes.

You had to make sure not to get caught, though, because the popular kids (who sported multiple piercings) would never let you live it down if your "earrings" suddenly melted off in gym class.

4. Nose Stud

In my school, it was super rare for anyone under the age of 15 to have a facial piercing. But if we wanted to look super grownup at a house party, we turned to our trusty gel pens for a little assistance.

5. Hair Accessory

There was a huge fad in the late '90s and early '00s that consisted of getting our hair to stay up by using household items. Popular ones included: Pencils, pens, and rulers. If it could keep your 'do in a quirky style, it was going in your barnet.

6. Bracelet

Designing your own gel pen bracelet was a great alternative to paying attention in history class.

7. Eyebrow Piercing

Cool faux piercings were everywhere in the early '00s and the emo scene was likely to blame. When attending an emo concert, a punk style piercing was a must-have accessory. And if you were too young to get one, you might have drawn one on instead.

8. Rings

Illustrated gel pen rings were a great option for the times when we'd eaten all our gummy rings.

9. Belly Bar

Britney Spears rocked a belly button piercing on TRL in 2000 and sent many tween girls the world over into a frenzy, begging their parents to get a belly bar, too. You may or may not have been allowed to get your navel pierced, so if you fell into the latter category, it's possible that you took matters into your own hands. Sadly, it was super difficult to make your drawn-on belly bar look realistic — what a bummer.

Nowadays, many of us are old enough to get the real deal when it comes to tattoos, makeup, and piercings. But if you fancy trying something on for size before committing, gel pens are a great option. Happy doodling!

Images: Phoebe Waller (10)