How to achieve the perfect Y2K makeup look

You might have noticed Y2K beauty trends going viral on TikTok with the hashtag #Y2Kaesthetic. Glamour UK cites the ‘Y2K’ here as “a shorthand term for the year 2000”, and many TikTokers have been using the tag to show off some of the most iconic looks from the 21st century’s first few years. 

Key to the essential appeal of this look is that there are many different approaches you can choose from in order to replicate it. You can therefore expect to garner a look that comes across as Y2K but still distinctively you — as the following insights into Y2K beauty illustrate…

The historical context of the original Y2K beauty movement 

The Y2K makeup look has its roots in the late ‘90s, when a whole new millennium was about to begin and there was widespread anxiety about computers potentially going haywire as a result. This situated fulled a tech obsession that trickled through to the beauty trends of the time.

The Wear Next. website explains: “Everything was meant to look futuristic and techy but in a cute way — metallic shiny lips, colourful hair accessories, and frosty eyeshadows.”

How to place a strong focus on colour 

The word ‘colourful’ is one that would especially effectively sum up much of Y2K beauty — and makeup makes it easier for you to dab a wide range of colours to your face. For example, you could choose between blues, silvers, and greens for your eyelids and add rhinestones to your lashes.

Using a primer, you could gently press eyeshadows in pale shades of blue, purple, or silver to your eyelids. This technique can particularly excel as part of a wider effort to give your eyes and lips a ‘frosted’ look, which was also commonplace back in the early 2000s.

Always believe in your soul, because you’re… bronze!

Well, you soon could be, anyway — provided you use bronzer as liberally as many people who came of age around the turn of the millennium did.

However, there’s nothing wrong with you adding a twist to this look — and, indeed, bronzer can prove delightfully versatile when applied in a subtle, strategic manner. You can, for example, use this beauty product to warm up your complexion or add sculpture or definition to your face.

If your skin tone is somewhere from tan to deep, you can give yourself a glimmering bronze glow by using ICONIC London’s radiance booster in its bronze shade. This product provides all-over liquid radiance, enabling you to make your skin extra-dewy and perfect it for makeup application.

Don’t be afraid to experiment 

“We’re living in a time where the world feels a little bit harsh; Y2K was a freer, more experimental time,” makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez reflects in words quoted by Vogue.

“I feel that the way the younger generation is reinterpreting the era is through its colours and textures: metallics, glitters, and an array of pastels you see reflecting off of a CD,” Gutierrez has further commented, underlining how Y2K beauty looks can be repeatedly reused in creative ways.

Flush the Fashion

Editor of Flush the Fashion and Flush Magazine. I love music, art, film, travel, food, tech and cars. Basically, everything this site is about.