How to do a Y2K Makeup Look

First came the unexpected return of matching velour tracksuits and mini-baguette bags. Next, Britney Spears began to make every headline once more. Now, we have officially transported back to the noughties with an entire Y2K makeup look taking over our screens and streets. Based on the bright shadows and tinted glosses that used to accompany magazines, this easily achievable trend is one we can definitely get on board with.  


What is 2000’s Makeup and Why is it Trending? 


As we may already know, fashion goes around in circles. With an influx of low-rise jeans, mini-skirts and halter-neck tops on the shop floors, it’s no surprise that the world felt the need to go all out with this iconic look. As soon as the highly influential Instagram feeds of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner confirmed that the days of heavy contouring and bushy brows were in the past, Y2K makeup got the green light to go ahead.  

Today, the general synopsis of 2000’s inspired makeup is cute, glitzy and fun. If you actually lived and used makeup during this era, something entirely different may spring to mind. Perhaps foundation-y lips, a cakey base, and streaky false tan may be a more realistic perception of the look from twenty years ago. However, we’re happy to confirm that today’s version of the 2000’s face does not include any of the above. Instead, we are taking inspiration from the more appealing aspects of the make-up looks that surfaced at that time. Think shimmering lids, tinted cheeks and simple brows. 

What do I need to do 2000’s Inspired Makeup? 

Thankfully, make-up techniques, tools and products have come a long way in the past twenty years. A foundation can be found for any skin tone and we know better than to use our fingers to apply it. What’s more, magazine freebies have been replaced with high-quality, hydrating glosses and long-lasting, pigmented shadows. Aside from your usual makeup bag essentials, to re-create the much improved, modern-day Y2K makeup look, you’ll need the following: 

For the matte complexion: Illamasqua Skin Base Pressed Powder   

For the shimmery, bright lid: Illamasqua Expressionist Artistry Palette 

For the skinny brow: Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel 

For the candy-tinted cheek: Illamasqua Powder Blusher in the shade ‘Tremble’  

For the ombre, glossy lip: Colouring Lip Pencil in the shade ‘Raw’ topped with the Beyond Lip Polish 

2000s Makeup Tutorial  

Step 1: First and foremost, focus on your base. Once your skin is cleansed and prepped, dab a primer around the t-zone area to capture that matte-faced look, synonymous with 2000’s makeup. If your skin gets particularly oily around these areas, a matte primer will help to achieve this. Once you have applied your foundation and concealer, set everything in place with the Illamasqua Skin Base Pressed Powder. Director of Artistry Pablo Rodriguez found these powders particularly useful for this look as they “keep makeup in place and control shine, but they don’t build when doing touch ups.” In other words, they keep your skin matte without the cakiness.

Step 2: Moving on to the eyelids, use an eyeshadow blender brush to apply the light, shimmery blue shade, Diet Cerulean, of the Illamasqua Expressionist Artistry Palette onto the base of the lid. Next, add the darker blue shade, Blue Period, close to the upper and lower lash-lines. Using the light-pinkThink Zinc, add some frost to the inner corners of the eyes and under the arch of the brow. Run a black pencil eyeliner over the top and bottom water and lash lines, buffing it out with a smudge brush at each outer corner for that smokey look. Top the lashes off with mascara.  

Step 3: When it comes to the eyebrows, the fluffy, hair-like effect we’ve been practicing for quite some time (and may have even finally mastered), is no more. With a Y2K makeup look, we want a skinny, clean brow. To achieve this, dip a brow definer brush into the Precision Brow Gel and instead of those short, delicate brush strokes that we’ve become so used to, draw a straight, long line to fill in the brow.  

Step 4: Dust the tops of the cheekbones with a highlighter and follow with the Illamasqua Powder Blusher in the shade ‘Tremble’ using a round buffing brush. Focus the attention of the colour on the top of the cheekbone and diffuse it out for those iconic 2000’s radiant cheeks.  

Step 5: Finally, we have the lips. Rather than scribbling around the entire perimeter of your mouth, we want to accentuate by lightly over-lining only across your cupids bow and the centre of your bottom lip with the Colouring Lip Pencil. From here, take the liner inside the lip line to trace the outer top and bottom corners. This will create a full, lifted effect. Feather the line inwards and use a lighter coloured nude lipstick in the centre for the ombre effect. For the finishing 2000’s touch, go entirely overboard with the Beyond Lip Polish for a plump pout. 

With your Y2K makeup complete, throw in some butterfly clips or scrape your hair back with a hair clasp and you’ll be good to go! 

Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an online content creator with a degree in journalism. In her free time, she's jade-rolling or buying over-priced candles. When she's not doing either of those, she's digging deep to find the latest makeup essentials.