Take a walk down Memory Lane with us…
There have been so many exciting, revolutionary and innovative beauty product launches and trends emerging over the past 20 years, it’s positively dizzying. From the rise of highlighting and contouring techniques, to the global popularity of multi-step skincare inspired by K-beauty, to the launch of Rihanna’s industry-disrupting foundation line, we are absolutely blessed with an abundance of options in haircare, skincare and makeup for everyone.
And although it’s tempting to look back at yesteryear and wonder what we ever did without our Glossier Lash Slick, the early 2000s actually did birth many of the beauty products that we still love today. Remember Juicy Tubes?? Still iconic. And who would forsake a classic OPI polish shade like “Barefoot in Barcelona” or “Russian Navy?” Not us, that’s for darn sure.
The new year (and, TBH, binge-watching Felicity on Crave) has us reminiscing about the products that defined our Y2K beauty looks, and turns out there are quite a few that we still use and love today. Here, the FLARE team rummages through our beauty cabinets to bring you eight classic products from the 2000s that we will never stop loving. Alexa, play “Don’t Cha” by The Pussycat Dolls.
Classic beauty products from the 2000s
Biolage HydraSource Shampoo, $22, and Conditioner, $24, chatters.com
I first used this shampoo and conditioner when I was around 16 or 17—a total splurge that I bought for myself from the local mall’s beauty supply store during my lunch break from my part-time retail job. I’d cart it back and forth to the bathroom like I was living in a dorm so that no one else in my family could get a mere drop of it. But after I moved out—and lived in a real dorm—I stuck to cheaper drugstore brands since most of my money was being saved up to buy my dream pair of super low-rise jeans from Guess, and so Biolage kind of fell off my radar. That is, until a decade later when I randomly started using it again when I lived in the UK. I couldn’t tell if it was the softer water in Edinburgh or the shampoo, but my hair has never been as good as it was that fateful year. (Of course, I didn’t recognize it at the time to be able to appreciate every second and selfie it from every angle….)
Years later, I started covering beauty releases as part of my job in magazines and was blessed with endless samples of everything from mass to prestige haircare, so I used whatever landed on my desk. But last year—about another decade since I’d last used it—I decided to see if I could recreate that glorious great-hair year of 2009–2010 now that COVID lockdowns have had the silver-lining effect of forcing me to grow out my typically shoulder-length hair. Well, I’m beyond thrilled to report that the water had nothing to do with it. Wherever in the world you’re sudsing up, this shampoo and conditioner set will leave your hair silky, frizz-free and so much easier to style. Now, even when I inevitably get lured by fancy new products, these bottles will always take up permanent real estate on my shower ledge. —Charlotte Herrold, editor-in-chief
Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer in Barefoot in Barcelona, $15, beyondpolish.com
“Barefoot in Barcelona” has been my go-to neutral polish shade since it first came out in 2009 (!). Any time I would go get a manicure, I’d scan the shelves of polish options for something that looked just a little bit more impactful than whatever “nude” was closest to my skin tone, and I’d always pull this one before even recognizing that, yep, it was “Barefoot in Barcelona” again!
Now that OPI has levelled up their range with the Infinite Shine collection—which promises up to 11 days of chip-free wear—the classic colour is even better. (Hot tip: In my experience, Infinite Shine is one of the only non-gel polishes that seems to stand up to constant hand sani use, whereas others fade and lose their shine from the alcohol.) I keep a bottle at home now for DIY manis and pedis, a key component of my Lockdown 2.0 self care. —C.H.
Picture this: It’s the year 2000 (Y2K, baby!) and my closet is bursting with stretch satin going out tops. I’m not technically old enough to be clubbing but this is the golden age of lavish sweet 16 parties held in strobe light-filled party halls, complete with DJs and dance troops to hype the crowd. Maybe you’ll slow dance to K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life,” maybe you’ll bust out your best butterfly on the dance floor. Life is good.
It was around this time that Lancôme launched its now inarguably iconic Juicy Tubes, a divine collection of dreamy-smelling lip glosses that left your pout absolutely popping without the glue-like stickiness of, say, M.A.C Lipglass. I first laid eyes on them at my local Pharmaprix in Montreal where I would go to admire the makeup and occasionally purchase a nail polish or lip gloss with my babysitting money—a sweet row of lollipop shades in the drugstore’s more premium beauty section, a playful reprieve from the more serious adult makeup that usually lined its counters. From that moment, I understood that I would not know peace until I had my very own tube of Dreamsicle, the milky, pastel pink shade, to slide in my shoulder bag and slick on to complement my best going out tops even if it cost at least four times what the average tube of Lip Smackers did. To this day, I can conjure the sweet cotton candy smell if I close my eyes and try hard enough (incidentally, it also summons a soundtrack of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” one of the year’s biggest hits) but thankfully, more than two decades later, I can still refill my stash whenever I want.
—Jennifer Berry, managing editor
This mascara has been around for nearly three decades (!) and has maintained its holy grail status for a reason: It works every time. I’ve been blessed with naturally long, full lashes so playing with different mascaras is a joy—I don’t need to hunt for a tube that’ll satisfy one specific need and I can go from super curled and ink black one day to full and feathered the next. And while I’ve had many flings and favourites over the years, I always return to this guy. You can layer the formula to build volume and thickness without clumping, and the brush’s soft bristles (no stabby plastic nubs here—my mascara nemesis!) cover lashes smoothly and evenly, without leaving behind flakes or chunks of product. Plus, at around 10 bucks, you simply can’t beat the price. —J.B.
Pro Palette, $50, shoppersdrugmart.ca
My introduction to the world of makeup and skincare was via obsessively watching early 2010s YouTube beauty videos and noting down really popular products that I thought might be worth the buy. The Lorac Pro palette was raved about by so many of my fave vloggers and I decided it would be be perfect as my first Big Girl palette. Back then it was harder to get in Canada, so I ended up asking a friend in the States to ship it over. Thankfully it’s more easily attainable now, and it’s still just as good as I remember: The colours are so easy to work into any look, are varied enough that no two shades are too similar, and are perfect for my very neutral eyeshadow looks. I’m on my second palette now, and I honestly don’t see a reason to stray. —Elham Numan, graphic designer
Original Healing Jelly, $3, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Although not technically a product of the 2000s (Vaseline goes all the way back to the 1870s!), according to my parents it was the be-all-end-all product for every possible problem when I was a kid, and therefore I’ll always associate it with that decade. Have a cold? Rub some Vaseline on your face. Headache? Do the same. Bad grades? You get the idea.
While these days I don’t necessarily think Vaseline is the solution to everything, it really has been the singular reliable product that keeps my forever chapped and sensitive hands from bleeding in the winter. —E.N.
Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon, $24, clinique.ca
I once read that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen swear by Clinique’s cult fave Chubby Stick, so of course I had to purchase it. This lip colour is not only *super* moisturizing, but the mega melon is the perfect, sheer shade to give my lips a tiny bit of colour for everyday. —Katherine Singh, assistant editor
8/8 The Body Shop
Own Your Naturals Eye Shadow Palette, $28, thebodyshop.com
As someone who *always* does their makeup the same way (natural!) the Shimmer Waves Eye Shadow Palette in Bronze was my go-to for YEARS. I bought my first palette to do my makeup for grade seven graduation, and have continued to purchase it in the 14 years since. It’s the perfect combination of soft, neutral colours with just the right amount of shimmer and pop, and is super creamy (which I love). This exact palette has now been discontinued, but you can get the same effect with The Body Shop’s Own Your Naturals Eye Shadow Palette (pictured above). —K.S.