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6 LOL Beauty Products From the ’90s

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

Photos: eBay, Definitely Beauty, Beauty High

Since Birchbox is always on the cutting edge of beauty, I thought it would be fun (and funny) to switch it up and go back, way back, to salute some of the beauty products that we’re all guilty of experimenting with during the Saved by the Bell era.

I may be dating myself here, but these products were absolutely essential to my tween and teen days in the ’90s. Here are my personal (yes, cringe-worthy) memories with each; drop me a line in the comments if you have a story, too!

Herbal Essences in Rose Hips: Ah…I can still smell the magical fragrance of this conditioner and shampoo. I remember when Herbal Essences were all the rage and that “Yes! Yes! Yes!” commercial would play before TGIF on ABC (talk about a throwback). I was so sad to learn that this scent was discontinued a few years later—and it looks like I’m not alone, because the product is going for a pretty penny on eBay right now.

Bonne Bell Lip Smackers: Okay, who doesn’t remember these? The watermelon, raspberry, and Dr. Pepper-flavored Lip Smackers were my absolute jam. I remember slathering this on when I was around my crush in school, convinced that the scent of my soda-flavored lips would surely reel him in. As if!

CK One Scented Nail Polish: Now, this is kind of amazing. Since I was all about those ultra minimalist Calvin Klein commercial with Kate Moss (and everything Kate Moss, really) in 1996, I made it my life goal to own anything and everything CK One. So when I discovered a booth selling CK One-scented nail polish at the mall one day, I begged my mom to buy it for me, and she kindly obliged (thanks again, mom!). The scent had surprising staying power, but that didn’t stop me from applying a new coat each day, just because. The image above is a mock-up, but I think I might have the original bottle hiding in my closet somewhere…

VO5 Hot Oil Treatment: I had really curly hair growing up, so my mom was always looking for new ways to tame it. I remember being super reluctant to try this stuff because the thought of placing hot oil on my scalp really freaked me out. I eventually gave in and I’m glad I did, because the treatment actually smoothed my unruly hair. Although effective, the formula’s consistency was a little too thick for my liking, so I eventually moved on to more lightweight formulas.

Dep Hair Gel: This is what I’m talking about when I say “cringe-worthy.” Dep was a gift and a curse when I was a tween. My grandma was really into doing my hair like a prima ballerina, so she would slick my hair with an unnecessarily huge amount of this goop before styling a very high, tight, headache-inducing top bun. (It did look very chic, though.)

Sun-In Spray Hair Lightener: Every teenage girl from the ’90s knows what’s up with the Sun-In. This was the fastest, most efficient way to lighten up your hair, and the next best thing when your parents were absolutely against dyeing it. I remember feeling so cool with my little light brown streaks of hair because it provided the perfect amount of rebellion that I was yearning for those days. Manic Panic was the next step, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

We particularly loved Natalie’s post from last week on braids to rock at Coachella. 

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  1. thehiddenrabbit reblogged this from birchbox
  2. hausoftrinity reblogged this from asfadedasmyjeans
  3. mindthecutethings reblogged this from birchbox and added:
    This is awesome. #throwback
  4. annaberlettvargas reblogged this from birchbox
  5. actuallyokatplanning1213 reblogged this from nanner and added:
    Once I found out Sun-In was also heat-activated (approximately my sophomore year of high school, if memory serves...
  6. tesseralharmonica reblogged this from nanner and added:
    Sun-In was such a Thing in elementary school/middle school. The cool girls did it (and some guys frosted their hair).
  7. asfadedasmyjeans reblogged this from nanner and added:
    I still wear Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers. I always do all my makeup and forget about my lips, so this stuff is perfect. It’s...
  8. verticalbutthole reblogged this from hndwrttn and added:
    My mom still has Sun-in
  9. hndwrttn reblogged this from birchbox
  10. dariadixon reblogged this from nanner and added:
  11. nanner reblogged this from birchbox and added:
    Oh, Old School Herbal Essences. How I miss you.
  12. nataliealcala reblogged this from birchbox
  13. birchbox posted this