Nostalgia continues to reign supreme over the beauty industry, as we see a strong interest in Y2K beauty aesthetics, driven by Gen Z’s obsession with aesthetic experimentation and need for feel-good play, as early 00s style captures the imagination of expressive, curious young consumers.
Nostalgia continues to reign supreme over the beauty industry, as we see a strong interest in Y2K beauty aesthetics, driven by Gen Z’s obsession with aesthetic experimentation and need for feel-good play, as early 00s style captures the imagination of expressive, curious young consumers. The world has experienced several years of trauma, not only due to the pandemic, but also due to complex social justice issues, leaving consumers in need of an escape from stressful reality. Trends like Y2K aesthetics boom on TikTok thanks to Gen Z’s obsession with the iconic style of early 00s celebrities. Gen Z is also driving a revival of early 00s emo and “scene” style, as they channel their creativity in exploring these eras. Gen Z icons like Olivia Rodrigo are making Y2K style mainstream, as Rodrigo featured classic early 00s beauty in her recent “Brutal” music video.
Y2K aesthetics are resonating with Gen Z consumers because they’re finding joy in adopting the styles and personas of an era before their time; just as previous generations have experimented with “vintage” or “retro” inspired styles. The teen pop vibe of these classic beauty looks has captured the imagination of a new generation, along with makeup looks we also see Y2K inspired hair and nail looks, with colorful beads, butterfly clip styles, crimped hair, and jelly sandal inspired nails. Classic turn-of-the-millennium beauty looks are booming on TikTok and Instagram, with iridescent textures, baby pink glosses, and powdery blue eyeshadows creating an immediate jolt of joy.
Beauty brands are taking note, debuting early 00s dedicated launches, like ColourPop’s Y2K-inspired makeup palettes, or BH Cosmetics and Iggy Azalea’s Y2K themed “Totally Plastic” collection. Throwback favorites are also on the rise, as Lancome’s Juicy Tubes or Claire’s Flip Phone Palette gain a kitschy novelty for newer generations. More subtle takes on the turn of the millennium also cash in on this aesthetic popularity, with Y2K themed, candy pastel colors that colors like Marinical’s skincare packaging that create a novel experience for creative and curious consumers.
By: Melissa Hago, VP & Creative Director of Beauty and Wellness at Fashion Snoops & Mallory Huron, Beauty & Wellness Strategist at Fashion Snoops.
Fashion Snoops: Trend Forecasting & Consumer Insights