The early 2000s were a confusing decade for the world. Gone was the grunge explosion of the 90s, but it was still too early to consider throwing back another decade for a vintage aesthetic. We grew into our own style of the times, categorized by the DIY attitude that arose from modern technology springing up everywhere, and in particular, beauty. Curlers, crimpers, heat tools, in general, were everywhere, while progressions in beauty products had us going overboard and in excess. Glitter all over your body was the norm, and different brands of lickable powders and lotions had us buying for the sake of buying, and not just necessity anymore.
Most people see the early 2000s as a huge mishap in both fashion and beauty. For those of us who lived it, and especially those who were teens at the time, we look at it back at it with fondness and nostalgia. Box dying your highlights to horrific results, slathering on fake tanner with primitive formulas, and crimping your hair into oblivion, we look back at our mistakes now and wonder, what were we thinking? We've gathered a list of 25 products from the early 2000s sure to incite warm, sentimental feelings in us all!
25 Abercrombie 8, The Smell You Could Recognize From Across The Mall
If we walked into any mall in the early 2000s there was a never a doubt in our minds where to find the Abercrombie store. All we'd have to do is follow our noses to the overwhelmingly sweet scent sure to guide us in the proper direction. What came next was easy - the spotting of their display windows, which had muscular, perfect models hanging on banners, and mannequins with teeny tiny miniskirts lined in a row.
Abercrombie 8 was the scent we all coveted, and it's hard to say why.
It wasn't subtle, nor was it elegant, and left us all with intense headaches after simply leaving the stores.
24 Lancôme Juicy Tubes, When You Needed That Perfectly Glossed Pout
When we grew up from our Lip Smacker days, we graduated into hoarding Lancome's Juicy Tubes. They smelled delicious, came in an endless supply of colors, making our lips unmanageably sticky, resulting in hair stuck to our faces. As per Look Fantastic, this was the first ever lip gloss in a tube, hitting the market exactly in 2000. With the colors ultra-feminine, and the fragrances fruity, everyone needed to have an entire array of them, and they were everywhere.
Now, 18 years later, Lancome tends to release limited edition versions, and they all sell out immediately. They've even launched Juicy Shakers, glosses inspired by the original Juicy Tubes but in different packaging, still offering that same, fragrant, fruity smell.
23 Dessert By Jessica, Which Everyone Bought Only For A Taste Test
Who can ever forget that Jessica Simpson had her own line of edible beauty products in the early 2000s? Advertised practically everywhere, the line consisted of perfume, body shimmer, lip gloss, and countless other products sure to make you smell sweet and taste fabulous, too. Jessica even went the extra mile and had her then-husband Nick Lachey eat them off her during product demos at events.
She then decided to launch Dessert Treats, which were essentially the same products but targeted to a younger audience, with less suggestive ad campaigns.
We all wanted to try them but unfortunately didn't get a long enough chance to, as both lines were eventually discontinued due to multiple lawsuits.
22 Bad Gal Liner, Because Looking Like A Panda Bear Was The Thing To Do
Getting us with the pink and black packaging, the idea behind owning the coveted Bad Gal liner was the promise that we'd look just like our favorite celebrities. Lining our eyes in circles until we looked like Lindsay Lohan or Avril Lavigne (or more likely, a panda), was the end goal, and this was the ultimate product to help us achieve it. We loved our Bad Gals and wore the pencils down to stubbed oblivion.
We matched our thick, black eyeliner with very glossed up lips, pin-straight hair, and a sickiningly sweet perfume. It didn't get any better than that!
21 Claire's Roll On Body Glitter, Every Tween Girl's Favourite Trend
A bizarre obsession of the late 90s that carried off into the 2000s and was taken to a new level was body glitter. You could put it on by any means possible and there was no such thing as overapplication, in fact, it was encouraged!
Claire's, our favorite accessory store of the early 2000s, made sure to stock heavily in all forms of glitter.
Our favorite was the roll-on bottle. A bonus? It was scented and doubled as a tween's ideal perfume. What's unfortunate is that this still didn't sway us from lathering ourselves in body lotion or another heavily-scented spray, with the combination overwhelming all those who would walk past us.
20 Clean & Clear Morning Burst, The First Skincare Product We All Used
For those of us who couldn't afford the pricey sets of infomercial darling, Proactiv settled for Clean & Clear's Morning Burst. Perfect for everyday cleansing, the gel was infused with soft beads, promising to be packed with energy and vitamins. The citrus scent definitely left us feeling refreshed, making this product one we'd repeatedly flock back to without breaking the bank.
Morning Burst is still around to this day, but not for much longer. As per She Knows, a bill was recently passed to ban small plastic parts in personal care products by 2019. this includes the microbeads in Morning Burst, which came after years of complaints from both environmentalists and lawyers, finding the products unsafe to marine life and humans alike.
19 Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon ANYTHING
Bath & Body Works products were every teen girl's dream growing up. With endless, deliciously scented lotions, we all, for some reason, gravitated to it's most ubiquitous scent - Cucumber and Melon. What was described as a combination of crisp cucumber and fresh honeydew.
This Bath & Body Works scent was launched in '98, but gained popularity with girls everywhere by the 2000s.
It came in a variety of different forms - from lotions to sprays, and even soaps, everyone was walking around smelling like a spa.
Along with Herbal Essences, Bath & Body Works decided to relaunch this scent, along with other best-sellers of the early 2000s, for a limited time in 2015, as per Real Simple. It featured new packaging, but with that same crisp smell, we all grew to love.
18 CHI Flat Iron, Because Pin-Straight Hair Was The Ultimate Style
With all our favourite celebs of the early 2000s rocking pin-straight locks, we wanted to emulate exactly what they had. With the introduction of heat-operated hair tools we could all of a sudden transform our manes into something completely different - or so we thought. With so many drugstore-purchased hair straighteners promising us slick hair and then not delivering, we were suddenly enamored by the thought of owning a CHI straightener when they entered the market. A higher price point than what we were used to, CHIs actually worked and were even more enticing with their pink and purple sparkly frames. It was every 2000s girl's dream product.
17 Hot Tools Crimper, The Only Other Alternative To Straight Hair
The only other alternative to perfectly straight hair was crimped, popularized by our favourite starlets such as Britney Spears and Hilary Duff, circa her Lizzie Mcguire days. What the Chi was for straight hair, was what Hot Tools was to crimped.
The perfect tool that would give us stiff patches of wavy hair was a look we craved but then also potentially destroying our hair in the process.
While we all thought this trend has died down, recent celebs have started bringing it back, such as Ariana Grande Beyoncé, effectively making us all go "aww", and bringing back warm feelings of early 2000s nostalgia.
16 Thermasilk Heat Activated Shampoo, For The Softest Hair Ever
Leaving our hair soft and shiny, we weren't exactly sure what the heat activated portion of this shampoo was, but we loved it anyway. A step up from our Herbal Essences shampoos, Thermasilk didn't have the same perfumey scent, but just felt luxe. Thermasilk's promise was that it contained revolutionary protein formulas that were stimulated by the heat of your hair tools. Considering we were crimping and straightening to oblivion, we needed all the help we could get to maintain healthy looking locks.
Since the original Thermasilk has been discontinued since we last used it, Refinery 29 suggests going for the Suave Professionals Keratin Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner, instead. It leaves your hair just as moisturized and silky, but protects it even better from hot tools due to a more advanced formula.
15 L'Oréal Féria Colour Strands Highlighting Kit, Which Always Turned Out Disasterous
If you were a teenage girl in the early 2000s, chances were you at one point whispered to yourself that you wanted hair just like Christina Aguilera in her "Dirrty" music video or Nicole Richie circa her Simple Life days. Your mother probably said no and you were stuck with the DIY option of L'Oréal Féria's Colour Strands Highlighting Kit.
The idea seemed simple enough but resulted in overly chunky strands, which made you look like a badger.
We're so thankful that this trend has come and gone, replaced with beautiful, more natural looking ombré and balayage color techniques.
14 Jergens Self Tanner, Because We Wanted To Look Like Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton had the best tan of the early 2000s, and since we were all glued to our screens watching her on The Simple Life, we wanted to look just like her. Cue Jergens Self Tanner. A drugstore favorite to this day, Jergens hasn't always had the same natural, sunkissed look. When we think of the old formula, thoughts come to the overwhelming smell that lingers and stays on you for days. Even worse, you found yourself feeling sticky, in turn making your sheets and your clothes stained and clutching to the rest of your body.
Lucky for us the formula has evolved, and it takes multiple applications for that nice, bronzed glow, perfect for those starting off with self-tanners.
13 Proactiv, Since We Caved And Bought The Entire Set After Seeing It On TV Every Day
Interrupting our regular scheduled programming of MTV's best reality television, Proactiv commercials were on all the time. Promising to outshine less expensive, everyday drugstore acne treatments, Proactiv was also endorsed by every popular celeb imaginable of the time. Lindsay Lohan, Avril Lavigne, Jessica Simpson, and Kelly Clarkson all backed the brand, and the commercials focused on extremely awkward, zoomed in shots of celebrity acne.
Nonetheless, these commercials worked, and we found ourselves begging our parents for the entire set of Proactiv products.
As per Cosmopolitan, the products truly work, with the ingredients being salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin A, all found in prescribed, over the counter medicines used to fight spots.
12 NSYNC Lip Balm, Because It Didn't Even Matter If It Was Good Or Not, We Got It For The Packaging
Back in the day, you were either a die-hard Backstreet Boys fan or NSYNC fan, rarely ever both. Before the days of One Direction, teen girls everywhere fawned over boyband mania, while the artists in question definitely capitalized on the trend.
According to the New York Post, the NSYNC boys cleverly decided to target the lips of all their fans by releasing their own line of lip balms.
Teen girls everywhere went wild and suddenly had to have the flavor of their favorite band member.
For the record, Lance Bass had blue raspberry, JC Chasez went for watermelon, Chris Kirkpatrick, strawberry; Joey Fatone, green apple; and Justin Timberlake, vanilla.
11 Curious By Britney, The Ultimate Celebrity Perfume
Celebrity perfume endorsements were everywhere in the early 2000s, but nobody dominated the game better than Britney Spears. Curious was her first perfume and had us all dousing ourselves in the musky yet sweet fragrance, found in most malls around North America.
With notes of tuberose, jasmine, pear, and lotus, this perfume wasn't soo sugary like her later ones and doesn't seem dated in the slightest. If you sprayed Curious now, it would probably be quite fitting with what's on the market currently, too. According to Bustle, as of 2015, Britney has released a total of 17 fragrances, but nothing struck a chord as much as Curious.
10 Glow By J.Lo, Because We Realistically Only Wanted The Blinged Out Bottle
Britney Spears wasn't the only one on the celebrity perfume bandwagon, as Jennifer Lopez was also dominating the trend at the time with her Glow fragrance. Targeted to a slightly more mature crowd than Britney's Curious perfume, Glow was less sweet with notes of grapefruit, rose, sandalwood, musk, and amber.
As per Fragrantica, J.Lo herself described the scent as a subtle "skin-scent", lingering as soapy and clean.
With a glam bottle to match that had her logo bedazzled on the front, Glow was the perfect summer fragrance. Still a favorite among fans, Glow lingers on your body and reminds you of that perfect summer you had back in 2002.
9 Revlon's Street Wear, Because Glitter Also Went On Your Nails
While we were off glittering up our bodies to oblivion we decided our nails should play the part too - with Revlon's Street Wear collection. This beloved drugstore range was a staple with girls everywhere from the late 90s to the early 2000s, and best thing yet is that they actually stayed on your nails!
If you miss your confetti in a bottle that Revlon unfortunately discontinued, try opting for Smith & Cult, a lux collection of glittery polishes known to last.
Try the Glass Souls version, as they're marketing it as, "large and small silver glitter particles suspended in a clear base."
8 Bath & Body Works Art Stuff, Because It Made Us Sparkle And It Smelled Even Better
Besides Cucumber & Melon scented treats at Bath & Body works, another range of their products reigned supreme: Art Stuff. Satisfying our early 2000s craving for glitter and sparkle, Art Stuff was a range that included everything from hairspray, roll on glitter, hair gel, shower gel, lotion, foam, gloss, anything you could possibly imagine that could go with some extra glitz and shine in your life.
At the time we found all these products really luxe and decadent, but looking back at them now they seem absolutely unnecessary and downright weird. Why slather on glitter during a shower when the whole point is to make yourself clean?
7 Urban Decay Sparkling Lickable Body Powders, We Couldn't Afford It But Coveted It Anyway
Urban Decay's Sparkling Lickable Body Powder was the grown-up, decked out version of Jessica Simpson's edible Dessert line, and one which wasn't discontinued immediately due to multiple shady lawsuits.
This was the perfect step up to our roll-on glitter products we got at Claire's, a teen girls dream when she first walks into Sephora.
Still appealing to the early 2000s trend of shimmery anything, this range of body powders were all sparkly and edible, coming in flavors straight out of a candy shop. Coming with an adorable leopard-print powder puff, you would dust this powder all over your body, giving you a slight colored shimmer that you could later quite literally lick off.
6 L'Oreal Rouge Pulp, Our Solution Before Kylie's Lip Kits
Before the insane popularity of Kylie Jenner's infamous lip kits, girls of the 2000s had L'Oreal's Rouge Pulp line of lip glosses.
The commercials with the gorgeous Mila Jovovich pouting perfectly at the camera convinced us they were worth it.
And even when they came out of the tube all gloopy and thick, we still adored them just the same.
They have since then been discontinued but the current, millennial update is the NYX Intense Butter Glosses, which are equally as striking but without the goopy formula. Who said juicy looking lips were just a look of the past?!
5 DoWop Lip Venom, The First Ever Lip Plumper
DoWop Lip Venom was the first-ever lip plumper to hit the market, and was the answer to deliciously supple looking lips, long before the Kardashians made it a trend. It made our lips sting like crazy, as its ingredients listed are cayenne pepper, crushed mustard seeds, and anything else you generally find in a kitchen cupboard. As per DuWop themselves, the creator, Cristina Bartolucci, created the plumper after being on the set of NBC's show, Felicity. After love scenes, actors would come up to her with beautifully flushed lips, and she ideally wanted to recreate a look that mimicked the same effect as kissing.
DuWop is still available to buy, that is if you're willing to handle the pain of tingling lips!
4 NYX Roll On Eye Shimmer, Although You Could Use It Everywhere
What was better than body glitter? Glitter for your eyelids, of course! NYX's roll on eye shimmer was an easy and fantastic option for us, with one swipe making our eyes look like disco balls. A bonus to this product? You could actually apply it anywhere, and it wasn't limited to only our eyes.
This product is still available through NYX, with new packaging but the same, entry-level price.
If you wanted to splurge for those shimmery eyes, We suggest going for the Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow, which is the grown-up version of this millennial classic.
3 Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara, The First Ever Mascara Any Tween Owned
Probably the first mascara any of us ever owned, and also the most forgiving of formulas, Maybelline's New York Great Lash Mascara is a lengthening and thickening mascara, designed with a wiper in its tube to keep the formula from getting clumpy on the brush. Perfect for those who are starting off on their makeup journey, and for those who wear contacts too, Great Lash has been around for decades, quickly becoming one of the most recognizable mascaras on the market, with its easy-to-spot green and pink bottle.
According to Hello Giggles, Maybelline has even decided to relaunch their Royal Blue version of the Great Lash Mascara, since it was such a cult classic in the late 90s and early 2000s!
2 Lip Smackers, Especially The Wild Flavours
We're not just talking the regular flavors. Lip Smackers was probably any girl's first beauty brand that they owned and in a variety of different flavors such as Dr. Pepper, or the sour ones!
With an endless variety to choose from, we all had coveted collections that we cherished dearly.
As per Huffington Post, when Bonne Bell announced that it was sold to a new company as of 2015, its new owner Markwins would distribute Lip Smackers, calling this new period a "revamping" of the brand. Our teenage hearts wept across the globe, making us truly miss what was once the first ever flavored lip balm.
1 Herbal Essences Shampoo, The Ultimate Early 2000s Shampoo
The holy grail of all drugstore shampoos. We don't even know why we loved it so much, perhaps it was the overpowering fruity scent or maybe the fact that for such a cheap price -regardless it made our hair smell divine.
Every household had the familiar green and pink logo packaging in their washrooms until we grew up and migrated into salon-quality products.
We're all still fans of the brand deep down, and as per Huffington Post, Herbal Essences reintroduced their old bottles and two of their best-selling scents to fans back in 2013. The difference this time around? The formulas have been updated to be sulfate and silicon-free.
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