Buzzfeeds 24 Forgotten Items All Late 90’s Teen Girls Were Slightly Obsessed With had me happily strolling down memory lane. I adored my childhood in the 80s, but I loved my teen years in the 90s.
Oh, the 90’s. It was a decade where I played around with fashion, yet had no earthly idea what I was doing. I’d wear little girls fascinator hats from the 50s & would coif my hair into Germanesque Heidi braided up-do’s. I’d wear eyeliner in 60s cat slants or Ancient Egyptian flair with bright eyeshadow in shades of green, orange or purple. I’d simply re-apply the next day, never bothering to wash off the make-up, or fix it until a few days had passed. I resembled a rather messy MiMi from The Drew Carey Show.
I’d wear black band T-Shirts, jeans, and combat boots, but also delicate butterfly clips and want to shop in the Delia’s catalog. I’d also wear hippie broom skirts with my combat boots, paint my nails to resemble the Dior polish I’d seen in a magazine, wear The Gap’s Earth parfume, dye my hair black and listen to Marliyn Manson.
From an outside perspective, it appeared that I didn’t know in which direction I wanted to go. The problem was that I liked varying things, and just hodge-podged it all together to resemble the ultimate ‘things not to do’ list. My style was never quintessential or polished. It was a mess, but it was all mine. I’m saying this for two reasons; one is that you should probably know about me as you’re reading my words, you might actually want to know. Second is that to the average teenage girl of the nineties, this will look like a run down of the improbable; mixing things that weren’t really mixed.
01. Mosquito Net Canopies: I had this, but it wasn’t really what I wanted. Ever since my early childhood, I’d been wanting *something*, some sort of covering for my bed. I could never really place my finger on exactly what I wanted. While this was pretty, it was completely impractical, at least for me. I do live in an area with a high mosquito concentration, but air conditioning, not open windows, is my best friend. Plus, I’ve never been much of a sound sleeper; snoozing through the night blissfully in one position. I’d wake up and be completely tangled up in this and on more than ten occasions ended up pulling it from the ceiling.
02. Hemp Products from The Body Shop: The Sister first experience with The Body Shop was in the early 90s over in England, so of course she told me all about it and I was elated to finally go to one. My town was too small to even dream of having The Body Shop, but there was one in the mall in my state’s capital city. I smelled everything, but the thing I liked was the Hemp products, specifically the hand protector. Not because they were hemp related, but because they smelled like dirt and green and reminded me of my grandmother during the holidays. I know that’s weird, but it’s true.
The Sister & I later went on to sell their products through The Body Shop at Home, which is now defunct. While I still loved the smell of the Hemp Products, I also came to know and love their Brazil Nut products, their Cocoa Butter lip balm, and their Neroli Jasmine fragrance, which I don’t think they sell anymore. Nor do they still sell the For Men shave cream that’s pictured above that smelled like cookies… which is probably why they discontinued it, but it was AMAZING!
We went to one conference and we got to meet Anita, the founder, before she passed away. We ducked out early on, because the Tupperware of beauty products was not for us. Now that store in the mall where I’d first been introduced to their products is gone. There are, in fact, no Body Shop stores left in my state. Not that I HAVE to have their products, but from time to time our local TJ Maxx gets some in, so that is always nice.
03. Orbitz: Didn’t like this stuff. Not at all. Tried it once. Blech. What I did like was Snapple and Jones Soda. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much Jones Soda I consumed. It was an insane amount. This might not be forgotten, but with the people I know, no one’s been drinking it in about ten years. I don’t even think one could find Snapple around here any more. But Jones Soda was like some weird teen ritual with us. We’d drive all over town to acquire it. We stand there trying to find the best photo to drink combination, so what… that we could keep the label? And solemnly unscrew the top to read our fortunes. There wasn’t a lot to do back then.
04. Hair Mascara: Had some of this. Didn’t really work. Besides I was more of a dye all of my hair kind of gal. I was forever dying my hair; black, black with green or blue running through it, all sorts of shades of red, and sometimes orange. Though there isn’t a lot of photographic documentation left from my teen years, it was more than just red and buzzed. That happened after some woman butchered my hair so badly that I had to go to my dad’s barber shop which was run by old, scary men and get it all military buzzed. And that’s apparently the time period that was saved? Didn’t mind the buzz cut, or it growing out to a certain extent, just there was more to my hair than simply that.
05. Glintz: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this, though I do remember it being a popular thing to have stripey hair; whether it looked natural or not. But, as I said previously, I wanted non-natural and I wasn’t really into streaks. I did try, and had hair stylist try, to get me silver/grey. It never worked. Just the other day in Target, they had a package of hair dye to turn your locks the shade I’ve always wanted. And apparently from looking on Pinterest, I was way ahead of what’s fashionable, because now it’s a thing to be grey, where as in the mid-late 90s everyone thought I was insane.
But, I’m over dying my hair, so I won’t be going grey that route. I’m fine with the strands of grey I have and will just wait for the rest to come in.
06. Knee-High Boots: Oh, boots! How I love thee. Oh boots, how you never ever freakin’ fit my calves. I must have the Hagrid version of calves, because today really curvy girls can find knee-high boots to fit them, no problem. I still can’t wear them. But instead of Buzzfeed’s plain Jane boots from Delia’s, I wanted the mother of all knee-high boots; Platform industrials with buckles.
But, of course, I’ve just always loved boots. Had a pair of Doc Marten’s back then, but that was probably about 1999. Before then, I just commandeered my dad’s military issue combat boots. I was the girl with the coolest shoes in school, but it was just because I was too poor to actually buy boots and used my resourcefulness to my advantage. Wanted some Chucks, but couldn’t afford those either. I’ve had about four or five pairs and it’s because I found them at thrift stores.
07. Personalizing Everything: Eh, I wasn’t really obsessed with this. I personalized some things, but wasn’t really into that.
08. Bonne Bell Lipshades: I don’t really remember these. But I have been using Bonne Bell Lipsmackers since the mid 90s. I do kind of have a problem with chapstick. I call it that, because Southerners generally call things by brand names. However, I’m quite picky when it comes to the texture or scent of these; can’t be too thick or goopy, which Chapstick is. Lipsmackers (the vanilla-y scents), The Body Shop, or Burt’s Bee’s (blueberry & dark chocolate) is about all I’ll use.
09. Blacklight Accessories: Wasn’t too big into this either.
10. Novelty Rings: Yeah, I had a few cheap novelty rings, but the only one I can remember was a mood ring. Mainly my novelty rings happened to be real. My dad was a jeweler. Owned his own business. In a metal cabinet with little plastic drawers beside his work bench were all sorts of treasures. Mainly things that people never came back to claim, or items he’d bartered for. I had a Masonic Eastern Star ring, a silver ring with claws holding a crystal ball, but I no longer have those. I do still have a girl with coloured stone inlay, a groovy 70s flowers stainless steel spoon ring, & a middle eastern ring with a bell on the end.
11. Dr. Scholl’s Wooden Clogs: I wanted these so badly. However, I didn’t get a pair of wooden clog sandals, or wooden clogs until I was almost thirty. Neither were Dr. Scholl’s, but from a Scandinavian country, so perhaps waiting is best?
12. Sparkly Vending Machine Stickers: I was forever using random quarters to acquire sparkly stickers from vending machines. I wasn’t paid an allowance, or even for regular chores like other kids. I did, however, receive lunch money, and on the odd occasion my dad would pay to clean up all the sticks and pine cones out of the yard, or cut the vines off the garage. So, I’d skip lunch everyday and hold onto the money and then blow it at the mall. This is how I purchased coffee drinks, movie theatre tickets, random junk that I didn’t need from Claire’s, CD’s, band T-shirts, mall food, as well as those stickers.
13. Glow in the Dark Stars: A very huge yes. I don’t remember how I heard about the stars; friend, magazine, saw them in a store, etc. I do remember that after knowing about them, I had to have some. The mall in the capital even had a science and nature store in back then. They had glow in the dark fingernail polish, because it resembled the glow in the dark stars, which I think they were also selling. That was THE most awesome fingernail polish I have ever owned. The Sister and I each bought a bottle. They had pink, orange, blue, and then the green that matched the stars. She purchased blue, while I purchased the orange. Looking the polish up, they show it to be extremely bright on peoples fingers, it was not. It was however glow in the dark and that was why it was so awesome.
14. Hologram Clothing and Accessories: Except for a random sticker being holographic, nah. Wasn’t much into this either. And Alien heads were a big thing then. I like aliens, but I thought this was stupid.
15. Embellished Jeans: Yes. Well, I would see this in teen magazines. Adverts mostly. But I never owned any, nor did I embellish them myself. I did have a pair of dressy black pants with a strip of black leather and studs down the sides; then a pair of jeans with studs down the sides, but that was around 2000 – 2002. But holy hell, I LOVE the picture Buzzfeed has. I would have wanted her entire outfit back then. Now I just want those jeans and clogs! Perhaps I should embellish my capri jeans…
16. Long A-Line Skirts: This looked fantastic on the girls in the Delia’s catalogs, which by the way, I always drooled over just about everything contained in those pages, but never had a single item from that company. However, if I tried one on at the store, I just wasn’t feeling it… in the least. The skirts I preferred were broom skirts.
17. Face and Body Glitter: Glitter everything, man. Glitter nail polish, glitter eyeshadow, glitter in my hair. My favourite was the purple glitter eyeshadow from The Gap. The Sister worked there in the mid-late 90s, so I was given a lot of things through her employee discount. It was the perfect shade of violet with just enough shimmer and glitter, but not overly so. That isn’t it, but it’s close enough.
18. Tibetan Prayer Bead Bracelets: People wore these, but it felt wrong to wear something sacred to others so frivolously.
19. Saris: I don’t remember this being a thing until Gwen Stefani went through this phase. I couldn’t even tell you went that was. No one I knew wore anything like that, probably because it couldn’t be obtained around here at that time. I had always wanted a sari since I was really young after having looked at a book on India. But, I just want to wear it as Indian women do, but then that feels weird like I probably shouldn’t. So, I would probably just wear it around the house should I ever find one that I could afford.
20. Celestial Patterns: I was not obsessed with this, but I remember that you also couldn’t escape it at one time. This pattern was everywhere. I remember having one thing with this pattern on it; a journal or something, though I couldn’t tell you now exactly what it was, and that was good enough for me.
21. Custom Day Planner: Qua? Was this even a thing? I don’t remember anyone I knew having a day planner, personalized or not.
22. J.A.N.E. Cosmetics: Oh, I do remember this. While I wasn’t obsessed, I had an item or two.
23. Overlay Dresses: Barely remember these. Mainly remember not liking them at all. They never interested me. I loved the flowy maxi dresses, like the one pictured above, but never had that.
24. Hair Wraps: Got this done, on a lark, while up in Montreal. I’d never heard of it, but there was someone in the old district doing this on the street. The person I was with INSISTED I get this done. I could have cared less, but they said they’d pay, so I had it done.
Additions: Not sure if these things were forgotten or not, but…
Tattoo Chokers: I’d always wanted one of these. Was late in acquiring this as it was 2000, but I had two, purple, and wore them until they literally fell off of me. Note the photo, you can see it there.
Test Tube Shower Gel: I remember seeing this in a teen magazine. There were five test tubes full of different coloured shower gels, in a metal test tube-like holder. As soon as I saw it, I WANTED it. A month later, my birthday packaged arrived from The Sister, as she was living out west at the time. One of my gifts was the test tube shower gel. I hadn’t told her. I was beyond excited.
Hard Candy and Urban Decay Makeup: I’m sure it’s not a forgotten item, but THIS is what I was obsessed with, but couldn’t obtain since it wasn’t sold anywhere near me.
Gap Fragrance: I think people remember these, but apparently all the girls like Dream and Heaven apparently? The Sister preferred Grass. I adored Earth. And the small, silver spray tin made it all that much more 1990s.