The 35 Best Beauty Moments From ‘90s (and Early ‘00s) TV Shows

We know that every generation probably says this and will say this about their own childhood until the end of time, but we fully assert that the ‘90s and early aughts were the best years ever. Well, at least in regard to TV and childhoods (the decade can keep their cigarette smoking, JNCO Jeans, and Furbies). But for television? No question. Best ever.

We had game shows, like Double Dare, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and Figure It Out, some relatively terrifying cartoons (hello, Aaaahh!!! Real Monsters), and, of course, all of the excellence that came with One Saturday Morning. But, best of all, we had ‘90s sitcoms, filled with crimped hair, blue eyeshadow, scrunchies, body glitter, and every other questionable trend that could be found at Limited Too and Claire’s.

And the only other thing we love more than these shows is nostalgia. So we searched the depths of the interwebs—like, the cobwebby, skeleton-filled depths—to find the best beauty moments that ever existed on ‘90s (and a few early ‘00s, because how could we not?) sitcoms and cartoons. So please put on your Jellies, grab a Snack Pack, and get ready to take a walk down memory lane with us.

  • Boy Meets World

    When Topanga’s heavily crimped hair (seriously, does she not have the thickest hair known to man?) gave every ’90s elementary girl #hairgoals.

  • Daria

    Daria existing without her trademark glasses was a day all Daria fans will remember until they die. Probably.

  • Sabrina The Teenage Witch

    It’s accurate to say that every single ’90s girl loved this Britney Spears-inspired look. With zigzag-parted layers, heavily lined lips, and sticky jewels covering her body, Sabrina looked exactly like how we all imagined we’d look as teenagers.

  • Sister, Sister

    Only the coolest kids wore bucket hats–double points if yours were reversible–and Tia and Tamera Mowry were the definition of cool. But, like, in the approachable, not-actually-that-cool way. Like you.

  • The Wild Thornberrys

    Debbie’s thick, face-shrouding waves, razor-sharp eyeliner, and bold lips were the ultimate cool-girl symbol as a kid. And as an adult.

  • Lizzie Mcguire

    Lizzie McGuire was late-’90s and early aughts beauty. With sparkly butterfly clips, glossy flipped-out layers, and thick-as-hell bangs, Lizzie was a walking Limited Too catalogue of beauty looks. And let us all take a moment to marvel at Miranda’s fuzzy, pink, pomp-pomp pigtails. All of the yes.

  • Lizzie Mcguire

    That time when Lizzie paired a giant sky-blue hair flower (you had at least six of these; admit it) with shimmery blue eyeshadow, hoop earrings, and colored glasses, and you promptly thought of her as your queen.

  • Lizzie Mcguire

    And, of course, the time when Lizzie went “punk” and clipped her hair into a billion spiked buns, crimped a few random layers, and threw on a fake nose ring.

  • Rugrats

    When Chuckie (regretfully) dyed his hair black to fit in with the rest of the crowd, teaching kids everywhere a valuable lesson in being themselves. Or something.

  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    When the O.G. Aunt Viv fashioned a very ’90s variation on a French twist. Also, hey, young Will Smith.

  • Saved By The Bell

    Kelly Kapowski’s fluffy, razored bangs, smoky brown eyeshadow, and heavily blushed cheeks were the beauty #goals of at least a million little wistful pre-teens.

  • Doug

    Judy Funnie, Doug’s angsty, poetry-loving older sister, had micro bangs before micro bangs were cool.

  • The Proud Family

    Penny’s beauty mole and Di’s (short for Dijonay, let’s not forget) half-up fountain hair with the bobble hair tie were textbook trends for the early aught’s crowd.

  • Full House

    When DJ and Stephanie Tanner found their inner-rocker and consequently inspired a billion children to dye their hair lavender, as well. (Sorry, parents.)

  • Friends

    The Rachel. That is all.

  • Boy Meets World

    Let us all bow down to Angela’s braided and blonde-streaked pigtails adorned with checkered scrunchies. Also, a nod to Shawn’s gelled, slicked-back hair that had just one strand of hair curling against his forehead.

  • Doug

    The day when Patti Mayonnaise showed up at school with a new cropped cut and a deep tan, sending Doug into a lusty, confusing tailspin.

  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    If you look up 1995 in life’s imaginary encyclopedia, Aunt Viv’s coiffed, hair-sprayed hair and thick gold jewelry would be the first entry.

  • Rugrats

    Forever in awe of Angelica Pickles’s perfectly taut pigtails that never once changed throughout the entirety of the show.

  • Saved By The Bell

    Oh, Lisa Turtle. How we love your feathered puff of bangs, your high-shine ponytail, and the streak of pink blush on your cheeks. You were too cool for your time.

  • As Told By Ginger

    When Ginger gives herself a horrible, ’70s-inspired makeover for picture day (note: the blue eyeshadow).

  • Full House

    The episode where DJ Tanner channeled every middle-school girl’s first time putting on makeup. Uh, more or less.

  • Beverly Hills 90210

    Donna Martin’s prom look taught fans everywhere that no school dance is complete without an overly powdered face, crunchy curls, and some chocolate-brown lipstick.

  • Hey Arnold

    The time when Helga Pataki (who, mind you, was supposed to be nine years old), tried to look more feminine by giving herself a makeover using Preteen Miss magazine.

  • Dexter's Laboratory

    Didi’s poofy pigtails that twirled and flopped as she danced in her ever-present ballerina costume.

  • The Amanda Show

    Penelope Taynt (yeah, guys–that was the character’s actual last name) was, as everyone remembers, “Amanda’s number-one fan, please.” And we were the number-one fans of her banged bob and thick-rimmed glasses. (Fun fact: still exists. Have fun.)

  • Pepper Ann

    Pepper Ann’s gravity-defying curly bangs, Nicky’s blonde, ropey hair, and Milo’s blue bob were all of the late-’90s hair trends.

  • Powerpuff Girls

    The episode when Blossom showed off her supremely long hair that had been hidden from the world.

  • Clarissa Explains It All

    Clarissa’s wispy bangs, floppy bow, and long lanyard necklaces. ‘Nuff said.

  • Rugrats

    When Belinda had to chop off her hair after “The Junk Food Kid” stuck gum in it.

  • Full House

    Admit it: You wore Stephanie Tanner’s side half-ponytail with a thick-as-hell scrunchie for the better part of your childhood. And loved it.

  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    When Hilary and Ashley Banks gave every curly girl hair envy by making curly bangs and side-swept layers look easy.

  • Recess

    Everything about the Ashleys–thigh-high socks, Clueless-esque skirts and cardigans, and perfectly arched brows.

  • Friends

    Monica’s powdered skin, penciled-in eyebrows, and big-hair combo was the go-to look of older sisters and moms everywhere during the late ’90s.

  • Sailor Moon

    And, of course, everything about Sailor Moon’s ridiculously long, swirling blonde hair (with double topknots!).

Photo: ABC