Forgive me, but the return of the original 1990s supermodels – Linda, Christy, Naomi and Cindy (the fifth, Tatjana Patitz, sadly died earlier this year) – has unleashed my inner 15-year-old obsessive fangirl. And what inhaling Linda Evangelista’s new book and Apple TV+’s The Super Models series has done is made me fall in love anew with the 90s makeup look made iconic by the fab five. And with a lighter touch, the neutral palette and clear lines of the 90s feel absolutely right for the 2023 aesthetic.
Consider my Mac Spice Lip Pencil duly sharpened. Linda Evangelista was said to routinely sneak into the backstage ladies’ room to add this flat, reddy-brown pencil to her outer lipline, regardless of a catwalk show’s exacting theme. Against a paler-toned lipstick it gave the illusion of fullness and still holds up now, when matt, nude lipstick dominates (Maybelline’s outstanding Matte Ink in Driver or Poet, £9.99, gives 1990s realness with 2023 comfort and staying power). Though smudging the line a little with your little finger to blend liner into the lip shade looks more natural and modern.
If Spice is too terracotta for your lipstick wardrobe, its stablemates, Subculture (a dirty pink, ideal against pinky nudes and easily my own most worn) and Oak (a perfect flat, pale nude for beigey lip colours) offer something for everyone.
Supermodel makeup was perfected, if not invented, by the late, great makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, whose eponymous makeup line offers, appropriately, everything one needs for a Cindy or Naomi tribute face. The Sculpting Powder (£41, three shades) best shorthands his work and is so versatile: stroke with a medium-sized brush into the hollows under cheeks and on temples for a shadowy, chiselled bone structure, then use a smaller eyeshadow brush to buff out a fraction above the crease of your eyelids.
This monotone nude look is quintessentially 90s supermodel while being just right in the current trend for minimalist makeup. If you prefer modern creams over powder formulations, you can use the exact same techniques with Makeup By Mario’s matt yet still creamy and comfy Soft Sculpt Shaping Sticks, £32 (six shades, packaged helpfully like Pritt Stick). Or, if you’d like to experiment but very much do have to “get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day”, you’ll prefer Barry M’s bargainous, skinny and consequently easy to control Chisel Cheeks Precision Contour Stick (three shades) for just £6.99.