Getting Ready In The '90s Versus Today

When it comes to getting ready in the mornings, most of us have our routines fine-tuned and perfectly timed (usually allowing for maximum snooze). Lately, however, I've started thinking about how different it was getting ready in the '90s and early '00s versus getting ready today.

The other day, I had somewhere important to be, and I was rushing to get ready. I kept anxiously glancing at the time every few minutes, trying to gauge how long I needed to put myself together. Normally, getting ready in the morning (if I count getting dressed, doing my hair, and putting on my makeup) takes roughly 40 minutes. Add a shower and hair blow-dry into the mix, and I easily need an hour and a half. You can't rush a masterpiece, after all.

Thinking back, I am just as obsessed with my daily getting-ready routine today as I was years ago, but a lot has changed. When I was a teenager in the late '90s and early 2000s, getting ready in the morning seemed a lot easier and less fussy. I still cared about what I wore and what I looked like, but there just wasn't so much work involved.

If you're anything like me, your daily routines have both drastically changed since you were a teenager, and not changed at all. Why don't we take a look at seven examples of what it was like getting ready in the '90s and early '00s versus today?

1. The Cell Phone Usage

These days, everyone and their kid has cell phones, but back in the '90s and early 2000s, that wasn't the case. Cell phones were extremely coveted back then, and if you were one of the few people lucky enough to have one, you probably didn't spend that much time on it. You'd maybe take one glance at your phone first thing in the morning, see if you happened to have a missed call or a text in the afternoon, and that would be it.

Today, it's a very different story. As soon as I'm getting ready, I grab my phone to check texts, emails, and social media while attempting to multi-task. And let's face it: How many texts have we sent to people when we've been on the toilet doing our business? For many of us, being on our cell phones has become an essential (and normal) part of our daily getting-ready routines.

2. The Motivational Music

If you're anything like me, you start your morning off by playing music to help wake you up, motivate yourself, and give you something entertaining to listen to as you prep for the day. Back in the '90s, most of us had one or two favorite CDs we'd put on over and over again (Wannabe if you were feeling peppy, Jagged Little Pill if you were feeling angsty). Or you would just turn on the radio. And if you were anything like me, you knew how much time you had left to get ready based on what song you were at.

Today, we're lucky to have all the music of the world available at our fingertips for our listening pleasure (thanks to those cell phones we love so much, and the Internet as a whole). This makes getting ready in the morning a lot more enjoyable, if only because we can create whatever soundtrack we want depending on our current mood. YouTube, iTunes, and MP3 playlists now allow us to be the masters of our own prepping soundtracks.

3. The Hairdos

Doing your hair was something of a breeze back in the day. Most of the time, we relied on the Jennifer Aniston-inspired mutli-layered haircuts. All we had to do was run a brush through our hair and we were good to go. If we were feeling like adding a little "style" to our 'dos, we possibly opted for the "gel and scrunch" method of putting gel in our wet hair, scrunching it, and letting it dry naturally throughout the morning. Or we'd make sure to braid our hair when it was still wet and then sleep on it, so all we had to do was take out the braids and obtain an awesome crimped hairstyle. If you were feeling adventurous, you'd maybe throw your hair half-up or in a high ponytail and add in some butterfly clips. In general, '90s hair was pretty straightforward and low-maintenance.

Today, we've gotten extremely glam when it comes to our mane. Most popular hairstyles involve first learning how to do them via a YouTube tutorial. Many of us love big, voluminous curls, intricate braids, chic sock-buns, and mermaid waves — all things that take time, tools, and talent. What would have been seen as "special occasion" hair back in the '90s is something we often attempt to tackle as our everyday 'do these days. Oh, and we've also completely ditched the crunchy gel.

4. The Makeup

Like hair, makeup in the '90s was fun, but no-fuss. Blue eyeshadow was all the rage, as was glitter (on any and every part of your body). But lipstick wasn't arguably as popular as it is today. You possibly owned one nude-brown shade (that you'd wear when you were feeling a little vampy), and one bright red one (that you only wore for costumes or for very special occasions). Most likely, putting your makeup on involved quickly lining the top and bottom of your eye with an eyeliner pencil, throwing on a little eyeshadow (only using one color), and then deciding on which flavor of Bonne Belle Lip Smackers to rock.

Today, makeup has become a big, dramatic deal. For many of us, it's one of the most important parts of getting ready each day. Thanks to the power of social media, the makeup-game bar has been significantly raised. Today, we often put on foundation, layer and blend our eyeshadow, fill in and shape our brows, perfect the perfect liquid-wing line, glue on false lashes, line and fill-in our lips, and contour all the angles. The whole event has become as time-consuming as it is necessary.

5. The Outfit Of The Day

When it came to getting ready and picking out your clothing back then, things were kind of chill. While some of us loved spaghetti straps and pencil skirts, others opted for baggy jeans and grunge band tees. Regardless of your style, you probably had a specific one, and several items in your closet were all focused around that look.

These days, we have so much more fun with our ensembles, if only because we have so many more choices. One of the great things about fashion today is that all looks are trendy, and playing with your daily style is not only encouraged, but usually extremely appreciated. Vintage-inspired fashion is just as trendy as the contemporary, and we pull inspiration from all different decades. What matters more these days is not so much what you wear, but how you wear it. We can play with our clothing, get inventive, mix-and-match, layer, and piece together items to our heart's desire.

6. The Accessorizing

I don't know about you guys, but accessories weren't as big of a deal once upon a time for me. I maybe had one or two pairs of shoes, one pair of sunglasses, one purse, a watch, a few choker necklaces (including the tattoo one), and a pair of small hoop earrings or studs in my arsenal. It wasn't unusual to wear the same accessories daily, no matter what else you were sporting.

Today, however, picking out "the right accessories" has become an extremely important part of getting ready. And depending on what we're wearing, the process can change pretty much daily. Instead of having a few "usual" accessories, most of us have a vast collection. Do I choose to wear a statement necklace, or something simple and delicate? Which bag should I pair with this? Should I wear a hat, or just a scarf? The dilemmas are endless.

7. The Selfie Game

Selfies weren't a "thing" when we were growing up. Hell, hashtags weren't even a thing. Digital cameras were all the rage, but they weren't normally used to document our daily outfits. We did take photos of ourselves with them (and usually with friends), but mostly they were used for vacations.

After spending quite a bit of time doing our hair, perfecting our makeup, choosing an amazing outfit, and accessorizing it perfectly, taking a selfie isn't just expected, but practically required today. Thanks to the wonders of social media, taking a photo at the end of our getting-ready-process signifies success. It's the reward at the end of all the work, and how we personally show off the masterpiece that is our "look" to the world.

I think it's safe to say that while getting ready may be a little more intense and time consuming in 2016, it's way more fun. We have so many more choices today than we did back then. And even though we may look back fondly at our younger selves with a delicious nostalgia that can't be fought, we can also look forward to a present that is filled with drama, creativity, and the freedom to choose whether to wear a tutu or your favorite jeans.

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Image: NBC Productions (1)