I will be the first to admit that the millennium was a big ol' mess in terms of fashion and beauty, from the ridiculous style trends to the early 2000s beauty trends that honestly shock me to the core every time I look back on them. That's not to say I didn't take part in the looks: I had the Lip Smackers frosted lip balms, the chunky highlights, and even the thin brows. But that's what makes it so much more fun to reflect on the past with equal parts disdain and hilarity.
Because I lived through the era, I experienced all our beauty faux pas throughout my precious preteen years. TBH, I kind of feel sorry for today's kids who will look back on the ages 12 through 15 without such a sense of embarrassment. Today's kids can contour better than I can, dress better than I ever did, and wouldn't even dream of layering on blusher where blusher definitely shouldn't be. Generation Z may look amazing, but its members are missing out on the joy of laughing at all their pre-YouTube makeup tutorial mistakes.
Luckily for them, there exist lists like these for a lesson into the errors of Millennials. Here's hoping they never repeat these 11 ridiculous early '00s beauty trends.
1. Stripy Highlights
I very vividly remember wearing a special cap with holes in it at the hairdresser's as she pulled strands through to make sure my highlights would achieve that perfect, striped look. If I saw that cap again now, I'd burn it.
2. Excessive Blusher
Now, don't get me wrong: Blusher is a crucial part of many people's makeup routines and prevents us from looking like corpses. But it's very easy to cross the line into too much blush. For whatever reason, however, too much blusher was a concept none of us knew in the early '00s.
3. Square Tip Manicures
I am wholly and completely behind the acrylic nails trend, wearing them more often than not. But seeing them with a blunt, square end just gives me instant flashbacks to the early millennium.
4. Frosted Lips
Frosted lipsticks, frosted lip glosses, even frosted lip balms: This trend was huge back in the day.
5. Frosted Tips
The male version of frosted lip balm was icy blonde tips, and I can't decide which looked worse.
(Definitely the hair, actually.)
6. Thin Eyebrows
I can't see a single way that thin brows will ever get popular again, given the current climate.
7. Black Lowlights
This honestly just made it look like our hair was going moldy, don't you think?
8. Statement Belly Button Jewelry
In fact, I haven't seen a pierced belly button on a celebrity in years. Where have they gone and when are they coming back? Now that I think about it, this is an early '00s trend I'd actually love to see again.
9. Kohl Eyeliner
I may have some personal hatred brewing for this one, but coloring all of your water lines in with kohl eyeliner was too much. We're in the era of winged eyeliner now, guys.
10. Clip-In Extensions
This one's not necessarily unheard of in 2016, but is now executed in a much better manner than in the early '00s.
11. Diamante Tooth
I don't know why, but for too long a period of time, nail gluing a crystal to your tooth was an act of pure fashion in my middle school. Thankfully, this trend hasn't been revived in recent years.
Hopefully this list has filled you with a happy kind of nostalgia for your bad beauty decisions of the early '00s, reminded you to never attempt any of these looks again, or at the least given you some really good costume party ideas. Personally, I'm secretly pleased with how bad I looked as a preteen because it makes how I look now all the more impressive.