Perhaps it was the dawning of the millennium or the eccentric, plastic fantastic vibe of the ‘90s that resulted in totally bizarre beauty tools. Whatever the reason, there were a bunch of weird beauty tools you had to have to be cool if you grew up in the ‘90s and early ‘00s. It felt as though beauty tool inventors were trying to outdo each other in the bid to come up with the wackiest creation.
If you cast your mind back to your childhood and adolescent years, you may remember these unusual items. Oftentimes, a beauty tool would explode into the mainstream after being seen advertised or used by the most popular celebs of the time. Whatever the Olsen twins wore, I definitely wanted to wear, too. From their butterfly clips to their lipgloss, I wanted it all.
Millennials of all ages are sure to remember some of the weirdest beauty tools of yesteryear. The strangest thing about these tools was that they actually caught on and became seriously trendy. Thus, folks in ownership of them were usually considered the absolute coolest amongst peers.
In retrospect, it makes no sense that the status of our hair-wares made us cool, but that was one of the many oddities of being a coming-of-age-Millennial. So here are some weird beauty tools you just had to have if you wanted to be perceived as cool.
Hair Crimper Vintage Blue Conair Shiny Big Waves, $24, etsy.com
Whether you loved them or hated them, hair crimpers were huge in the '90s. With hair crimping aficionados like Sabrina The Teenage Witch, we could not be blamed for falling under their charming wiggly-wavy spell.
2. Topsy Tail
There was something so satisfying about using a Topsy Tail: One moment, your hair was in a regular ponytail; the next, you had the fanciest hairstyle in all the land. Or so you thought, anyway. The Topsy Tail probably made you feel like a bona fide hair magician.
3. Just My Style Nail Decorating Center
Older Millennials may remember the Just My Style Nail Decorating Center that acted as a glorified nail station to hold all of our manicure essentials. It had a built-in blowdryer that, according to the commercial, "really dries!" I reckon you sat there for what felt like an eternity, in comparison to modern day nail polish dryers at least.
4. Part Pizazz
"Imagine your own zigzag part — perfect every time!" Our quirky hair part dreams became a reality with this crazy contraption that allowed us to rock a variety of partings. They were each insanely trendy during your youth.
5. Anything Made By Conair
During the '90s and early '00s, Conair came out with some epic hair tools — from the Conair Quick Braid, to the Conair Quick Wrap, and the Conair Impressions. The only trouble was that some of these tools were a little tricky to use and could end up in a tangled disaster if they weren't handled properly.
6. Caboodles Make-Up
You're probably familiar with Caboodles carry cases. Yours likely helped you store all of your most beloved beauty products. But you might not remember these gems. According to the enthusiastic voiceover in the commercial, the makeup kits were "made just for girls our age!" She reiterated this line twice during the ad, just in case we missed it the first time around.
"Just fold, wrap, and snap!" The Hairagami made it super easy to create different hairstyles around a snap bracelet-style contraption. TBH, I never had a Hairagami growing up, but this commercial, with lines like, "Learn to make a Pony Heart that everyone loves," makes me want one so bad.
8. Remington Wet 2 Straight Flat Iron
Remington Wet 2 Straight 2 Inch Flat Iron Wet/Dry Hair Straightener S-8000i, $29.99, ebay.com
I'm not entirely sure how straightening wet hair with electric flat irons didn't electrocute users, but thankfully, I've not (yet) encountered anyone that this has happened to. When a girl in my friendship group — who always had the latest gadgets — got a pair of these babies in the early '00s, the rest of us lined up to use them.
9. Hair Sticks
The late '90s and early '00s saw the rise of kimono-style dresses in mainstream Western fashion, along with hair sticks. Sadly, we were not as cognizant of cultural appropriation back then.
10. Glitter Hair Barbie
In the '90s, there was nothing cooler than a doll that you could share beauty tools with. There were plenty of different kinds out there, but I'd say that Glitter Hair Barbie was one of the most popular, along with the Barbie Hair Stamper.
Although these beauty tool toys were cool when we were kids, you likely donated them to your kid sister as soon as you reached junior high. FYI, watch this commercial if you want to see a mini Mila Kunis.
11. Clairol Benders
Even if you were too young to remember this kooky commercial, you probably tried "borrowing" your mom's Clairol Benders nonetheless — especially when you had a sleepover on the horizon and you wanted to show your friends how incredibly grownup you were.
You're sure to recognize at least one of these weird beauty tools. But don't worry: 20 years down the line, people will probably be poking fun at our contouring kits and curling wands.
Images: Mr. Johnny Volume/YouTube (1); Flower Films, Tall Trees (1); Courtesy Brands (2)