Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sun-In, White Musk, Heather Shimmer! Our Retro Beauty Favourites


Do you remember spritzing Charlie and Exclamation! all over yourself before school? What about baking in the sun trying to get your Sun-In to lighten your hair? Grab your pink bendy hair rollers, we're going on a little trip down beauty product memory lane.


White Musk
The Body Shop's White Musk range is basically what the 90s smelled of. They released it again a couple of years ago and while I'm sure it isn't quite the bestseller it once used to be, if nothing else it's getting people in a shop that looks like it's been frozen in time for the last 17 years. Our friends at Les Senteurs tell us that white musk is actually a made up scent (how dare they!) and if you want a more grown up version, Aqua Universalis is a good bet. No, there isn't a grown up version of 'Fuzzy Peach'. Come on now.



Heather Shimmer
Is this the most famous lipstick ever? Sorry Mac, you can keep your Ruby Woo, we were all about Rimmel's Heather Shimmer (nothing says sophisticated like frosted purple). People loved it so much that Rimmel actually brought it back from the Beauty Product Scrapyard. You can buy it for £4.99 from Superdrug. Apparently you've learnt nothing in the last 15 years.


Spectacular nail varnish
Once upon a very happy time it was fashionable to throw as much glitter on your nails as possible. A lot of schools didn't allow make-up but for some reason they let you go to town on your nails. And we did. Oh, we went crazy. Every day a different colour. Sometimes every single lesson. Spectacular nail polish was a favourite because it was 99p a bottle. 'Jazz Orange' was an inexplicably popular colour. It was the 90s, fluorescent was cool then. These days it's impossible to find so it's best you stick to Barry M. Also, let us not forget Barry M's Dazzle Dust. Because what's more fun than fishing huge chunks of glitter from your eye?



Wella Shaders & Toners
THEY DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Except the red ones and those most certainly did not 'wash in and wash out'. Thanks very much, Wella.


Sun-in
Aaaah, Sun-In. How many of you had two streaks highlighted sections at the front of your hair? This was usually the result of Sun-In (and poor judgement). The rest of us used it once and then spent the next week telling people how different our hair looked because they damn well wouldn't notice unless we said anything. Exciting announcement: you can still buy it! Just £5.79 from Boots. Reassuringly, the word 'streaky' appears frequently throughout the reviews.


Hair Mascara
Yeah, these actually worked. But they also made your hair look and feel like you'd run a wand of pink mascara through it. Because you had. Should you want to relive it all over again, Stargazer hair mascaras can be bought directly from them for three quid each. I might opt for Label M's powder pink hair spray instead.


Impulse body spray
Every school had their favourite, didn't they? Oxygen and O2 were the most popular ones in quite posh schools in Shropshire. Impulse are still going strong, if you want to be tempted by their new range. If you want to smell like O2, then try DKNY's Be Delicious - it's got a similar fruity freshness to it. And oddly, their overly sweet baby powder-esque ID scent smelled an awful lot like Miss Dior Cherie.



Exclamation!
According to Fragrance Direct (where you can buy this bottled nostalgia for the princely sum of £6.50), 'this feminine scent possesses a blend of peach, apricot, amber, and sandalwood'. Oh, it really didn't. It smelled of cheap chemicals and not much else. Still, the jaunty bottle was enticing enough that collectively our school jumpers became a history class fire hazard.

What other retro beauty products do you still have a soft spot for? Come on, get nostalgic with us in the comments.

39 comments:

  1. On the all important Impulse collection, in my experience Lincolnshire schoolgirls opted for Vanilla: Delights, Kisses and Secrets (in that order).

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    1. I like the idea of it being different across the country. There needs to be a 90s body spray map of Britain.

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    2. Girls in Worcestershire were all about the Dewberry.

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    3. Please let someone on Etsy make this print happen. Preferably in scratch n sniff format

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    4. I would buy that print! Dewberry Impulse and Charlie Red body sprays were the fragrances of choice at my school in Glasgow.

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    5. I thought Dewberry was Body Shop?

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    6. It was... I missed a comma in my excitement!

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    7. There was a musky Impulse that all the older girls in school wore, I can't remember the name of it, just the taste of it in the back of your throat if you had PE after them.

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    8. That would probably have been 'Hint of Musk'. (I did a lot of research.)

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    9. Boots used to do a 'Vanilla Musk' body spray in their Natural Collection range that a few girls in my PE group used, which I swear smelt more like B.O than actual B.O. Just the thought of it makes me retch.

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  2. Ah the heady smell of Impulse in a post netball match changing room. Delightful. I also remember feeling ever so grown up using CK One and Tommy Girl.

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    1. Tommy Girl! I thought that was so sophisticated. I think we were stuck with that Boots 'Natural Collection' sea-themed body spritz...

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  3. I used Tommy Girl, and the Impulse O2 deoderant, and then rather bizarrely given the content of this article I did actually go through a phase of wearing DKNY Be Delicious as an adult! Ah memories!

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    1. It's actually really nice, but I think they're quite similar!

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  4. You have just described my teenage years! Hours spent royally pissing off the Boots sales assistants by spraying every single bottle of Impulse and Charlie they had, trying to find the one that would become your 'signature scent' - and does anyone remember the Boots Natural Collection liquid body sprays? I used to love those.

    I ruined my hair with Sun-In and my mum had to take me to the hairdresser to have it dyed back to its natural colour. Every single Shaders and Toners colour I used turned my hair a bizarre reddy-pink, and they'd run in the rain all over your school shirt.

    And Spectacular nail varnishes were THE thing - living in the back of beyond it was a half-hour trip to Taunton to a shop called Peach's that sold all the corduroy flares, joss sticks and nail varnishes a 90s teenager could possibly want. My favourites were a bright blue, Jazz Orange (of course) and one that was called something-or-other Storm that was a pearly greeny-teal colour.

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    1. I almost certainly had the teal coloured one. The thing is, I bite my nails and always have, they're too short to paint. But I still bought the nail polish and lined them all up on my dressing table.

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    2. Peaches is still there! I walk past it every day on my way to work. They still sell all cord flares and joss sticks - except no-one ever goes in there now...

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  5. I still own a Heather/Coffee Shimmer, I had an O2 impulse spray and tried to hair mascara my nearly black hair with depressing results!

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    1. I always used the copper one. Because what blonde doesn't want goldish red streaks through their hair?

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    2. Heather Shimmer23 May 2014 at 23:29

      I still wear heather shimmer. I'm on my fourth one. Bizarrely, it looks better on me now than then! Love it :)

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  6. all of the above sum up my childhood... and the So...? perfumes. And what was it with just using sun in on the two front strips of your hair that were then left hanging down on either side of your face?!

    Anyone remember Salon Selctives? You could mix and match the numbered shapoos and conditioners to get whatever your desired result was?

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    1. I actually loved Salon Selectives. And the advert! Like you've just stepped out of a SA-LON!

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  7. My god just re lived my entire teenage years there! We were also all about davidoff cool water in my high school in Inverness (girls and boys!) Still takes me right back!

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    1. LOVED that perfume. Actually I still do. I would wear it with my Ben Sherman shirt.

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    2. Can't smell Davidoff without flashback to Awkward Teenage First Pizza Date Number 1

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    3. We need more information about this date.

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    4. Ha ha yes, good old ben sherman!

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  8. I have loved this post - I loved 02, but especially liked Zen - which smelled a bit like cucumber. My ultimate teenage smell (aside from the bus) was Nina Ricci's Belles de Ricci though - it smells like tomato plants. I have about a millilitre left - if anyone can find anything similar it would be amazing! Laura X

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    1. I'd forgotten all about Zen! There's a candle by True Grace called Vine Tomato - not quite perfume but it smells incredible.

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    2. Oh my goodness, yes, le belles di ricci was my absolute favourite in that cool green bottle with the pink lid! Total flashback there. I was also a big fan of Cerutti 1881 (I think that's what it was called).

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    3. Ah, you're a wonder, Sian! On my way to True Grace now. Zen was the best - I have a tiny amount left over that I got from eBay a couple of years back but it's dwindling, alas ...

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  9. Oh I had 02, dewberry, and exclamation! I also 'borrowed' some Jean paul gaultier perfume from my sister :) All the boys smelled of Lynx Africa! :)

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    1. The boys in my school were all about Lynx Atlantis.

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  10. Oh dewberry where are you now? I walked in a cloud of that stuff through my teenage years :)

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  11. This is a great post and recall so many products I used to buy as a 90s teenager. I loved Zen Impulse as well and had Spectacular nail varnish in emerald. Does anyone remember the nail varnishes in Miss Selfridge? They were in small frosted glass bottles with a small white outline of a heart on them, I had a pale blue and a pearlescent purple colours, I think the last colour was called cyanide!

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  12. My favourite impulse was the Spice Girls one, I remember being gutted it was a limited edition and I had a can of it for ages that I refused to spray, didn't want it to run out!

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  13. We were all about the Dewberry in our school. For birthdays your friends would club together to buy you a cellophaned Body Shop wicker basket! The glamour. I seem to remember that a body spray called Tribe was THE spray to use post-PE class, it was in a purple and hot pink can.

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  14. Zen was my favourite - loved that stuff. Did anyone else have the UV peel-off nail varnishes? No idea what the brand was but they went from clear to bright pink/purple in sunlight...

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  15. Aah sun in - please don't mock I use it weekly and have since I realised that paying £50 a month for subtle highlights was a mugs game and we had it so easy in the 80's. Buy it online, wash and spray and gradually let your hair lighten - no one notices the difference but by the end of the summer you have a sun bleached look that they pay a fortune for on Kings Road - even in Yorkshire. Not worthy of mocking but well worthy of a recommendation.

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