“I resurrected 2009’s biggest beauty trends for a week – and this is what I learned”

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To help celebrate Stylist’s 10th birthday, digital writer Hollie Richardson embraced the beauty trends of 2009. From the Kardashian glossy pout to that iconic Megan Fox red carpet look, here’s how she got on.

My alarm goes off at 4:50 every morning. This means that my quick ‘n’ easy make-up regime usually only involves slapping on some concealer and waking up my tired eyes with a lick of mascara. 

So, I was already pretty sceptical when my editor tasked me with a beauty challenge. My concerns further intensified when I learned I’d be taking on beauty trends from 2009… I mean, what the hell was happening in 2009?

Well, I know what I was doing: I was picking up my first copy of Stylist magazine on my way to study Journalism at university in Leeds. And a quick flick through my Facebook photos confirms that I was never seen without a thick layer of liquid eyeliner on my top lids. I also made the decision to dye my peroxide blonde hair dark brown mid-year, which explains the sorry state it continues to be in today.

Hollie with her uniform black liquid eyeliner and peroxide blonde hair in 2009.
Hollie with her uniform black liquid eyeliner and peroxide blonde hair in 2009.

Elsewhere, a family called the Kardashians had a TV show that people seemed to like (myself not included). Twilight mania had also taken over, much to the relief of many a goth. And Lady Gaga was filling the dance floors with some absolute bangers.

With all this in mind, I was still nervous when handed the looks that I had to recreate. But – in the name of journalism and Stylist’s 10th birthday celebrations – I embraced the challenge.

Day 1: Beyoncé.’s baby doll pink cheeks

Beyonce at the 2009 MTV Awards.
Beyonce at the 2009 MTV Awards.

OK, I admit it: I started off easy. But this was pretty much a reintroduction to make-up at 5am on a Tuesday morning, so give me a break. 

Recreating Beyonce's pink cheeks from 2009.

I layered on MAC Pink Swoon Powder Blush, and saw Noddy looking back at me in the mirror. Feeling a bit silly, I admit that I did wipe some of it off (pathetic, I know). And, in the morning meeting, my team chorused a smattering of “your make-up looks really good” compliments, but they couldn’t pin point what product or celebrity look I was trialling. 

The fact that I can’t take a compliment made me blush bright red, which perhaps brightened my cheeks more than the actual blusher. I can say with absolute certainty that no one mistook me for Beyoncé, who inspired the look.

I made a promise to myself to be bolder the next day.

Day 2: Lady Gaga’s white eyeliner

Lady Gaga wearing white make-up in 2009.
Lady Gaga wearing white make-up in 2009.

Although Lady Gaga’s full “Miss Havisham takes out her bitterness in a Tipp-Ex factory” look didn’t exactly catch on, she did inspire white eyeliner on the catwalks.  

I decided this was perfect for a day of interviewing Fearne Cotton and joining my friends at a hip new London bar for book club. 

Recreating the catwalk-cool white eyeliner look of 2009.

Using L’Oreal’s Matte Signature Liquid white eyeliner, I tried to recreate a sort of “sci-fi 60s cool” take on the look. Instead, I looked like I was at the receiving end of Havisham’s Tipp-Ex rage. 

Fearne, however, said she loved it before we started the interview. This gave me a newfound sense of confidence, so I batted my eyelashes purposefully at Stylist’s editor-in chief Lisa Smosarski back in the office, who then said she “liked it! (but maybe for a night out)”. My friend gave me the hat-trick compliment by shouting “cool eyes!” as I walked into the bar.

Maybe I pull off it off after all? 

Day 3: Kristen Stewart’s angsty vampire smoky eye 

Kristen Stewart rocking the Twilight smoky eye in 2019.
Kristen Stewart rocking the Twilight smoky eye in 2019.

Feeling a bit squiffy from the previous night (well book club does tend to get wild), I already had dark bags under my eyes – perfect for Kristen Stewart’s Twilight look. 

Recreating Kristen Stewart;s Twilight smoky eye from 2009.

Check out my teenage vampire angst in the photo! Tired, I smudged the Bourjois Smoky Stories palette onto my lids and lined my heavy eyes using the Benefit BADgal BANG Pencil with zero precision. And, somehow… I think that worked, especially as I finished the look with an all-black outfit and tousled “I don’t care” hair. Because of course I did.

My editor, Kayleigh, who had been weirdly excited about this particular look (secret Twi-hard? Ed’s note: Absolutely not), loved it . By the end of the day, my eyeliner had dribbled down my face. 

Although I looked like I was ready to get down at an underground party, I instead went home, had a steaming hot bath and slept like a vampire.

Rock ’n’ roll, people.

Day 4: The Megan Fox lip and liner

Megan Fox on the red carpet in 2009.
Megan Fox on the red carpet in 2009.

Megan Fox’s red carpet glamour really isn’t what I’d usually channel for an evening of noodles at a BYOB Vietnamese in Dalston. But, you only live once…

Recreating the Meghan Fox red carpet look.

Don’t I look like a fox? A Megan Fox, to be precise. I drew on a long cat-eye flick using the best eyeliner I’ve used in years (Huda Beauty Life Liner). I also rediscovered my side parting and rollers, before painting my lips red with Maybelline’s Superstay Matte Ink Crayon Lipstick. I kinda loved it – especially the va-va voom hair. My friend said I looked very “glamorous” which made me slightly cringe as I munched on my noodles surrounded by people wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. I will definitely try again, but perhaps for a more suited occasion.

Day 5: The Kardashian glossy pout

Kim Kardashian paves the way for contouring and glossy lips in 2009.
Kim Kardashian paves the way for contouring and glossy lips in 2009.

As I planned to spend my Sunday at the Burberry Cafe on Regent’s Street for an afternoon tea treat, I thought I would try and trick people into thinking I was Kim Kardashian out shopping for a new trench coat. 

Recreating the Kim Kardashian glossy pout.

Well this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to having a contoured face. I did start by watching a YouTube video on contouring but quickly became bored and decided to wing it. Seriously, I have a new respect for anyone who has the patience or time to do that. 

My method was to simply pile on the bronzer and layer on the lip gloss (MAC Lipglass Fashion Punch). Alas, no one mistook me for Kim K. But my friend was “impressed” by my efforts – which I guess was enough. Although I won’t be contouring anytime soon, I did very much enjoy having über plump and glossy lips.

Day 6: Lauren Conrad’s boho plaits

Lauren Conrad's golden glow and plaits in 2009.
Lauren Conrad's golden glow and plaits in 2009.

See also: Jennifer Aniston and her pinned back plait on the red carpet. Surely, this one will be easy peasy?

Recreating Jennifer Aniston's 2019 boho plaits.

Introducing the most half-assed attempt at a beauty trend trial perhaps ever. But this look is all about embracing those laissez-faire vibes, after all. 

I tried to achieve The Hills Californian golden glow with a little help from the previous day’s bronzer, but my freckled Irish skin was having none of it. 

This also takes me back to my Sienna Miller boho years, when I was obsessed with everything she starred in and wore. It’s just a pity that I only had one kirby grip to hold it in place. Where do those things go? 

Day 7: Jessica Alba’s bright fuchsia lips

Jessica Alba on the red carpet in 2009.
Jessica Alba on the red carpet in 2009.

I was quite sad to reach the last look in this little experiment, so it was good to end it on a high with Jessica Alba’s fuchsia lips (using Maybelline’s New York Color Sensational Pink Lipstick). 

Recreating Jessica Alba's fuschia lips from 2009.

As someone who is currently wearing a metal brace, the idea of drawing any attention to my lips is quite daunting. But, wearing such a fun, bright colour made me think “fuck it”. 

I must give a special shout out to my editor who decided to, on this day of all days, inform the whole editorial team about my challenge in the monthly meeting. Although I was at first mortified, a couple of colleagues came up to me, saying they didn’t realise I was doing a challenge and was just rocking a bright lipstick. 

Once my braces finally come off, I think I’ll revisit this look as a celebration.

So, what did I learn after a week of wearing seven beauty trends from 2009?

I think that, actually, 2009 wasn’t such a bad year for beauty. 

Most notably, it was the dawning of the Kardashian contour. But my favourite looks were probably the Megan Fox red carpet look (which remains a classic) and Jessica Alba’s fuschia lips. 

Although I’ll probably be taking the Tipp-Ex back to the stationary shop, I did also enjoy pretending to Fearne Cotton that I was cool and edgy. And perhaps, one dark, scandalous night, I’ll decide to paint my eyes black again a la Kristen Stewart. 

It’s also reminded me that make-up is FUN. Because even the sleepiest zombie in the morning can take a moment to brighten up their cheeks or colour their lips. So that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

Until then, though, it’s so long to 2009 – and hello to 2019. Can someone tell me what the latest trends are, please?

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Images: author’s own, Getty

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