We’re all losing our collective minds about the return of Y2K beauty and fashion — the return of the whale tail! Skinny eyebrows! Space buns! We’re doing it all again, and we’re doing the most. Of course, with trends working like a flat circle, it’s always interesting to guess what’s coming next. And here’s my plea: It’s time for body glitter to make its proper comeback.
Glitter gets a bad rap, and a deserved one — it’s bad for the environment, it goes everywhere, all the jazz. But body glitter, and especially the body glitters of the early 2000s, just hit different. It felt daring, like the first time you and your friends skipped class to go to McDonald’s kind of daring. There’s no pretense to body glitter, it’s just full nostalgia.
At their peak, body glitters came in all kinds of forms: There was the giant chunky rollerball-style body glitter, where blue reflective flecks were encased in a blue gloppy liquid consisting of ingredients we now know you shouldn’t put anywhere near your immune system, smelling of something they describe as “blueberry” but no blueberry has ever smelled or tasted like that, with a top note of Clorox and a bottom note of aspartame. But man, you were the coolest kid at theatre day camp when you slathered it all over your arms and legs, where your best friend Lindsey is mad at you because she wanted the blue glitter and she only got the “stupid pink” glitter, and how will people know you’re Ashley and she’s Mary-Kate if she’s wearing pink glitter?! You couldn’t help it that your mom took you to Claire’s on the day they only had blue glitter, okay?
There was the puff-style, an oversized cotton puff covered in some type of “fluff” where the glitter mainly got trapped in its loose-yet-tight tufts and barely got on your skin, but it made you feel like you were Marilyn Monroe, or Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. Sometimes the puff would come pre-filled with glitter; others came in a giant compact where, if you plopped the puff in the powder without being gentle, you were bound to inhale a lungful of powder and glitter, of which you are likely still coughing up to this day. (You may be entitled to financial compensation under a class action lawsuit.)
It was such a good time to be alive. Let’s do this again.
What really was the crème de la crème off the body glitter era — of whom Britney Spears was the Founder, President, and CEO of, and will hold that title in perpetuity — was the absolutely absurd idea that we wanted to eat body glitter. Like, we… we thought…
In 2022, it feels wild to say “Jessica Simpson once had an edible makeup line”, but we’ve said and are continuing to say even crazier and absurd things on a regular basis. But Dessert Beauty by Jessica Simpson needs to have its moment in the nostalgia sun. I mean, there’s a full essay to be written about Jessica Simpson’s deeply ignored legacy in the beauty industry and how she walked so the Gomezes/Grandes/Halseys/Keyses of the modern beauty space could run. At Sephora in 2004, Dessert Beauty was selling whipped body creams that for some reason came with sprinkles. It was saccharine-sweet and a little wacky, much like Simpson herself.
And don’t even get me started on Urban Decay’s Lickable Body Powder. I, inexplicably, wore that to every single high-school dance I ever went to. And no, I was never attacked by anyone’s tongues, but the sweet caramel smell and gentle bronze shimmer is a memory I will never forget. I held onto that feathery puff with its tassel for as long as I could, and it even made an appearance in Mean Girls, the movie that formed a generation. Urban Decay buzzed about the LBP making a comeback a few years back, and let me tell you, I was smashing my keyboard in their Instagram comments for it. I’m begging, I’m pleading.
Rihanna tried to bring back the body-glitter concept with the Fenty Beauty Fairy Bomb Glitter Puff and Fenty Beauty Body Lava a few years ago, with that video that owes me back pay with how much space it’s taking up in my brain, and I got my hopes up it was going to start a boon, but — no dice. Megan Thee Stallion regularly shows up wearing body glitter that feels throwback-y in a way that isn’t hitting you upside the head.
I mean, we have body glitters in modern day — trust me, I am a connoisseur in the body glow department — but they’re more body shimmers and body highlights, usually full of ingredients that are great for your skin and leave you looking like you are encased in gold. They dry down fast and don’t transfer onto your clothes, all the good and great things. I love them, and I am here for them — but that’s not what early 2000s body glitter was like. It was risky, it was ignorant. I miss wiping off a snail trail of glitter off my décolletage.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that Y2K beauty was hard and impractical — as was living in the early 2000s for a lot of people. I want us to be a little impractical again. Body glitter is massively inconvenient, and makes no attempts to be anything other than that. We can all do to be a little more difficult.
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