I was born in 1991, so while I did admittedly miss out on some of the very early ’90s pop culture when it was happening, I also lived through a lot of it. Every time I see a Buzzfeed article about ’90s nostalgia or a meme dump of “things only ’90s kids will recognize,” I can’t help but stop and scroll.
Listen, there are plenty of things that I think we should leave in the ’90s. Yeah, I’m looking at you, stirrup leggings. You too, shoulder-padded T-shirts. But I do have to admit that there are several ’90s nostalgia products that I’ve seen making a resurgence recently that I absolutely need, even though I’m a grown woman now.
Since I know you probably need them too, I’m going to share!
My rental house is not conducive to keeping any kind of houseplants alive, and my landlord won’t allow me to have pets. Since I definitely need something to care for as if it were my child (because I’m clearly never leaving the house again), I feel like one of the re-released Tamagotchis just might do the trick.
I remember every girl in elementary school trying to sneakily check on the suspiciously egg-shaped bulge in her pants pocket (I’m sure the teacher had no idea at all what was happening) to make sure that her Tamagotchi hadn’t pooped or gotten sick while she was doing math worksheets.
We would mourn when they died, and viciously gloat when we kept our pets alive longer than our friends, and honestly? I’m ready to do that again.
If you didn’t have a Caboodle, were you even a ’90s girl? I remember mine vividly: hot pink glittery plastic with a purple heart-shaped clasp (also glittery, of course). It was a thing of beauty, and I felt like a Babysitters’ Club-level cool girl every time I opened it.
I hadn’t thought about my Caboodle in years until my best friend texted me an Amazon link asking me to talk her out of buying one. Not only did I not do that (she bought it), but now I’m hunting for my own perfect Caboodle to complete my beauty setup.
3. Fanny packs
I resisted the resurgence of the fanny pack for a while because all I could think of were the hideous ones that I had the misfortune of owning as a kid. I also wasn’t a fan of the plasticky, holographic clear ones that seemed to be trendy.
Now, I take back all of the snarky comments I made. I’m the proud owner of a “belt bag” (yeah, I know it’s just a fancy fanny pack, but let me have this), and I wear it all the time. This ’90s nostalgia product is so convenient since I rarely have pockets, and it’s the ideal pandemic accessory.
4. Lisa Frank
When I look back on my total obsession with Lisa Frank, I feel no shame at all. Lisa Frank was a lifestyle and a status symbol for ’90s and early ’00s girls everywhere. If your mom would splash out for a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, you were instantly popular. If you had matching stationery, pencils, and stickers to trade, you were never without friends.
I never had the full complement of Lisa Frank merch (my mom was not about that life), but I had enough to be mostly content. Now that I’m 30 and have zero need for a Trapper Keeper, Lisa Frank has come back with a ferocity that I am here for.
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Yes, sure, there are plenty of merch options for little kids, but seriously, that’s not why we’re here. Lisa knows this, and she has us covered. There are tees, hoodies, mugs, rugs, stickers, scrapbooking materials, and I think I’ve even seen those godawful velvet posters in a few stores.
Do I need more stationery and stickers? No. Will that stop me from Lisa Frank-ing my entire life? Also no.
5. Lip Smackers
I wasn’t allowed to wear any kind of makeup until I was 15, but thankfully my mom made the occasional exception for Lip Smackers. (This might explain my crazy lip balm collection as an adult.)
No matter what wild flavor you picked up, it tasted great and smelled even better. Shockingly, they were one of the only lip products marketed to kids and teens that didn’t make your lips into a sticky, dried-out wreck.
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I don’t think Lip Smackers ever really left the scene, but I know that most of us moved on to more sophisticated things as soon as we had the pocket money. However, I got on a ’90s nostalgia kick the other night and realized that all of the iconic Lip Smacker balm flavors still exist. Not only that but they even still make the ultra-glassy watermelon liquid gloss that I was completely obsessed with as a tween. I wore disgusting amounts of that stuff and loved every second of it.
By the time you’re reading this, I will have already made a totally unnecessary haul of every Lip Smacker balm I remember loving, and I will have no regrets about my purchase.
I Do Love the ’90s
I don’t want to go back to the ’90s, but it’s fun to relive memories and cringe about what we used to think was cool.
Have you seen any other ’90s nostalgia products that I missed? Drop them in the comments for us!