As If: 20th Anniversary Clueless Makeup Tutorial

It’s hard to believe but Clueless came out 20 years ago last week. I was 6 when it came out, but it loomed large in my pop culture imagination. In my eyes, Cher was the vision of the perfect teenage girl. I remember dreaming of a computer automated closet and my very own Jeep.

Cher is the center of the teen queen classic film trinity, flanked by Heathers and Mean Girls. Cher is the queen bee: fresh-faced yet defined. Effortlessness that hides her manipulation. I had a few thoughts on rewatching Clueless.

  • I need silver Doc Martins like Brittany Murphy (Rest in Power).
  • Polaroids of your outfits are like useful, private Instagram selfies
  • “Let’s do a lap before we commit to a location.” Truer party words were never spoken.

While Cher’s volunteering spirit is only self-serving, she does have a lot to teach us about looking perfectly together. In particular, her high school no-makeup makeup look is fantastic.


Cher always has a perfect blow out. It’s glossy, straight, and voluminous, perfect for tossing over your shoulder and flirting with Paul Rudd. I recreated it with a straightening iron and some dry shampoo at the roots for volume. And for 1990s accuracy, bend those ends in with your straightening iron.



Wide-eyed, “oops that was a mistake” is what we’re going for here. Apply a shimmery nude shadow all over your lids from lash to brow. “Nude” eye shadow will depend on your own skintone, but for my pale yellow-neutral skin, I love Stila’s Kitten. It’s a well-balanced champagne with pink and ivory tones. Next, apply brown liner on your top and bottom lashlines and follow with two coats of black mascara. Don’t go all the way around with the liner  – only the outer half of your lower lashline–for a nice, innocent look.


Cher doesn’t subscribe to Kim Kardashian-style contouring. Instead, she just goes with soft pink blush to play up her baby cheeks. I used Tarina Tarantino blush in Carved Rose for the same effect. Use a highligher pen like the YSL Touche Eclat along your cheekbones, above and below your eyebrows, down the bridge of your nose, and along your cupid’s bow for that angelic glow in all lights. I found the original #1 shade of Touche Eclat overly pink for my skin, and returned it for shade #1.5, which has yellow undertones.

clueless lips


“Always draw attention to your lips.” Noted, Cher. For a 90s gradient lip that doesn’t veer too far into Pamela Anderson, line your lips with a rose pencil and fill your lips in completely. I used an old Wet-n-Wild shade #664B. Layer a lighter pink-nude lipstick, like Buxom’s Lip Pencil in Sydney, in the center and blend. Finish with a dab of shimmery pink gloss in your center lower lip for an even poutier look. I used the Buxom lip gloss in the shade April.



It’s very 1990s, but not too dated. Hopefully Cher wouldn’t call me a full-on Monet. What do you think?


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