Best Beauty Moments From The Delia*s Catalog - Into The Gloss

Best Beauty Moments From The Delia*s Catalog


Circa 1996, getting a new Delia*s catalog in the mail each month was one of life's great pleasures—right up there with Hard Candy, Fiona Apple, or Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Print was still relevant, and Delia*s was a thing of beauty. Where else could Y-necklaces and neon, cropped sweatervests live in such beautiful, clunky harmony? Here, our 10 best beauty findings from an in-depth anthropological study of the late-'90s teen catalog:

1. Oh God, bUNs. Remember how everybody used to wear the faux Princess Leia bun hair thing? This is why we don't show photos of ourselves taken between 1994 and 2001.

2. On that note, sP!Key TwiStEd uPdOs. Never again.

3. wH!Te frOstEd eyEsHAdow. It was the only shade that mattered, really.

4. StaCkAbLe bODy gL!tTeR gELs, which were kind of like having Mariah Carey vomit on you in the best way possible.

5. WeT-LoOk cRunChy CurLs. Like you just stepped out of a a land where all the water has been replaced with hair gel.

6. sPl!T-sHaDE liPSt!cK! "It's two for the price of one, mom. Gah, just let me add it to the order form so I can get mailed in! Picture day is 40 days away!"

7. Painfully sTrAiGhT hAiR that's 50% post-Grunge, 50% flat iron, and 100% inspired by Hanson.

8. EmbEll!SheD bArReTTeS! Because we were finally old enough for these not to be a choking hazard. 

9. The nO-mAkEup mAKeuP. Truly, teens 20 years ago were Zen masters of minimalist maquillage.

10. Ra!siN liPsT!cK.

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  • Heather P.

    Thank you for that reminder of my high school years. I wore so many big flare jeans...which was so not good on my short-ass legs!

    I'm pretty sure we all ate our body weight in glitter during the late 90s too!

  • Hai Yen Nguyen

    Thank you for this wonderful dose of insta-nostalgia! The dELiA*s catalog has to be my own version of Proust's madeleine for high school memories. I can vividly remember spending too much time debating which glitter stack shade combo to buy (warm or cool?!), feeling envious seeing the heather grey duffle coat on another girl in class before I could order mine, and a crocheted poncho I still regret not buying.

  • Rachel Baynard

    I was obsessed with the Delia*s catalog. It truly was the most exciting day when one of those puppies hit my mailbox. I rocked those crunchy curls (for waaay too long) and thought I was hot stuff thanks to Herbal Essences mousse. I can smell it now.

  • Kristien

    Dear Lord, I am so ridiculously happy to see this! My jaw literally dropped when I saw it and I frantically scrambled to click. I spent my middle school years in 1998-2000 pouring over these catalogs, pen in hand, circling everything I wanted, which was usually half of everything in there. My awesome parents were kind enough to buy me most of what I wanted for birthdays and Christmas, and dELiA's was the forerunner on most gift lists. I wish I had kept a few to reminisce!

    • Blair

      Ditto! This article made me soooo nostalgic!!

  • hbrooksh

    Wow! Completely forgot about Delia*s. I don't know how, as I bought my junior year prom "dress" from them in 2002. It was an embellished floor length skirt and spaghetti strap tank, the aptly titled color "pewter".

  • Michelle

    Perfect tbt! I definitely rocked those Princess Leia buns and spiky updo's but am probably the only girl who snubbed glitter in the 90's rocking vamp and lamenting that I was too young for it during the grunge era instead. Thanks for the walk down memory lane ITG!

  • Dana

    The models had such a fun attitude. Not as passive like the catalogs for girls today.

  • Sarita

    OMG! The boots in pic #15?! I'm fairly certain I bought those during my sophomore year of high school.

  • Jenny W

    omg I feel so old! I loved getting that catalog and wondering if I had enough daisy or flower rings or hair barrettes! And the baggy pants! Lets not forget outlining your lips with the darkest brown lip pencil you could find, and then using lipstick that was obviously 3 shades too light! what were we thinking back then?

  • Katie

    Holy nostalgia!

  • Emily Trout

    Completely forgot that this existed! But now I definitely remember thinking that if I could just get my mom to buy me some stuff I would have been infinitely cooler. Total time warp!

  • Bella

    OMG, Y-necklaces!!!! Brown makeup! Mac lip pencil in Spice!!! CLUELESS!! (The movie as well as the generation LOLOL!!)

  • Aubrey Green

    I was OBSESSED with this catalog! Ha, this brings back so many memories.

  • Memz

    Nostalgia just hit me like a ton of bricks. The alternating of capital letters!!! ahh this is all too much.

  • Calin

    This is fantastic...I had pages from dELiA*s catalogs all over the walls of my tree house.

  • lucinda veen

    Long-sleeved V-neck shirts with thin multicolored horizontal stripes. YES. I had a shirt almost identical to the one on slide 7.

    I'm sad that I was only eight in 1996 and thus missed the era of split-shade lipsticks, but by 1999 I was juuust old enough for melon-scented body glitter. Thank goodness.

  • Catherine

    Oh my gosh, how weird is it to be old enough to REMEMBER things that are "vintage" now. I loved that catalog, I remember feeling like it was the epitome of cool. This post is such a walk down memory lane. Also really shows how far we've come in terms of diversity - a magazine nowadays will typically feature models from all different ethnic backgrounds. I had forgotten how recently that just wasn't the case.


    Is that Milla?

  • Talia

    If you never called the 800 number with your 'clearance' catalog dog eared and sticky tabbed, only to find out that everything you want except for the stackable eyeshadow powder is sold out in your size, then you don't know pain my friends.

    • magicmollys

      "stackable" is the most beautiful adjective in the english language

  • Liz Bachman

    was OBSESSED with delia*s. ahhh, the 90's...

  • caroline

    Thanks so much for this! Totally reminds me of my elementary school years circling all the things I wanted. So many nostalgic memories!

  • Mary D. Coleman

    i had the black top on p. 23. loved this post.


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