Nine Gen X Beauty and Fashion Essentials

By Amos Staff

A primer to Generation X (born mid-1960s through early 1980s, allegedly. You know who you are.) fashion and cosmetics, skewed towards the girls (but we’re not judging, totally).

Referencing the image, from left to right and top to bottom:

  1. Banana clips. Which we kinda feel like might make a comeback because they make your hair look both fuller and longer. Bonus points (in the past) if you made your bangs super tall and curly and held everything in place with that Paul Mitchell hairspray that smelled like watermelon. (Honorable mention for Aqua Net, Aussie Freeze Spray, Sebastian—which also smelled great, and/or for embellished banana clips: beads, rhinestones, ribbon, you know: generally bedazzled.) Fun fact, you can still purchase neutral/natural color banana clips. Goody Classics offers a set of clear, tortoise, various browns, and black. You can find it on Amazon and Walmart, among others.

2. Bonne Bell original Ten-O-Six facial cleanser and antiseptic. We just loved the scent on this and we have really spectacular memories of different versions of the bottle. Plus, that fun amber-bourbon color looked great by our ballerina music box jewelry box (yeah, you know the one). But guess what, much like you can still get some banana clips, you can still (allegedly) get 10-0-6. It’s still made by Bonne Bell but it’s called “So Totally Clean” and branded as a deep-pore cleanser. We’ve not seen it in a store around us but it’s super-affordable online. If you check it out, please let us know if the scent is the same. We really need the scent to be the same. Also: we hate the new name and everything about the bottle.

3. Love’s Musky Jasmin body spray and cologne. So, most people (we think but maybe not?) are more familiar with Love’s Baby Soft (incidentally, that shit still smells great and is easy to find and the bottle is still its wonderful old self) but while the 1970s (or so we hear from like Judy Blume or something) had a Love’s Lemon Drop and the 1990s (so we see online) had, like, Berry Blast or some ish, well, the real deal was Love’s Musky Jasmin. So many questions: why did they leave off the “e”? Where did it go? Why did they stop making it? We don’t know about you but we had both Baby Soft and Musky Jasmin(e) and, well, for what it’s worth, the Musky Jasmin(e) always ran out first. And one horrible day we used our last bottle and didn’t even know it. This is one we wish they’d bring back, original scent and yes, original bottle, even without the “e.” IMPORTANT ALERT: it’s possible that this still occasionally exists under the names “Soft Jasmin“ and/or ”Musky Jasmin Flower.” Maybe?

4. Maybelline Kissing Koolers. Yeah, these were fantastic and the number of times in our adult life we have wanted these to be re-released would be embarrassing to say out loud, let alone type into Amos mag. So, we’ll just say this: they smelled great, they had fantastic tint, and on both an aesthetic and tactile level, the design and packaging of these just were so, so satisfying. They were, on the downside, a little sticky but all the same, we wish these damn things would make a comeback. Dear Maybelline…

5. Village Naturals Lip Licking Lip Balm Tin. Okay, if you didn’t enjoy clicking these damn things open and closed, did you even live through the early to mid 1980s? I can tell you stories about almost each of the flavors, even the green apple, which was maybe not the greatest one. And when they came out with the double-flavor tins (watermelon and ice combo is pictured)? Greatness. No, they glistened not. They were a little waxy, smelled great, actually did moisturize for several hours. Plus, did I mention, the tins made the most satisfying clicking noise (and the tiny tins felt so smooth in the hand!)? Bonus fun thing? These were perennial Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers: usually packaged by threes on a fun train-themed card. Just thinking of these makes us ridiculously happy (we can still smell most of them in our mind! Is that just us? Surely not). Oh hell…Alert, alert, alert! This is a big fucking deal! Tinte Cosmetics sells them, including the doubles (like the aforementioned watermelon and ice) plus the color tint versions! Oh, love and joy, and heavenly glory and praise the lord, and, well, holy shit. We’re super excited about this one. And…they have re-makes of Kissing Potion roller balls too, so well, we’re in love and giddy and everything is wonderful, is it not?

6. Jelly Bracelets: We’re not going to link to anything but you can still get these and, honestly, we really want to. Our favorites growing up were for the translucent neon ones (80s neon rainbow: lemon, lime, pink, orange, and sometimes a neon purple) and the black ones, but we fully appreciate the bright, pastel, opaque variants. Being somewhat cranky Gen-X, we were not overly thrilled in the late-90s and early 2000s when people gave them a code and called them, among other things, shag bracelets. For us, they will perpetually be perfect, uncoded, colorful, and, yeah, we might be buying some now… (Honorable mentions: the water-glitter-filled variant of the jelly bracelet and jelly shoes).

7. Slouch socks: Preferably in white, but other colors acceptable. Bonus points if you pair these with Reebok high-top freestyles. To be honest, we recently bought some crew socks and, not thinking about this, we were insanely disappointed that they were essentially tighty-whiteys for the ankles. But we’re overjoyed to announce that you can buy slouch socks and extra long slouch socks (leg warmer style!) online, like, super easily. And you can still buy high top sneaks to go with ‘em, or booties, or whatevs.

8. The original Sam & Libby Bow Ballerina Flat: Target had a re-release of these about eight or nine years ago and, frankly, we’re kicking ourselves for not stocking up. There are some semi-reasonable knock-offs available on the interwebz (TM). And it sorta looks like these have been also released by Sam Edelman under the name “Circus.” (They do look the same; did Sam break up with Libby? I could google that shit.) They’re a little pricier and we hate the name circus and part of the fun of these shoes was their adorable box and logo— and why are these shoes MORE expensive without Libby? We sure the hell don’t know. But we still love these stupid shoes.

9. Caboodles: The original thing to hold all your things. (All your kit…and caboodles, *wink*). While it’s awesome if you still have your original (you lucky hoarder, you), you can actually still find Real Caboodles brand retro-style cases, generally labeled “on the go”. See Caboodles website or shopping at both Kohl’s and JCPenney. We highly recommending getting one or two while you can: where else will you store your jelly bracelets and lip licking lip tins (Don’t worry; we’re also dashing online to buy both. Hello Tinte Cosmetics! You are not alone in your nostalgia, friend. Let us know what color Caboodle you got in the comments.)

So what should have been on this list but wasn’t? We may have to do a second edition. Tell us what Absolutely Favorite Essentials you need to have, still have, or wish they still made. In the comments, at Twitter, or email to

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