If you’ve never donned a plastic butterfly clip (or 20—and all at one time), you haven’t lived. Ask any ’90s beauty icon—Britney Spears, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Danielle Fishel, Mandy Moore (trust us when we say the list and photographic proof is endless)—and they’ll tell you scraping perfectly divided sections back and pinning them in place with plastic was an art. Today’s youth is undoubtedly schooled better (or perhaps, for worse) than any generation before thanks to Instagram, YouTube, and multiple other platforms that allow people to demonstrate how to contour with spoons and stilettos, or apply a flawless base with their boyfriend’s ball sack. Things have really evolved in the space. But it’s time to bring back butterflies—and not just in Snapchat form.
Millennials, spread your wings and prepare to fly because the hair accessory is taking on a more realistic form in 2017. No longer comprised of molded plastic, the insect is bigger, bolder, and more colorful than ever. Let a few land amongst your curls like Gabrielle Richardson (model, visual artist, and founder of Art Hoe Collective), or use them to sweep strands off your face like hairstylist Chad Wood did for Vanessa Hudgens. Opt for a supersized iteration like Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn, or use a mesmerizing Monarch—Bella Hadid’s “most favorite and delicate creature”—to add some whimsy to a blood-red lip.
Mariah Carey, the queen of all fluttery things, noted in her 1997 hit “Butterfly”: “Fly abandonedly into the sun, if you should return to me, we truly were meant to be.” While the elusive chanteuse wasn’t necessarily crooning about beauty trends back then, she might as well have been. The butterfly has reappeared, and as they say in social speak, we are so here for it.