90S Chola Makeup


The 90s Chola makeup trend is a significant cultural phenomenon that emerged within the Mexican-American and Chicano communities in the United States. It gained immense popularity during the 1990s and became an iconic representation of urban street style.

This unique makeup aesthetic was characterized by bold, exaggerated eyebrows, dark and smoky eyes, winged eyeliner, flawless complexion with defined contours, and vibrant accents. The Chola makeup trend was not merely about beauty; it served as a powerful tool for self-expression and identity formation.

Brief Overview of the 90s Chola Makeup Trend

The 90s Chola makeup trend was heavily influenced by the Chicanx subculture that originated in California. At its core, this trend involved using cosmetics to transform one’s appearance into a fierce and empowered persona.

It embraced a distinct blend of femininity and toughness, challenging societal norms and stereotypes. Cholas would often sport thickly drawn-on eyebrows that were meticulously shaped into high arches using dark brow pencils or eyeliners.

These brows were far from natural-looking; instead, they symbolized strength, rebellion, and confidence. Complementing the bold brows were the signature dark smoky eyes created using deep browns, blacks, or metallic shades of eyeshadow.

This dramatic eye look intensified their gaze and added an air of mystery. Another staple of 90s Chola makeup was winged eyeliner – a defining feature used to accentuate the eyes further.

The wings could be delicate or daringly elongated depending on personal preference. With precision skill using liquid or gel liners, many Cholas mastered this art form to achieve flawless cat-eye flicks that highlighted their fierce attitude.

Explanation of What “Chola” Refers to in This Context

In this context, the term “Chola” refers to a specific subculture that emerged within the Mexican-American and Chicano communities. The word itself holds various meanings and interpretations depending on the region and context, but in the 90s makeup trend, it represents a distinctive style associated with urban street culture. The Chola identity was shaped by a combination of cultural influences, drawing from both Mexican and American roots.

It reflected the struggles faced by marginalized communities and served as an expression of resilience and pride. Cholas were known for their strong sense of sisterhood, loyalty to their community, and their unapologetic embrace of their cultural heritage.

Importance of Makeup as a Form of Self-Expression During the 90s

During the 90s, makeup became more than a mere tool for enhancing one’s physical appearance; it evolved into a powerful means of self-expression. For many individuals, particularly those belonging to marginalized communities like Cholas, makeup offered an avenue to reclaim agency over their personal narratives.

The Chola makeup trend provided an empowering platform through which individuals could challenge societal beauty standards and assert their unique identities. By embracing exaggerated features such as bold eyebrows or dark smoky eyes, Cholas defied conventional notions of femininity while celebrating their heritage with pride.

Makeup became a form of armor that projected confidence in the face of adversity. Moreover, this trend fostered a sense of unity among those who embraced it.

By participating in the Chola makeup culture, individuals formed connections rooted in shared experiences and struggles. It created a space where self-expression was not only accepted but also celebrated.

Historical Context of Chola Culture

The 90s Chola makeup trend emerged as an integral part of the broader Chola culture, which originated and gained prominence in the United States, particularly in California. The term “Chola” refers to a distinct subculture that emerged within Mexican-American and Chicano communities during the mid-20th century. It embodies a unique blend of cultural pride, resilience, and empowerment.

The origins of Chola culture can be traced back to the streets of East Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood, young women began to adopt a distinctive style characterized by bold fashion choices, strong attitudes, and a resilient spirit.

This evolving cultural movement aimed to assert their identity within American society while staying true to their Mexican heritage. Chicano pride played a significant role in shaping Chola aesthetics during this time.

The Chicano movement advocated for civil rights and political empowerment for Mexican-Americans, who faced discrimination and marginalization. Cholas embraced their ethnic roots as they sought visibility and representation through self-expression.

Influence of Mexican-American and Chicano Communities on Chola Style and Aesthetics

Cholas drew inspiration from various sources when it came to defining their unique style. Their fashion choices incorporated elements from both traditional Mexican attire as well as urban streetwear prevalent in California at that time. The influence of traditional Mexican clothing could be seen in items such as flannel shirts, plaid skirts or pants, bandanas worn as headbands or tied around wrists, along with gold hoop earrings known as “sovereigns.” These elements were combined with elements from street fashion like baggy trousers or Dickies pants, oversized white t-shirts adorned with graphics or logos (often tucked in), bomber jackets, and Converse sneakers.

Chola aesthetics also emphasized the importance of hair and makeup. Dark, slicked-back hair with baby hairs meticulously laid down became a recognizable hallmark of Chola style.

Makeup played a crucial role in asserting their identity and expressing their strength. The distinctive Chola makeup look, characterized by darkened eyebrows, heavily lined eyes, and bold lip colors, was a manifestation of their individuality and defiance.

Exploration of How Chola Culture Became a Prominent Subculture During the 90s

The 90s witnessed the rising popularity of Chola culture as it spread beyond California to other parts of the country. Its growing prominence can be attributed to various factors, including media representation and its resonance with marginalized communities seeking empowerment. In the media landscape of the 90s, films like “Mi Vida Loca” (1993) and music videos from artists such as Cypress Hill showcased Chola culture authentically.

These representations not only brought visibility to the subculture but also contributed to its mainstream appeal. The fusion between urban street style and traditional Mexican influences in popular culture further fueled its popularity.

Moreover, Chola culture resonated strongly with marginalized communities who found empowerment in embracing their heritage while challenging societal norms. By redefining beauty standards through their distinct style and makeup choices, Cholas defied conventional notions of femininity while asserting their strength within a patriarchal society.

Overall, understanding the historical context behind Chola culture provides valuable insight into how it shaped the iconic makeup trends that emerged during the 90s. The influence of Mexican-American and Chicano communities played a pivotal role in creating this subculture that stood as an emblem of resilience and cultural pride throughout California and beyond during that era.

The Defining Feature: Heavy, Exaggerated Eyebrows

Architectural Arches Symbolizing Strength and Defiance

In the realm of 90s Chola makeup, one cannot overlook the importance of bold and exaggerated eyebrows. These fierce arches served as a defining feature of the Chola aesthetic, conveying strength, defiance, and a sense of identity. To achieve this distinctive look, Cholas employed dark brow pencils or eyeliners to meticulously shape and fill in their brows.

Utilizing their steady hands and keen eye for precision, Cholas would carefully outline their natural brow shape before filling them in with intense pigmentation. The final result was a set of thick, arched eyebrows that commanded attention with every glance.

This meticulous process not only required skill but also showcased the unwavering determination that defined these women. The significance of bold eyebrows within Chola makeup extended beyond mere aesthetics.

It was a statement about power and resilience in a society that often marginalized their community. These prominent arches symbolized defiance against societal norms and stood as an emblematic expression of strength amidst adversity.

The Intensity Factor: Dark Smoky Eyes

Elevating Drama through Artful Application

Another crucial element of 90s Chola makeup was the use of dark smoky eyes to create an intense allure that captivated onlookers. The application techniques involved were aimed at achieving a sultry gaze steeped in mystery and attitude.

Cholas expertly blended deep brown, black, and metallic eyeshadows to produce smoky effects that intensified their eye color while adding depth to their overall look. This technique involved layering multiple shades onto the eyelids while skillfully blending them together for seamless transitions between colors.

To further enhance the drama, some Cholas incorporated winged eyeliner into their smoky eye makeup. This combination accentuated their eye shape, creating an alluring cat-eye effect that exuded confidence and seduction.

The Art of Winged Eyeliner: Bold Lines with Precision

Winged Variations Amplifying Individuality

Winged eyeliner became a hallmark of Chola makeup, offering a range of styles and variations that added depth and individuality to their overall aesthetic. The artful application of winged liner required steady hands, meticulous precision, and a creative eye. Different Cholas adopted various winged eyeliner styles, ranging from exaggerated flicks to subtle wings that followed the natural shape of the eye.

These varying approaches allowed individuals to express their unique personalities while staying true to the essence of Chola makeup. The tools predominantly used for creating precise lines were liquid or gel eyeliners due to their ability to glide smoothly across the lid while delivering rich pigmentation.

Steadily maneuvering these instruments along the lash line, Cholas would extend the lines outward with finesse, forming captivating wings that elevated their gaze with an air of sophistication. From intricately precise cat-eyes to bold winged statements, these eyeliner techniques played a vital role in elevating the charm and allure of 90s Chola makeup while simultaneously celebrating individuality within this vibrant subculture’s beauty practices.

Face Makeup: Flawless Complexion with Bold Accents

Emphasis on flawless skin through foundation application

When it comes to achieving a flawless complexion, Chola makeup in the 90s placed great emphasis on the application of full-coverage foundations. The goal was to create a matte finish that would serve as a blank canvas for the other bold makeup elements.

Cholas often opted for foundations with thicker consistencies and higher levels of pigmentation to ensure optimal coverage. These foundations were carefully applied using brushes or sponges, blending them seamlessly onto the skin to achieve an even tone and texture.

Use of full-coverage foundations to achieve a matte finish

To accomplish a truly matte finish, Cholas relied on oil-absorbing powders or setting sprays. These products helped to control shine, resulting in a long-lasting, velvety appearance that was characteristic of Chola makeup during this era. Additionally, some Cholas would use mattifying primers before applying foundation as an extra step in their routine to ensure their makeup stayed put throughout the day.

Contouring and highlighting played essential roles in enhancing facial features within the 90s Chola makeup aesthetic. Darker shades were strategically applied beneath cheekbones, along the jawline, and around the temples to create dimension and define bone structure.

In contrast, lighter shades were used on areas like the bridge of the nose, forehead, and cheekbones to emphasize those areas and add brightness. This artful technique allowed Cholas to sculpt their faces subtly yet effectively.

Vibrant blushes to add warmth and definition to the face

Blush was not merely an afterthought within 90s Chola makeup; it served as a vital component for adding warmth and definition to the face. Cholas favored vibrant shades of blush, such as deep pinks or oranges, which complemented their bold eye and lip makeup choices. Applied with precision, blush was used to contour the cheekbones and temples, adding a healthy flush of color that completed the overall look.

An optimistic spin:

Through the expressive power of makeup, the 90s Chola aesthetic allowed individuals to embrace their unique identities and celebrate their cultural roots. The focus on flawless skin exemplified resilience and determination, while the incorporation of bold accents such as contouring, highlighting, and vibrant blushes demonstrated creativity and artistic expression. This makeup trend served as a form of empowerment for many Cholas during this era, showcasing their strength in navigating societal expectations while staying true to themselves.


In retrospect, the 90s Chola makeup trend emerges as more than just a passing fad; it represented a powerful form of self-expression within Mexican-American and Chicano communities. This distinctive style allowed Cholas to reclaim their identity while defying societal norms through striking features like bold eyebrows, smoky eyes, winged eyeliner, flawless complexions with bold accents including full-coverage foundations and vibrant blushes.

Its impact reached beyond fashion trends by giving voice to those who were often marginalized in mainstream society. The legacy of 90s Chola makeup lives on today as an emblem of resilience, cultural pride, and artistic ingenuity.


What is 90s Chola makeup?

90s Chola makeup is a distinctive beauty trend characterized by bold, dark eyebrows, dark lip liner, and a matte complexion. It was popularized by Chola subculture in the 1990s.

How can I achieve the Chola makeup look?

How can I achieve the Chola makeup look?
To achieve the 90s Chola makeup look, you can start by defining your eyebrows, using dark lip liner, applying matte foundation, and accentuating your eyes with winged eyeliner and mascara.

What products are essential for Chola makeup?

Essential products for Chola makeup include eyebrow pencils or pomade, dark lip liner, matte foundation, black eyeliner, mascara, and bold lipstick shades.

Are there any modern twists to Chola makeup?

Yes, modern interpretations of Chola makeup may incorporate contemporary makeup techniques while preserving the bold and dramatic elements of the 90s Chola look.

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