Things every ’90s girl kept in her Caboodle

Being a kid or a teen in the
’90s, means you grew up right on the cusp of some major social changes. You
went from writing out dozens of copies of a superstitious chain letter on
binder paper with an erasable ballpoint pen, to getting your first email address
(, of course) and experiencing the 24-hour reachability brought on by
carrying that sweet Motorola pager (covered in stickers and nail polish
doodles, duh). For us ’90s girls, perhaps it was the act of straddling the thin
line before, and after, the shifting technological and social tides leading up
to the Y2K years, that’s a reason why we find ourselves so nostalgic about all
things pre-new millennium. Bright plastic, scratch n’ sniff everything, and
big-hair-don’t-care fashion was the order of the day, and we love to relive
those era-specific fashions, and get back a little bit of that childhood
So let’s talk Caboodles,
fellow ’80s babies and ’90s girls, and inhale the palpable nostalgia inherent
in these hard plastic tackle boxes for all your lady things. If you were a
middle class girl who had a subscription to Teen Beat, you definitely had one,
or even two: one for all things beauty, and one for all things crafting. Or, if
you more were ballin’ on a budget like me, you got one as a special present
from a cool aunt or older sister, and hoarded every little treasure you came
across within its glossy, pink and seafoam green drawers.
So what did you keep inside
yours, ladies? Just kidding, I already know! Here are the top 13 things every
’90s girl kept in her Caboodle.
barrette clips

I personally wore these bouncy
babies deep into the 2000s, but they were originally the bomb in the ’90s.
Besides jelly sandals, a yellow smiley-face t-shirt, and giant fly girl pants, was
there anything cooler to circle in the Delia’s catalogue on the school bus ride
home? No way.

If you weren’t pairing white
eyeliner with pastel blue eye shadow, then what were you even doing with your
life? Nineties makeup wasn’t about subtly enhancing your the natural beauty of
your features, it was about applying enough at one time to make sure everyone
could tell you were cool and important enough to be wearing makeup.

Either you kept your collection
of gifted bracelets from last summer in there (hello, Miss Popular!), or you
kept your yarn and bead fixin’s in there to churn one out for whoever was on
your good side that week. And you probably made one for yourself with alphabet
beads spelling out “hottie,” if you were really fly. Or, maybe the
old standby, “2good2b4got10.”
body glitter

In retrospect, this stuff felt
exactly like rubbing grainy lube all over your chest, cheeks, and eyelids. But
to be stylish, you needed to be wearing generously applied body glitter all
throughout the warm months. Forget showing up to the school dance without a
thick layer. Bustle recently published this ode to the stuff, and it is
extremely accurate.
Roller Pens

These brightly colored and
absolutely unreadable pens told the story of your life in the margins of your
Sweet Valley Twins books, and your Lisa Frank diary. And girl, if you were
cool, the Stussy logos covering your binder better have been drawn in glitter
Gelly roll ink.
n Wild black lipstick

You definitely weren’t allowed
to wear this to school. But you cleverly parlayed that one Halloween spent
dressing as a witch, into ownership of your very own cool girl black lipstick.
Who cares if you were only allowed to wear it in the house? You were
occasionally goth in your heart, and always a fly girl.
Tamagotchi Pet

I remember the first time I
accidentally killed my “Giga Pets” Tamagotchi knock-off. I forgot
about him for maybe, like, a day, and he had basically drowned in his own poop,
because I hadn’t scooped it. I learned a grim lesson that day.
It looks like I’ll get another
chance to do right by a keychain virtual pet, as Mashable reports that the
Japanese toy company, Bandai, is re-releasing the original version of their
wildly popular Tamagotchi virtual pets.
Lip Smackers collection

We spent hours in the
drugstore aisles as ’90’s girls, sniffing the Bonne Bell brand Lip Smackers
roll-on gloss testers, mixing the Doctor Pepper gloss with the strawberry-kiwi
one, and topping it off with Junior Mint flavor — and then slyly licking our
lips. The winning colors and flavors got to come home with us and spend the
night tucked away in our Cabbodle treasure boxes, on the shelf, next to our
Care Bears-sheeted beds.

Don’t pretend you don’t still
love Mr. Sketch. How many of us took a secret lick of the luscious
blueberry-scented marker in the pack, and ended up disappointed with a blue
mouth? If you ever forgot your lunch, you might remember torturing yourself
while the other kids ate, by smelling these deceptively, deliciously-scented
markers that every single kid had as part of their art supplies — and, tucked
into the bottom of their Caboodles, of course.
old candy necklace

Those chalky, pastel, candy
bead necklaces have been around since 1958, according to this “Retro Candy
Timeline,” and they’re still alive and kicking today. And we ’90s
girls were not above walking around, sucking our necklace at school all day,
and putting the melted, nasty thing in our Caboodle box “for later,”
and then just letting it simmer in our saliva, mixed with our other treasures.
Ah, the ’90s were a simpler time.
Spirit deodorant

It is very unlikely that you
didn’t play your Nirvana cassette tape single “Smells like Teen
Spirit” while you rubbed on your “Pink Crush” Lady Speed Stick,
knowing it was you and Kurt against the world. You can still buy this stuff.
I’m just wondering if it’s strong enough for a sweaty 30-something woman
(asking for a friend).
charm bracelet

Before Pokémon Go, there was
another way you had to “catch ’em all.” And you’d better believe that
owning every single charm was a status marker. If you’re currently weeping for
your lost plastic charm bracelet that marked you as a good little
trend-follower in your elementary school years, you can dry those tears.
A few years back, Nylon
published an editorial lauding this style, and a ’90s-inspired replica made by
the Organic Peroxide brand. This post-new millennium copy is no longer
available in stores, but never fear! You can get the real thing ‘ now-vintage
’90s plastic charms — on eBay. So yeah, you’re basically buying your stuff
“jewel” earrings

Taking your allowance or your
chore money to Claire’s on the weekend was kind of like the precursor to
spending your whole paycheck at Sephora, amiright? And if you weren’t lucky
enough to have your ears pierced — or even if you just had the classic two
holes, and wanted to do it up like a cool hippie girl with multiple earnings
per ear — then that meant splurging on a constant influx of stick-on, 3D, gem
earrings. For special occasions, putting these babies on your temples to
highlight your eyes was a never-fail move.

Are you desperately missing
your dear Caboodle now? Do you need one for your adult self, or your mini-me
daughter? If your original has disappeared into the ether that is time, there
is good news for contemporary Caboodle enthusiasts.
In addition to several vintage
models being available on Etsy or on ebay, the Caboodle company is still
rocking the world of makeup, art supplies, and random crap organization, with
their buttoned-up “train case” line, and their more recognizable
“teen” collection of Caboodle cases (not to mention their new
spokesperson is cool girl and Olympic gold medalist, Simone Biles). So what are
you waiting for? Get your Caboodle, get your life!
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.