Three Makeup Memories

Makeup Memories

Here are three vivid makeup memories I probably won’t ever forget.

  • I had this vivid lavender shade of lipstick from Cover Girl (I think) when I was maybe 15. I absolutely loved it and would put it on at home in my bedroom, but never had the courage to wear it outside. I would totally wear a shade like that now.
  • The first time I wore foundation I was 16. I think it was from Lancome. It was my mom’s foundation, and about 2-3 shades too dark for my skin tone. I remember putting on this huge fluffy creme-colored sweater I got for Christmas, and it rubbed off all over the neck of the sweater. So not attractive.

  • Back around 1998 I was interviewing for jobs in publishing after I graduated college. I went to a very small indie-type Berkeley company (one of a million in Berkeley) to interview with two people. I very clearly remember that they were all a bit “alternative” looking and were all dressed very casually in jeans, t-shirts, etc. The man who was interviewing me was probably in his late 20’s and looked very laid back, and he made a comment on my nail polish. He mentioned that I was very bold to be wearing a shade like that at a job interview. It was from Revlon and was a new slate blue/grey that had come out. I remember being kind of shocked that he would comment on that, especially considering the type of company they appeared to be like, the fact that I had worked in publishing for 2 years, and had a BA in English. The whole interview after that was him and the woman being a bit snarky and acting like I was a complete idiot for wearing the nail polish. Bad vibe. I never heard back from them and am glad I didn’t because they were a bunch of jerks anyway! I could understand the comment a whole lot more if it had been coming from a banking company or law firm or something even slightly conservative. But an indie publishing house in Berkeley, is most definitely NOT that!

What are some of your early makeup memories?


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  • February 15, 2013

    I used to put on one of my mom’s bright-pink lipsticks, pile on her chunky jewelry, and dance around on my bed to Paula Adbul, lol!
    Later, as I became more interested in makeup, I would wear dark lipstick to school (we’re talking 7th, 8th grade, when most girls were wearing Lip Smackers), and overly heavy eyeliner. Sigh. Not a good look, but I thought I was beautiful.

    • February 15, 2013

      Haha! Oh I went through the super dark heavy winged-out eyeliner thing also for many years. We thought we were so cool. :)

  • February 15, 2013

    I came of makeup wearing age in the late 90’s, so the thing I remember most is GLITTER. And pink. Sparkly pink eyeshadow, bubblegum lip gloss, and shimmery powder from Claire’s. Looking back, all that glitter on my pale skin probably made me look like one of the vampires from Twilight.

    • February 15, 2013

      Maybe people thought you were a fairy! ;)

      • February 15, 2013

        This was the first thing I thought of, too–GLITTER when I was in middle school. On a rollerball. Everywhere. And glitter lip gloss. And don’t forget the baby blue eyeshadow (on my light blue eyes with no mascara, UGH!)

        I figured out how to choose colors and apply my make-up by 9th grade using Seventeen and Cosmo magazine tutorials, haha. My mom never wore make-up so it was trial by fire for me ;-D

  • February 15, 2013

    Revlon Silver City Pink lipstick, of course rimmed with burgundy lipliner. And the makeup brand Clarion, the one that had the computer in the display that helped you select your perfect shades!

    • February 15, 2013
      Stephanie H

      CLARION! I loved their lipsticks…I kept one for years (Amethyst, I think?) because it was this perfect pinky-lilac shade I thought I’d never find again, LOL…

  • February 15, 2013

    OMG I remember in middle school I had roll-on glitter and I used to roll it all over my eyelids after putting on a shadow. Kelly, I share a similar experience with people thinking I was odd for wearing polish. I used work in film and all of the indie/academic filmmakers I was around thought it was strange that I wore makeup or cared so much about my nails. I always found it weird that they didn’t care haha.

  • February 15, 2013

    I totally remember the roll on glitter. I put it everywhere!!! It was so fun and it was shocking to all my conservative non-makeup wearing friends.

  • February 15, 2013

    I was in jr high in the early 90’s when I was allowed to start wearing make-up. There was emerald green eyeliner and this god awful cover girl lip stick/gloss. It looked like an eyeshadow and you applied it to your lips and then applied the gloss over top. Anyway I had it in this bright orange/red. I bet I looked like a clown :)

    • February 15, 2013

      I LOVED that stuff and got my older sister’s when she tired of it in an orangey brick rose (one of those hybrid colors of the eighties). I bet that product, updated, would sail.

  • February 15, 2013

    Oh, I love this post so much! I remember sneaking in to my mom’s makeup drawers in high school – she had a drawer of makeup she used, and a drawer full of makeup she didn’t use. I took things from the second drawer – I wonder if she ever noticed! I would hide the items in my room and then put them on at school.

    Eventually I started buying drugstore makeup, I even have a photo of an old-style Wet n Wild quad somewhere on my blog, I used to adore it.
    Emi at Project Swatch´s last post…Milani Lipstick Comparison: New Formula vs. Old FormulaMy Profile

  • February 15, 2013
    Stephanie H

    I have always, always loved makeup. When I was about 8 or so (early 80s), my Granny had this lipstick that I LOVED–Revlon Fire and Ice. It stained like crazy and tasted truly terrible, but I would put it on, put on her red high heels, my aunt’s old prom dress, and pretend I was something special. :)

    Another is when the little tiny lipsticks and eyeshadows (can’t remember what brand-Bonne Bell, maybe?) came out in the late 80s; terrible, chalky colors, lavender packaging. I loved them, though, and had several! And then around that same time, when Cover Girl came out with their lipstick that was a powder (applied with a sponge applicator) and balm that you put over it in a little compact; I went to my Dad’s one weekend, and we went to the drugstore, and I BEGGED him for one. All they had was this hot pink one; I think the color was Azalea. He bought it for me, and it was my most treasured makeup possession for a few years, LOL!

    And then some HIDEOUS terracotta-colored lipstick that I tried my best to wear in high school…it was awful. It was an Avon one, something-Wood (Rosewood?)…truly terrible for my skintone (olive-toned and fair).

    And then in my 20s, my first trip to a Clinique counter…then Prescriptives, when all the “Magic” stuff came out…ahh. <3

    • February 15, 2013

      I remember Avon Rosewood! There’s still a sample of it in my mom’s vanity. I always remember thinking, that’s not the color of real rosewood!

  • February 15, 2013

    I remember being in middle school and wanting to wear the Cover Girl pressed powder just like every other girl my age. Of course my mother thought I was too young for makeup, so it was a no-go. My grandmother caved and bought me some sort of pressed powder product – only it was so not the right shade for me. I didn’t know any better at the time, so I wore it until my cousin pointed out that my face was orange.

    Everytime I go visit my grandmother, I still think of that time in my life. Mainly b/c I think she continues to wear a very similar shade to the one that she got me all those years ago and she too has a bit of an oompa loompa glow – of course I’ll never have the heart to tell her and I’ll love her no matter how orange she may look!
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  • February 15, 2013

    I was going to comment because I am shocked about your job interview experience! That sounds atrocious!
    But, after reading everyone’s memories, now I have some to contribute. ;P
    I remember lots of copper eyeshadow, clear mascara, and practically brown lipstick in junior high. I also remember lots of black eyeliner and this wearable shade of fuschia/purple lipstick from Hot Topic in early high school. I also remember shopping at Sephora on my lunch breaks for Urban Decay eyeshadows, which I remember wearing to senior prom!
    I remember those Cover Girl lipsticks that Jessie & Stephanie H mentioned. I had one…I kinda liked it, but who knows what it really looked like, haha?

  • February 15, 2013

    I remember having one of those jumbo-sized Dr. Pepper lip smackers when I was maybe 4 years old…I’m pretty sure I walked around with the entire lower half of my face coated in it.

    • February 15, 2013

      Ok this will make you laugh. I STILL have a Dr. Pepper lip smacker because I am a huge Dr. Pepper fan. :)

      • February 15, 2013

        When I was younger I had a really bad problem with eating chapstick(can u blame me it just smells so good!) And I absolutely love Dr pepper! So I’m pretty sure a took a chunk or two out of a few Dr pepper chapsticks…

      • February 16, 2013

        I still use the Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker. It leaves a nice tinted red on the lips and smells nice!

  • February 15, 2013

    I was in the single digits age & I would sneak into my mother’s makeup, she didn’t have a lot. I vividly remember a burgundy cream stick blush that I would put all over my cheeks and lips.

    Also, Junior high, I used a gel glitter on my eyelids everyday. Upper and lower eye area.

  • February 15, 2013

    OOO I have one. When I was 13 or 14, I had a lip balm that’s pale blue, frosty, and glittery. My mom absolutely hated it, but I found it oh-so-cool.
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  • February 15, 2013

    When I was very young, probably about 5 or 6 years, I remember putting this loose gold eyeshadow pigment my mom had all over my face and bright red lipstick and bright pink blush. I thought I had done a great job, so I ran to go show my mom. Man, she was pretty upset about her gold eyeshadow. She said I looked like a clown and started taking the makeup off.

    Years and years later in highschool, I leaned more toward the whole Nirvana and Marilyn Manson grunge/rock/freak scene. I went to a bible school and wearing black lipstick (or any dark makeup in general) was a no-no, so I used to go around all that by wearing this really ugly silver-grey colored lipstick (by wet n’ wild, maybe?) everyday and putting this dark brown eyeshadow around my eyes. Needless to say I probably looked like I had just gotten chucked out of a MM mosh pit. Also needless to say that school really didn’t like me.

  • February 15, 2013

    A = it was a man interviewing and 98 women still were looked down on esp until they were able to prove themselves.
    B = in 98 nails were big into clean white Fr and Am manis.
    C = – it was Bezerkley, There is a ‘type’ folks presented in not only Cali then (and still do now) but in the bay area it was very casual – yet lots of places were looking for not only eye candy for their office workers but also someone who was into a lot of natural beauty looks. Blue/gray polish was still pretty out there in 98.

    I am older than you are. I went through some horrible discrimination in my day like no pantsuits allowed at work (let along pants that were not suits) and right up to you better go out on that ‘date’ lunch with the creepy boss and not bug him when he turned it into a 3 hr drinking fest or you would find your job was being shoved off to another more ‘willing’ candidate he had his eyes fixed on.

    I know we heard again in the State of the Union speech this week – equal pay for women doing equal work…gads we are not even to equal jobs let alone equal work yet and we have been working in the force and working for women’s rights for as long (almost) as I have been in the adult work force!

    I have a PhD and I still find I loose out to men for jobs all the time who have less experience than I do. I am chronically asked things in interview situations about my ‘home’ actuation like # of children, their ages – they still fish to see if I will be needing to stay home with a sick kid or worried come 3pm about the latch key kid and not paying attrition to my job post 3pm…but they never look at men with that sort of issue in interviews.

  • February 15, 2013

    My first makeup item was a CoverGirl Highlighter that I would wear all over my face as a face powder. I ordered it out of a discount cosmetics catalog that would come to our house every few months. I bet I looked really strange…white and glowy. In the late 90’s I wore a multi-colored Manic Manic stick glitter thing. It MIGHT have been a lipstick..but..I wore it in my EYEBROWS as a brow gel!

  • February 15, 2013

    I love this!
    I remember putting on a deep red lipstick of my step-mom’s that she never wore and vamping in the mirror to Elvis’ Devil in Disguise.
    I also did a goth think in high school and remember the soft waxiness of my favorite eyeliner.
    Now I have more expensive taste in makeup and I have to hide it. The other day my almost-two-year-old came up to me with a half eaten tube of MAC Ladybug lipstick with some on his face and said, “Yook, Mama! Yips!”

  • February 15, 2013

    I think all my makeup memories come from middle school…

    Wearing a bright frosty pink lipgloss.
    Buying a Covergirl compact that was clearly too light for me.
    WEARING TONS OF BLACK EYELINER! I was going through a punk phase. Haha
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  • February 15, 2013

    I’ve never been much into makeup, but I do loveee mascara.
    I won a mascara when I was like 12 or 13 and I was so excited to use it and wore it to school and my friends were like… why are you wearing BLUE mascara? I was kind of embarrassed haha.

  • February 15, 2013

    My sister and I shared a room. There was a big double door closet and a mirror on both doors. We’d sit back to back playing with makeup and trying to one up each other. We still talk about it and so do all our friends since they were so jealous.
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  • February 15, 2013

    My family was hooked on Clinique for years; I broke the mould upon entering Sephora and purchased Urban Decay and Hard Candy.
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  • February 15, 2013

    Eeesh- I remember wearing scads of vividly colored eyeshadow in high school. Worthy of a drag queen. But at least I had good taste in formula- I had a job, and had discovered Dior…

    As for your job interview experience, well- where is that independent “forward thinking” publishing company now? My guess is that they weren’t forward thinking enough to foresee their own industry’s imminent demise.
    And hey- you publish one of the best truly independent and trendsetting blogs out there! Ha! (they certainly weren’t hip to your cool, ahead-of-the- crowd nail color in ’98)
    Phooey on them!

    • February 16, 2013

      You know I wish I could remember the name of that company. I’m sure it’s gone as both the ones I worked for were either dissolved or eaten up by huge publishing houses.

  • February 15, 2013

    I wore the same shade of Wet N Wild bronze lipstick, from middle school until I graduated. I thought it was wonderfully edgy, but really, the shade was just horrible for my skin. Why did no one tell me?!

    As for that company, UGH. I’ve encountered people like this. Sometimes, the smaller companies are actually much more narrow-minded about who ‘fits’ with their culture. They end up hiring only people who look and act exactly like them.

  • February 15, 2013

    One of my best makeup memories is was I was around 8 yrs old and I would do my mother’s makeup. I overdid the blush, lipstick outside the line and eyeshadow all around the place but my mom loved it and it was completely hideous! I also went thru a phase in middle school where I wore dark lipliner and no lipstick.

  • February 15, 2013

    Frosty, deep brown lipstick, or sometimes silver eyeliner and purple mascara, or loads of black eyeliner…middle school man.

    In high school I was psuedo-ubergoth…but I loved wearing glitter and shimmer! Jerome Russel glitter gel, loose glitter, shimmer powder, whatever I could get my hands on.

    And let us have a moment of silence for the glory that was Revlon streetwear………:sigh:.
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    • February 16, 2013

      Yes! Revlon Streetwear was the line that slate colored polish I wore was from. I remember it being really thick polish and hard to work with.

  • February 15, 2013

    I remember the first time I wore makeup – my best friend at the time put some pink eyeshadow on as well as some mascara – and my mum didn’t even notice, which was kind of disappointing.. but that definitely started my obsession with makeup :)

  • February 15, 2013

    What an awesome post! I started wearing makeup in 6th grade, approx. 1987. I loved Shine Free cosmetics. I remember the colored mascaras–blue, green, purple. I also had Cover Girl Lipslicks lipglosses with the colored tube and clear cap. And, I wore all the Verve perfumes, Exclamation, Coty Wild Musk, Love’s Baby Soft.

  • February 15, 2013

    I remember in high school, speaking to my friend, and being able to tell that she was wearing blush… and then it occurred to me, “Hey! Maybe I should buy some blush!” My makeup education was slow, to say the least :p

  • February 16, 2013

    Haha I love reading everyones stories. Some of my makeup memories I think are more just me not knowing what I was doing LOL. I used to always play in my moms makeup while watching her get ready (I’m 24 and watching her put on makeup is still relaxing to me) but I wanted to imitate her so whatever she would put on, I’d put on right after.

    Also, I loved the glitter roll on balls. I thought I was the coolest thing around when I put glitter on my neck and arms and hair.

    I didn’t really get into wearing makeup until high school and it was mostly one eyeshadow, powder foundation and some lipgloss. My mom taught me how to apply mascara and other products but I just couldn’t get the hang of it back then.
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  • February 16, 2013

    Haha so many comments that make me laugh because they’re bringing back my childhood.

    I remember my mom receiving this Curve perfume set as a gift when I was around 5 or 6. Inside the box was this frosty, whitish pink polish with a gold flash that I thought was amazing. It was my first polish and wore it to school A LOT! All the other kindergarten girls didnt understand why I wore polish, but I thought it made me si special. I kept the bottle for years even after I used it up. There was the tiniest amount left and I tried using acetone to thin it. I still get confused when I think back on this polish because I thought the brand made perfume and scented lotions.

    Around 7 or 8 I had this childrens makeup kit for Christmas. it came in a lavender colored palette with tiny stackable lipsticks that were hard, waxy, and stinky along with horrible chalky eyehadows. I only used one thing from that kit which was this scary, frosty, baby pink lipstick. The rest of the palette I applied for fun at home and swatched over and over to use it up.

    My next polish didn’t come around until I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. It was the old school Sinful polishes in the shade Baby Blue. that polish was soo sheer. Application took many coats, but I don’t think I cared about how many coats it took when i was a kid. I had a bunch of sinful colors polishes and just recently threw them out upon discovering an old box. Some were dried up, others leaked this horrendous oily liquid from being tipped over, and a few were barely touched.

    I have tons of other memories like polish neglect due to my bonne bell obsession, then polish phase continued after being over bonne bell gloss/balm, and baby blue eye shadow.

  • February 16, 2013

    When I was 14 I used to put on a frosty-white lipstick paired with a blue eyeshadow…it was the 1989-90….I felt SO glamourous! Poor me…:)

  • February 16, 2013

    When I was little my Grandma worked at the Ultima counter in Bullocks and gave me one of the eyeshadow sample towers – the big one with 80+ shadows. She was a super awesome lady who taught me all about makeup and skincare, which I am still passionate about to this day.

  • February 16, 2013

    Most of mine are negative. I was the guinea pig for my friends and my mom. Lots of glitter. Everywhere. And they decided to crimp my hair, it was horrible. My mom still drags me into her bathroom to force makeup onto me. It’s a wonder I own any at all, haha. I still don’t wear it on a daily basis and I’m 24. I bought my first in college.

  • February 16, 2013

    Probably my earliest makeup memory was I believe around my freshman year in HS which would have been ’95 or ’96 (sad that I don’t remember), and I had just gotten into makeup. All I wore was a silvery white Max Factor (why don’t them make makeup over here anymore?!?) eyeshadow. I would cover my lid in it, and then “highlight” my browbone with it. I didn’t know anything about blending….and just thinking of this look makes me cringe! To this day, I can’t wear a shimmery shadow on my browbone, or if I do, it is crazy blended away.
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  • February 16, 2013

    I rocked loreals mattique foundation (i think the super duper matte foundation IN history and would pull moisture out of a cactus)

    Blue eyeliner, electric blue mascara and frosty pink lipstick with a tight perm. Yes kill me now…

  • February 16, 2013

    Hmmm… earliest memories were wishing I could wear makeup like my older sisters and sneakily buying some Maybelline eyeshadows at Winn’s… awful stuff, cream and they all would wind up in your crease. I pushed and got to wear makeup younger than my sisters did… there are some advantages to being the youngest of four; the parents are just too worn out to sweat the small stuff (this was 1971 and I was 13). I remember painting my toenails since I was in 6th grade (Cutex was the brand) and I have always had painted toes since!!
    I remember coveting some Love’s Mascara in a color I think was called Foxy… it was an auburn shade and I had auburn hair. And getting these catalogues of close-out makeup and getting some Love eyeshadows that I adored, and some brands like Marchella Borghese that I never could have afforded otherwise. And I remember learning how to apply eyeshadow in a way that worked for me (I have deepset eyes and a lot of space between the brow and eye) by following tutorials in Ingenue and Seventeen. Those step by step tutorials were wonderful!

  • February 16, 2013

    My earliest makeup memories was when I got to wear makeup for Halloween. My mom always did a great job putting on my makeup and I loved it. Whether I was a mermaid or a princess or Minnie Mouse, I was happy to be wearing makeup. I always got to have painted toes as a kid, my mom would do my nails and it was always fun.

    I first asked for my own makeup when I was in fourth grade. My mom asked me if I wanted some foundation and powder and I said I wanted eyeshadow. So I got some peach and brown eyeshadow. Within a couple months I had royal blue and lime green. I was pretty miserable in fourth grade, I was bullied and getting terrible headaches at school. So I think my mom figured that if some eyeshadow would make me happy, she would let me have it. All the other little girls were jealous.

    I was told multiple times by teachers and other kids in middle school and high school that I wore too much makeup. It only inspired me to wear even brighter colors!
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  • February 17, 2013

    My mum was an Avon lady and there was always the tiny 2cm long tester lipsticks and large brown cardboard boxes in the house. My early memories are of drawing numbers on the box and making it a till to play shops (imagination is always better than giving a kid an ipad!) and I wore a red lipstick aged 7 around the house but when my Aunt tried to take it off my face, I remember being convinced she was just trying to make me look ugly!! When I went to high school, I wore a red lipstick too and a 6th former told me my lipstick was wonderful. The things you remember! Obviously, those experiences meant a lot to me!
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  • February 24, 2013

    i remember being in middle school, being a tomboy and my mom wanting me to get into make up. she gave me some of those 2cm avon samples, a brown eyeliner and other avon samples. soon after she had given up i got curious about makeup.

    i had a rite aid a block from my school and went to explore when i got out. i had these AWFUL cream shadows by jessies girl. metallic dark purple, and sparkly sheer charcoal. i wore electric blue eyeliner and maybelline great lash (why). i probably looked aweful but i didnt care, i liked color and still do. people teased me for not wearing caked on foundation, but all this eyecolor, but i didnt see the point, i had good skin and wore this for fun

    i remember i found this nice semi sheer lipstick by a brand i dont remember, it was my perfect color, just a hint of healthy color, a tad darker than my lip color, and just the right amount of shine. great formula too. sadly i never found it again and i am on the quest for something like this again. now i still love make up and am not afraid to wear my crazy color fest. i just wear it a little better now ;)

  • March 15, 2013

    I have 3 very vivid makeup memories…

    I think I was in middle school when I saw a girl get on the school bus with a very simple white flower painted on her nail. I’m pretty sure it was my first exposure to “nail art” and I thought, “I could do that.” I immediately went home and recreated the nail flower. I’ve been experimenting with nail art ever since.

    I think it was my sophomore year of high school when my mom (who wore makeup then, but not like she does now) decided that if I was going to really start wearing makeup seriously, I should know how to do it. She took me to the MAC counter and an amazing makeup artist named Beth taught me my first eye shadow look. It was white all over (gesso I believe), with a plum purple-y color in the crease and a green liner (I’m sure I have the plum and green in my makeup collection somewhere and could remember the names if I tried hard enough).

    Around that time my mom and I really started loving makeup together. We were all about MAC and Urban Decay… This was way before Sephora though, I believe Urban Decay was at counters.

    I still have some really old colors/packaging for both MAC and UD. There was one UD purple color, Asphixia maybe?, that I can’t find but know my mom or I must still have somewhere, that I loved. I think the formula then was better in a lot of cases. Too many of their shadows now have too much glitter.

    And, while I’m talking about this… I just found all these really old MAC lipsticks the other night actually when I was going through my makeup – some before the current bullet design, and many like brand new. Are these still “good” to use? I know lipstick technically shouldn’t be used after so many months…. Plus, I think MAC lipstick smells atrocious, or maybe they’ve changed that and I just haven’t bought a lipstick from them in awhile. I’ve varied my makeup tastes since my MAC/UD only days. :)