Monday, March 19, 2012

Love Affair With Makeup: When Did it Start?

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Comments in a recent post I made about shopping my own stash made me think about when my obsession over beauty products truly started--as in, how did it get to the point I had to even consider shopping from my own "collection," a word that makes me throw up a little in my mouth, since I am not a makeup artist.

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I was definitely born with a strong interest in beauty products, but I don't know where it came from. I didn't have nearly the ocean of information available to me then that is available to girls today. And my mother was no tutor. The ultimate minimalist, she was more into layering fragrance and wearing pearls and her gold studs than wearing makeup. In fact, she wore only lipstick, but she wore it every single day, never left the house without it, and always looked great.

Blasé Apricot—Mom's holy grail (still sold!)

Starting at age 7, I asked Santa for a vanity table every single year.  Why? My mother didn't have a vanity table, so I guess it was the influence of old movies (Bette Davis is a favorite.) In any case, that Red Rotundo never delivered, and you'd think he'd have gotten the hint year after year. By age 13, I was first to snatch up the Avon catalog, which I stared at for hours and then begged my mother to let me get some makeup (fat chance—I'm sure I wasn't even shaving my legs then). I read Seventeen Magazine in junior high and subscribed to Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, and Glamour (adored their Do's and Don'ts) in later years, finally graduating to Allure, InStyle, Vogue, and Elle. I'm sure I read others but you get my drift. To this day I love nothing more than a radical makeover, as well as those yearly best-of articles, and when Chic Simple had a monthly spread in InStyle, I was in heaven. But I am jumping ahead of myself.

My mother seemed uninterested in cultivating that girly side of me after I hit puberty (wanted to preserve my fresh-faced chastity as long as possible, no doubt) so I was on my own to explore. I had to resort to stuff I could get to within walking distance, which was the local drugstore, but clearly I was born to be mild because my splurges amounted to powder and mascara. Whoopee. I satisfied my love of color with nail polish. I probably had at least 10 bottles of Revlon and L'Oreal.



I was 24 when I made my first department store purchase. It had less to do with feeling intimidated by those counter ladies in their black smocks or white lab coats than with my lifestyle at the time. Expanding my makeup horizons hadn't occurred to me yet. I lived my life on campus during the school year, sports and play after classes, and summers out on the water, where the thought of makeup didn't even reach my level of consciousness. When you're young, sun-bleached hair, sun-kissed skin, glowing cheeks, and rosy lips are a gift not to be taken lightly. Who'd want to cover that up?

So, I was a late bloomer—at least compared to women today. I quickly settled on Prescriptives and picked up other staples at Clinique and Shiseido. I had zero interest in Estée Lauder (moms shopped that counter, dontcha know), determined that Lancôme and Borghese colors were too vivid for my coloring, and assumed Chanel, Dior, and Elizabeth Arden were for mature ladies.  ;)  I went makeup shopping once or twice a year. No, that was not a typo.

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Enter the 90s. My first non-counter purchase was MAC. I had read an editor's-choice spread, probably in Allure, about MAC's "universal" Spice Lip pencil, and I had to have it. This was in 1993 before the Internet, unless you had a Prodigy account, and even then, almost no one was selling online. In fact, MAC might not have even been in the US yet. I was living in Bar Harbor, and trust me when I tell you that they rolled the sidewalks up in October. For a budding makeup addict, my options were zip unless I drove 90 minutes west to Bangor or 3 hours south to Portland. So my first sight-unseen purchase was made after calling a non-800 number in Canada and ordering MAC Spice, Wedge eyeshadow, and Prism blush, which all turned out to be bad color choices for me, but the thought that I could actually do this started the incubation period of a baby demon. One badass, hungry demon who demanded to be fed.

But before that demon had the chance to grow into a frumious bandersnatch, I remained more or less satisfied with my moderate stash for more than 15+ years. My everyday, go-to products were by Prescriptives and comprised one custom-blend powder, two eyeshadows, one lipstick, and a single lip pencil. I bought my mascara and eyelash curler at the drugstore, and I wore zero eyeliner, lip gloss, or blush. I occasionally picked up the odd item that captured my curiosity, but I quickly lost interest and always went back to my Px "system," which made me happy and made me look like an improved version of myself.

By the mid 90s I began to get an inkling for what I might be missing. I saw my first Bobbi Brown counter at Bloomingdale's (zero interest in that brown stuff), and I received my first bliss world catalog in the mail. Bliss introduced me to brands I wasn't seeing at my local malls: Chantecaille, T. Le Clerc, Shu Uemura, Stila, Laboratoire Remède, Phyto, and others. Of course I had to actually call my orders in. Despite having a computer, I wasn't online yet.


I tried a couple new things but always went back to my old standbys, which now included a few products by Jane Iredale, which used to be available only in select salons. Things were quiet for a while, but as it turns out, that was just the lull before dorking.

Enter 2007. Wanting something new and not feeling like driving to the mall, I typed "taupe eyeshadow" into Google, and I swear I heard someone scream, "Release the hounds!" Those innocent-looking two words led me to:
  • Makeup Alley, where people reviewed products I had no idea I wanted! (Don't you hate when that happens?)
  • YouTube, where people were actually putting on makeup in front of the camera! (You mean people actually wear more than two eyeshadows at one time? And WTH is the "outer v"?)
  • Forums, where women (and men) were discussing all things beauty!
  • BLOGS! Aka Lemming Generator™. There are a few of you (names withheld to protect the dastardly) who are indirectly responsible for my near-complete Edward Bess, Ellis Faas, Chantecaille, Laura Mercier, and Bobbi Brown collection ... probably others. I forget.
So that's my story. I lived a pretty unremarkable makeup life until just a few years ago, when things simply exploded. If it weren't for physics and law enforcement, I'd be unstoppable.

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When did your makeup appreciation start and how did you exorcise (or exercise) those demons?

40 comments:

  1. Out of the womb I was a makeup addict! The touching of texture of any cosmetic item excites me! LOL Actually, I think I have been pretty sensitive to touch. (entirely different story and topic which later someday I might tell you) I just like the mixture of pigments and formulas and how they feel on the skin, that is what really excites me! I sound redundant don't I? I guess it is more of a passion. Okay, will leave it at that, I am boring people.

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    1. Not boring at all! I get the feeling that anyone who comments on this post will understand.

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  2. Heh, "taupe eyeshadow"-- it's a Pandora's Box, I tell you!

    I've been fascinated by it since I was a teenager, around the same time I fell in love with art in general, so I've always assumed they were related. However, I think the art is the healthier obsession (although others would disagree, I'm sure).

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    1. As far as beautifying the world absolutely. And I love your art. ♥

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  3. I love the ritual of putting on making and remember watching my very glamorous mom sitting in front of a mirror at her vanity and applying makeup. And I also recall being a little child and getting into heaps of trouble for ruining my mother's beautiful red lipstick. I extended the bullet, smeared it on my face and then smashed the cap down on it.

    I am always duped into thinking there is a perfect color or product of something. I had an obsession with the perfect blue eyeliner (Hello '80's!), or pale pink nail polish. And then more recently, I was wanting to find the best matched foundation for my skin. Now I am off the charts insane and want the best of every beauty product for everything and reading MUA or watching Lisa Eldridge or reading very lovely and informed blogs seem to stoke the flames.

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    1. Jane, I know exactly what you mean about being duped into thinking there's a perfect product--brand marketing would certainly make us think that, as they prey on our insecurities. I've given up on blue eyeliner, but I do love to wear very deep navy to line my eyes, like Laura Mercier Deep Night. As for pale nail polish, I haven't found one yet that flatters me. Maybe some of us just need at least medium contrast because even the pale np colors that would look fabulous on me as a scarf or sweater give me the dreaded lobster hands.

      MUA + Lisa Eldridge = negative $. I advise you NOT to watch Lisa's "favorites" videos, lol. That said, I discovered some new skincare items that I adore so much I used 'em up and repurchased them, so it can't all be bad.

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  4. This is such an accurate, funny account of exactly what happened! I was always fascinated by makeup and beauty products, phoned in orders for products I'd read about, always looked for interesting pharmacies and beauty brands in foreign cities. But the blogs and forums made the whole mild hobby turn into a near obsession.
    The only good, honestly, that came out of it was determining my own - actually very narrow - color palette, settling on a few things, and giving away a lot of (very expensive) makeup.
    I'm still fascinated, but not as crazy about it all as I was. As you said in one of your posts, the collections roll out season after season, and, with the exception of improvements in texture or finish, it really starts to look exactly the same. Because it is.
    Love your blog, your whole odyssey through this makeup mania that so many of us share is funny, insightful, and very helpful.

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    1. I think I have finally discovered, as you say, my very narrow color palette. It makes shopping so much easier and it really helps kill the lemmings.

      Thanks very much for the compliments. Sometimes (usually several hours after I hit the publish button), I get that sinking, "what was I thinking?" feeling, but then I figure surely someone out there has had a similar experience but just isn't talking about it. So much of what we (or at least I) read on blogs is made up of rave reviews with glorious pictures of product, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that—in fact, I count on those excellent posts with swatches to help me make informed decisions, but after a year of doing much of the same, I am so sick to death of adjectives, I bore even myself! That's one reason I stared taking a different direction. :^)

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  5. Hi Zuzu, another riveting post! This brings back so many memories! I think my beauty story follows a similar path. My mom had makeup, but didn't wear it unless going out; I don't think it was a passion by any means. I think this delayed things, which I am thankful for since as you mentioned, I think pre-20s youth is so beautiful that I'd have done myself a great disservice by wearing it! That said, looking in the retrospective, there were seeds of interest planted very early on. It was a really exciting moment in late elementary school when my mom let me use her Revlon nail polish (I painted a different frosty nude color on each finger) and even more when I got the courage to spend 99cents on some crazy Wet n Wild colors. In Seventeen magazine I LOVED looking at the makeup ads (especially covergirl) even when I had zero (or rather negative) know-how and no products either. An exciting moment was when my mom took me for the first time to a counter and asked the SA to pick out an eyeshadow for me. I was so shy and had no idea what I liked or should choose. (It was a gold color, btw... which I never would wear now.) I don't think I ever wore it, but it was like a little treasure, and I still have it. In my teens I had black drugstore pencil liner, but it ran like mad (if only I'd known about primer...). After undergrad I started to use Bare Escentuals (which my mom used) for a nice light even effect. The only problem was that it gave me horrible break outs. (It took me years to realize the culprit since BE was supposed to be good for you!) The unbearably ugly breakouts are what FINALLY brought me in to a Sephora where I went with a mission to buy foundation to cover it up. The Clinique foundation was too dark, but it was an amazing feeling to buy 'real makeup' for myself. And that was how my obsession began. I suppose it is ironic that my obsession with makeup really grew thanks to an allergic reaction to makeup.

    <3 Dovey

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    1. Dovey, how sweet that you saved your first eyeshadow! I was thinking after I posted the above that no one has ever been to the makeup counter with me. Ever. I once took my mother to Prescriptives to get "color printed," but that was only because I'd become a makeup model for her! I have been to Sephora (once) with a friend, but we split up in the store, and it doesn't feel like the same thing. I never had a female relative show me the ropes, so to speak, and I entered those dark waters all on my own!

      How frustrating that Bare Escentuals caused your skin to react so horribly. They advertise that mineral stuff as safe to sleep in (not that I'd ever want that ivory stuff transferring to my lovely linen pillowcases), and how doubly frustrating that it took so long to figure out what the culprit was. Grrr. Was it the bismuth whatever that most of those powders used to contain?

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  6. Haha, everything you describe going through in 2007, I started going through a year ago. Before then, I owned a handful of eyeshadows, an expensive Guerlain kohl eyeliner and a Jane Iredale mineral foundation that wasn't a great match for my skin tone. Zero blush, zero lipstick; I must have looked like a zombie. Cut to about a month ago where I find myself poking through some Paula Dorf shadows and find one that I'm positive must be a duplicate for a shade in my LMdB Splendid Frost kaleidoscope - and I buy it anyway. What a crazy addiction, I swear.

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    1. A crazy, fun addiction. But no lipstick???? *faints* My lips will not let me leave the house without some perky color on them. I don't go for the matte stuff, but I do need that punch of color so my face doesn't fade into the wall.

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  7. I was first intrigued actually by my mother's little Avon sample lipsticks-remember those? :) Yeah, good times playing with them. I've fallen in love and out of love with makeup my entire life-right now I'm starting to fall out of love again for some reason. I think it's overload for me. Maybe a bit of boredom too-everyhting is seen there done that lately for me, and when I start to feel like that about something, I tend to move onto something else. I'm on the verge Zuzu! One foot is out the door already...

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    1. No!! Say it isn't so, and PLEASE don't stop blogging. I'd miss you terribly.

      Your comment reminded me that my mother DID buy me something from Avon! I must have been in the 7th or 8th grade, and she gave me a cream eyeshadow "quad," if you can call it that. ;) It was made up of four mini lipstick-like tubes that stacked together. The colors were puke beige, baby blue, insipid green, and easter-egg purple. Each eyeshadow bullet popped into the bottom of another tube, and there was a lid for the top one. Absolutely hideous, and I doubt I ever used it past the first application, but it was mine mine mine.

      Back to the boredom thing, I don't think I have ever fallen out of love with makeup, as in, I am not ready to face the world with a nekkid face. I do fall out of love with being a curator and, like you, I get bored with all this stuff, but I still get that high when I open my makeup drawer every morning and think of the possibilities. I feel more relaxed when I have fewer choices, but I still loves my precious, oh yes.

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  8. What a great article! I have no idea where my makeup fascination and obsession started. I was wearing pretty much full makeup by grade 8 which of course entailed frosty pink lipstick and blue eyeshadow. Despite my colour choices I think my application techniques were pretty darn good. LOL My mother wore ZERO makeup nor even used skincare really. Not much has changed on that front. I didn't subscribe to magazines or have much shopping nearby. I too relied on drugstores and Sears as well. I'm ashamed to admit that my rather admirable collection in my younger years was the result of shop lifting. I cringe at the thought now and I don't know what possessed me to be that stupid. Once I started working in high school that ended. Back then the dinky Sears even had a Dior counter and I bought one of their foundations in high school. They no longer carry anything more exciting than Estee Lauder. :-( Which is actually pretty darn good...now. I totally abandoned high end makeup after that. In my early twenties I started selling (OK really just using my discount to buy) Mary Kay. Really good stuff actually. I owned almost EVERYTHING and those products lasted me for 10 years. Long after I stopped being active I continued using them. Not sure how I managed to resist shopping that long? I think my move to an even more rural area is responsible. Then a few years ago on mat leave and bored I discovered Makeup Alley and blogs things began to get out of hand. I know my credit cards hate the discovery but I am one happy camper. My passion brings me great joy and I think I am finally going to make a go at being a makeup artist. I tell you companies really need to value blogs influence because magazines I could ignore but those darn blog review and swatches had/have me shopping online like a mad woman!

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    1. What a great history, PP! Dior at Sears? Wow.

      As for becoming a makeup artist, how exciting! Have you written a business plan or will you drum up new business by word of mouth to start? And will you start doing videos? That seems like an excellent medium to promote yourself.

      I agree that companies should pay closer attention to bloggers, and as for those magazines, we're just hair-armed apes, dontchaknow. ;) I hardly ever buy anything I see advertised in magazines anymore, certainly not before doing full research via the blogosphere first. It seems some of the more heavily-trafficked blogs are getting newly-released products ahead of the magazines, anyway. It's the best advertising they could hope for because it costs them nothing of the small cost of sending some beauty products that blogger's way.

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    2. Yes I am going to do up a business plan. I've been researching like crazy and I'll take a couple courses that will help with that side of things especially. I had already been thinking of trying videos so we'll see. I'm a pretty shy person and with pics I can do angles that don't show me head on...not my most flattering angle. Pretty sure people will think I'm odd if I film videos looking at them sideways! LOL
      I swear there was Dior at Sears because I remember more than just the cosmetics but the fragrances at the counter as well. It's where I fell in love with the now discontinued Tender Poison. I think it was going on 20 years ago. YIKES!

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    3. Very smart of you! I can't wait to see how it goes--you certainly have the talent and passion for it.

      As for facial angles, I know exactly what you mean. I don't mind a full-on front shot, but I do like the left side of my face better than my right. I can't exactly put my finger on it--the eyebrow on that side is shaped nicer, and that eyelid is tighter and higher ... anyway, I always try to angle my face with the left side showing if I can help it.

      As for Sears, you must have had the good one. When I was much younger, Sears was kind of a crap store, a place you wouldn't be caught dead buying clothes, and the "beauty" section in the middle had mostly drugstore-type stuff. That's all changed now, as Sears has really tarted itself up.

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  9. For whatever reason (probably religious), my parents were very anti-girly-stuff for me. My mother had exactly one lipstick, too (Avon Iced Watermelon, no longer sold but still available in "vintage" form on Ebay!). I would sneak and use it sometimes.

    But it wasn't until I went away to college that I really began to explore makeup. I started out with Cover Girl from the campus bookstore, then quickly moved on to Clinique. My roommate's grandmother (very sweet lady) gave us her GWP samples, and I soon began stocking up whenever I had a chance to shop at the local department store.

    A few years later, another friend came to visit me after a trip to Europe. She brought with her some Lancome skin care, and I remember thinking the jars looked so beautiful on the bathroom counter. So for a while, I was fascinated with Lancome.

    But I eventually settled back into Clinique and rarely purchased anything new, until a couple of years ago when I discovered blogs/YouTube/MUA and online shopping, and I wanted to try everything, and ended up with too much.

    In spite of my recent $200 Chanel beauty purchase, I think I can honestly say I'm done with the makeup "collecting". I've figured out what I like and I think I'll probably stick to one or two purchases a season.

    I don't think I'll ever be bored with makeup, but I want to go back to a simple morning routine with just a few products.

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    1. I hear you, Ms. M. One could almost say that blogging is one of the seven deadly sins. Greed makes us covet! OK, maybe that's taking it too far, but I certainly have far more than I need or would ever use.

      It's good to get down to basics, even if just for a little while.

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  10. Great post, Zuzu! I feel like we're often in accord with each other's thoughts and I loved going through this flashback with you.

    I come from a minimalist family so I'm the big black sheep of the family when it comes to "frivolous" acquisitions like makeup and such. But I think it all started for me with heading into the work force in my 20s and wanting to look older and sophisticated coinciding with the unfortunate opening of Sephora all over the city! I wanted quality makeup but also wanted to experiment, and the endless options helped open the floodgates. The extravagant side of me went ballistic. And I'm still paying for it now, trying to temper that, but it ain't easy. A part of me just wants to let loose and keep on being a nut.

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    1. I cannot imagine entering the workforce when Sephora was flooding the beauty market; I can only thank god I turned 20 in the olden, pre-internet days.

      My parents were thrifty with themselves but spoiled their two children rotten. In a way it made me completely unprepared for living on my own. My mother still laughs when she tells the story of my phone call to her after my first shopping trip just after I moved into my own apartment. Apparently I wanted her to know that toilet paper was really expensive! Some things you just can't skimp on, though. ;)

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  11. Hi, this is anonymous again just because I can't figure out what the profile choices mean and am too lazy to find out. Thank you again for a wonderful post, so thoughtful and well titled. I think some of us who have become infatuated after a lifetime of moderate makeup purchases are just that. I don't want a future of spending endless hours searching the web for the next 20 years. Right now, though, it's great, particularly when I can connect with blogs like yours that provide opportunity for insight and introspection as well as plain fun! It's good to learn new things and how to adapt to my own changing needs as I age. I feel prettier and more confident now that my makeup is not sliding off and the colors coordinated. On par with Wayne
    Goss and Lisa Eldridge, you provide a needed service to all of us older women who want to age with dignity, grace, and yes, beauty on the outside as well!

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    1. Oh my lord, that is just the highest compliment ever. *blushing furiously* You know that Wayne is winking directly at me, yes?

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    2. Really? I thought he was winking at me!

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  12. My interest in cosmetics was sparked when I decided to do my own makeup for my wedding (I've always been a diy kinda girl) about four years ago. Before then I really only wore some eyeliner and maybe a sheer/shimmery eye shadow. And then I walked into a Sephora for the first time...it was all downhill from there! I've only recently branched out to other brands like MAC and Youngblood. My mum doesn't wear makeup either except for her Clinique tinted lip balm thingy (chubby stick? idk that just sounds wrong to me..) Oh and one of my mom's friends sold Mary Kay back in the day so I ended up buying some lipstick in high school (never wore it though, it tasted like raisins to me hehe). Anyhoo, another great post; I like that yours are thought inducing haha!

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    1. Emmy-Jean, I am also a DIY kind of person, and it never occurred to me to have someone do my makeup for my wedding. I honestly just wore my usual face but added eyeliner and a slightly brighter lipstick, and felt comfortable wearing my face that day.

      I once bought Mary Kay, but when I wore it to work everyone commented on the pretty eyeshadow. Urg, not my goal. I'd rather have someone say, "You look well-rested/pretty/bright-eyed/whatever today," instead, so I realized the MK makeup was wearing me. I wore it once and eventually threw it out.

      Thanks very much for the props. It would seem the organic progression of my writing is to move away from 100% product reviews toward things I am thinking about these days, things that are still beauty-related, but a lot less oooh-ing and aaaaah-ing.

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    2. I totally agree; I want makeup to "enhance" what I have, not stand out on its own! (Which is probably why I own 20409384 different variations of champagne and taupe eye shadows hehe.) I feel like some introspection is definitely necessary, otherwise I just get caught up in "the latest and greatest" without even thinking about it. (Which is why I have 928374 eye shadows I rarely use.) Although, I must admit that ooohing and aaahing is still a favorite past time. =)

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    3. Oh and speaking of taupe eye shadow: Many moons ago, I told the hubby I "needed" a taupe eye shadow; all I got was a puzzled look. "What the #$%% is taupe?" says he. "It's a mixture of gray and brown and sometimes kind of pewter-y and..." I ramble on. Confusion turns into disbelief. He still does not believe taupe is a real color, but rather an excuse to buy more eye shadow...and quoting beauty blogs did not help my cause haha.

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    4. Yes! I own eleventy billion pink-tinged ivory satin eyeshadows. Been there done that. ;)

      As for men, your comment made me snort coffee. My husband thinks "neutral" is the name of a color. As in, "I'm going to wear my neutral pants tonight, what should I wear on top?" I had to educate him: "No, dear, those pants aren't neutral, they're actually a sort of mushroom color. And those over there are slate and those are olive and those are bark and those are khaki ..." lol

      He thinks I am nuts. But even though he couldn't tell cornflower from indigo, he has an amazing eye and (if pressed and cajoled and threatened with no food), he will give me excellent input on the subtleties between two eyeshadows. He doesn't know colors, but he knows what looks good on me. :)

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  13. BRILLIANT article, Zuzu! What a trip down memory lane. You reminded me of my own makeup journey from my early teen years to adulthood- to makeup and skincare obsessed blogger. My tale began in my early teens with Bonne Bell Lip Smackers, Maybelline eyeliners, Bonne Bell 10-0-6 Lotion, and little else. By my late teen years my mom and I became obsessed with Chanel Joues Contraste Blushes and YSL double ended eye crayons (particularly #6 which was a gorgeous blue purple on one side and a navy on the other-- long ago discontinued). From there it was clear that despite the fact that I was in so many ways a tom-boy (preferring jeans and sweats to dresses) that I had an undeniable interest in makeup that I have never outgrown. Such an inspiring and thought provoking article!

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    1. My eyes just got a little misty remembering Bonne Bell Lip Smackers and the 10-0-6 Lotion. And let us not forget Seabreeze astringent packets and Oxy 5! I loved those Smackers and think I had one in grape and Dr. Pepper. Back then they were HUGE! Not the size of lip balm tubes in use today.

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    2. I had completely forgotten about Seabreeze astringent packets and Oxy 5!! I also remember having a variety of Maybelline Kissing Potions (in the glass container with the roller ball applicator). Of course I had the HUGE Lip Smackers as well. I actually picked up a few of the small tubes the other day in a fit of nostalgia (Strawberry, Watermelon & Vanilla). I had a tremendous visceral reaction smelling and tasting them again! Thankfully the sensation was not accompanied by teen angst, but it certainly made me flash back to my youth! I would have loved to have found one of the gigantic Lip Smackers-- that would have been hilarious!

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    3. I think I just fainted from nostalgic overload. I could swear I had a Maybelline Kissing Potions in something awful, like maybe bubblegum? Now that I think about it, that must have been my first lip gloss, and even then I hated the texture, hee.

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    4. Me too! As I recall the Kissing Potions were grotesquely thick and sticky and tasted like flavored plastic. However, I think that it was my first foray into the world of lip gloss as well, and that shine was unlike anything that I had ever imagined! So despite the fact that it was actually pretty gross- I still wore it fairly religiously. Amazing the sheer discomfort you are willing to put up with when you are so young!!

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  14. I love reading your blog! I found this entry very relatable! I also started late..when I turned 24 last December. Prior to that, I used to stick to one particular foundation from an Asian brand, no blush and a nude Maybelline lipstick. I just started acquiring make up products early this year, I went to Google and I got so addicted reading reviews on Makeup Alley! Until now, I never buy a product unless I've read its' reviews on Makeup alley! Hehe.. I'm still a neophyte! Recently, I've been spending hours reading beauty blogs, too! Main reason why I keep wanting new things!!! :) The thing that got me hooked on department store brands is the Nars Schiap lipstick! My make up collection started from that product! I love Nars blushes too. I just got Gaeity a while ago, and I read your review. I can't wait to try it on tomorrow! :)

    Again, love your blog! I'm now following! :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy the Gaiety blush! NARS Schiap is an excellent color, and NARS was also my entrance into the more unusual brands I wasn't seeing at my local department stores--it gave me the courage to try my first red lipsticks, and I do mean RED.

      I doubt he was selling makeup when I started shopping at 24, but I was surprised to find he'd older than me. I adore him and his vision, and I hope he keeps it up. I'm sure he was doing something wonderful--I think he was doing runway shows back then.

      Enjoy your explorations, and if I could offer one tiny bit of unsolicited advice, I would say to be, above all, true to yourself and discerning. Just because an item is hot doesn't mean it will suits our coloring or personalities. I spent the last 3-5 years making all kinds of color and texture mistakes (after getting swept up into blog-lovin' hysteria), and what I'd give to have that pocket money back again! :)

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    2. That's so true!!! :( I think 20% of the make up products that I bought didn't really make me feel good/pretty. And I bought these things because I've read so much HYPE about them esp when they're limited edition.. But now I don't know what to do with those products anymore. Thanks so much for your advice! Really appreciate it! :)

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    3. What to do with the excess? I've got two words for you: BLOG SALE! :)

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