Saturday, February 11th, 2012

By Madeline, Teen Beauty Contributor

Madeline is 17-years old and currently attends high school in southern California. She’s also lived in D.C. and a Connecticut suburb of NYC. She loves to read, write, as well as shop, travel, play golf, and spend time with her family and friends. She’s excited to go to college and hopes to attend university on the east coast. Despite living in California now, she feels like a New Yorker!

Check out her blog, This Little Preppy Goes West!


Madeline’s Beauty Journey

When I was about 11 years old, my mother took me to the SoHo Bloomingdales to purchase my first Clinique 3-Step Skincare System. This was my first venture into the world of beauty. I clearly remember the wonderful women at the counter who helped me pick out which products would best suit my skin. They, along with my mom, taught me the importance of caring for my skin. Although I am lucky to have naturally good skin, I do still credit the Clinique ladies for teaching me several important lessons in beauty.

I, like many young girls, first began to wear makeup using Clinique products. I fondly remember my first eyeliner and mascara I wore as a young teen. I’m still a big fan of their High Impact Mascara. Today, I love my Whoppin’ Watermelon Chubby Stick. Whenever I walk by the Clinique counter at the mall, I can’t help but smile, because, for me, that is where my love of beauty began.

Clinique is where I had my start, and while I’m still a big fan of their products, the next turning point in my beauty journey was my introduction to MAC. After reading blogs for some time, I realized that MAC is one of the most loved cosmetic brands on the market.  I became enthralled with the art-inspired collections, and this is what made my own MAC collection begin to grow.

Before I started high school, I typically only wore mascara and/or eyeliner. By the time I moved across the country to southern California, I decided to experiment with makeup. My first MAC eye shadows were typical and neutral–All That Glitters and Soba. Eventually, I accumulated more eyeshadows, lipsticks, and my holy grail product: MAC Makeup Remover Wipes.  Now, I love following the latest MAC collections and stocking up on my old favorites from Clinique, but I have also graduated to one of the ultimate beauty brands: Chanel.

I recently picked up the Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick at the very same Bloomingdales where my beauty obsession began. It’s funny how things come full circle–some of my absolute favorite products have come from my favorite brands in three different but important parts of my life.

How did you fall in love with makeup? What was the first beauty product you bought or had bought for you?

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24 thoughts on “Madeline’s Beauty Journey

  1. Ashley

    Jeeze, I was barely even interested in boys when I was 11, let alone makeup. I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was 14-15, and now at 21 I often go without it by choice. I actually tend to feel sexier and more sensual without it. I first started by using drug-store products, and I still use those same products/brands. I started using skincare at the same time and stopped using skincare a year ago after my skin went through about a year of terrible acne (about half of that year it was moderate to severe). It sucks walking around now with red marks and indented scarring, but it fades and lessens every day. If I could completely stop picking as well, I’d probably never get periodic pimples and clogs. I still tend to pick at flesh bumps and whiteheads, which both leads to more of these and to actual pimples, and then having those causes me to want to pick, and on goes the cycle. If I could just stop picking at stuff that I can only see a few inches from the mirror I’d probably also stop getting periodic pimples, or at least not that often.

  2. Danielle

    Interesting topic! I can remember trying my mom’s foundation on when I was in middle school and playing softball. My mom would do my makeup when I was little for halloween since I always wanted to be a cat, and I can remember playing with her makeup when she was at work and dressing up in her heels when I was in grade school.

    By the time I hit high school I was wearing makeup all the time, especially for school activities. Most of my products were either stuff I jacked from my mom (she didn’t wear makeup often) or stuff from the drugstore I’d pick up. It wasn’t until I was a senior I started going to a makeup counter and buying makeup there. I originally wanted to go to school for makeup artistry when I graduated.

  3. Avatar of Marina Marina

    All That Glitters and Soba were my first permanent MAC shadows too! Soba is so underrated, do you agree?
    I’m going to be 14 in two weeks, and my love of makeup started when I was 12 and around 10 months. I got my first eyeshadow and mascara that Christmas; MAC’s Dashing Lassie Neutral eye palette and Dazzlelash mascara. Then I became obsessed with blogs such as Temptalia and places like Sephora. My collection has grown tremendously since then. I surf when I vacation so I was really excited for the MAC Surf Baby collection, though I didn’t have much money. When I got out of school that year I begged my mom to pick up three of the products for me, and after that I began to save up and berade her for a couple famous Mac brushes and wound up with those as well as All That Glitters and Soba and …some other items. I spent hours researching what I wanted. I didnt become
    obsessed with skin care until recently, but I’m glad I have been.

  4. Simone

    Wow, times sure change! I was not into makeup really until after high school. I do like mac, but never found products from clinique that I liked. And, wow, I still can’t afford chanel! Too many other things take priority now for me to plunk down that much on makeup nowadays.

  5. Jo

    I can’t help but chuckle a bit at how you’ve assumed that most young teens start off with Clinique. That stuff’s pricey, especially for an 11 year old. In fact most of the stuff you’ve pointed out are somewhat high-end brands that most people in their mid-teens don’t get to dabble around with, much less collect (unless you come from a well-off family).

    I haven’t exactly fallen in love with using makeup (I use it only when I’m going out but on a daily basis I’m fine going naked) but I love the thought process behind it. Youtube videos of people putting on their own makeup were always very entertaining and oddly helpful for me as an artist; complimentary colours, how to create characters that look younger/older, environment’s effects on people in terms of looks, etc.

    • Avatar of Gina Gina

      A lot of younger teens DO start of with Clinique, in terms of higher-end brands. I work in a department store, and mothers frequently bring their daughters to the Clinique counter. It’s significantly cheaper than Lancome and Estee Lauder and the like, and the colors are good for people just starting with makeup.

      • Jo

        (Wow, first time I’ve ever commented on Temptalia and I’ve gotten a fair bit of responses from you guys!)

        I certainly don’t doubt that some young teens start off with Clinique. If we’ve got one putting a blog post up here I’m sure there’s a couple more out there. I will say that from the perspective of another 17 year old girl (that’s me!) who’s surrounded by other girlfriends my age, Clinique just doesn’t pop up as much as drugstore brands.

        I’d hazzard a guess that for every daughter and mother that goes to your department store looking for high-end makeup, there’s 7 other teens experimenting with drugstore makeup that they bought with their pocket money. It makes sense really; easy access, cheap, and less fuss if the girl’s easily embarassed and buying it by herself. :)

    • Avatar of Lianne Lianne

      I giggled at that part too, what teenagers can afford Clinique? A lipgloss costs $15+ !

      High school is a time to experiment with makeup, I tend to see expensive brands as a bit of an investment, and who knows if you’ll be into the same colors a year from now? I started out with Bonnebelle and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (haha) makeup. They were playful, natural, and inexpensive. My friends and I had fun creating looks for each other and playing with our products. We didn’t always look amazing, but it was fun, I wouldn’t change it for all the chanel in the world.

    • JIlliant

      I started with Clinique too :) and i still love their mascaras and the chubby sticks are awesome for weekend lazy days.
      After checking with her mum, i’ll be getting my second cousin some clinique stuff for her 12th birthday

    • Avatar of Edith Edith

      I saw a lot of girls start off with drugstore brands but not necessarily any department stores in my area. I can see where girls may start out with Clinique because of simplicity and cost.

      I love how Madeline talked about how her interests changed over time. Are there any other suggestions for teen girls who don’t necessarily have the income to buy department store brands? I think that would be a great article to hear from a teenager’s perspective.

    • Maud

      i didnt, but a ton of my friends started with clinique. i think that it happens a lot because a lot of women in their mid 30s to 40s use clinique and they bring their kids because it is the brand they know one. of my friends in elementary school had a mini treasure trove of clinique by 6th grade because her mom would give her all her old stuff and i always lusted after it but, by the time i started wearing makeup in 7th grade i didnt like clinique at all because it wash’t young enough for me. it is a really good basic started brand though because of the skincare for most people (burns my sensitive skin) and neutral colors

    • Avatar of Ashley Ashley B

      Yeah, I started with Cover Girl & Wet n’ Wild. Not a lot of Clinique counters in Wyoming ^_~ I also had to sneak it. My mom would have skinned me alive if she knew I had started wearing makeup at 14. I would go to school and put on my black eyeliner and lipgloss. Then I would have to wash my face before I left to go home. She didn’t officially allow me to wear makeup until I was 16.

  6. Kristabelle

    I grew up wearing makeup for dance recitals, and even then, I loved how it transformed me. In fifth grade, my aunt gave me a bunch of old makeup that she didn’t want, and for my fifth grade open house (don’t ask me why, I have no idea) I went to town. Garish yellow-gold shadow smudged all over my lids and Diva Pink lipstick.
    In sixth grade, I was really into this thick, goopy brown tinted lip balm- I don’t know why, I just thought it made me look older. So not cute! As I went through high school, I learned a little more, but still had very unkempt brows and didn’t really match my makeup to my clothes. It was all cheap and not too great, anyway.
    Finally about two years ago, I discovered makeup tutorials on Youtube. I learned about foundation/face stuff and smoky eyes from Kandee Johnson, and brights from Xsparkage. The downside of that was that I began covering my face in nasty, cheap drugstore foundation. Because of that, for almost a year I had horrible cystic acne that nearly turned me into a hermit.
    Finally I figured it what it was, but it’s left me with bright red scars that cover about 70% of my face. Now I am dependent on makeup to make my skin look normal and don’t go anywhere without foundation, concealer, and powder. While I hate that aspect of it, I still love playing with eye makeup and hope to be a makeup artist someday.

  7. chelsea

    I only wore eyeliner and mascara until I was 14. I could write a book on my beauty ventures. I think what attracts people to beauty is the glamour that surrounds it, with the tangibility in which nothing else brings us closer. For some of us, it is also a creative outlet.

  8. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    I loved reading your makeup journey, because it reads the same as mine. Except, I was 29 when I started to get into makeup. So, I started off at the Clinique counter with the 3-step system and some makeup.

    Then, there was the MAC counter. And, how can you avoid the lure of MAC? I loved everything I saw there, which was right before the Venomous Villains launched.

    And now, I’m 32. I have a better understanding of what looks good on me and have decided to overhaul my entire makeup collection to get the best items for me. Then two weeks ago I headed for the Chanel counter and walked away with an nice collection of shadows that really suit me and my style.

  9. Avatar of Gina Gina

    Aww what a sweet post! It made me remember my first days of makeup. I think I started wearing makeup around 13. I kind of found my own way with it. But I think it’s so great that your mom took you to get a skincare routine! I’ll keep that idea in mind, for when I get older and have kids. Skincare is so important, and I think 11 is a great age to start.

  10. Avatar of Mandy bxboricua

    I started wearing makeup in college, just basic stuff like foundation, concealer, mascara. I really fell in love with makeup 2 or 3 years ago when I discovered Temptalia and the Youtube beauty community (Makeup Geek and Xsparkage were the first ones I watched.).

  11. Avatar of Leah Leah

    My mom never wore make-up, so I never had a whole lot of interest in it while growing up. In high school I occasionally messed around with drugstore brand eyeliner or eyeshadow, which was all that my after school job earnings allowed. I guess my first product was probably a Revlon or L’Oreal eyeliner, can’t remember. In college I sometimes put on some mascara or eyeliner, but I was never very good at application, so the results were mixed, so say the least haha.

    It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I became obsessed with doing the perfect smokey eye, and as a result, found beauty blogs. Luckily my technique improved, and I got better at picking color combos. Now I mainly buy MAC and sometimes Benefit, but will occasionally splurge on NARS or another more high-end brand. Still in love with my Maybelline Full N’ Soft mascara though. :)

  12. Ljana

    Mine was a lot different, probably because I come from another part of the world, so different brands would have been available back then, some 15 years ago. Now that Sephora and online shopping have become much more accessible, I expect teens all over the world have similar experiences.
    The first item I ever bought was an awful apple-scented, no-name black mascara, which I’d bought for the equivalent of a dollar with my pocket money. I was 13 and thought it gave me wonderful lashes, though in reality it was probably a clumpy mess. My mom, of course, noticed I was wearing it right away and proceeded to take it away, but said I could occasionally borrow her makeup if I wanted to, but that I was not to use no-name, unsafe products. Then a year later, my stepmom got me a Constance Carrol (that’s a really cheap British brand, which I think has since folded) peachy blush and a nude lipstick. Soon after that, my dad went on a business trip to the US and brought me loads of Revlon stuff. I was deliriously happy for days! For my 18th birthday, he bought me a Dior LE palette, similar to the Garden collection palettes they have out now. That was what clinched it – I became a full-blown beauty addict. However, it was not until I was 20 and spent two months in Washington DC that I first heard of American brands like Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay etc. My first trips to Sephora in foreign countries (first in Paris, then in the US) were like something out of a fairytale. If someone had told me back then that we would eventually get pretty much the same stuff in my own country, I wouldn’t have believed them. Political implications aside, globalization and the internet have done a world of good to beauty lovers from smaller countries.

  13. Kelly

    My first make up I remember was constance Carroll translucent powder and max factors ‘x-rated lip gloss’ which was clear and it smelt so good. I now have the Mac clear lip gelee which I love over top of my. Oh to be young again ‘sigh’.

  14. San

    I did use a eyeliner and lipstick when i was in college for special occasions but my craze started when my sister introduced me to temptalia and MAC, even then it wouldve passed as a mild interest but the fates decided otherwise and the first MAC outlet opened a week later…the rest was predictable…from MAC-CHANEL-DIOR-ESTEE LAUDER N BOBBI BROWN,its been a happy beautiful ..expensive journey but so satisfying.
    The first product was a 15 shadow palette from MAC which my sister and i spend 3 months on deciding and then checking with Christine before purchasing and my most loved product Bobbi Brown Nectar shimmer brick and MAC 109 brush.

  15. Ana

    I started wearing makeup when I had like 14-15… L’Oreal watershine liquid diamonds was my first lipgloss and Maybelline Volume Express was my first mascara, that was the only make up I use until 17 or 18 when I discovered YT videos and Temptalia.
    I went to Arizona one summer and stopped by the MAC Counter and bought Carbon e/s… My collection just started from there and now has grown quite much…

  16. Buying makeup back 30 years ago was very different than today…there were no Sephora store or any of the trendy brands available like Tarte, UD, MAC, MUFE and the likes…You either get them at the drugstore or at the department store and no online purchase…I started with Bonnie Bell lipsmackers..then moved to Cover Girl to Clinique and then to Chanel and YSL which the latter two were new brands into the market at that time…and these brands were all purchased during high school…I buy makeup for the product…but the packaging design had to be there and during those years, I went to an all girls school so that influenced me what brands to buy…since I also bought what other people had…There really was no so thing as palette purchases at that time and so even today, palettes do not grab me…so my teen purchases of yester years do affect how I make my purchases today…

  17. This is a really neat post!

    I started with drugstore brands because I had the impression that department store makeup was for people like my mom or grandmom that had a money to spend and only wanted traditional old-school style makeup.
    Even then, I pretty much stuck with black liner and a cover-up stick.

    The first non-drugstore makeup I bought was “Midnight Cowboy” and also “Oil Slick” from Urban Decay. I saw MC on Jessica Alba on the cover of Jane magazine or something and thought it was amazing looking and like nothing I’d seen. I was like 15 (I’m 29 now) when I first saw one of their ads and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

    I discovered Sephora when I lived in MA. when I was 19 and fell in love <3

    Then in more recent years came You Tube tutorials, beauty blogs and complete obsession with the anything and everything makeup-related. I would love to be a hairstylist/makeup artist for a living and a cosmetology degree is my goal!

    Thank you to blogs like Temptalia and posts like this one!