Did your upbringing impact how you view makeup?

I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I was 18 (effectively, when I went away to college), and my mom wore makeup very, very infrequently – for a wedding, funeral, etc. so it was not at all part of my knowledge at all. My best friend growing up in high school wore makeup, so what little exposure I had to it was more from her. I think it helped me be less invested in the aspect of it “covering” up flaws or “enhancing” and let me dive into it because I loved color and playing with it. There was a period where wearing foundation regularly did start making me feel awkward about my bare face, but I got over that quickly and I imagine part of getting past that quickly was because it wasn’t planted in me earlier on.

— Christine
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I grew up onstage, so I had to wear makeup for performances, but outside of that I wasn’t allowed to wear it until I finished high school. My mom never wore makeup except for drawing on her eyebrows (and even that until she got them microbladed), so makeup was just seen as “functional” for the stage. But I loved to draw and paint, and I distinctly remember first being inspired by Bollywood actresses to recreate their beautiful makeup looks on paper, especially their eyes. That later translated to me trying to recreate their looks on my own face once I was in college and allowed to wear makeup whenever I wanted.

Probably. My family didn’t have any hard, fast rules about makeup wearing. I remember having a Cutex pale pink lipstick in Peppermint Pink (it tasted of peppermint) that I was allowed to wear but my best friend, Gayle, got in big trouble with her mom when we came home from the movies and she was wearing it. My mom wore makeup (probably not every day) and most of it wasn’t expensive but I remember that she would really “treat” herself to a pricey (we weren’t rich) Estee Lauder eyeshadow in a rich blackened green/gold shade – that was her big makeup indulgence. And I’ve talked about the Elizabeth Arden train case of skin care products that she had. She also had a dressing table with a big round mirror, so I guess she did apply makeup there. My mom’s hair was always long and she wore it up in a somewhat glamorous “do” (that she did herself) – this was how she wore it every day so I guess it was easy for her to do it herself.

My mom and dad never really cared about me wearing makeup so I started experimenting and playing with it as soon as I could get my hands on it. Mom never wore much other than a little eye makeup so I got to figure out what I was doing more on my own, but now all the women in my family ask me for makeovers and to help them pick out products.

My mom definitely started also to be a little more into makeup and skincare once I did. 😅 At first I would just asked her if she wants products when I got samples or gifts I didn’t used. Then in time she asked randomly “Don’t you have a X product you don’t use?”. She still doesn’t wear makeup very often, but now she is used to at least have minis of some products if she wants one day to apply them.
Now… if I could convince her that it’s not really a great thing that the Marc Jacobs eyeliner in Blaquer lasts two days on her lash line…

Probably. Growing up I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. In highschool I was granted the right to wear a plain brown shadow and mascara, but anything other than that was considered something only “sluts” did. Ah, small town minds are not something I miss. My family (particularly my mother) viewed anyone who dressed nice, had nice hair, and wore makeup or nice jewelry to be “trying too hard. who does *she* think she is??” Any level of polish was considered something only snotty people did on one hand, and on the other anyone who dyed their hair blond or wore more “dramatic” eye makeup (think liner and a color that wasn’t brown, or was dark) to be a whore/hussy (I do not miss that word in casual conversation. lol). Perhaps being deprived of creative outlets as a child helped shaped my love of art, colors, and personal expression of today. Today I wear more makeup than anyone else I know – having a deep love for eyeshadow and lipstick. Even then it’s a lot less than the youths of today who plaster on drag paint. Something I look down on not because people of ill repute do it, but because my skin looks incredible from taking care of it all my life. Glopping on foundation and heavy contour (soooo unnecessary in your teens and twenties when you literally glow from youth) seems like avoidable wear and tear.

Oh… that small town mentality…
Truth be told, because my close friends didn’t wear makeup on a regular basis, I hold a long time (even my early high school years) the belief that girls wearing a full face of makeup every day at school did it to grab attention (especially from boys/men), that makeup is for special occasions only. To this day if I see a teen with tons of makeup, even if my opinions are definitely more liberal now towards makeup, that small town mind creeps in a little.

How crazy to find similar backgrounds! Sometimes when I’m around people younger than me, or who grew up in a city, they look at me like I’m from another planet when I tell them about my upbringing/parents. It’s funny how just living in a city vs living in a small town shapes what “problems” people focus on.

Every piece if this….I resonate with

It was both my mom and dad who were horribly judgmental about anything “pretty” ….brown eyeshadow or not. You were bare faced, pig-tailed, or a slut/whore. If you were nice, you could braid your legs and you let every acne scar show. SPF? What was that?

My current love: makeup, Skincare, Supergoop and Bob Ross. Hmmm 🤔

I’m a fully grown adult now, and have been for a while, but even still my mother can’t stop herself from commenting on my appearance when I visit. “why do you wear makeup? you don’t NEED it.” As though the idea of doing it because you want to is a foreign concept. *rolleyes* And the years I dyed my hair platinum blonde? Those were a laugh riot. I was in my thirties then, but the judgement has no expiration date.
Omg spf! I had to discover that myself when I got burned so, sooo badly trying to “tan” for a school dance. It was so bad I had to stay home from school for two days. It was the best lesson in skincare I could have gotten for sure.

Partially, I suppose? I grew up during the 60’s and became a teenager in ’72. That era was rife both very glamorous Hollywood imagery, Hippies either being anti-makeup or going off in the opposite direction and wearing wilder looks, it was also the time of Motown glamour. All of these different elements helped to shape my views of cosmetics. I was a 21 year old going into the 80’s, and that was probably my biggest influence. As for whether my Mom and other females around me as a child influenced me, I have always worn more intense looks than they did. Winged liner, for one thing!

I recall my mom and my aunts always wearing makeup, certainly lipstick, and in the case of my mom, mascara and liquid eyeliners in light blue and light gray, so it seemed like a normal practice to wear it. I had a small allowance with no restrictions on how I could use it so I started buying makeup as a pre-teen. I wore it at summer camp but not in elementary or middle school because the teachers there frowned upon it. My parents did not care.

To this day I never understood why blue eyeshadow or liner was a thing. 😅 I clearly remember my mom purchasing me a cheap eyeshadow palette for my middle school end “prom” and applying the blue shade on me. Either of us knew crap about makeup, but we still choose blue. To be fair… my dress had some blue on it.

Definitely. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, shave my legs or armpits until 15. My mother was always very glamorous and decked out (to me) but all she wore was eyeliner, mascara and a red lip liner with Revlon Bamboo Bronze. She had perfectly radiant, unblemished skin and never fussed with any powders or blushers or anything like that. Either that was en vogue at the time or it just worked, but she was always stunning. Sometimes I was allowed to watch her get ready and I was always enthralled by the process of her applying her skin care and makeup.

When I was finally allowed to wear makeup, it was her used tubes of mascara and Vaseline for the lips. I think we talked her into eyeliner at some point but even that had to be what she had used and very sparse, almost invisible. I kind of went crazy with friends eyeshadow whenever I could (all of this is gross, I know). Sometimes she would show up to my school to check on my makeup and would take me home to wash it off. It wasn’t any more outlandish than what was in style at that point but I think it was more about letting me know that she was always aware and one step ahead of us.

My mother was always very keen to keep up appearances and it was a big priority for her. When I was out on my own and could finally afford makeup, I would always overspend – instead of just buying one I would buy kits or a whole collection or a whole “look” that I would see on advertisement. Trying to make up for lost time wearing it, I imagine.
Also feeling like I should, that it was integral or should be to who I am or how I present myself because my mom prioritized it over so many other things. Still unpacking all of this.

I had a makeup hiatus for about a decade. When I got back into it and up until very recently, I was still in the habit of buying collections or complete launch sets because fomo. Priorities and perspective has shifted lately, but I do still love wearing a full face and/or applying product – even if it all amounts to a very subtle look or most of it is just skin care. I like the ritual of it all. It’s grounding for me still.

My makeup viewing has shifted lately – I like watching people make themselves up to look like someone else rather than just watching reviews or how-tos. I don’t care for most makeup trends, don’t find anything original anymore and I don’t care about/am not loyal to any influencer or personality so it has gotten boring. At this point I am satisfied as far as what looks I like and can do for myself so I find the “look-alike makeup” very interesting.

It’s so wonderful and fascinating to hear this stories. Thank you for sharing it with us.

My mom took me to groom my eyebrows before starting highschool, without me even requesting. She had her eyebrows plucked thin by a friend in highschool and she wanted to make sure I go to a professional, not let myself or a friend ruin my brows.
She also purchased me an epilator and a trimmer after I got my period (and tons of body hair). But we are on the hairy side of the family. 😅

It’s a question with an “yes and no” answer for me.

My grandmother never wore makeup, and my mom rarely does to this day. I wasn’t exposed to makeup as a child, beyond a lipstick or a mascara my mom had. So as I grew up I didn’t have a desire to try makeup. My group of close friends also didn’t wear makeup, so my general belief was that girls shouldn’t wear make until they are 18-20 years old on a regular basis (proms, weddings, etc. were off course excluded).

But both my mom and grandmother have always thought me to groom myself and my skin, and when I finally got into makeup at university, for me makeup was just another grooming step to make me feel presentable when I faced the world.

While my upbringing didn’t influenced my makeup style, I truly appreciate my mom and grandmother for building up in me the confidence of not wearing makeup if I choose, to feel confident at any age.

I also appreciate that my mom never critiqued me once I started wearing makeup. She purchased me eyeshadows to wear at my middle school “prom” (we call than banchet in Romania from the French banquet, they’re not really like American proms), even if I wore that once. She purchased me my first concealer (those double sided green and generic beige sticks from Avon) when I got acne. She let my brother wear black eyeliner when he was in his rocker phase (he wore black eyeliner more than me in highschool). 😅

To this day I still remember the story my mom told me about a lady lawyer who wasn’t so good looking. But each day she groomed herself (makeup, hair, clothing) to one of the best looking ladies in our small town. The thing is… makeup can make our physical appearance better, if we choose… it’s easy, anyone can do it. But learning, becoming a master of your trade, growing as a person, being kind, being fit, all other things are hard and take time. So I choose to live my life to grow my mind, my body and soul, because if one day I want to look pretty, I can do it in 15 minutes by just applying makeup.

I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I was 17 and had my own job and paid for it myself. My Dad was quite strict with 5 girls even my Mom only wore lipstick and did her eyebrows. But I’m the only one that is really into makeup, my sisters come to me for advice and I’m right smack in the middle I have two older and two younger sisters and when we go to Sephora together we have a quite the day of it. Of course ! would wear makeup to high school and just wash it off before my Dad would come home and a lot of the time he would be working out of town and my Mom was fine with it, I was also not allowed to have my ears pierced neither but that is a whole other story!

I love all this. Thought that only my father was strict. I was never allowed to wear contact lenses or makeup as he was afraid I would ruin my skin and eyes. I wore makeup at 24 after graduating from university and my mom took me to shiseido as it’s a good brand and bought me an eye pencil, a liquid eyeliner and some compact powder. Those were the precious days. I am from Malaysia and she didn’t want to get me started on other brands. Slowly I got some lipsticks and my first foundation was from Estée Lauder.

After reading other comments here I will say that I was never told negatively about girls or women that wore lots of makeup or wore it in any sort of way. I’m so glad that wasn’t what I was taught but I am aware of how one can be perceived. People judge all the time and everyone’s a critic but knowing myself is what gives me confidence and self respect to look however I want. I love makeup. I wear a full face every day, just about. It doesn’t concern me what others think about it. I’m happy this way!

No, not at all. As I am in my mid sixties, my parents’ generation was of the view that women only wore lipstick and a smattering of power (maybe some wore foundation) and that was it. Definitely not eyeshadow!
So from the age of twelve, when I had to wear makeup for a school concert, I was hooked. I have always loved my makeup.

Growing up…I wanted nothing more than to wear makeup. I have had a love affair with it for years. My mother sent me to the neighborhood Mary Kay party in lieu of her attendance. I saw all the pink l, and loved every second of it.
I had many a fight and actually got grounded bcuz I wore makeup when I wasn’t supposed to!

I loved makeup from a young age. My mother would let me play with hers when l was young. She always liked to wear makeup so it it rubbed off on me. I just love color in my makeup and my clothing.

I want to thank everyone who has commented. It’s been very interesting reading through the stories.

I am not sure where to start. I think I’ve always appreciated pretty makeup on others, whether it was seeing an adult woman wearing it when I was out and about or celebrities in magazines when I was very young. I thought Mary Poppins looked flawless with her makeup. I remember thinking that all the time haha. I’ve always been pretty girly. I don’t remember ever seeing my mom wear anything besides mascara and eyeliner and sheer powder, though in older photos of her (before I was around) she sometimes wore super glam makeup (heavy shadow looks, big false lashes, lipstick, etc) in her 20s and 30s. She has never been an anti makeup mom. [[And I don’t recall my father ever having any sort of opinion at all. He’s not in my life any more but I don’t recall ever talking to him about makeup or hearing him talk about makeup ever.]]] She kept her Clinique products out in the open in her bathroom, but I don’t remember ever experimenting in the way really young kids do with making a mess or anything. I remember I liked the smell of the powder and lipstick. When I was in elementary school, my sister was in high school and off to college and definitely wore mascara, brown shadows, brownish lipsticks with regularity. Nothing ever even somewhat extreme though. She put makeup on me the night before she left for college just for fun, and I remember being sooo uncomfortable with having someone else apply mascara on me. But I remember thinking the end result looked nice but not being like over the moon I need to look like this or anything. I was probably in 4th grade. I did grow up loving an aunt who always wore red red lipstick and bright blue eyeshadow with black mascara and I remember liking how colorful she seemed but I never considered it having anything to do with me.

So then at some point early in 5th grade (I think?) I decided my eyebrows were too unruly compared to what I saw in the magazines, so I used scissors to chop off half my eyebrows lol. It wasn’t really what I was going for but my mom just was like “Well now we have to have them grow back.” She wasn’t even mad haha. Then 5th grade happened and I started caring more about how I presented myself. I started wearing drugstore high shine glosses and shimmer glosses all the time at school or with my friends and I remember feeling like the coolest gal ever whenever I put it on. Plus they all smelled like watermelon or fruits so that helped me feel more girly for whatever reason which seems silly now. I think my mom might have bought me some and some I bought with what little money I was given in 5th grade. I remember Spice Girls were a big thing (the guys in my class started pasting photos of them on top of their desks) and I remember liking some of their makeup looks but already having preferences about what I liked best. 5th grade was also the year the school put all us females into one big room and talked to us about body image and highlighted to us how much makeup celebrities caked on makeup and showed us some magazine examples haha. 6th grade and 7th grade I just stuck with my lipglosses and did nothing else. I didn’t feel any pressure to do anything else and I don’t particularly remember giving makeup much thought at all those years. Britney Spears in her Hit Me Baby music video was the kind of makeup I liked.

8th and 9th grade I lived abroad and I guess I followed along with the trend with the more frosted and silvery lipglosses at this time too. I think pop stars continued to influence me and for the first time ever, I had friends who were also wearing lipglosses and mascara and sometimes very simple eye shadow looks. I started visiting a cosmetics store sometimes with friends and I bought myself some pink, peach and brown shadows and a black eyeliner pencil. And my mother did not care about me and my lipglosses. And if I wanted to wear mascara or eye shadow to a school dance she didn’t mind and probably helped (though I don’t really remember this part). 8th and 9th grade was also when I acquired some glitter jelly stuff that I would put through my hair for special occasions too haha.

Half of 10th grade I wore no makeup. At all. Then I changed schools and at my new school there was a really lively, fun girl who wore like light green and silver glitter kind of on the tops of her cheeks / under the outer corner of her eye and I thought it looked so beautiful on her so I did that a few times. There was a whole bunch of girls in the school doing that at the time for some reason. But it was fun. The great majority of days though, I wore no makeup and I don’t remember feeling any pressure at all to or any pressure not to. Some of my friends wore makeup but most didn’t. Again, I would wear makeup for school dances but many went to school dances without makeup also. I also wasn’t really following any mainstream musicians or anything any more, so I don’t remember really wanting to look like anyone else. My senior year though, I went on a trip with my best friend and her mother treated us to a little makeup haul and I got my first prestige items. So using those makeup items -my first liquid foundation, blush, a colored peach shadow, and more brow highlight shadow- were kind of about bonding with my friend since she also got makeup that trip and those of my friends who did wear makeup at that time. Again, my mother was pretty supportive whenever I wore makeup. I know I bought a black lip pencil though and she made it very clear she wasn’t a fan of that though. I still only wore makeup on occasion though. She didn’t take it away or forbid me from wearing it though! I think I wore makeup so infrequently anyway it was never a big deal. I did my own makeup for my prom and she said it looked beautiful -looking back I could not say so myself haha!

I was always really into sports as a kid and never wore makeup until maybe just eyeliner for fun in middle school but really my love for makeup came 2 years ago when I got married and got all dolled up. It made me just feel put together and I sort of felt like there was no reason why I had to just feel glamorous on my wedding day. but I do feel fine when I’m not wearing makeup too and I agree with you that a big part of that is because it was not a part of my life for so long and that I had so much time to focus on other things and on having bare skin for so much of my youth.

My mother always wore makeup for as long as I can remember. She used it as a way to enhance her features and to feel feminine. She wore it not to impress others but to make herself feel good. So, when I was about eleven I started sneaking into her makeup periodically. But I didn’t start wearing it regularly until about age thirteen. I think I would have worn makeup even if my mother had not. I probably would have started later, though. Having said that, I believe my upbringing positively influenced my opinion on cosmetics.

Not really? It’s hard to say. I remember watching my mom get ready every morning when I was a kid, and also remember her purchasing makeup from the Lancôme kiosk at our local L.S. Ayres and using it every day. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I was 15, but I remember sneaking my mom’s mascara at 13 (yikes). Even when I did start wearing makeup it was the bare minimum: some concealer, blush, mascara and lipgloss, and that was all I wore even throughout college. It wasn’t until I was around 25 that I really started getting into makeup. My view of makeup now is more of a creative outlet, especially in the last year. I really enjoy the process of putting it on in the morning, but as I was growing up, I never really gave it much thought.

Both of my grandmothers didn’t wear makeup (my paternal grandmother had 15 children, so I imagine she didn’t have the time). As a preteen/teen, I learned about makeup from my mom and teen magazines. I was allowed to wear lip balm starting around age 10, and was allowed to progress to different products at different ages. Nowadays, when I see 12 year olds wearing a full face of makeup, I’m scandalized internally, lol.

I have very early memories of my mom applying her makeup every morning before work. She was never seen outside the house without a full beat – foundation, concealer, brows, eyeshadow, blush and lipstick. I started playing with her makeup collection early on and was wearing eyeliner, mascara and lipgloss to school everyday by high school. In my senior year I got really experimental with liner colours like bright blue, green and even silver. I wore eyeshadow some days and even experimented with fake lashes from time to time. I always adored the glamour look and noticed how people treat you when you look more ‘put together’. I’m now in my 30s and only wear a full beat when I go to work and for going out.

Somewhat. My mom grew up as an adult when Elizabeth Taylor was in vogue and famous in the role of Cleopatra. I thus do my eyes in that vein. 😄

I grew up in a household where it was very important to wear makeup and wear cute clothes and basically be feminine and girly. Probably because of that pressure, I was always very resistant to it, so I didn’t get in touch with this side of me until years after moving out. I’m 31 now and still slowly learning how to apply and wear makeup, which shades look good on me, etc etc. I like the colors and everything else but strangely, every time I put anything on I still hear my mother’s voice saying that I look much prettier with it on and so feel an urge to take it off. I don’t want to get into it more so it doesn’t get too depressing XD it’s a cycle that’s difficult to get rid of.

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