How have your makeup preferences change over time?

I’m less concerned about packaging (other than functionality) or brand and more concerned about how well a product performs for my purpose. I think a lot of my preferences for types of products, colors, and finishes haven’t changed dramatically–if anything, perhaps a better appreciation for variety.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

Two things have changed in recent years. I returned to buying mid-end to HE products over these past 4+ years, which I hadn’t been able to do for quite some time. Also, went back to using COLOR! Not that I didn’t at times during my 20+ years of drugstore only (and not a big stash at that, either), but most of that time, I was busy raising my two children, dealing with an extremely stressful set of circumstances, and most days I didn’t feel all that “colorful” either. Now, though, everything is quite different! One thing that hasn’t changed is that I have always gone in for quality products no matter what “end” they’re in.

Stacy Avatar

I wear *much* less makeup now than I used to, especially face products (primer, foundation, , concealer, powder, etc). The older I get, the worse my skin looks with all the extra layers.

Katherine T. Avatar

Also, as I get older, I feel more confident in myself, so I wear bolder colors on my eyes (teal, purples, blues, shimmers) and lots of purple blushes and lipsticks. I’m 45 but going 16!

Naomi Avatar

I’m like you Christine – more concerned about the actual product more than the packaging. though nice packaging is a plus! I’m also a lot more harsh on how a product performs, especially if it’s more expensive. I also used to be more about the natural look but now I’ve been going bolder. figured I might as well while I’m young!

Áine Avatar

When I started wearing makeup as a teenager I had combo skin that was a little oily on the t-zone, and normal to a little dry everywhere else, so I always had a mattifying powder on hand for the center of my face.
These days I’m on the drier side all over and I want everything I own to have a sheen to it to camouflage my dryness, haha. I actually just got the Coty Airspun powder in Luminous Translucent in the mail, which I’m hoping will look a bit less matte than my other setting powders.

Mariella Avatar

Not all that long ago, I was into EVERYTHING matte and avoided products with frost and pearl like the plague. I didn’t even own a highlighter because of the reflective nature of highlighters. Now, though, I love pearly products (my favourite eyeshadow finishes are MAC’s Veluxe Pearl and Inglot’s Pearl). I find that something with a bit of sheen makes me look fresher.

Fran Avatar

I started wearing makeup again a few about six years ago because I was desperate to do something about my rosacea, which flamed bright red (and hurt!) when I walked a block or two outdoors. Sun protection was key, but chemical sunscreens irritate my skin and the zinc oxide/titanium dioxide ones I found at CVS and Target all gave me a shiny, too-white look, so I determined to try mineral powders, then tinted moisturizers with zinc/titanium. That helped! And got me started… having just base on my face didn’t look right. A little lip color added looked better. Then I got a sprinkling of bright white hairs in my eyebrows that called a lot of attention to themselves. So my clear eyebrow gel was swapped for tinted. Needed something on my eyes. Mascara and eyeshadow are fun. But with all that on, my face looked kind of two-dimensional without something on my cheeks. So experimentation with cheek products began. Now, if I’m going to work or out for a fun day/evening, I usually wear a full face of makeup. Even when my orbit is the food co-op/laundry room/walking trails, I’ll wear my sun protection base, finishing powder, tinted brow gel, mascara, and lip color as a minimum — probably a bit of concealer, too. I never leave home without sun protection. Not even to take out the trash. Seven years ago: moisturizer, clear brow gel, clear lip balm. Now: all this, and wanting to make a career of it!

Alecto Avatar

Sounds like we made the same journey. I stopped wearing makeup for many years just because I couldn’t be bothered, but somewhere in that time frame I developed rosacea, kept developing it, bad. Same issues with sun screen. When I got to the point where I couldn’t be seen without someone asking me where I had gotten all the sun (the rosacea had made my entire face a permanently darker orange shade — a combo of the ever-present red and my strong yellow tones), I decided it was time to start wearing makeup again. Cue the added colors to keep me from looking one-dimensional with the full-coverage foundation, and here I am going full-face every day, even when I ‘m not planning on leaving the house. Turns out I love all the experimentation and bolder colors. If I can ever get my rosacea under control, I’d happily switch to a sheerer, more natural-looking foundation (with mineral SPF, of course), but I don’t think I’ll ever drop the added color again — it’s just too much fun!

Katherine T. Avatar

LOL, I see how one thing led to another, and next thing you know, you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole into a new wonderland. Something similar happened to me. All my life I’ve had pretty good skin, but about 4 years go, it went totally crazy -oily one week, dry next, pimples, flakes, blackheads, age spots, wrinkles, etc. I had to do a ton of research online to find products that worked (Paula’s Choice and PTR saved my skin) , but that meant I was constantly reading blogs and prowling internet for new products/sales, and the rest is history– thus a makeup/skincare junkie was born!

Tammy Archer Avatar

Hey Fran, Napoleon Perdis has just released a fantastic new colour corrective (green) primer that might be worth a try! $39AUD for 25ml tube.

Julia Avatar

From a product standpoint, I’ve gotten into HE products only over the last couple of years, so both quality and price have gone up lol. From a looks/application standpoint, I don’t think it has changed all that much unless we reach alll the way back to my high school years. I wore a lot of really bright, colorful eyeshadow, and would even match it to my outfits! *cringe* My color palette is a lot more conservative these days, but I think a look a lot better 🙂

Kimberly Avatar

It’s only been about 2 years since I’ve gotten into make up so not much has changed! I will say that I’m more discerning about purchases now and ALWAYS read reviews before buying anything. I’m also a lot more likely to buy muted colours (i.e neutrals), be it for lips or eyes, because they require a minimal amount of effort to get right and look polished. You could also say that I can better appreciate what a difference blush and mascara make to a look, so I never go without them now.

Ginny Avatar

I used to not give a hoot about eye shadow or blush, I was all about lipstick. Then I went all in on eye shadows. Now I’m mostly into cheek products, haven’t bought a lip product in a while.

Lisa Avatar

I’m definitely more focused on the look of my skin, probably because I don’t have the luxury of taking good skin for granted anymore.

IRockFaces Avatar

I used to be clueless about makeup. In the beginning I literally didn’t even know how to apply my foundation on my own without someone else showing me how to do it. Whatever I wore had to be barely there and I didn’t have a clue about performance at all. I just went with whatever the makeup artists recommended for me. Now I’m an expert on everything from primers, foundations, blushes, finishing powders, lipsticks, and eyeshadows. I can still do natural makeup from time to time but these days I wear more bold looks and I have a ton of skills that I never thought I could learn.

Carrie Avatar

I’m not brand/store loyal anymore and focus on buying from a brand that does the thing I’m after well. As an extension, I’m also not committed to loyalty programs anymore because I just don’t buy enough to make it worth my while.

Now that I’ve finally found some cool tone browns that are flattering (thank you, MUFE) I’ve started exploring neutrals a bit more as well.

Vanessa V Avatar

When I first got into makeup I wanted to own every color of eye shadow and eyeliner under the sun. I was a huge collector of all of Mac’s LE collections and I would try and match my makeup to what I was wearing (early 2000s, it was the thing to do). As far as blush and lipcolors I’ve always been pretty neutral in my color selection leaning more towards peach/corals and mauve/nude/pink (so that hasnt really changed). As I’ve gotten older I’m much more into neutrals, I do still dabble in pops of color for my eyes, but I now have a ton of neutral/natural eye palettes that are quick and easy for my early mornings! I don’t “collect” as much as I used to but still have more makeup than anyone would need in a life time lol

Julie Avatar

Oh yay!! My question got posted ? For me, my makeup tastes were fairly consistent for about 20-25 years, but now that I’m in my forties….UGH. Now, the silvers and navies and violets and blacks that I’ve always loved just seem too harsh. So I guess I’ve softened my colors to grays and pinks and taupes…and I’ve tried to move away from glittery and metallic to matte and shimmery.

I have to say, it’s a difficult transition, especially trying to find softer, more neutral, cool-toned colors. And now it seems like FINALLY brights are coming back (a la the UD Spectrum palette) AND NOW IM TOO OLD!!!! Haha. I mean, I guess not necessarily, but it’s hard to find a balance between the brights & darks & glittery colors I adore, and what actually looks flattering on me. What a drag it is getting old!!

xamyx Avatar

When I was in school (through college), time was often limited, so I typically made due with lipstick, brows, mascara, and a bit of concealer & powder. Aside from school, I was also heavily into dance, and took classes most of the week, so makeup just got in the way. That said, I would have still *preferred* a full look, it just wasn’t feasible. As a result, I had an obscene amount of lip products. As I got older, and had more time, I was able to do more, but I still didn’t wear blush until a few years ago, although contour/highlight was always a big part of my routine.

Many years later, I began working in a bank, and due to extreme A/C, dry air, and not being able to step away to reapply lip products, I began to rely on lip balms. I needed constant hydration, which no lipstick could provide, so every time I walked to the vault, I could just swipe on some balm rather quickly. I guess I just got used to the way I looked, because even now I still wear balm most of the time. Also, because I still prefer very bold/extreme/”unconventional” lip colors, they are often not the best option, and if I’m going to go with MLBB shades, a tinted balm is just more convenient,

Overall, what I like, and ultimately *prefer*, has remained the same over the 30 years I’ve been wearing makeup, but my lifestyle has taken many turns. I have my personal aesthetic, my “mom” aesthetic, and my professional aesthetic, but there is still some overlap in all 3.

Alecto Avatar

I’ve developed an appreciation for blush that I never had before. I bought blushes earlier on my “makeup career,” but they ususally languished in my vanity drawer. Now I layer colors; use bold, odd, non-natural colors; and experiment constantly.

Also, I wear lip colors now; often very strong ones. There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead with lipstick, regardless of the naturalness of the shade. Now, while I still prefer tinted balms over every other lip product, I really enjoy going dark, or purple, or … green! Yea to color!

Rachel R. Avatar

I’ve been wearing makeup since I was 12, and I’m 46 now. At my age, I could write a book on how my makeup preferences has changed, but I’ll try to keep it more recent and more brief. In general, I’ve gotten more discerning about makeup and buy higher quality. But then again, I bought Wet n Wild when it first came out in the early 80s and I’m still buying it. The quality has gotten better! I’ve always bee into bright colors and “alternative” looks, and I don’t know if that will ever change.

After graduating college, I had a hubby with a brain tumor, and two special needs kids. I’ve been through bankruptcy twice due to medical bills. There was nearly two decades where I was dead broke, and bought almost nothing. What I did buy was mostly BareMinerals,as it worked on my uber-oily face and eyelids (in the days before primers), their foundation matched my fair skin w/o oxidizing, and their products go a long way. Not that I usually had time to wear makeup back then…

The last two or three years have seen huge changes for me for a few reasons: I hit my mid-40s. My skin type changes on a weekly or even daily basis, instead of being constantly oil-slick greasy. It’s now still oily, but it goes through bouts of being combo with normal or dry cheeks, or even being just normal. Where I used to only need one foundation, now I need a little wardrobe of them.

I went back to work a few years ago, and my husband’s income is enough that I can spend some of my wages on beauty again. In the last two years I’ve spent a couple grand or so completely updating my beauty wardrobe.

As you can imagine, products have come a long way in that time. I’ve added, and upgraded, primers over the years. Gamechangers!!! Alhough my choice of foundations, concealers, etc. are still disappointingly small, it’s better than it used to be. More access to unusual colors and finishes has made my makeup wardrobe feel more like “me.” Indie companies are amazing!

The better formulas and the abundance of beauty blogs and vlogs have bee helpful, and encouraged me to try colors and finishes I wouldn’t have when I was younger. The easy access to information and products nowdays is amazing and makes me feel a bit old. I credit Temptalia — Christine and my fellow readers — with moving me out of my comfort zone with blushes and lip colors. I used to shy away from all but the lightest blushes, and I was wary of dark or vampy lip colors. I never used to like them on me when I was young; I thought I was too pale. Temptalia helped me choose quality items with better formulas and finishes, and encouraged me to “go for it,” and I’m very glad I did. And eternally grateful! Sorry… I think this did end up being a “book,” after all!

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Rachel R, I’m happy to hear you’ve made it through some huge problems, finances and special needs children. Probably the finances are worse but any child is a challenge at times. I hope your trials are over. I think most of us share, in some way, your problems and hope for your success.(not Trump level, although it would be nice)
Keep on finding support where you can.

Tracey E. Avatar

Skincare has become an even more important part of my routine, as have anti-aging products. I’ve also learned how softening a look while still using a range or products and color can make one look even more beautiful. Discovering Bobbi Brown and a super MUA taught me how to properly apply makeup on hooded eyelids & ehat products/techniques helped open to up the eye area have been immensely helpful. That process, reading beauty blogs, and being uber aware of quality beyond brand helped to expand that brands and products that I consider. I’ve also moved into some high-end brands and products that I would normally have considered. I’ve also passed on products from my regular brands when the quality is subpar.

Marie Avatar

1. Less worry about acne and mattifying and way more worry about under eye circles

2. I buy higher end makeup and cosmetics across the board

3. Eyebrows eyebrows eyebrows. I can’t believe I did not pluck them or darken them and walked around with fuzzy, sparse brows for 20 years from 12 to 32.

Bon Bon Avatar

My preferences have changed to high end products. I’ve been at a point in my life for 10 years now where I can splurge and it does make a huge difference. You really do get what you pay for. I do still shop when most are on sale tho.

Debbie Avatar

I prefer wearing colors that I enjoy rather than being concerned about whether I am on trend or not. I tend to gravitate more towards color on my eyes rather than just browns or nudes. And if I want to wear red lips or pink lips with some sheen I will, since I do not really like matte lips. And if I do wear matte lips I will make sure to put some sheen there. My personal preferences are what is key.

Pearl Avatar

Skin care and prep – I take a lot better care of my skin these days and I am much more savvy about skin prep for makeup application.
Brands I buy from – I’m back to buying almost exclusively from one brand. I’ve experimented a few years ago but most of it was all for naught and the products were returned. 2 good things came out of my experimenting though – Tom Ford and Guerlain Meteorites! I love TF’s eye creams and their ‘special’ shadow formula (Nude Dip, Honeymoon) and Guerlain’s Meteorites Perles and thankfully can keep up with collecting from them.
No more experimenting – I’m over it, frankly. It’s not fun for me because I’ve never been able to figure out which colors can go together, and it got even more complicated for me when I was buying from different brands, and then had to consider finishes and textures and layering. I like a certain aesthetic and I’ve never been able to achieve that on my own, regardless of how many tutorials I’ve watched. At this stage of the game, I’m happy to go in and get my seasonal look done, buy the products and just wear that. I love that I know what the end result will be and there is no muss, no fuss. Any experimenting for me now means buying a few shadows before they are reviewed or before I’ve had a makeover with them, and even that is low risk because I just ask the MUAs for help with what to wear with them.
Application technique – As I age, it’s important to me to look like my age. I take no offense when I’m told “I want to look like you when I’m your age” because I take care of myself and think I’m a pretty good representation of what my age looks like. If I were more skillful at application or with color choice, I wouldn’t mind going for more edgy or bold looks but I’m content to work with what (little) I know and have.

Glenda Avatar

I love makeup and have for many, many years at this point. I feel as though I use as much makeup as I’ve always used, just to better effect with the help of the right tools: beauty blender sponges and the appropriate brushes for the task. They help blend to make the face appear more flawless.
I’m also far more concerned with the content of the product rather than just the packaging (could care less about that).
Finally, I work with what I have…great eyes, so-so skin, nice lips and accentuate the positive (eyes, lips) with less focus on the negative issues I contend with (so-so skin). More neutral colors all over throughout most of the year, except every once in a while I just go for color but only in muted ways (smudged eyeliner rather than the entire lid of blue).

Laura Avatar

My views on pricing has changed substantially – when I was younger I was only interested in cheap products, I thought Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation was quite expensive! I wasn’t interested in finding out what’s the best quality and good value for money, only what was cheap and offered in the drugstore. I discovered Korean and Japanese cosmetics and have shifted quite a few of my staples to brands like It’s Skin, Étude House and Holika Holika.

Kate Avatar

A couple of things have changed. 1. For the last 15 years I have worn only one perfect blush–Golden Sun from Chanel. It’s the color of my own flush, so it looks good no matter what I’m wearing. However, this year I added 5 more shades to my collection, as I’ve gotten back into color. 2. I have pretty good skin so I don’t usually wear more than luminous powder makeup (oddly enough, ReMarcable is actually my favorite liquid foundation–strange since it’s so full coverage and I usually don’t wear more than powder). 3. I started wearing colored eye shadow again. For years it was just basic natural shades with a coral shade as the only color. Now I wear whatever I want, making sure to blend it into my look–I’m not trying to draw attention to myself with my eye makeup, but subtly adding a hint of color for fun. I never really looked at makeup as a creative outlet, but it has become one for me.

Claire Renee Avatar

I am almost 57 so this covers a lot of ground. I started using makeup in earnest at 15 and had a heavy hand at that time. I did the best I could with foundation though most that were pale enough were too pink. Very happy to now have selection of pale yellow toned ones. Also heavy eyeliner and mascara back then, not so much now. I have always been about quality whether products were HE or drugstore-performance was biggest issue for me and no one has ever heard me say “oh but it looks cute on my dressing table”….LOL. I find I am more critical now and I will not “work around” or try to make a product work esp if it is expensive. And even though my skin is good I do find that “less is more” as I get older. And I have discovered since my brows are going white how very important they are to frame my face-I tint them.

Genevieve Avatar

My makeup preferences for some products have changed enormously over the past few years. Even though I enjoyed wearing eye shadow, I always bought the DS brands because there was no other options other than the extremely expensive HE offerings. In Australia, we did not have access to UD, Two Faced, bareMinerals or any other mid range brand at all. Now I have palettes from all of these brands and love them. The quality is so much better and I shall never buy a DS eye shadow palette again.

Stephanie G Avatar

I never got into makeup (other than the occasional lipstick) until about three years ago. Since I wasn’t really into it as a teenager and never went through an experimental stage with makeup back then, I am far more willing to use less conventional colors, try new techniques and types of products, and experiment with different looks than your average woman my age (late 30s), especially here in the southern US.

In the past few years, I’ve become far more likely to use mid to high-end makeup, eyeshadow has replaced lipstick as my favorite makeup, and I am way more critical of face makeup that emphasizes lines or pores (and I’ve also been more mindful of application techniques that cause the same problems). Not much has changed in color preferences or my willingness to have fun with makeup, though.

Beth Avatar

I pretty much rule out any company that tests on animals now. For the longest time I didn’t realize how awful animal testing is for the animals and I learned it’s really not necessary to test on animals. I have tons of MAC for example but I reach for it last.

Kayle Avatar

I used to be SUPER into bold colors, especially reds of all kinds and super dark colors. I still love me a bold red lip every so often but I’m definitely more practical now! Browns are the new reds for me now, I need them all!!

Denise Avatar

So many of my make up preferences have changed over the years. To start with many years ago when my children were little,I took on a part time job,( not for too long) working for Chanel at Neiman Marcus, It was a rewarding job, because they send you for make up training and you get to keep all the new makeup samples to keep. So I tried all the new makeup and loved the way the products performed. As I got older, I learned how not to over due my makeup. I am so fussy with the quality of the makeup, so I usually opt for the higher end brands. Always use cremes and sun protection. Have good lighting and a large,magnified makeup mirror that really helps me to see my mistakes. Plus with all the new technology and new ingredients that goes into the makeup, how could you not test all the new products out there.

Vanessa Avatar

Actually, what’s funny is what’s stayed the same: bright colors 😀 😀 😀
Teen to present <3

But, anyway, what's changed is some attention to skin makeup — concealer and stuff.
Funny to remember, I used to never bother.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Absolutely. My style has changed. I seldom wore moisturizer and sun screen, didn’t do my eyebrows. This was in my twenties and early thirties. Was not consistent or careful with makeup removal or cleansing. I washed my face with whatever I had, Dial soap even. I picked and overpriced my skin but bought what was expensive to me, makeup but nothing to support my skin.
I now spend close to the same amount for skincare as makeup. I probably spend proportionally the same or less. My skin is reasonably clear and moisturized. I’ve been told I look 20yrs Youngstown my actual age although I take that with a grain of salt. Oh, yes, I do my eyebrows, wear sunscreen and moist. My makeup application has improved 100%. I still can’t get my nails to grow. I’m a nurse,, maybe too much water and scrubbing. Better than the alternative.

Jenifer Avatar

It changed so much for lipstick, because before I barely use lipstick and when I did it was on a nude color, now I´m into dark red and purple colors. But for my eyes is always about ne neutral colors but I do change the techniques from time to time.

RMW (Rose) Avatar

I would definitely have to say….dupes! Get the newest products, without burning a hole in my purse! Other than that, I’ve stayed the same.

Pasheeda Morris Avatar

Yes. I invest in makeup that is timeless, not on trends. When I was younger, I used to be all over the place with all kinds of colors in eye shadow, lipstick, lip pencils, eye liners, and nail polish. They would all be from varied brands such as Revlon, Fashion Fair, Benefit, Agnes B, L’Oreal , MAC, Nars and so on. One day I had a epiphany and woke up in my approach with makeup. I began focusing on brands that work the best on me.
The brands that worked me the best are all high-end brands. i.e. Nars, Dior, Lancôme, MAC, Make Up For Ever for makeup and for nails Nails Inc., Essie, OPI, Orly, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Formula X, and Nars. I also began reworking my color palette from my eye shadow to my nail polish. I favor black eye shadow, which is classic as well as brown eye shadow which mimics my skin tone. No more bright colors for me. I wear a nude lipstick daily with a nude lip pencil. I alternate my nude lip with a reddish brown lipstick and a reddish brown lip pencil. As for nail polish, timeless is also a factor. For spring/summer months, I do a clean nude nail color or a traditional French manicure in with a nude or pink sheer color. I also use a glossy topcoat for shine. Fall/winter months I wear either a blackened red or black nail polish. It works for me just fine. As for eye liner and mascara, I just stick to black. The meaning of this story is to simply and stick to what works for you. You can only be you.

Leslie Avatar

I used to wear eyeliner everyday! Black liner on my lids and in my waterlines.
I now wear eyeliner occasionnaly and only a wing on my lid if I feel like it. It makes my eyes bigger and looks way brighter!

I also prefer quality over quantity (even though I still buy way too much makeup!)

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