How old were you when you first started wearing makeup? What about when you loved it?

I know I had my friend to my makeup on the sly a few times in high school, but I didn’t wear it regularly until I was 18 (when I started college). I fell in love with it pretty immediately!

— Christine
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I started sneaking wearing makeup when I was 13. My mom had to accept it eventually! I had always loved it but was super obsessed when the first Sephora came to San Francisco. It was 3 floors of wonder!

I’ve been wearing lipgloss since I was 13, eyeliner/mascara since I was 15… I didn’t start wearing concealer/powder/blush until around 17. I really started getting into eyeshadow, lipstick and gloss and the whole shebang, at 25. I really loved the products themselves. It hasn’t been until recently, after building up some experience and learning how to blend my eyeshadow, and just finding some tricks that worked for me and my skin, that I actually started to enjoy the process of putting make up on. I love trying new color combos and I love feeling put together once my make up is done. I love how you can completely change the shape of your eyes and lips with different placement of products. It’s fun and it’s a creative outlet for me.

My love of beauty products goes back to childhood, when I would watch my mom put on her makeup in the 1960s. I especially loved watching her put on liquid eyeliner with one easy, perfect swoop across her lid. (A talent I sadly did not inherit.) Though I occasionally experimented with Maybelline powder blue eyeshadow and Yardley lip gloss at around 12 years old, my love of makeup truly started at 15 (early 70s), when I was into Mary Quant, rainbow eyeshadow, glitter nail polish, and all things David Bowie.

Parallel lives! Especially what you said about the 70’s, Seraphine. Mary Quant, Yardley (FINALLY I’ve been reminded of the brand that made those 2 cream stick eyeshadows my mom bought me that just would not work on my hooded eyes!), David Bowie, and in my case, a touch of Alice Cooper and Ozzy thrown in, much to my parents chagrin.

I always had kids’ makeup to play with, but the first time I felt that real jolt was seeing a Wet ‘n Wild display of 99-cent lipsticks and buying a metallic gold one called something like Toast or Cinnamon Toast. I went to 6th grade the next day with it on, and because of the town I’m from it was a giant THING and a bunch of my classmates told me it was Satanic. The teacher had to sit me down and have A TALK with me about how makeup “signals certain things to men that you’re just not ready for” and that having the lipstick would be a distraction. I don’t think she talked to my parents about all this, which is another funny part of it- this was all my responsibility. And I remember thinking: this is sold in tons of stores, it costs a dollar, everyone owns some of it, but my wearing it is making people lose their minds. That was really interesting to me, and it’s probably why I still like wearing “statement” makeup outside of work (even at work, in subtle ways).

Wet n Wild was my first stuff too! I eventually had everything on that Wet n Wild Display, but I started with the eyeshadow sticks, glitter nail polish, and some purple lipstick. My older sister was so angry for some reason that I was wearing makeup, even though it wasn’t her makeup. She would tell my mom not to let me wear it.

I wear colorful makeup to work too, just smoked out to be more wearable.

I was 13 years old. My father had pretty steadfastly declined to let me wear makeup even though I had been begging for quite some time. The decision to let me wear makeup was made based on when our Pastor’s daughter was allowed to wear makeup so when she started at 13 I was allowed to wear a little lipstick and mascara. I never looked back from there! In middle school I was taking a home economics course and our teacher had a model friend who came in and showed us how to wear makeup and did some basic makeup techniques. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen so that sealed my interest. I have mentioned before that my best friend’s mother worked at a makeup counter and she always gave me testers, complete sets of makeup and skin care that she got from vendors, etc. She taught me quite a lot about skin care and makeup, even thought she wouldn’t let her daughter wear makeup.

I was always fascinated by clothes and makeup from when I was just a child. My mother unfortunately was the exact opposite and never wore makeup and wasn’t particularly interested in clothing.. viewed it in terms of function over style.

I started wearing some basic makeup in University. It wasn’t until beauty blogs and youtube where I learned to appreciate proper application techniques and really got into the thick of it.

I was always into those things too and my mom wasn’t either. I wore makeup since at least high school, but I agree. Once I discovered beauty blogs and youtube, I realized I wasn’t alone anymore and that there were lots more girls like me. It was so nice, because until then, no one else got it.

I was 15 when I was allowed to wear makeup. My mom was strict and she thought makeup was “too adult” so I was exposed to it far later than most.

I felt then I had arrived, so to speak. I felt like an adult. But I didn’t really fall in love with makeup until I was in my early 20’s. Prior to that, I just put on mascara and concealer and called it a day. Once I got into makeup, once I got into all the different textures and colors and effects and once I learned how to change my face using light and shadow, I was hooked.

Now I spend too much on makeup.

I was around 12 (early 80s) when I was allowed to wear brown mascara and lip gloss – clear only. My father was very much against that, including nail polish. My parents split when I was 13, and I graduated to eyeliner, mascara, and the $1 Wet N Wild lipsticks and roller ball glosses. It was around that time my mom got me Seventeen magazine and she started getting Cosmo. She also had to start working and bought makeup – which I would practice on her. I also started practicing french braids on her. Next thing I knew, especially on weekends, I had to do her hair and makeup for work and when she went out. I even did makeup for a whole wedding party when I was 14. Around this time, she started doing nails in a salon.

Then, I got into eyeshadow for myself in high school, though not very consistent and it was usually lighter washes of color. Oh, and Corn Silk powder…always. I remember using the Almay eye shaped palettes and some L’Oreal neutrals. It was around this time, the salon she worked in, this fabulous hair dresser Scott taught me to love my curls. He took me to hair shows as a hair model. He was good friends with my mom and sometimes I would hang out with him and his mom. He had this whole Michael Bolton look going on. He was a trip and totally fab.

In my early 20s, Scott was hired to do hair and recommended me for some bathing suit modeling for a few shops around town (ads) and I learned a lot from the make-up artists regarding bronzers and beachy natural looks. I used to hang out with him too and one Halloween, I was Marilyn Monroe. His drag queen friends did me up (do you know in the old days, drag queens used bags of rice to give themselves boobs!). I learned a lot about contouring and using lip liner to shape your lips from them. But throughout my 20s and into my early 30s, I was into more muted natural looks and Estee Lauder was my favorite brand. I did add light concealer to routine during this time.

I stayed pretty neutral until my late 30s where I found my first Sephora and started venturing into more artistic eye shadows. I started with Indy brands and discovered Urban Decay with the Naked palette. I was looking for “looks” and discovered this site after the Indy brand’s owner went rogue on her customers and shut down her forum. Part of me wonders if it weren’t for this site would have ventured into more creative looks, a massive shadow collection and more lipsticks.

Phew, it is interesting to lay this out and realize I only got to where I am now at a later stage in life. I think also since getting married at 40, my husband kind of encourages it and loves I have a creative outlet.

Awesome post Christine and I really look forward to reading the community’s replies.

I’m also looking forward for the community replies. 😀 Love hearing all this stories, especially since I come from a culture and time with different views on make-up.
I think at 11-12 year I was just stopping playing with dolls and would have never imagined wearing make-up. My mom was (is) in any means conservative, but the only girls wearing make-up were in the last years of high school; and it was like 2-3 girls, the `rich popular` ones, most girls only wear make-up at special events; and it’s not like it was `prohibited`, people in small Eastern European town in the mid 90s were just not into make-up. 😆

What an interesting makeup journey! Amazing that your mom encouraged your talent and that you did a whole wedding party at 14!

I really wore light looks in my teens though. Looking back, it’s weird I didn’t wear more. I was a teen in my 80s and people really let their freak flag fly. I think makeup was really starting to get creative and my mom’s generation was new to it. My mom had low self esteem after my parents split and I loved practicing on her. My mom becoming a nail tech and working in a salon was good for her. She got a boyfriend that was 10 years younger and they went out for 10 years. Hell, my make friends at a wedding were fighting over her.

I was very much an outdoor girl and she’d get so pissed when I stopped by after playing beach volleyball with greasy Coppertoned up skin, wild hair and not made up with mascara and lip gloss. Some of the daughters of the beauticians were gorgeous and very polished. I’ve got more of a bohemian vibe.

I kind of laugh I covet certain shadows and mostly have the same look. 🤣. It’s meditating every morning for me to sit down and do my makeup, but I’m pretty low maintenance. I air dry my hair and get stoked when I can get second day curls. But I really love the makeup community here. And Kira, you look so much like my best friend of over 30 years! Just gorg!

I was 13 when I was allowed to wear makeup out of the house in public. Although I was allowed to play with makeup long before that, it was only lipstick, mascara or blush, not eyeshadow or liner. My love for it was ignited all the way back when I was just a tiny thing and was obsessed with Mommy’s very lux, expensive red lipstick. That was one serious mess, but hey, I tried!

I really started wearing makeup at age 33,I was inspired by my makeup artist whom I hired to do my wedding makeup. I loved the way I looked and said to myself “if she can do this – I can learn to do this too”.

I think I wore some sort of eyeshadow and lip color when I was ~14 years old, at the party/banquet (equivalent to prom in US I guess) celebrating the end of secondary school. I can vaguely remember purchasing with my mom some cheap stuff from an consignment store (collection of stalls rented by individual merchants, just mentioning because I know for some consignment equals some sort of thrift shops).

I think I rarely was wearing make-up in high-school, maybe eyeshadow at a special event (yes, I was wearing eyeshadow but not mascara), covering my pimples with half corector (green) half concealer sticks from Avon/Oriflame.

I only got into regularly wearing make-up only in my first year at university (~19 years old), meaning foundation, powder, mascara, sometimes eyeshadow. It took me another 2-3 years to get to a full routine, with concealer, regularly wearing lipstick, with contour/blush and brow products being the last items added in the menu.
At first I didn’t love make-up; it was just a mean to either cover my imperfection, either prepare for a special event where I felt it was necessary to wear it because it was… special. I fell in love gradually, and I think the biggest milestones in falling in love with make-up were: my first Benefit Brow Bar session (~21 years, Gimme Brow was the first eye brow product ever used on me and since then brows are a regular in my routine), my first MAC make-over (~22 year, first time I got a full routine with contour, bronzer, blush, highlighter… still not into highlighters, but I love since then sculpting and my cheeks even if it’s just subtle), my first time trying MAC Diva in store (I was actually looking for a true red, but somehow got to try Diva; I was sparingly wearing lipstick before that and I rarely imagined I would wear bold colors; but I fell in love with color and lipstick then).

I was in 8th grade when I really started experimenting with a little bit of makeup here and there, so I was about 13ish. I loved JANE lipstick (Kind of Carob, of which I think I finished a couple of tubes. First and last lipstick I finished!), Naturistic’s watermelon lip gloss, and some scented body glitter that I put on my eyes because I liked living on the edge. I didn’t start doing cohesive-ish looks until I was in about 10th grade, and then for real makeup with a full face by the time I was about 18 and I had a job.

My mom wore makeup and so did her friends so there always was some around but I wasn’t allowed to wear hers. I started buying my own when I was in the sixth grade but I did not have much money so there was a lot of improvising involving white lipstick and Maybelline blue eye pencils plus the cheapest form to Maybelline mascara, which came in a squeeze tube. My foundation consisted of skin colored acne cream.

Remember the black red Maybelline pencils. I used to swipe my mom’s lighters (she smoked then) to melt them to line the rim of my eyes! I loved the blue liners from them. I too wore skin colored acne cream.

Oh, I’m sure I was about 15 or 16 and only the flavored lipglosses. I thought I was all of that and a bag of chips, as we used to say, when I wore it. Remember that thick tacky lipgloss “Kissing Potion”? Now who’d buy it again if it came out???? ME ME ME!!!! ROFL!

I remember that! My mom used to buy flavored chapsticks from Avon and my little brother would constantly eat them! Then got into drinking my roller ball glosses. He didn’t like Kissing Potion though. Now I have to keep the lip balms and even lip sticks from my dogs. I came home one day, and my white golden retriever had red lipstick all over his face and paws!

LoL…the dogs. I have to keep everything from them. I shut the door to my makeup room AND have a baby gate up in case they somehow get the door open. They are obsessed with taking things that don’t belong to them.

I started wearing makeup (furtively) when I was 12 years or so, much to the horror of my parents. I had to wear it for a Grade 6 concert and never really looked back. Everything in makeup was pretty bad at the time, those frosty pastel Rimmel shades that I use to adore…it was love at first sight for me.

My mother sat me down at 12 and put makeup on me and told me I needed to wear it because I had blond eyelashes and eyebrows. Been wearing it for decades and I feel naked without it!

I was thirteen when I started getting seriously into makeup. My father didn’t like me wearing it so I would go to my girlfriend’s house to put it on and wash it off before I would go home again. But it snowballed from there, just started learning how to apply everything properly and it’s been a wonderful ride with all the new innovative products that have hit the shelves throughout the years.

Really enjoying reading these responses!
I loved watching my Mom get ready and learned a lot that way. In the 80’s I was about 12 or 13 when I started wearing lipgloss every day and occasionally adding very light eyeshow and a touch of mascara.
I don’t think I wore any other products until I started high school in the 90’s (then it was mascara and black liquid liner with dark lips) and I didn’t begin doing what we’d think of as full makeup until college. I always liked and enjoyed makeup and knew how to use it, but thought of it as a morning routine mostly. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I got really into it and makeup became more of creative outlet and hobby.
I’m 42 now and I work from home, so I don’t necessarily wear makeup every day because I choose to sleep in instead, but I still feel the same affection for it and sometimes applying it is therapeutic and fun, whether I have to go anywhere after work or not. I really glam it up and get editorial for the weekends though!!!

I didn’t wear anything until I was 16 and had a job so I could go buy my own. I still remember the very first thing I bought was a Maybelline eyeshadow quad in blue. Then at 21 I got married and had a baby the next year so I wasn’t much into makeup after that since I had a baby to raise. I remember only having two tubes of lipstick, one eyeshadow and one eyeliner & mascara. I was in my 40’s before my real love of makeup came back. Oh, and I won’t tell you how many lipsticks I have now lol

For some reason, I have loved makeup ever since I could remember. I even have a picture of my little sister and I wearing our mothers lipstick when I was about 8 and she was 4. No one in the family really wore makeup except lipstick for special occasions.
Well, I came along and bought the old cake mascara to wear to school in 8th or 9th grade. I got caught bc the only color Woolworths or Kresgees carried was bright blue. Oops! Not long after that I branched out and wore mu regularly.
I just love it. I’m now 70 and feel the same about it. Creativity, I guess.

When i was five my mom sold Avon and I remember LOVING going into the room and messing with everything. I was obsessed with lipsticks back then. I was wearing makeup before junior high school. I remember my mom telling someone that she picked her battles and makeup wasn’t going to be one of them. My parents didn’t care what I put on my face or what I wore. I had a huge makeup stash by high school and my love has continued. I’m 43 now, and my love of makeup hasn’t slowed down a bit.

Mid-twenties, I think. I was doing face-painting for kids, got into doing more complex designs while practicing/demonstrating on myself, and then got interested in SFX makeup. There was a course on SFX makeup I was interested in taking, which I’d heard was really good, but the prerequisite for it was the same school’s fashion makeup course. Well, I knew nothing about fashion makeup, so I started investigating and found makeup blogs and got interested.

I didn’t end up doing any makeup courses, fashion or SFX, but my interest remained.
My everyday wear is pretty much only putting tinted eyebrow gel on my ‘stache to hold it out of my mouth (and make it visible, since my hair is so fair…) but every so often I like to wear a statement lipstick, fancy eyeshadow… or cover up my eye bags when they get really dark. Heh.

I started wearing a full face at 14, but I wore lipstick and cream blush before then. Once I was in high school, it was great fun to get to wear whatever makeup I wanted.

I started loving makeup long before I was allowed to wear it. I loved the colors and packaging of my mother’s makeup since I was a toddler. I loved to watch my mom apply it and transform how she looked.

I started wearing makeup around age 12/13. I didn’t really know how to use it. I only really got into makeup and started upgrading my collection to more high-end products when I developed bad cystic acne at age 21. From covering acne to dealing with my flaky red skin during my accutane treatment, I had to really learn how to do things properly and figure out what really worked on me. Now my skin is completely blemish-free and I can just have fun with makeup and focus on stuff like eye-shadow.

I fell in love at about age 4, when I saw my mom’s makeup. Not that she ever really used it, but she had some bright lipsticks back in 1972…a hot pink and a bright orange. I wanted those so very badly. I think she gave them to me a few years later. They were either Revlon or Max Factor.

As soon as I was old enough to go shopping on my own, around age 11, my cousin and I would get dropped off at the local McCrory’s or Ames (pre-Walmart type discount stores), and buy makeup. I had a huge collection already by 7th grade.

I probably started wearing it to school in 9th or 10th grade. Before that, occasionally I would, and i would get made fun of, but I didn’t care.

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