Who (or what) influenced your interest in makeup the most?

Who (or what) influenced your interest in makeup the most? Share!

The mac_cosmetics Livejournal community for sure! That’s where I learned a lot but also found others who were really into makeup (and MAC, which was my gateway brand!).

Thanks to reader Genevieve for today’s question idea Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.


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Stacey Avatar

Those freshman girls at the all girls Catholic school. They wore so much makeup and I was intrigued.
I only was into Clinique and some drug store products like Covergirl and Max Factor then.
Then my first cousin’s girlfriend was really high maintainance. I was impressionable.
She got me into the counters at YSL, Ralph Lauren, Ultima, Christian Dior – not called just Dior at that time.
I was then into Chanel, Halston, Payot, Orlane, Stendahl mascara, and any French brand you could think of in a matter of time. I was only 14- 15 years old. Funny how my old lady was strict about everything, but not my interest into makeup and cleansers. My makeup was never a heavy application though…..just very very expensive. Mac Cosmetics was not even in the game.

Melinda Avatar

Honestly, nobody really.. I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. My mom says that since I was about three years old I would get away at the store and she would know where to find me-always in the makeup aisle. Then when I got to be a teenager I fell in love with MAC and it’s just grown from there.

indera Avatar

My mother. She always had makeup on. I would borrow her lipsticks. Lol… Makeup became more important to me when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. Makeup made her feel better and alive. She lost her hair, eyelashes, eyebrows.. makeup was a lifesaver for her. To feel a bit more confident. πŸ™‚

Lotus Avatar

You’re welcome Indira! What a brave outstanding woman! God protect and keep her healthy for the rest of her life! You obviously love her very much, you’re quite strong and I’m certain you’ve influenced a very proud beautiful mother! Such wonderful news! Keep on~ <3

Katherine T. Avatar

When I was young, I was the first in my extended family to wear any makeup– I was influenced by teen magazines and stars . And after seeing pictures of stars without makeup, I realized how important makeup was. The hunt for the latest and best products is fun, and reading beauty blogs and customer reviews will fuel my interest.

Safyre Avatar

I’ve always been interested in makeup, ever since I can remember BUT I blame… I mean credit πŸ˜› xsparkage for the full-blown addiction it has become. She’s so inspirational!

xamyx Avatar

Having grown up in the 80s, I’d have to say the altenative music & fashion of the time really intrigued me. I fell in love with everything about it, particularly the intense makeup looks. I’ve “toned-down” my overall look/style to accommodate my lifestyle, but the influence is obviously still there!

joy Avatar

i’ve always loved color and been fascinated by makeup. however, i didn’t really have a reason to buy much until my boyfriend told me he really loved smokey eye makeup. it gave me an excuse for a whole new stash of makeup, tools and youtube tutorial watching. eventually he was the one who convinced me (along with a couple of my friends) to start my own makeup blog!

Rachel R. Avatar

My mom, Crayola crayons, and monster/horror movies.

My mom, because she was a model and a painter before having kids, so she knew how to do makeup. I’d watch her do hers, and I’d look through her collection. I don’t remember the brand, but she had the most intensely bright fuchsia lipstick, in a black tube with a jewel-toned floral tapestry design on it, outlined in metallic gold. That’s what started my obsession with fuchsia, hot pink and magenta lipsticks.

Crayola crayons, for that wonderful 64-pack. All the coloring and drawing I did showed me how colors work together, and made me good at shading and blending until I was old enough for real makeup.

Monster and horror movies, because of all the transformative special effects makeup. I found it fascinating.

Lotus Avatar

Awww! πŸ˜€ I <3 that! I was also obsessed with the crayons and coloring! It was like a teacher! I was thought strange for buying children's coloring books just to play with faces! πŸ˜€

Mariella Avatar

Oh gosh – I’ve loved makeup for as long as I can remember. Waaaay back in the dark ages, it was probably the availability of Mary Quant cosmetics (I remember a highlight/contour kit of hers that I am sure I wore very badly) and an eyeshadow palette. Then it was the lovely ads from Estee Lauder back in the mid to late 70’s (I think they featured one of the first “brand models”, named Karen Graham) – this was back when brands weren’t launching new collections every 5 minutes and print ads were pretty much everything and it was much easier to keep up… Also, Elizabeth Arden came out with makeup pencils for eyes and for lips/cheeks too, I think, but I loved those eye pencils and, again, the print material with them was just enthralling to me (they used a lot of drawn illustration and it was elegant and beautiful).

kellly Avatar

I remember those ads, too. I miss them. It was always such a mood-changing thing to see the new ads every season showing their seasonal colors. Everybody did them, from Estee Lauder to Revlon and L’Oreal. I loved those ads, too. Thanks for the reminder!

Melanie Avatar

My mom had a ton of makeup, but what actually inspired me was an art independent study on mediums throughout the ages. My art teacher encouraged me to think of everything as a canvas, and the face and skin is amazing as a canvas. Different products work differently. Colors and textures change based on the undertone of the skin, and color theory is amazing using natural eye colors.

WARPAINTandUnicorns Avatar

Being a cosplayer got me into foundation more. Up to that point I was stuck with all pink options for my fair skin which is not my colour at all. I experimented with theatrically brands to find that I was a an olive skin tone (Mehron). From there I got into mineral makeup for a perfect match and was an avid user for years.

Andrea Avatar

I have always loved make up. But working part time for MAC made a whole world of difference. Later found Lisa Eldridge and had my quantum leap right there.

Estefania Avatar

I was really inspired by the early beauty vloggers, back when the YouTube beauty community was still mainly focused on makeup and makeup tutorials (not hauls, room tours, and fall tags). I remember the first beauty “guru” I ever watched was Fleurdeforce. From there I discovered Amarixe, Dustin Hunter, Wayne Goss, the Pixiwoo sisters, Marlena, Temptalia, Makeup And Beauty Blog, and many more!
I remember feeling so alone in my interest for makeup and beauty (NONE of my friends share that interest), and realizing that there was a platform online where other people were interested in talking about what I loved was such a relief.
That same year I started my own blog and it’s been one of those things that can always cheer me up!

Wednesday Avatar

After years of having little knowledge of makeup and application and constantly being stuffed into the ‘warm’ category due to my light yellow/green skin, I found a MUA who truly inspired me. He worked for NARS at Holt Renfrew in Toronto and opened me up to colours which I never would have chosen previously. The prevailing thought of the day: you were either warm or cool. This MUA didn’t give a crap about temperature and used cues from the clients eyes, lip colour, natural flush to guide him in his choices which turned out to be more on the neutral or cooler side. This inspired me to toss all the concepts I had previously learned out the window..including all the cosmetics I had accumulated which did little to nothing for me.

Maggie Avatar

I would love to know what sorts of colors/you reach for (do you have a blog?). I also have light/yellow green skin and judging from what I can see in your picture dark hair as well. I also used to follow the “warm” cues but have surprisingly found that cool or neutral color cosmetics do well on me-and that I have to be careful with anything brown.

Wednesday Avatar

Hi Maggie:

I do not have a blog. I am just an addicted beauty junkie with a penchant for buying and hoarding beauty products πŸ˜‰
I do have dark brown hair, almost black, but it is dyed. My natural colour I haven’t seen in decades. It is some ghastly ashy mousey brown thing. Terrible, and I really will be quite content not to see it again.
Cosmetics: I stay clear away from Orange, yellow, green, most blues, golds. I head towards muted colours in the taupe, purple, burgandy and cool browns. I can wear anything with red in it which many avoid, but works very well on me. I think this has to do with the ‘green’ in our skin. I also think the green is responsible for our skintones pulling neutral to cool instead of warm. The new palette on the proceeding pages by Tarte is a really good basis for the type of colour I reach for, particularly the second horizontal row with the berry coloured shadows. Another good example, the latest UD Vice palette, the outer verticle line with Last Sin, Angel, Defy, and Revolver.. very neutral leaning cool and perfect! I have a list of Makeup Geek shades which I really like. If you are into that line, let me know and I will drop you a response here with my favourites. That reminds me of an interesting orange pink shade which I can pull off in the crease called Cupcake. It pulls more pink than orange so works.

Stay away from warm browns.. especially those with yellow or orange undertones. I’m willing to be you can pull of a red based brown. I know I can. I usually go for chocolate (cooler) browns myself. Hope this helps, let me know if you want more specifics. πŸ˜€ Happy to try and help.

Maggie Avatar

Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed response! It’s super helpful and answers why I’ve been drawn to the neutral-cool browns, taupes, and berries–in my collection. I would LOVE LOVE to know what sort of MUG shadows you wear!

I’m always surprised how often I instinctively reach for my Tarina Tarantino Fantastical Jewel Eye Shadow Palette (purple-ish palette available at blush.com–there are often sales there) even when I want to go neutral–and I guess this answers it. I CAN wear a red-based brown/burgundy–UD Roach is surprisingly flattering on me even though it’s warm. I’ve been wondering why some shades of Naked 1 look great only in certain lighting on me–so I’ve been careful with that even though it “should” be flattering and considering a purchase of Naked 2. Anyway, thank you so much for responding!

ElKay Avatar

I’d have to say my next door neighbor growing up in the 70’s. She was so beautiful and always wore her makeup beautifully. Mac cosmetics wasn’t around at the time. My favorite has always been Chanel.

fuji Avatar

Everything from MAC’s public champaign to their professional touch in the fashion week backstage. My mom was kinda against makeups. But I basically taught myself from basic skincare (from cleanse to facial masks and spa), to advanced-amatuer looks. And MAC always encourages me to try something bolder and radical.

KuΓ‘vsui Avatar

I’m actually not sure exactly if there ever was a single deciding factor or influence? I found beauty blogs via my perfume hobby, and also because I wanted to learn more about skincare and was reading a lot of blogs and articles about it in order to be able to put together a good routine that wouldn’t make my slightly problematic skin worse (oily, blemished AND dry spots!). And then I noticed that e.l.f. became available locally and googled around for more info and reviews because I hadn’t heard of it before, and the rest is history. At this time of my life I can’t really afford high-end anyway plus there are plenty of e.l.f. products I *adore*. Blogs, I would say, Temptalia definitely and a lot of others too who do very good work in covering and reviewing new products πŸ™‚

Ruth Avatar

My grandmother showed me that beauty is important and something to do with purpose and intention. It was a huge splurge for her, but once a year we traveled into the City to the Charles of the Ritz counter where they had her custom powder formula on file. They used a little scale to mix peach, green, and lavender shades into the perfect color. It seemed magical to my 6 year-old self! I would stand at her vanity and watch her get ready…hair tongs (curling iron), curl papers, rouge pot, lipstick brush. She lived into her nineties, still loving all the pretty, girly things. I love them, too!

Clau Avatar

Not sure at first because I don’t recall the females around me wearing make up, but I have memories of me as a child heading for the cosmetics counter instead of the toys, put on make up from the testers and get out of there looking like a clown, lol.

LMM Avatar

My mom used to let me roam the drugstore next to her salon for 30 minutes once every other week while she had her nails done. This was a good intro to beauty in two ways: Taking time out to get your nails done is good for sanity; and the drugstore makeup aisle is amazing. I’d save up money and buy a Wet & Wild nail polish or something and be so happy. I still find the drugstore aisle super-relaxing after a long day!

Maggie Avatar

My love for color and art influenced my interest the most and it would have only been a matter of time before I started on my face and body.

My mom too–not that she knows it. When I was very young, she had a lot of subscriptions to fashion magazines and also had a large makeup collection for a women who only reaches for 4 lipsticks (out of like 50–and she hardly touches her mass amounts of cheek and eye stuff). She loves glamour–but only made up for special occasions. For everyday looks, she was a minimalist bc of her sensitive skin and encouraged me to be the same (and I was unlucky enough to get the sensitive skin too–so my skin is not a great canvas).

I was a curious little brat and tried out all the tips and suggestions the magazines provided and tried to mimic looks. She only knew about my nail polish addiction bc that was the only thing she allowed (and encouraged) when I was young.

Juni Avatar

Youtube guru, Fauryn78, was one of the first Youtube make-up artists I came across several years ago and she was amazing and so inspiring! She’s a woman of color and gave such amazing make-up tutorials. In the last several years she became a wife and mom and so she has scaled back quite a bit on her tutorials and her channel now focuses more on lifestyle. But, her older makeup tutorials were tight!

Tangie W Avatar

Nobody, I always had a love for all things beauty. And my first job was at a Macy’s cosmetic counter..! And made friends with a few girls from Mac and Benefit and my world just blossomed.. Mac is like the first love of your life . Lol so although I’m in love with some of the other higher brands. Mac will always hold that place and when all else fail Mac is my go too..

MizLottie Avatar

Mother first, in the 60’s she used Elizabeth Arden, I remember seeing all those pink jars and cases on a gallery tray on her dresser. Then in the late 70’s I started working at the Lauder counter in a department store, introduced me to other higher end makeup and skincare lines, most of which are no longer in existence!

Gem Avatar

I’ve always been interested in beauty. When I was little I used to make “perfume” and “makeup” using flowers from my backyard. When I was a teenager I was really into riot grrl and stuff like that and I bought my first red lipstick to emulate Courtney Love. As for my modern day obsession… I would say Viola and her blog, Killer Colours. She made me really love makeup. Her application is flawless and she has an amazing eye. I blame her for my bold lip/full brow obsession!

Deborah Avatar

In my day (before the Internet) we relied on magazines and displays in department stores, etc. I have learned a lot from magazines over the years – Teen Magazine, Seventeen Magazine back in the day and now InStyle and makeup blogs – yours being the best.

Fashn Avatar

Always been fascinated with how makeup transformed women when I paged through my mom’s magazines. Loved the colors and reading about the techniques of makeup application, had to try it for myself. I’ll be wearing full makeup when I take my last breath!

Katy S. Avatar

My mom for sure. She was a beautician for many years then sold Aloette makeup for years when I was a kid. She never really preached on inner beauty, lol jk. A made face was important. To this day still she will not leave the house without makeup, as that has rubbed off on me as well.

Lotus Avatar

Cool question! It will be enjoyable to read why we all tick here πŸ˜€

For me, it all started at around 11/12 years of age. I had severe dark circles which looked freakish to me because nobody else had them. Just awful! I remember my mom helping me pick out a Covergirl concealer in a lipstick-ish container, and I slathered that under my eyes, taking with me everywhere for touch ups! πŸ˜€ Boy, did that help! But, I began getting raised skin bumps underneath the eye area on my upper inner cheeks, and I tried Cortaid, helped a bit, everything! We then realized I had terribly sensitive skin and I was taken to the local dept. store after trying anything! Back then, Clinique was simple and gentle. We found a full regimen for me, which kept growing and I used until I was 19. My skin was saved & the department store also opened me to LancΓ΄me πŸ˜€ These were my gateways! People thought I was wearing full makeup! But I never ever wore foundation! Clinique was the only blush I could tolerate at the time, and around 15, my best friend introduced me to a great Covergirl mascara, and having been blessed with Xlong thick curled lashes, the improvement of concealer, blush, mascara, clear gloss & the MLBB from Clinique, as well as a blot powder for my nose, totally made me glow! My skin was resilient & the next place I mastered was my eyes. I had a signature look I never abandoned. Then, in a big city, for a job interview in cosmetics at Macy’s.. MAC became my eye candy though I feared my skin.. But on a trip to visit me, my mom bought me some blush and my first two mac eyeshadows! LOVED! Wholesale stores were God. πŸ˜› I then continued to experiment with everything wild I could find! Glitters, metal, nail designs that are now presently able to be purchased yet I did on my own. I used crystals, I went out, I had a blast! What kept me was the fact that there still was so much out there! Welcome Sephora! Then, researching brands and origins showed me beyond sephora and I grew out of clinique, etc. and obsessed with high end everything! I collected way too much (no such thing haha) and I found deals hidden all over! The fact that I could transform by color, makeup, fascinated me, and I’m still enamored, in a relationship with beauty to this day! But today my skin needs much more and my eyes are finicky.. The quest to see in a mirror what’s in my heart. <3

I still have the dark circled. It's an allergy/medical problem, along with having sensitive thin skin, but I keep maneuvering around with products I have to hopefully find solutions and keep it that way. Using Korean skin care has taught me the best ways to apply skincare, so now I'm eager to go back to La Mer, I have a collection, thankfully with tons of samples, and it's helping calm my skin due to the acne treatments I am using due to medical problems causing hormone issues. TEMPTALIA keeps me inspired! πŸ˜€ Even on my darkest days! So, thank you, Christine! I almost gave up this passion when I became so sick & didn't recognize myself. I resolved to change that and I found you & all those posting here! πŸ˜€ I learn everyday and am forever grateful! πŸ˜›

Lotus Avatar

Aww, you are SO welcome, Christine! πŸ˜€ Thank YOU. The passion you poured into the personal venture with MAC when the book came out, keeping peace here and actually caring for all here, your honesty, compassion, everything.. You’re wonderful! And my spirit is well, thank you for asking! Body sick, but I’m keeping up with all I can do. πŸ™‚ Sending hugs!

Genevieve Avatar

Nobody really – I just always loved makeup. When I was 12 I was in a school concert and had to wear makeup. From then on I was right into it. I worked at the Estee Lauder counter in a department store as a Christmas job and fell in love with all their stuff. It was girl heaven. Since then I have always worn makeup – every single day. Now I read fantastic beauty blogs like this one and have extended my range. Eyeshadow palettes are my new obsession.

Robin Avatar

I had a friend who would wear a full face of makeup everyday, switching up her looks from day to day. At the time, the most makeup I would wear was my Studio Fix Powder (only high-end product I owned because my Mom wore the same foundation and somehow I convinced her to buy me one too), a gold/bronzey eyeshadow quad from Covergirl, some Mascara, light blush and some lip gloss. One day, when we were hanging out at her house, I asked her if she would do my makeup just for the fun of it. I had never seen so much MAC at the point in my life. She ended up giving me a full face (higlighted/contoured, all that jazz…) with a sunset themed eye look. I loved my makeup SO much, I didn’t take it off at night & wore it the next day (gross I know lol). What intrigued me the most about the whole process was the variety of products she used and my eyebrows. Before that day, I never payed much attention to my brows, and I never knew that they could look so good. When I did take the makeup off, I left my brows on because they were so perfect. The few days to follow, I bought a drugstore brand brow pencil and began experimenting with my brows, attempting to recreate the same perfection that she blessed my face with. That then turned into watching brow tutorials on YouTube… which led to eyeshadow tutorials, which led to everything else makeup related. God puts everyone in your life for a purpose. I am now a professional & certified MUA working for MAC Cosmetics.

Diane Avatar

My interest in makeup started when I was around 10, when I saw an issue of Newsweek magazine that showed Way Bandy transforming Janice Dickinson from a bland regular woman into a diva. I have bought all his books and the techniques that he espouses in those books are still in use today. It was through him that I learned about contouring, how to color eyebrows, eyelooks that work for every type of eye, even monolids, etc… Way Bandy was also Kevyn Aucoin’s idol, also another idol of mine.

Lulle Avatar

The online beauty community. My interest in beauty started late, when I was about 25, and at first I was only really into skincare. By being a regular member of beauty forums, I discovered that there was a whole other universe dedicated to makeup. I fell really hard :p

Donna Avatar

HAHAHA this is funny. It was makeupalley.com We moved from the S.F. Bay Area to the Motherlode (Sonora) area back in the mid 1980’s then moved to rural Northern New England – the land without makeup counters. I was thrilled when this thing called the internet caught on and I could find out anything I needed to know right on makeupalley.com.

Meghan Avatar

I think initially my mom was my biggest influence, she used to be an Avon consultant back in the day and had makeup around. She got out of it as I got older, but by the time I was in high school I loved makeup on my own (thanks to a generous allowance, and jobs as a teen where I got discounts). Through university I really stopped buying any makeup, I didn’t have a lot of disposable income. Since graduating and getting a job about 2.5 years ago I’ve become addicted to YouTube and Temptalia! My love for makeup has been fully reinstated! I will also fall for something that has an A/ A +, and have felt so much more exposed to other brands and feel more confident reading customer reviews on products on Temptalia, more so than other specialty sites that have control over how ‘their brand’ is portrayed.

kellly Avatar

Most recently,the November cover of Allure magazine, the picture of Kerry Washington. I’ve been an eyeliner girl almost all of my makeup life, but that natural looking makeup Kerry is wearing totally inspired me and I haven’t lined my eyes ever since! Not even the waterline, no liner, just a slightly pearly taupe eye shadow and mascara. It’s been a total change for me not using liner, but I like the look very much.

Laura M Avatar

I stumbled upon Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces in the late 90’s at a Hot Topic of all places. I learned so much from that book and I will still look through it and Face Forward for inspiration.

Jan Avatar

I was always looking at the beautifully made up models in fashion magazines. Plus, I remember watching in awe as my mother put on her eye shadow, mascara, blush and red lipstick. When we would go shopping I was always drawn to the cosmetics. I still love all the beautiful colors and textures.

Malia Avatar

I was looking up Mufe hd foundation, actually, but I came across Marlena at makeup geek and found the forum there, it was really cool and I got to see tons of different looks and products. It was there I found out about your site, and I’ve been checking nearly daily ever since the venomous villains collection πŸ™‚

Johnna Quick Owens Avatar

I grew up with a mother that loved makeup and skincare, and she sold Mary Kay for a long time. We always had tons of product around the house, and she encouraged me to play with colors and looks, and as long as I took care of my skin first and foremost, everything else would look okay. There were cardinal rules in my house, like never going to bed with your makeup on! That was so ingrained in us that when my sister was in the hospital after having a C-Section delivery, the first thing she asked the nurse for when she woke up out of surgery was a washcloth so she could take off her makeup. The nurse said it was the first time she had ever seen a woman wake up from surgery worried about her skincare routine. LOL I always made skincare a priority, but for years in my late 20’s and 30’s I was dealing with depression and never even bothered to wear makeup. It seemed pointless to me, and the most I wore was Chapstick, but I always took care of my skin. Once I finally got treatment for the depression, I found that spending time on my makeup and feeling good about myself really went hand in hand. It has become part of my daily life, not because I don’t want people to see me without my “face” on, but because I love the way I look in color. I went from pouring over magazines and books to researching products online, to reading blogs and watching YouTube videos. It is definitely an addiction, but a healthy one for me!

Kat Avatar

At first I wore makeup because I wanted to be “beautiful,” and I thought makeup created beauty. Instead, I felt a false confidence that never lasted. That was in middle school. It wasn’t until my late teens and early 20s that I realized: It’s not to cover the outside, it’s to illustrate the inside. It’s my art, and it’s me, which in turn, gives me true confidence.

Angel Avatar

Sephora coming to the US was a real game changer for me. I’m 47 and grew up in a mall-less small town. Until I was in my mid-30s, I had my pick of drugstore brands, or department store brands when I could drive 2 hours to a mall, or when I was traveling. I visited Sephora in Europe in the 80s and loved it, but there was nothing like it in my world.

The internet, Sephora coming to the US, and my move to Atlanta all happened within about 4 years, and make-up bag exploded into a “beauty closet!”

As far as people go, it is hard to overstate the influence of Bobbi Brown. She is the one who finally chased pancake makeup away for good, and her line pioneered products like tinted moisturizers, nude colors and “illumination” and shimmer that was meant to look natural.

Pasheeda Morris Avatar

My makeup influences are my mom, visiting the makeup counters at Carson’s as a little girl, and my art background in drawing, painting, and fashion design played a great part of my makeup influences. Also playing, experimenting , and trying out different looks was part of my makeup process. I went through many phases until I realize what makeup works for me in terms of textures, colors and performance. I love the classic cat-eye paired with either black matte or brown matte/brown cream eyeshadow with a neutral or reddish brown matte lipstick with voluminous thick lashes and a natural brow with a touch of brow wax. Now that’s a perfect combination.

Emm Avatar

My (now ex) boyfriends younger sister had MAC makeup and I fell in love with how pigmented the shadows were compared to the drug store brands at the time. She gave me Trax and down the rabbit hole I went.

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