What misconceptions did you have about makeup before getting in to it?

What misconceptions did you have about makeup before getting in to it? Share!

That it was girly and superficial. There’s a lot to confidence building and something to be said about having an escape or creative outlet to get someone through a rough time. I know that just in my little corner of the web, the emails I have received from readers thanking me for helping them through a tough time, merely by providing something fun to read and play with, is a very strong reminder that makeup is anything but superficial. It is also for all folks of all walks.

Thanks to A for today’s questions! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
xamyx Avatar

I honestly can’t recall a time I wasn’t into makeup… I was so young when I first realized the concept of it, I don’t think I had any preconceptions about anything, LOL! Even as I got older, I always saw it as being something some were into, others weren’t, and it didn’t matter either way.

Dorian Avatar

Hey Christine! I really love this question and I’m so glad you chose to answer it. I’ve never emailed you before but just like others who have, I find so much joy in reading you blog. I check it multiple times a day and get so excited when I see a new post or review. Anytime I am looking for a product review or a shade match or a dupe… I always check here first. Even if I’m in a store and ready to buy… I’ll still check on here on my phone before I buy a product. I really appreciate all the work you put in. I know you’ve made this your job but at the end of the day, I realize you don’t have to run this site… you don’t have to take great photos and review multiple products a day and walk out the door to run to Target and get groceries with neither sides or your face or your eye makeup matching. But I appreciate you and all your amazing, detailed and honest reviews. I’ve been a dedicated follower of yours for many, many years and I look forward to following along with you for many more years to come. You inspire my creativity and I am so happy to have you and your blog in my life for inspiration, a resource and a happy part of my day.

Thanks Christine!

xo, Dorian

Xexuxa Avatar

When I was in junior high I hated makeup because my friends wouldn’t never want to do anything that would “mess it up” so anything that made them sweat was off the list and I just wanted to run around and get my hands dirty. Now I realize they were probably just using that as an excuse to be lazy.

I also thought makeup would make you age faster.

Rachel R. Avatar

My mother modeled when she was young, so she always had makeup around and wore it when she went out. She had a dramatic style, as well. I was always around it, and I was always obsessed with it. I never really had any misconceptions about it. I was allowed to wear colored lipgloss from age 10, and cream blush from age 12, and she bought them for me. I met my best friend when I was 14 (we’re still friends), and she was into makeup, so that was great.

In the 70s, my mother used to have stacking cream eyeshadows and lipsticks (I think from Avon). I thought they were the coolest things ever. This is one of my earliest childhood memories: I was about 3, and my mom fell asleep during the day. I gave her a makeover while she napped. She got white-based pink lipstick cheeks (she always used lipstick for cream blush), cool purple lips (I used an eyeshadow shade, naturally, because…purple lips!!!) and green eyeshadow all the way up the brows, with white under the browbone (she always wore white browbone highlight). Being a neat child, I put it all back exactly as she’d had them in the drawer. When the doorbell woke her and she answered it, the mailman gave her a really weird look, but I thought she was on point. LOL She also had the most crazy vivid magenta lipstick (I’ve seen few rival it to this day). That started my obsession with magenta, fuchsia and hot pink lipsticks. I coveted that thing and would beg her to just let me look at it.

Nancy T Avatar

Your comment, Christine, is so spot on! And it touched my heart more than words can say. Makes me appreciate this site even more, and I had already appreciated it a lot.
Okay, so I do know that I have always LOVED makeup. Heck, there’s even a picture of me at around 2 years old where I had gotten into my Mom’s expensive red lipstick in a vain attempt to apply it on myself and it was something reminiscent of the Joker!!! So my earliest misconception was that you could just slap it on and look like a Hollywood Movie Star! Even at 13, when I was given the green light to wear it, I had very little idea on how to properly use it, and my poor Mom tried, but didn’t have a clue when it came to my very different eye shape compared to hers because we were not blood-related, I’m an adoptee, so her round eyes with a very noticeable and higher crease were nothing like my almond, heavily hooded eyes that had only a tiny bit of lid showing! I literally had to learn EVERYTHING. When she and I visited CA when I was 13 1/2, her niece, who was a beautician and also had hooded, almond eyes taught me how to work with the shape of my eyes and how and where to place eyeshadow. My cousin was a huge help!

Niki Avatar

Well said,girly!♥️ That’s how I feel as a pro MUA. People will treat me as my job is merely about vanity, but I disagree. I love making people feel more confident, or maybe more creative; just making people feel the beauty we see without the “flaws” they see. It’s pretty magical watching a person emerge feeling a bit different inside. The art of makeup is just as relevant as any art in my opinion! Thanks for keeping me up to date on the latest products! As a pro MUA I really trust and value your opinion on products and you have not steered me wrong yet! Much love, lady!!

Marieke Avatar

I thought foundation would instantly give me a flawless face just like the other girls. But of course foundation can’t fix bad skin and a bad skincare regime.

Mariella Avatar

I think the biggest (and only) misconception I had was that in a fairly short time, I’d have “all” the makeup I could need or realistically even want. I remember thinking, when I got the first Naked palette, that I would now never need any more eyeshadows! What a misconception THAT was. I think I also mistakenly believed that all drugstore products were fairly crummy and all higher end ones were great. Wet n Wild, Maybelline and many other drugstore products have actually turned out to be at least as good as many higher end ones and some high end products are dismally disappointing.

Raeanne Avatar

When I first started getting into makeup I really believed that high-end and mid-range products were too fancy or not worth the money. I got everything at the drug store, and never thought I would start getting into mid-range stuff. It took some time to realize that despite the price range, products can be good or bad. I wasted a lot of money on poor products from the drug store before getting into makeup blogs – now I research everything before I buy!

Katie Avatar

For a long time, I thought that makeup was for people who had really severe skin problems for covering up. I viewed foundation as a very heavy mask for special occasions only and did not know how people found the time to do makeup every single morning. I also did not see the value in filling in brows since mine were not terribly sparse.

However, through Youtube, makeup communities, and experimenting on my own, I’ve learned the versatility of makeup and all of the different purposes it can serve. Foundation can be very light or heavy and filling in brows is now my one non-negotiable step I have to do before I step out of the house. I’ve also found that getting ready and putting on natural everyday makeup doesn’t have to take a long time.

Kate Avatar

I’ve always kinda been into makeup, so I can’t really think of a time “before makeup” where I had construed misconceptions..I’ve always taken makeup for what it is, it’s just makeup. It scrubs off at night, it’s a form of artistry, and it’s a hobby. I never really thought too much about it, actually, until I got more into it and realized what misconceptions others people had.

KK Avatar

Makeup initially was a grooming technique for me rather than a fun n creative thing. ANd it stayed that way for years. Its only now that it became such a creative outlet for me.

Also, I used to think the whole Contouring and highlighting thing was only for models and magazine covers. But now i love experimenting with them and love my collection of highlighters.

Jennifer Avatar

It’s weird but when I was growing up in my teen years I never wore makeup other than foundation once or twice a week or for special events and maybe a little blush and lipstick, but when I was 19 years old I went through a rough time emotionally and I discovered makeup and it helped me during that time for sure and so I agree with you that I used to view it as superficial as well and I didn’t really enjoy it until I realized how fun it is to be creative with makeup 🙂

Momo Avatar

In all honesty, I had no misconceptions at all before getting into makeup; or at least, I had none that I can remember. Growing up, I was never around or came in contact with anyone who had a negative influence regarding makeup. Then again, I grew up around a lot of males, and makeup wasn’t exactly their topic of choice. Lol.

I got into “full on” makeup somewhere around my mid to late 20s. Prior to that, my beauty routine only consisted of shaping my eyebrows and wearing lip liner with lip gloss.

It wasn’t until after I started becoming completely invested in the world of makeup that the misconceptions began; especially as a dark skin woman. It ranged anywhere from “you won’t be able to find your foundation shade, so why bother” to “makeup is only going to age you quicker and ruin your skin”. But by the time these misconceptions came pouring in, I was already quite knowledgeable and steadfast in my cosmetic decisions (thank you, makeup blogs and YouTube). For the sheepish person that I am, makeup became my freedom of expression (since sketching no longer brought me comfort; I was briefly an Art major) and no amount of antagonism was going to sway me. And whenever I did have my own misgivings, the makeup community — which are the best bunch of folks, EVER — would squash those fallacies and set me on the right path. So I felt secure, no matter what.

Do you know what’s the best part about makeup misconceptions? Finding out that they’re not true.

Sarah Avatar

None lol, to be honest. I’ve been using makeup since I was 14, mainly because I was embarrassed by acne I had. But it was down the rabbit hole from then!

Pavithra Avatar

Christine, your answer echoes mine, except in a much more articulate way 🙂 Most people don’t get that it can be a creative outlet and an unexpected confidence booster. And this applies to people across ages. I’ve seen my mum’s face light up after I used a few bits from MAC on her, and she was thrilled that she could look put together and fresh in 5-10 minutes with just a few products.

Katherine T. Avatar

I’m the only person in my circle of friends and family that’s really into makeup. Most don’t wear any or very small amounts. When I was growing up, I was told it would ruin my skin, but it’s not true, as long as you avoid products with bad alcohols and fragrance. Also, I was told that only shallow, vain people wear makeup. Makeup is so fun and empowering, because you can you can look and feel so much better . I mean have you seen stars without makeup?? Now some of my friends and family are asking me for tips!

Pearl Avatar

That if you had noticeable makeup or color on that you were a sexual velociraptor, like the video vixens of heavy metal fame in the 80’s. You never saw no-makeup girls strutting and rolling around on cars in heat. Lots of makeup and bright colors=slut and dirty and side-piece, clean face and minimal makeup=clean/disease free and someone you marry and aren’t afraid to be seen with in public. I was a teen in the 80’s and I remember a magazine cover with Heather Locklear on it and she was so fresh faced and pretty, she was in a leotard or jazzercise gear something, and all she had on her face (from what it looked like) was mascara, a little brown eyeliner under the lower lashline and clear gloss, so that’s what I wore until I was about 20ish.

Then the GLORIOUS 90’s hit and Kevyn Aucoin worked his magic on Linda Evangelista and the runway girls, I moved into my own place and I broke out of my shell. I remember stopping in my tracks as I passed by a magazine cover and thought “THAT is how I want to apply my makeup, that’s what I want to look like.” I started getting makeovers at MAC and buying every single product they used on me. I felt so confident, so alive and unafraid. Like, I dare you to think of me as easy – my makeup is tastefully applied, jerks! I even remember my very first makeup look (bliss (dc) on the lid, swiss chocolate in the crease, espresso as accent/outer v, mylar for brow highlight, cubic blush, spice lipliner and expose (dc) lipstick. I don’t think MAC was quite mainstream yet, or it was still relatively new (it was 1994 ish), and I would get women asking me constantly what those colors were, how do you do your makeup like that, how did you learn to make your face up like that, etc. I was a walking business card for MAC and have been one ever since (ha ha).

So, short story long, makeup is a personal choice and however you wear it is personal and means something (or not?) to you.

This was a great question. I love these open-ended questions because it always ends up leading to an answer you didn’t think would come out and you realize a few things in the process. I’m really glad to have this space to do it in as well. 🙂

Aisling Avatar

I didn’t wear foundation until the later part of secondary school. Lots of girls I was in school with wore foundation that was a few shades too dark/orange, I thought all foundation must be a bit like that. When I found out that it didn’t have to look that way I was all about the foundation:-) Makeup has definitely taken me through some pretty rough life stuff. I find the daily ritual soothing and a great creative outlet. There are always new products to research and alternative colour combinations to try, it is the best distraction I have found when I need one:-)

IRockFaces Avatar

I used to think all makeup was expensive and time consuming. But over the years I have learned so much that completely negates that theory thank goodness. Makeup can be quick, easy, and fun without breaking the bank.

Brooke Avatar

Red lipstick was for “sex” brown lip liner is for “cholas” winged liner is always “pinup” colorful makeup looks are for “drag queens” all the stereotypes make me sick.

Sakura Avatar

When I was in High School I thought it was bad for skin and superficial, that time I was thinking that wearing make up would automatically makes me appeared pretentious. But colors and pigments, how they reflects so well on the skin, how it makes people feel confident and beautiful, it attracts me so much that I couldn’t help it, I had to go into it.

Kuávsui Avatar

I thought it was all superficial and about masking, hiding yourself. Instead I wound up learning a lot about myself, skin-deep and otherwise, and I too got through a dark time by playing with makeup. It was part of a larger process of reclaiming myself, my life and my body after a devastating break-up and instability, so thanks for helping all of that along 🙂 and of course nowadays there’s a little bit of masking too, sometimes makeup is armour.

Kuávsui Avatar

I also had problema with my oily skin when I was a teen and my mother swore up and down that makeup would only make the breakouts worse. Maybe in her teens it did! But I learned about skincare and as a result I look better than ever thanks also to my interest in beauty and makeup 🙂

Pash-in Avatar

I inherited my makeup gene. My mom was an actress, so I was always in her stage makeup. The biggest misconception I had growing up was women of color couldn’t wear certain colors on lips, eyes and cheeks, without lookin like an 80’s black Barbie doll. I thought because I was darker than my mother who was very light, I could only wear neutral colors and definitely not a nude lip. I also agree with Christine makeup is a confidence builder, makeup has gotten me through some rough times, battling depression since I was teen sometimes it makes you feel good to look good on the outside when you feel like crap on inside.

SMITA Avatar

I always was curious about makeup since I was in elementary and would apply my mom’s powder, blush and rub some lipstick on very natural as I was getting older for functions.

Fast forward to my adulthood and I slowly discovered how much fun it could be. Plus a great grooming tool adapted for the special occasion or any occasion. Now when I leave the house for an errand I have some light natural makeup and for a wedding or other important occasion I dress up and add the makeup colors and it’s so liberating!

I find it therapeutic too and consider it a well being expense in my budget. So I save up for something but don’t feel ashamed or guilty !!!

Cat Avatar

I was always led to believe that investing time and money into makeup was very superficial, and that vain, shallow women were the only ones who would be that focused on themselves. (Besides celebrities who, of course, HAD to wear makeup.) Therefore, for most of my life (outside of modeling when I was younger), I wore makeup that was, for the most part, undetectable. Then, I saw all of the artistic things that could be created with makeup and, being artistic, I allowed myself to play a little more with color.

However, my true obsession with makeup didn’t happen until just a few years ago when I used it as both a creative outlet and a distraction when my husband became very ill. It reached its all-time peak in 2014, after discovering that most of my friends weren’t really my friends (there for the fun but not for the difficult times) and I needed something to help me to not feel so isolated and alone. I am on the autism spectrum (Asperger’s) and that creates obstacles when it comes to forming friendships, mostly because of my anxiety, often because others don’t understand my sense of humor or they think there is something “written between the lines” when there simply isn’t. I do not have a friend to confide in or to offer support of any kind. I find that makeup is something I might have in common with a lot of other women, giving me a topic to discuss that others could relate to, thus giving me a possible avenue for communication. I also probably offer unsolicited advice — seeing a “problem” to be solved or a product to be researched — in order to keep my mind busy.

Now, with my husband just recently being diagnosed with aggressive, B-cell lymphoma (stage three), makeup is the only truly “safe” distraction I have available. It keeps me from completely falling apart while I’m doing other things because I don’t want to cry and mess up the look I’ve created. Not to say that I’m always able to control my emotions, but I can control them enough to be functional (most of the time). I save most of my tears for late at night when everyone is sleeping and makeup no longer matters.

I’m sharing this to show that makeup is far beyond some superficial vanity. Yes, it does help me to feel more confident but it’s so much more than that. I am not sharing this for sympathy. I really don’t need to hear anyone else tell me how sorry they are regarding my situation. What I do need is patience, understanding, and a boatload of humor.

Cat Avatar

Thank you. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs with his health, but I’ve never been as frighten as I am right now. Some good news would be much appreciated.

Rachel R. Avatar

Sending good thoughts for your husband.

Both of my sons have Asperger’s. I myself am an introverted, socially awkward odd duck with a severe anxiety disorder. It’s so easy to feel isolated. In other words, lot’s of understanding from me.

Cat Avatar

Thank you. Positive thoughts are always welcomed here.

My son is also an Aspie, that’s how I discovered I am, too. It presents differently in females so, even though I knew I was different, I didn’t know why/how until he was assessed during second grade. I can completely empathize with your severe anxiety disorder. For me, it’s like being in a perpetually vigilant state. It sounds like you and I would make quite a splash at a party. 😉

Nicole Avatar

I can 100% backup your answer Christine. I found your blog while recovering from my first surgery which wound up failing. It was a very mentally and physically painful time for me. I had always loved beauty and skin care. But, your writing opened my eyes to an entirely different way of looking at what I was spending my $ on and since my collection has grown substantially because I have quality stuff that I actually use. This blog has not only been a source of distraction and creative inspiration. But, I feel like have made some real friends that share a common interest. I thank you again Christine.

Brittany Avatar

Probably just that it was “girly”, though I’m glad I’ve learned that I was wrong back then. I’ve never considered myself a “girly girl,” even though I love playing with makeup and doing my own nails. I don’t care to ever wear femme looking clothes (most of the time) and I don’t care much about my hair. I’m just me, and I happen to love makeup and polish. 🙂

Oh, and I used to think that makeup was just eye and lip makeup haha. I didn’t realize until way later on that full face was a thing and that foundation was a thing. 😛

Genevieve Avatar

That wearing makeup was bad for your skin – what a myth that one is! I have worn makeup since I was 12 and my skin is fabulous. It protected me from a lot of sun damage (not that I ever sunbaked because I was way too fair). Using makeup means that you cleanse and moisturize your skin and that protects it too.
Makeup gives you confidence and can brighten your day. I agree with everything you said above.

Rachel R. Avatar

I completely agree about it protecting from sun damage. Especially when we were young, and there weren’t sunscreen products like now. Makeup looked much better than white zinc oxide paste.

Maggie Avatar

To be honest, I STILL think makeup is girly and superficial (I can’t seem to get away from that bias–perhaps bc in my locale, people tend to use makeup to look feminine and pretty). But it’s also a lot of other things too. It can be creative, a confidence builder, transformative, artistic–there are tons of aspects about it. I also think men should feel that they can wear makeup whenever they want too–and children–as soon as they’re old enough to safely handle things (like, to know that they’re not supposed to drink up nail polish or to have the dexterity to not poke their eyes out with eyeliner).

My mom let me have free reign with her non-everyday makeup stash so long as I washed it off once I was done with playing with it (bc creativity or not–makeup can mess with your skin). And I wasn’t allowed to leave the house with anything other than lip gloss or nailpolish on until I became a teenager. Creativity was allowed but handling the social aspect of my face being my canvas was quite another to her.

WARPAINTandUnicorns Avatar

Foundation always had a fake look to it. But that was mostly bad colour matching in my high school on girls in the late 90/2000’s. lol

The ideal of beauty was unattainable. I honestly also at that time, though the model I saw had perfect skin and I was looking around and seeing normal people and my drab face and though what’s wrong with me. haha (Pale ass girl with flushed skin, freckles and veins). Also tan skin was still in…… and I just don’t tan….. and before the whole twilight crazy being called a vampire was an insult because I was pale. ;P

melissa Avatar

i have never really had any misconceptions, i have admired makeup from the time i was able to walk, but really have been into trying different brands & etc i didnt even know exsisted these past 2 yrs, but my family is having misconceptions since i have expressed more of my passion, they think its a stupid hobby & tired of hearing about & seeing my products, so i am in a makeup rut right now, need a true makeup loving friend to talk to lol

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!