What was the first beauty product you ever bought for yourself?

I think it was Benefit’s Show-Offs – they were loose eyeshadows, sort of. I also remember buying a few MAC eyeshadow singles around the same time period, possibly all on the same day, lol.

— Christine

73 Comments

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Kyra Avatar

It was on 1996 when I was 15, I bought dark blue eyeshadow, with brown eyeliner pencil (lol), blue mascara and lipstick. All from The Body Shop. I bought them to recreate Shirley Manson’s (vocalist of Garbage) make up look, and of course my attempt didn’t succeed lol

Kyra Avatar

It was on 1996 when I was 15, I bought dark blue eyeshadow, with brown eyeliner pencil (lol), blue mascara and lipstick. All from The Body Shop. I bought them to recreate Shirley Manson’s (vocalist of Garbage) make up look, and of course my attempt didn’t succeed lol

Mariella Avatar

Oh dear….I’d have to think back over 40 or 50 years! The first I can remember was a white eyeshadow from Maybelline back in the 60’s (that was the look then….white eyeshadow, lots of black lashes and liner, so what can I say). I also remember purchasing (though probably not with my own money) Max Factor lip gloss – it was colourless (well, it had a pale colour to it) in a stick form and it was the first colourless lipgloss available back when was a pre-teen/young teen and it was “the” coveted makeup product when most products were aimed at older women. I remember it cost around $3.95 which was a LOT of money back then. I loved that stuff and used it for quite a while.

Linda Avatar

OMG you bring back memories!
My best friend and I snuck into her older sister’s medicine cabinet to put on one coat of Maybelline mascara . Those were the days of bright blue eyeshadow & pale, frosty lipstick. it was the mid 60s.
How fun to think back!

cherie Avatar

High end- Benefit Benefit in the old formula, which seemed to last longer and was stronger in color.

Otherwise, I’m sure it was Revlon’s Toast of New York.

Jane Avatar

Hard to remember, but I think it might has been a lip gloss called “Kissing Potion” as a teen, but as an adult I can’t remember. I think it was an airline palette by Lancôme.

Stacey Avatar

Bonnie Bell lip smackers first makeup. Then Maybelline kissing potion, also in strawberry flavor. Those were the time when wearing makeup…..you can still get an innocent look. Not that thick arched brow look, or that matte lipstick look these days.

Vicky Avatar

My first was also Maybelline Kissing Potion, I also had a Bonnie Bell palette that had eyeshadow, blush, eyeliner mascara and some lip colors in it. I also remember we had a store here that sold Wet and Wild make-up when I was young and I remember having palettes that cost like $5. My first high end make up was probably something Clinique or Estee Lauder as we didn’t have much else here where I live back then.

Jane Avatar

I remember Bonnie Bell! And you’re right, now that I think about it my first high-end “beauty” item as an adult was a Clinique facial cleanser and late, a Guerlain Terracotta lip gloss (I believe it was when that line first came out).

Pearl Avatar

Ultima II – it was this taupey brown slim lipstick. I think I went back and bought the coordinated face look. That lipstick felt so smooth and silicone-y going on but it was so drying!

Alana Avatar

Well I don’t recall the first drugstore beauty product I purchased (probably just a mascara or eyeliner), but I do remember my first high end product! It was the Too Faced Shadow Bon Bons palette from their Christmas 2012 collection. I still own it, too! Just can’t let go of something like that.

Moxie Avatar

A pot of duochrome glitter suspended in gel to dot at the outer corners of my eyes, for about €2.

Ah the late 90s. What a time to be alive.

joy Avatar

i used to think the color was too vampy but i didn’t have much tolerance for color back then ? i think they’re a whole range of them now. maybe i should check it out again

Seraphine Avatar

Black Honey looks almost black in the tube, but one or two swipes of it gives just a sheer hint of color. I’ve been wearing it for more than a week and I think it’s too sheer to be vampy no matter how much you put on, and I have very light skin. Definitely worth a second look!

Vittoria Avatar

Was that the very popular color in the long silver tube? It looked dark but was a sheer berry color? If that’s the same color that was my first lipstick when I was eleven or twelve. Around 1991 probably. I had a total meltdown when it was in my jeans which went in the dryer thinking my mother would kill me. ??‍♀️?

Linda Avatar

I had super bad skin in grade 7/8 and used to take my mum’s foundation (which was so not my color), then I bought some Cover Girl powder (in the seafoam green compact!) thinking it would work like foundation. It was just setting powder, LOL, but I sure tried to cake it on!

Jess Avatar

I bought lots of Covergirl makeup as a teen. I cant remember what my first purchase was but I used their lipstick, eyeshadow, and cream to powder foundation. I remember the lipstick shade was called Rose Quartz and I went through many tubes during those years. I used my babysitting and chore money to buy it. This was back in the 90s.

Nancy Avatar

ALL the way back to Easter 1963. I was 12 and my mother said I could wear lipstick on Easter Sunday. I bought Cutex “Pink Cameo” – because I read somewhere that it was what Jackie Kennedy wore. It cost 39 cents, I think.

Emilie Avatar

A rainbow eyeshadow palette from Claire’s circa 2008? First “real” makeup (though I wore those rainbow shadows to death in middle school), the Urban Decay Ammo Palette around 2013 I think. Before that I was wearing a tiny neutral palette my mom got for me around 2009.

Deborah S. Avatar

1st drugstore makeup purchase: A Bonne Bell lipgloss, Cover Girl mascara and a Cover girl foundation. I purchased them from a Thrifty Drug Store in Capistrano Beach, California. I was 13 years old. My parents decided to let me wear makeup at age 13 because that was the age our Pastor’s daughter started wearing makeup. I am not sure why I was so interested in makeup as my mother really didn’t wear any to speak of, on the daily, anyway. She would occasionally apply lipstick but that was it. I think my interest was peeked when my best friend in school’s mother gave me some makeup and skin care because she worked at a makeup counter. Her own daughter wasn’t really interested in makeup so I think I was the nest likely person to take an interest in something she was passionate about.

1st high end purchase: I didn’t purchase anything high end until after I finished nursing school in 1975 and started working and making decent money. I went to a Macy’s at the mall in Mission Viejo, California. The Chanel counter assistant was very nice. She did a full face of makeup on me and I walked away buying pretty much everything. The lipstick was called “Midnight Rose” and it was my favorite lipstick until they stopped making it several years later. I remember it so vividly as I had grabbed lunch at the food court, although I don’t think we actually called it that back then, but I grabbed a burger and can remember apologizing to the girl at the counter that my breath smelled of onions. She politely told me she couldn’t smell it but offered me a breath mint or piece of gum!! I also got another ear piercing to celebrate my graduation from nursing school, passing my state boards and getting my first job as a nurse. Again, at that time having more than one piercing in your ear was pretty unique. I remember spending the whole day at the mall which was again, a pretty unique experience at that time. The mall in Mission Viejo was the first mall in that area and I think was well frequented as
El Toro Marine Base was right there.

Stacey Avatar

Midnight rose I got too, but I don’t recall Chanel got into the market until 1980’s in the U.S. Very pretty lipstick. I was age 15.

Deborah S. Avatar

Wasn’t Midnight Rose a beautiful shade? I mentioned it in a previous comment here on Temptalia when the question was, “What product that has been discontinued would you like to see come back?” Midnight Rose was one of my answers. I was 21 in 1975 and there was a Robinson’s Department store, a Macy’s and a Weinstock’s between the mall in Mission Viejo and Fashion Island in Huntington Beach. Chanel was available at both Macy’s and Weinstock’s. I don’t remember it being at Robinson’s but that is where I purchased Shiseido. Not sure why we had one ahead of when you remember.

Cjay Avatar

Well I grew up in a strictly Estee Lauder house for awhile, but at one point as a teen I asked for UD Gash mascara (or maybe it was eyeliner?) and a tube of Roach lipstick. I also had some teal-colored mascara at one point. All these my mother hated. I still wish UD followed this formula of having colors available in multiple products. If we’re talking as an adult with my actual money…I don’t remember but I think it was still Estee Lauder, probably a new spring eyelook. I remember a lemon-and-marble-blue pair I got in college.

Sarah Avatar

Oh gosh I’m trying to remember. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I was 15, so it was probably an obnoxious lip gloss because I was very into lip products. Probably something from Walmart.

My first high end product was a white eyeshadow from MAC. I was obsessed with gyaru and wanted to imitate the look. It looked awful on me.

Anne Avatar

On a summer vacation with my parents (think it was to Phoenix) when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I bought a pink and black ceramic french poodle that had a little bottle of eau de something in its back. It was probably about ten dollars — way, way too much for me to spend on something as nutty as that, especially at that age. I don’t remember the details how I managed to pull that off, but Mom had a fit and Dad actually just laughed. (I wanted a poodle. We had a german shepherd.)

kjh Avatar

Pink coral lipstick at Woolworth’s circa 1959. Gold ribbed tube with color tip on top. They’re all gone now…esp the skintone with pink coral. I know it was fourth grade, and rode my bike to a neighboring village, so no one knew me. Not that I could wear it openly. Just had to have it. At least that endures.

Nancy T Avatar

My Mom and I were out in California visiting her side of the family. My cousin Debbie had on the deepest, darkest burgundy lipstick I had ever seen. It reminded me of blackened roses! Sooo, I asked her what it was and where I could get it. She brought me to the local drugstore (fancier in those days!). I used my allowance to buy a tube of Dana’s Taboo Argentine Extra Dark.? Put it on with her assistance and we walked back to our Grandparents house. Debbie was around 8 years older than me, I was around, what, 13? I think? My Mom’s face when we walked through that door: ?Priceless! But I wasn’t allowed to wear it out and about, just inside. ?

xamyx Avatar

I had my first “real” job the Summer I turned 15 (1988), as well as a couple of modeling gigs, so I had a decent amount of money tovspend frivolously. Back then I was wearing mostly Max Factor, as there was a local CCO that primarily carried the brand; everything else was pretty much “off-btand”, with a bit of Revlon, WnW, and Maybelline thrown in, since those brands were really inexpensive back then, and my mother paid for them. When I got my first paycheck, I “splurged” on 3 L’Oreal lipsticks: Cameo, Grecian Lilac, & Sealily. Although it wasn’t a “high end* brand, L’Oreal was still quite a bit more expensive than all the other DS brands, and because of the brands fragrance, it still felt like such a luxurious purchase, as I hadn’t yet forayed into HE brands.

LindaP Avatar

I remember it exactly as I bought them together:

Bonne Bell Lip Smacker in Strawberry and Bonnie Bell Blushing Gel in the reddish pink color. That blush stained your hands and your face. lol Loved them both, although neither worked well.

I’m quite sure I primed my skin with Bonne Bell 10.0.6 lotion. Remember that? Smelled awful. 🙂

Lesley Avatar

Not makeup but tinted pimple cream that I wore all over my face. That was probably in the fifth grade. Earliest makeup would have been in the sixth grade. I think it was a Maybelline eye pencil in blue and a dime store brand of white lipstick that I wore together to create blue eye shadow. I had a dime store brand of lipstick in a color called Luvlee.

Ashley Avatar

I can’t remember quite. But one that does stick out is wood winked from mac. But I think I probably bought Annabelle eyeshadows before that! In almost every colour haha

MissMercurial Avatar

Not counting Lip Smackers lip balms or nail polish (which I mostly got as gifts/not my own choice to purchase although I might have had input on it), I think it was when I was…twelve or thirteen that I made my first “real” makeup purchase. I had bad acne and it really embarrassed me, so I went and bought some Urban Decay foundation from Sephora. After I brought it home my dad insisted I was “too young” to wear foundation and made me return it. I exchanged it for a clear plumping gloss from the Balm called “Squeeze my Lemons.” It tingled a bit, but not uncomfortably, and it smelled like lemonade.

My other memorable early purchase was a lip gloss from the Maybelline Wet Look Diamonds collection. It was fuchsia/pink with a blue/green holographic type shift and I thought it was the shit. Wore it to class (at my Catholic middle/grade school that didn’t allow nail polish) and my classmate taunted “what’s that on your face/what’s wrong with your lips.” (Fuck you, Eric S., I looked awesome). Scrubbed it off after that class period because I was embarrassed.

Jill Avatar

Probably navy eyeliner from CoverGirl in the late 70s to early 80s, that was THE rage to use that all around your waterline in one continuous dark line.

Shannon. N Avatar

I remember what my first makeup items was – a l’oreal mascara, in a red tube that I stole from my mom.

But, I think the first I bought for myself, was a lipstick shaped concealer stick, from Wal-Mart!

I remember the other girls teasing me about my dark circles. So I bought one, and I remember it being the “light” shade. And it did NOT match my then NC35 skintone at ALL. ahaha!!!!

Kat Avatar

I can’t remember what was first for sure, but I know some of my very first purchases were Bonne Bell Liplix and Lipshades, Cover Girl Shimmering Sands eyeshadow, and a L’oreal Wear Infinite shadow duo in Classic Khakis. Once I turned 16 and could drive to a drugstore I remember buying some Clinique glosses: a nude and a sparkly light blue that went on mostly clear. That blue really stands out in my mind!

Lea Avatar

I have no idea what the product would have been, but the brand would be Shiseido. That was what I started out on for makeup and skincare.

Robin Avatar

When we were in 8th grade my friends and I were quite obsessed with the Yardley Twiggy Line . We lived in a suburb of Reading , PA., and were allowed to take the bus into Reading . We hit the Yardley counter at Pomeroys Dept. Store and spent every cent we had .

Claire Renee Avatar

I loved the Yardley Slickers. My older sister had Yardley liquid liner in a bottle that looked like nail polish, she also had a liquid mint green eye shadow & baby blue eye shadow in similar containers. I always was sneaking them. The first product I bought myself was probably age 14 (1973ish) and would’ve been Revlon’s Natural Wonder mascara. Once I was in Grade 10 I added Max Factor Ultralucent foundation & their Ultralucent cream blush. Cristina Ferrara Delorean did the advertising & was gorgeous.

Z. Avatar

Mascara in 7th grade, if that counts. I bought my first foundation in 2010, and I’ve been addicted to it ever since. (I think I had bought the covergirl outlast foundation? it was way too dark and I had no idea what I was doing). My first high-end purchase was the tarte amazonian clay matte foundation, which was probably in 2016.

Joy Avatar

The first beauty products I ever bought were Clinique powder blush in Clover and Black Honey lip tint when I was twelve. I’d still wear those products today, LOL!

Jolanda Avatar

I remember that I had big argument with my mother about beauty and make-up when I was 14/15 of so. She has no interest in that, use nothing but I wanted to. And I had my first selfmade money, earned from babysitting in my pocket. I stormed out of the house bought a palette with eyeshadows and blushes, a lipstick and a mascara at the local drugstore. I can’t remember the brand.

Sarina Avatar

Depends on how you define ‘beauty product’. I was very into lip balm as a child / in my early teens, so I had a lot of them. I remember having a lip smacker with vanilla taste when I was 8 (they don’t sell lip smackers here anymore) and a cherry-Labello (which had a slight tint, just like a chubby stick) when I was 10. When I was 13 I got into nail polish; my favorites back then were metallic burgundy and metallic blue. I had some beauty products to ‘play’ with in my teens (things my mother got for free as a sample and wouldn’t use herself), but these mostly included lip balms or clear glosses. I really got interested into make-up when I was 20 and the first eyeshadow-palette that I bought myself (and also actually used) was the Catrice Big City Life The Paris Collection. I only bought it because of the Parisian landmarks on the packaging as Paris was (and is) my favourite city in the world. The quality of the palette was awful, but I used it up completely (so far the only palette I’ve ever panned completely) – just a few days before I went to Paris for my semester abroad.

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