I’ve yet to look back on my make-up wearing ways and think, “Man, that was a good look.” I’m so intrigued by my own skewed perception of what is appropriate to wear on your face outside of the house. And yet here I am– 24 years old, still figuring out how to wear lipstick and in love with eye shadow. Below I walk you through a little evolution of my own make-up use or misuse…
1996: I’m four years old. At this point I’m on my tippy toes peeking into my mom’s medicine cabinet to get a look at her Avon lipsticks. Those lipsticks would end up on my brother and I’s forehead before we broke them in half due to force of use. We were very passionate about lipstick.
2002: I’m ten years old. Claire’s is a dreamland where all the girls with lenient parents are getting their ears pierced. I discover glitter and blush thanks to dance recitals and decide to incorporate it into everyday life. Along with crown of the head pony tails and bangs that I probably cut myself, goopy blue eye glitter and hot pink blush complimented my Limited Too and J.C. Penny’s Catalog wardrobe. Nail stickers, link charm bracelets, and Nike Shox tennis shoes are also cool-girl must haves.
2004: I’m twelve-years-old, in the fifth grade. My friends start plucking their eyebrows and shaving their legs. The tomboy in me, still shopping on the boys side of the Gap and stealing my twin brother’s clothes, had zero interest in make up and other girl related things and overlooks this. When Roxy and Billabong swimsuit season rolls around, I steal my older sister’s Intuition Schick Razor contraption and Suave tropical shave gel, and put about six scars on each leg. It hurt, I cried, my cover was blown. Soffee shorts and sweatpants with words on the butt are worn by my cute friends, while I still wore boy’s clothes.
2006: I’m fourteen, and in the seventh grade with a middle part and long, flat ironed hair. It was around this time that my dad, a teacher at my school, brought me into the coaches room demanding I scrub the over applied $2.99 Maybelline black eyeliner off my eyes. I wasn’t allowed to step foot into Hot Topic, where all my 8th grade friends were shopping. However, I managed to scrounge up enough money to buy pink and black Adios skate shoes and a checkered Vans backpack. My friends and I worshiped The Used, wore silver hoop earrings with skater girl tank tops, and our mom’s drove us to the movie theatre to meet boys from the town over who we met on MySpace. This is the first phase in which my parents get worried.
2007-2009: This age range is defined by puka shell neclaces, side swept bangs, Hollister jeans, and neon finger nails. My friends and I spend hours perfecting the ‘smokey eye’ before heading to the high school football games wearing our boyfriend’s sweatshirts or jerseys and puff paint covered Keds. Our lockers were home to pink Motorolla Razer flip phones, sparkly fruit scented lotion from Bath & Body, and peanut butter and jelly uncrustables.
2011: I’m a senior in high school. My bedroom reeks of tanning lotion and Juicy Couture perfume. My make up routine is surprisingly minimal, mostly black eyeliner and mascara, professionally dyed hair paid for with babysitting money, and lip gloss that makes your lips tingle. Everyone wants a Naked eye shadow palate, but they cost $50 and my mom is more practical than that. At this stage I was more worried about looking tan on the track and in my prom dress than skin cancer and pre-mature aging.
2013: I’m a sophomore in college. Contour palates are huge, YouTube make-up tutorials teach us how to use them, and there is bronzer all over my apartment carpet. I put unbelievable amounts of dark eye shadow on at 10pm while listening to Rhianna’s “We Found Love”. My hair is black a la $6 box dye. I also dabble with hair extensions, streaky self tanner, and spend all my extra money on going out too small of tops and skirts from Forever 21 and acrylic finger nails. Phase 2 in which my parents worry.2015-2016: I’m an adult. Twenty two and living alone in my first apartment post college. I move past the contour phase and start buying Bare Minerals powder foundation and my very first set of make up brushes. Eye shadow palates are still a thing, and I’ve managed to accumulate a couple. I take my make-up off with coconut oil and still can’t afford to professionally dye my hair. I quit using eyeliner and start filling in my eyebrows. I quit shopping at Forever 21 and develop a healthy relationship with vintage and denim. Going out changes from 11pm entrances at college bars to 9pm wine dates and patio drinks, in much more appropriate outfits. Below, a selfie courtesy of my father screen shotting every snapchat I ever send.
2017: I’m 24. Eyebrows are still cool, which makes me very happy. My makeup routine is more about taking care of my skin and showing off my freckles, than covering it up with foundation and bronzer. I moisturize often and wash my make-up off every night, because I’m a mature woman these days!! (Ok, kinda.) In the mornings, face oil, a little shimmer on my cheeks, eyebrow powder and mascara does the trick. I’m into colorful everything, including pink eye shadow now and then (it’s possible I will look back on this and make fun of myself), and approach the natural hair look by using a flatiron maybe once a week. I still don’t know how to wear lipstick.