How Have Your Beauty Routines Changed Over the Last 10 Years?

Published in: Just For Fun

2003, at the halfway point of the Haiku stairs on the windward side of Oahu

Do you wear more makeup now or less? Has your skincare regimen gotten more complicated than it used to be? How about your hair situation? Do you fuss with your mane more these days than you did 10 years ago, or have you learned to let it be?

I’m curious. How have your beauty routines changed over the past decade?


Let’s see… Ten years ago I was a wee lass o’ 28. My beauty routines have definitely changed a lot since then.

Ten years ago!

I’d say the biggest changes have been with how I do my hair. On a daily basis, I don’t mess with it as much as I used to. It took a long time to love my naturally wavy hair as much as I do now. Ten years ago I was straightening it almost daily, which took 20-30 minutes and was the most time consuming part of getting ready in the mornings for me.

Now I just let it do whatever it wants…and unsurprisingly that takes a lot less time! I’m usually done in five minutes. Fifteen at the most if I take a curling iron to it.

Of course, I use up that extra time with my skincare routine, which has gotten more complicated. It used to be pretty minimal — cleanser, toner, benzoyl peroxide (for le zits), moisturizer and sunscreen.

I didn’t even use an eye cream back then! Now, I do. I use way more products than I used to, including anti-aging goodies (like this and this).

Christmas 2003: meeting El Hub’s (at the time, “El Boyfriend’s”) family in Hawaii for the first time

As for makeup, I think I’m less fearful of trying new things and brighter colors than I was then. At 28, I mostly stuck to conservative colors — browns and beiges on my eyes, MAC Blushbaby on my cheeks and a slew of pinkish golden glosses (hello, MAC Nymphette).

My idea of pushing the envelope back then was a small amount of teal liner softly smudged along my upper lash line, and I would have never even considered wearing bright coral or hot pink lips.

Shoot, now I’ll try anything! πŸ™‚

Let’s hop in the Wayback Machine… Ten years ago, what was your beauty routine like? And how has it changed over the past decade?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. TGIF! Here’s to a loooong weekend (*raises coffee mug*).

I hope you slept well last night. I actually slept in this morning…to 6:40, woo-hoo! That’s a lot later than usual lately. Between the Finch Family and the Tabby alarm clock, 6:40 feels alright. πŸ˜€

What’s the plan for today? You know what I’m doin’. I’m hitting the pool, and then maybe, hopefully, the mall later today.


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  1. Lauren says:

    Oh man! When I was 11 all I wore were the Bon Bons make up that Wal Mart sold. Blue cream shadow and cheap lip gloss galore ha ha. I’d say i’m a bit more picky now with what I buy
    Lauren recently posted … Review: Maybelline Super Stay 10 Hour Stain Gloss in Cool Coral

  2. Katrina says:

    I definitely wear less makeup now than I did 10 years ago. My skin care routine hasn’t changed too much though. I’d say the biggest change in the last 10 years is the products I use. Thanks to your beauty blog and a couple others I’ve ventured out and definitely spend more money on better products. I’m not complaining though, I say quality over quantity now:)

  3. Heidi says:

    Let’s see….

    I’m definitely more experimental and willing to try more colors than I was ten years ago. My skincare routine is more involved (hello, serums and exfoliation!). Still just let my hair be, as I have no patience for it. Oh, and I don’t think I was into nail polish much 10 years ago. I worked in a fairly conservative corporate environment, and spent the whole day typing, so I figured why bother?

  4. camille says:

    Yowzers! That’s a bedtime routine! I have put more effort in my night time routine, as well. I have started using anti-aging creams, and eye cream. I told my older sister (who, for some strange reason, looks like my younger sister, even though she has 3 little boys) that I’m scared of getting older. The wrinkles! :/ She told me to just embrace it. *sigh* Maybe it gets easier, but I’m trying to hang on as long as I can. LoL

    Hm, ten years ago, I was fresh in community college. For some reason, I don’t remember really wearing make up until my first year at CSU, Sacramento, in 2005. WHOA!, right?! How did I look to other people with my dark circles and blemishes?! The sales associate started me off with the Sephora brand of foundation, concealer, and powder. It was a good start, but I didn’t know any better.

    Today, I still keep a simple routine, but I have learned about the better brands: Bobbi Brown, MAC, etc. I have yet to incorporate eye liner and eye shadow into my routine. :/ One of these days…maybe when the weather cools down…in October. LoL

    Headed to Ulta! Going to pick up the Neutrogena gentle cleanser! And browse the many aisles.

    Have a lovely weekend, Karen and Tabs! It’s finally “cooling down” over here. πŸ™‚

  5. Jenna says:

    You’ve gotten more beautiful with age!

  6. Meg says:

    I didn’t start seriously wearing makeup until October 2012. Ten years ago, I was 19 years old, and wearing nothing but eyeliner (sporadically). No real skin care (I was fortunate enough to have very good skin), nothing. Now, I have a pretty standard makeup routine — primer, BB cream, eyeshadow, liner, mascara, setting powder, highlighter/blush, and lip gloss. As for skin care, I started using daily moisturizer in the winter of 2010 because my skin became so dry and red that I had no choice. Now I use the same cleanser every night, and moisturizer once in the morning and once in the evening.

  7. Carrie says:

    I feel like I knew what I was doing more ten years ago than I do now, make-up wise (not life-wise; that would just be sad). I’m not sure how I lost my make-up mojo, but I hope to be better than ever in the next ten years. Maybe kids, career, etc. has diverted my attention?

  8. Molly Brady says:

    Forget 10 years ago…my routine has changed drastically in the past two months. I wear more makeup, have better technique and products. I actually have a skincare routine now that is only getting better.

  9. breyerchic04 says:

    I’m 27, so ten years ago I was gearing up for my senior year of high school. Hair was long, I washed it and let it air dry, now I usually blow dry, but not much change.
    I wore Oil of Olay moisturizer spf 15 twice a day then and washed off with those Olay wipes that you had to premoisten. I didn’t wear foundation often, but I remember buying an Almay one for senior photos (which were the second week of july 2003!), and wore rose colored glosses and eye shadows called Taupe-y Pinks. Brown Black Great Lash too. I loved a good mud mask before I’d do things I thought I’d get photographed, which was pretty often that year. Oh I also remember a Bonne Bell liquid bronzer I slathered on my face to shine and glow, and fake tanning creams.

    Now I have day and night moisturizers that are different, only wear spf in the day, have eye cream, and use concealer to pretend i don’t have permanently dark circles and a few scars on my chin. I know that I do best with bright eye liners and more neutral shadows, that I can wear blush, and I’m not afraid of any color lipstick as long as it’s still a little sheer.

  10. Danielle says:

    10 years ago I was still in high school. And I just wore a little bit of eye makeup and lip gloss. Also, my skincare routine was non-existent.
    Danielle recently posted … My New Favorite Sunscreen

  11. Bell says:

    In 2003 I was almost 18, finishing high school! A lot has changed!! I used to go to school with lipgloss and mascara, and I would rock parties with lipgloss (with glitter), mascara, black eyeliner and blush. And that was it!!

    Now I use almost anything in makeup, and my love for these junkies has grown!! I care more about quality of my skin and how long the makeup lasts now.

  12. meredith says:

    I wore only minimal makeup 10 yrs ago ( mascara and lip something was all) because I wasn’t very brave or confident with my knowledge of the subject. Now, thanks to the internet my repertoire of techniques has grown quite a bit. Also my own personal confidence has improved with age so I’m more willing to experiment with colors and looks. And finally, in the past 10 yrs my beauty budget has grown and with it the overall quality of skincare and makeup products I use.

  13. Laure says:

    In 2003, I was 10 so no make-up for me at that age. In fact I only started using make-up about a year ago. Like you were back then, I’m also pretty shy about using bright colours. I mostly use neutral colours. I’m very fair skinned, so bright colours tend to look too much on me… πŸ™

    I hope in ten years, I’ll dare to go bolder. πŸ™‚ But for now, I usually stick to a little eyeshadow (and sometimes eyeliner), mascara and some lipstick/balm/stain if I wear make-up. Most of the time I don’t bother though, because I come from a make-up free family. When I wear make-up, they always ask me for what occasion I’m doing it.(Probably also the reason I only discovered make-up a year ago ;))
    Laure recently posted … Shoplog: Lush Tins

  14. BeckBeck says:

    Ten years ago I was in college, and I’d just started wearing eye makeup – my daily look was mascara and something on the upper lash line. Sometimes it was a brown liner or chubby pencil (I was partial to these Maybelline ones called “cool effect shadow/liner” or something like that), and other times it was ivory or pale pink liner and that was all! (I’m fair, so it was mostly invisible except for a little shimmer.) I religiously used Lancome Clarifiance cleanser morning and night, but was only good about moisturizer in the winter.

    Now, I routinely wear full eye makeup, liquid foundation, blush and lipstick or gloss, and my skincare is much more detailed – I didn’t have acne issues until my mid-20s, so I went through a few years of Rx treatments and finally just threw in the towel and started wearing base makeup!

  15. Nicole says:

    Ten years ago I was on a pauper’s budget, I was, however, hooked on Benefit makeup. Show Off eyeshadow, their light purple lip gloss (the name escapes me) and a super light pink blush. I also loved Bourjois mascara.

    I once splurged on a NARS powder foundation, but I hardly used it in fear of running out – that compact purchase darn near killed me.
    Nicole recently posted … A glimpse at the lips: Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer a.k.a Show Off Lip Lacquer

  16. Budziak says:

    What a fun post! 10 years ago I was 15, when I was using Maybelline Great Lash and thick liner πŸ™‚ I had quite the lip gloss collection. I used whatever my older sister had in the bathroom (probably Clearasil, Clean&Clear or Biore). We had THE biggest collection of Sinful nail polishes. Remember the old bottles of Sinful polishes? πŸ™‚

  17. Vanessa says:

    Me as a 14 year old…

    I spent much more time on my hair. I listened to the societal signals that straight, smooth hair is best and tried to make mine conform (impossible). Later, I questioned my way of thinking and realized that all hair textures are beautiful. Hair is so much easier now!

    Skincare — about the same amount of products, except without sunscreen. WHOOPS. What I use has gone from the under $10 range to the under $25 range, though.

    Make-up: less. I would wear a little eyeliner as a 14 year old, that was it. And it was under $5 eyeliner too…

  18. Vanessa says:

    ooo follow-up question should be when did you start to wear make-up regularly (assuming you wear it regularly)?

  19. Great post! You do look even more beautiful now than you were at age 23! Keep up the good work! πŸ˜€

    10 years ago I was 23 and working full-time at an insurance office. I definitely wouldn’t have rocked NARS Carthage pink lips to that place! I worked for a lady who would be described as “gruff” on a sweet day. I had extremely long hair (as in I sat on it when I sat down) that only required a daily shampoo and condition to be cool. My hair is basically the same now, it’s shorter and slightly less oily. I honestly have very few memories of makeup from that time, but I know I rocked a full face of very soft, natural colors. They are still my favorite.

    One thing I do remember is seeing the most gorgeous blackened green eyeshadow on a friend from work when we were together at a concert. She told me it was by MAC. I had NEVER heard of MAC up until that point! And it would be almost 5 more years before I’d buy my first MAC product after seeing it on another close friend of mine – Viva Glam 4 lipstick! Ah, makeup memories!

  20. Alice Ann says:

    I didn’t really wear makeup 10 years ago. I was 27, my skin was really good and I just wasn’t interested beyond some tinted gloss, neat brows, and dyed hair. Now I wear bb cream to even out my skin tone, and love to play around with color on my lips and eyes. I’ve also discovered the joys of nail polish.

  21. Katherine M says:

    10 years ago, I was an awkward teenager at 15. I didn’t have boobs yet, and I was just starting to experiment with my hair beyond the “barn ponytail” I wore to ride horses (it was easy to tuck up under a helmet for the above-the-collar, tucked away look the hunter/jumper trainers were fond of). The only makeup I had was from a free sample bag from signing up for a subscription of 17 magazine. But, I wore that black eyeliner every day till it was down to a nub and I had to throw it away.

    Today, I only pull my hair back tight and use gel if I am working out or it needs to stay in place (and I typically use mousse and hairspray). I don’t straighten it much anymore like I used to in my late high school years, early college years, and I’ve learned the fine art of having a great hair stylist who works with you and having a versatile cut. A great cut styles easily and will air dry well with minimal product to keep it in place. Wish someone had told me that in high school or at least convinced me that my one length ponytail wasn’t doing anything for me.

    Makeup-wise, I have discovered Sephora and Ulta, and I’ve learned how to carefully apply and blend my makeup. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learned that the bright eyeshadow colors are ok as long as they are blended well. I’ve also learned that nude makeup looks are anything but boring with the right products. Drugstore makeup has vastly improved from when I bought a few things here and there as a teen.

  22. Dollie says:

    What an apt post! Its my 10th wedding anniv today and yes, my beauty habits have certainly changed over this decade. I use more beauty product now than before, and more premium stuff too. Anti aging products have found a home in my vanity, especially eys creams. Surprisingly, 10 years ago, I had fabulous, clear skin so I didnt need acne products but im getting acne now. And they are leaving behind scars too πŸ™
    I never used to wear bright, bold colours earlier, played it quite safe but noe im quite adventurous, at least with lipsticks. I didnt fuss much with my hair earlier and I dont do so now either.

  23. Claudia S. says:

    I think I wear a lot less makeup now than I did 10 years ago. I used to wear a lot of bright colors, and now I wear more neutrals. However…I BUY more makeup now than I did 10 years ago…bright eyeshadows look so pretty in their packaging!

  24. Makeup was the last thing on my mind 10 years back, at 14! I think my ‘collection’ consisted of clear gloss (fruit flavored, rarely worn) and for special occasions, I’d wear some liner and foundation (borrowed from Mum). Back then I had really short hair and all I did was wear a hair band to keep them away from my face!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Lakme Absolute Lip Tint (Poptints Collection) Candy Kiss : Review, Swatch, FOTD

  25. Shev says:

    Ten years ago my eyerows were a mess! I haven’t discovered the magical world that involves eyebrow pencils/wax/color/mascara yet.

  26. Gowthami says:

    It have changed a lot and you look fab πŸ™‚
    Gowthami recently posted … Review : Thalgo Silicium Eye Cream- Wrinkle Correction and Lifting Effect

  27. Natasha says:

    I’m definitely wearing more make-up now. Back then I just wore sunscreen, concealer and a neutral colored eyeliner. I didn’t do anything fancy or complicated. Now, I have distinct morning and evening skincare routines (and it changes with the seasons, too). And I wear sunscreen, bb cream, concealer, blush,eyebrow color, 3 shades of eyeshadow, eyeliner AND mascara! And a lippie, too. I even wear bold lips on occasion.

    Aging is a process and I find myself losing contrast; my eyebrows are graying, my lashes aren’t as dark…so I need to compensate with make-up.

  28. Sujaan says:

    I was thinking how funny it is that you used to spend time straightening your wavy hair and I used to spend time (and money – perms) curling my straight hair!! I definitely don’t spend as much money on my hair these days. And honestly, I think my hair looks just as good as it ever did, just deferent. It’s probably healthier now too with less chemicals. I also dye myself now too, after years of spending way too much at salons. And if I’m unhappy with the results, I’m only out 10.00 instead of 200.00!
    As far as makeup, it’s much lighter. I find now at 50 if I try to go too dramatic with intensity of color it just ages me, whereas when I was younger it looked cool, dark and brooding. Lol It’s ok, my makeup routine is a lot simpler now, more about quality skin care and less heavy makeup.

  29. Maggie says:

    Wow–you’re 38 now?! I thought you were around 28! Let’s see, 10 years ago, my skin was nowhere as sensitive as it is today. I’m now way better in my technique and more wise about choosing products and how to use them–which is all thanks to bloggers like you, btw. Makeup is no longer as joyful for me to experiment with due to how reactive my skin can get.

  30. Esme says:

    When I was 15, the only makeup I owned were those little tins of Perfumeria Gal lip balm, which I still love! My favorite flavors were redcurrant and violet. Skincare-wise, I never thought to do anything to my face beyond washing it with warm water. Now, at 25, I have a pretty simple skincare routine: SPF moisturizer before going out, and oil-based cleanser and a slightly heavier moisturizer at night. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, either: usually mascara, a neutral eyeshadow, a bit of blush, and a lip color. But I do have a huge weakness for bright or unusual lipsticks, and I hope I don’t lose my love for fuchsia as I get older!

  31. megan says:

    10 years ago I was 18 and didn’t wear makeup, not even lipgloss! I hated the idea of m/u. Now I love it but sometimes I don’t wear any when I go out and I don’t mind LOL

  32. isabedia says:

    I started my relationship with MAC… Before that, not much makeup, but even since we crossed paths… i can´t get enough

  33. Iris says:

    My hair routine has simplified itself over the last ten years. I used to dye my hair. I’ve grown it out and don’t use any styling products on it anymore, not even hair gloss.

    On the other hand, my makeup routine has gotten more complicated. I used to use neutral eyeshadow, a lip product, concealer, and sunscreen. It’s not all of these (I’ve experimented with bolder, brighter eye colours, though), eye primer, face powder, blush, eye cream, and more goodies I’ve forgotten.

  34. Aida says:

    10 years ago (I was 24) I only wore mascara and rarely some black eyeliner on my water line and tight line. Other than concealer under my eyes, I always felt happy thinking I don’t need any makeup, I was beautiful au naturel :). And looking at pictures from back then, it was true. I was lucky to have very good skin that didn’t need foundation (I still do).
    Well, it all changed about 3 years ago, when I really started using eye makeup (after I stumbled upon the beauty community on YouTube), blush, bronzer, nail polish etc. All of a sudden, I started appreciating makeup and what it did for me and how it made me feel when I was wearing it. I love painting my nails, it’s a weekly (sometimes more often :D) ritual.
    Nowadays, unless I’m going hiking/camping, etc., I always wear eye makeup, mainly because I just love it! I’ve gotten really good at applying it and I enjoy so much the whole “getting ready” routine. Makeup has definitely helped me be and feel more feminine, less of a tomboy, more girly and I’ve totally embraced this side of me I never new existed :).

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