How Old Were You When You Got Your First Makeover at a Counter? Tell Me About It.

Published in: Just For Fun

Time for a trip down memory lane

Time for a trip down memory lane…

The year was 1989.

Saved by the Bell was in its inaugural season (Zack and Kelly 4 ever!), and I was just a wee lass of 14, but because I was a freshman in high school, of course I thought I was all grown up and mature.



Little did I know…

That fall my mom took me on my very first trip to a makeup counter. It was Clinique.

It’s one of my fondest makeup memories, and one of my favorite memories with my mom, because she’s never been a real makeup person at all, but she did it for me.

I was devouring teen magazines at the time and scouring them for makeup tips and stuff (oh, to live in the time before beauty blogs) when one day, on the drive to school, my mom asked me if I was interested in going to get some makeup.

Uh…of course I said yes. 🙂

So, that weekend we went to a Clinique counter at the Newpark Mall. I picked out a blush, an eyeshadow (’twas pink and blue… So late ’80s!), a lipstick and a foundation.

No mascara, though, because my mom deemed it “too mature.”

Not to be overly dramatic…but that trip kind of changed my life. Before that trip to the Clinique counter, I was forced to sneak and wear makeup on the down-low because my parents were very strict.

Finally, I didn’t have to sneak around anymore, and it was pure joy. The makeup floodgates opened. I could finally express myself without hiding.

Your turn! How old were you when you got your first makeover at a counter? Tell me about it.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day, babe. Ours was nice. We spent the afternoon in the city at Golden Gate Park, and I did something new, too. El Hub and I rented a paddleboat and tooled around Stow Lake, which I don’t remember ever even seeing before (and I lived right next to the park for a couple years!). It was quite a fun day.


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  1. Agata says:

    So I am almost 30 years old and I still have never had a beauty counter makeover….I really think I should give it a try!

    My Labor Day was ok. We didn’t end up going anywhere. I spent most of the day spray painting mason jar lids for my friend’s bridal shower (to make cookie jar favors). It actually turned out pretty nice!

    The paddleboat looks like fun and your shoes look really cute!
    Agata recently posted … My Sephora Customer Service Experience

  2. Michelle says:

    My first one was with MAC in 1994 – I can’t remember the occasion but I think it was a friend’s wedding. Not only can I remember the products, but I even still have some of them! I don’t use them of course but keep them for sentimental reasons – not sure if you can remember the MAC shadows when the had screw on lids? I still have them. The colors still have are espresso and quarry.

  3. Rachel says:

    My first makeover was at a Clinique counter and I was getting makeup done for my 8th grade graduation. My mom thought it was too much makeup of course but I thought it looked nice, especially because it actually showed up in pictures. It must have been the mid to late 90s because I remember a lot of shimmer!

  4. Aww, what a sweet story! The closest I’ve come to a makeover at a counter was having a Sephora employee apply concealer to my undereye area a few weeks ago…not very exciting, I know. My mom likes to talk about her own department-store makeover in the early ’60s, though! I think all she got was a compact with custom-blended powder (she was about 12), but she remembers the experience fondly. 🙂

  5. Jenny says:

    I didn’t wear makeup until after I graduated high school! Can you believe it… I went that long without makeup. I had my first makeover when I was 18, only for my senior pictures in high school, then I didn’t wear makeup again until I graduated. I’ll be honest here and say that my family used to call me “the little urchin,” because I guess that’s the best way to describe how I look without makeup. Lol. I’m so glad I taught myself to do makeup!

  6. Chrissy P says:

    I will NEVER forget my first time at a makeup counter. I was on a family vacation in Puerto Rico. We want to a huge mall, and I don’t even remember the makeup line. What I do remember is I was 13 years old and we did not speak her language. She put a FULL face of makeup on me and all I remember is that when she gave me the mirror to look – I near fainted! LOL!! I looked like an umpa lumpa I was SO ORANGE. Heavy makeup and I looked like a hooker! UGH! I was so embarrassed that as soon as I went to the rest room I scrubbed that crap off my face! LOL!! I still LOVE makeup, that was just a really bad experience!!

  7. Ruchita says:

    I have never been to a makeup counter to get my makeup done. But I do remember going to a couple of Mary Kay parties with my mom and trying out products. I think I was in 7th or 8th grade at the time. I didn’t start wearing makeup all the time until I was in high school.

    Your Labor Day sounds fun! We spent ours laboring for real – we cleaned out the garage and then used some sealant on the floor. It took all day! One of the joys of being a homeowner. 🙂

  8. Catie says:

    I love this question!
    For me it was 2004, and I was 15 and going to my first hight school winter formal. I’d been reading Teen Vogue and CosmoGirl constantly, and MAC seemed like the cool girl counter, so I asked my mom if we could stop at the counter in Macy’s after I found my dress. I got a paint (I think it was in “Untitled”) and two eye shadows (“Moon’s Reflection”—so shimmery and blue I kind of can’t believe I wore it—and “Filament”). I haven’t had another counter makeover since then, but maybe I’ll stop by MAC soon to relive that experience, haha.

  9. I was 30 and preparing for my wedding, so I visited a MAC counter. Unfortunately, the girl I came across was not to my liking. I had been into YouTube for almost a year then and had some ideas what worked on me and what didn’t, but she just would not listen to what I had to say. So I ended up with a makeup I greatly disliked and did my wedding makeup by myself.
    I have visited several counters since then (MAC and other brands) and always had awesome experiences though.

  10. Get ready for this… I was 25! Maybe even 26! I don’t like it when people do my make-up but at 25 (or 26) I was swayed into getting a make-up over at the Bobbi Brown counter. And I was actually pretty pleased with how it turned out.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Boodschap aan mijn beste vriendin. A message to my best friend.

  11. Rachel P. says:

    That’s a wonderful memory! Sounds like a nice Labor Day, too. I actually can’t ever remember getting a counter makeover (preceding my 20s, that is). However, I do remember my mom buying me a Lancome Juicy Tube lip gloss (in the shade Miracle, a sparkly pink) back when I was a pre-teen or young teenager, don’t remember which. We were just cruising through the beauty section at Macy’s (this was in the years preceding her Mary Kay career) and I knew I had to have that lip gloss, haha!

  12. I’m with a few of the other ladies on here. I will be 50 next year, and I’ve never had a makeover at a counter. I believe I will save it for a month or so before my birthday celebration, so I can look my very best welcoming the next 1/2 century.

  13. Tracy says:

    1990 – I was 14 and it was at Shiseido. A family friend took me to the drugstore and I ended up with orange lipstick and blue eyeshadow (she was blond/blue eyed – I’m Asian/Irish). Needless to say my grandmother directed me to the Shiseido counter and I ended up with the Perfect Smoothing Compact Foundation, a lipstick and the Relaxing Frangrance in the light green frosted bottle which they sadly do not make anymore.

  14. Rachel R. says:

    I was about 16 or 17, and my mother and I were looking at some colored eyeliners and mascaras. This would have been the mid-80s. I cannot remember the makeup brand, but the artist was well into middle-age. She talked my mom into giving us free makeovers. She did our makeup exactly the same as hers. The colors she chose looked awful, and she pooh-poohed us when we said we didn’t care for something. We ended up looking like a couple of old ladies.

    We insisted on trying some of the colored eyeliners/mascaras. She put them on us and said, “Well, that looks awful, doesn’t it?” Needless to say, we didn’t buy a thing, and immediately went to the mall bathroom, washed it off, and redid our makeup.

    I didn’t agree to another makeover till I was looking for wedding makeup.

  15. Katherine M says:

    That is an awesome story, and I can see how it would be life-changing. It was an acknowledgment from your mom that you were growing up and ready for the maturity of makeup :). I have actually never gotten a makeover done at a beauty counter. My mom had steered me away from that just because she had said that when she went, they really tried to talk her into buying all of the products used, and it wasn’t how she’d normally do her makeup. I think these days it’s a little bit different – the people at the beauty counters appear to be much more well educated on what they are selling and what is going on people’s faces. While I haven’t gotten a makeover, I have sought advice at the counters and in Sephora as to how well a product works and if it’d be worth the money.

  16. Kalli says:

    I was already in my late 20’s when I got a makeover at the Chanel counter a few years ago, but I’ve been makeup obsessed since I was little. My mom used to pass off her freebies from the Clinique and Lancome gifts-with-purchase, so I was using Clinique blush with my Hello Kitty lip gloss when I was like 8 years old!
    Kalli recently posted … Pulp Fiction x Urban Decay featuring Mrs. Mia Wallace!

  17. Frances says:

    I was also 14 and had my make up done at clinique! That was in the pre Bobbi Brown, pre NARS era. It would have been around 1990. I had saved my baby sitting money so I could buy real make up (was so tired of drug store stuff and wanted to use what I read about in magazines) and I was so excited! I remember that I got a tinted moisturizer with sunblock (I think it was their cityblock?), taupe eyeshadow, a dark green eyeliner, and blush and lipstick (but don’t recall the colors). Later on, I branched out and went over to Presciptives and got a custom foundation and powder.

  18. Chelsea says:

    Maybe 23? It was at a Lancome counter when I worked in dresses at Macy’s. It was WAY too much eyeshadow for my taste. Especially being very pale and not used to wearing a ton of makeup.

  19. Kwmechelle says:

    I was in my early to mid-twenties when I got my first beauty counter make-over. I went to a MAC counter & the artist who did my makeup was a guy. When I asked him how he became so good at applying makeup, he said he would look in the mirror & practice on himself.

    I was floored & it opened up a whole new world for me. I’ve since had another makeover at a different MAC counter & hope to have another one very soon at Sephora- looking to learn how to contour & highlight like the pros.

  20. Jacqueline says:

    Loving this thread! It was 1997, I was 15, and my sister took me to a Stila counter. I came home with a bunch of goodies, of which my parents made me return because it was so pricey. I got to keep a lip gloss. I then ended up getting a blush, blush brush, eye shadow, and eye shadow brush from MAC… I still have the brushes and use the blush one all the time!

  21. I was 25. I had got a gift voucher for a department store for my birthday and it was the days when I was starting to get interested in makeup (Yeah, I know). Before this I was mostly eyeliner and lipblam person. I didn’t even own a compact powder. So, I used that voucher to get a redeemable makeover at MAC. It was really good! I still have the paintpot I got then and it’s still perfectly good (Storing it upside down is the key apparently)!
    Infrequent Ranter recently posted … Would you marry a rape victim?

  22. Xen says:

    I am 29 and have yet to allow anyone other than myself to do my makeup. I don’t even trust them to match me to foundation, as I’ve been matched incorrectly twice (Dior = white face & MAC = orange face), costing me a pretty penny. Once burned, twice shy… Twice burned… Ha ha

  23. Fancie says:

    I’m almost 25 and I’ve never gotten a makeover at a counter lol. I was never into makeup until I started blogging and learning how to apply it on myself. Now that I know how I’m a little nervous to let anyone touch my face lol. I may let someone I know and trust do it for my birthday though. Maybe lol
    Fancie recently posted … Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel Review

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