Why Do You Think You First Got Interested in Makeup?

Published in: Just For Fun

Baby beauty addict in training (BBAT)

I remember being aware of my mom’s pretty eyeshadow trios on the bathroom shelf when I was just a wee lass of four or five, even though I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with them…

I just remember them being off limits to me at the time, but I knew they were somehow special and important. At first I think I just wanted to play, and makeup looked like so much fun.


And it was on TV! The older girls on the TV shows I watched were always doing their makeup and their hair and getting dressed and putting on accessories.

Cross body purse and ruffles… Not much has changed, really.

I wanted to do that, too. Even though I was really young, I had a feeling I’d be able to rock that ish, LOL!

I wasn’t always a girly-girl, though. A couple years later I went through a tomboy phase, and I didn’t want anything to do with makeup again until about 12.

Then I got re-interested because 1) so many of the girls around me were wearing it to school, and 2) it was (still) off limits to me.

Yeah, makeup was totally off limits (but didn’t stop me from sneaking in a little liner here and there). My parents were super strict, so I wasn’t allowed to wear anything at all, not even Lip Smackers!

Ooh, forbidden fruitโ€ฆ Purple eyeshadow, pink lipstick, blue liner. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d spend hours cruising the Thrifty by my house, dreaming of the day when I’d have some Covergirl Lipslicks and Coty Airspun powder to wear.

What’s your story, friend? Why do you think you first got interested in makeup?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Tracy says:

    Boys! Well one boy in particular. Guess it worked because he’s my husband now. Although I don’t think I can rock the baby blue eyeshadow anymore. Does anyone else remember the eyeshadows that came in a tube like a lipstick? Super artificial smell and over the top FROST finish.

  2. Trisha says:

    I never really got interested in makeup until high school. Which is weird, since my mom and grandma sold makeup (Luzier, which is like Mary Kay and Avon, though not as well-known). But, that brand seemed like it was for “mature” women, so I wasn’t interested in it when I was a kid.

    Then, I high school came around and I started experimenting with makeup.

    Oh! Wait! I started wearing mascara in 6th or 7th grade, but that barely counts. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Trisha recently posted … Agave Healing Oil Treatment Review

  3. Katherine M says:

    I think I really got interested in it because of magazines and tv shows like America’s Next Top Model. I saw how glamorous the models looked and I saw how the ads for perfume and other things just made the models look so sexy. Then, when I did eyeliner for the first time ever (I was maybe 15 or 16?), I was astonished at how it accented my eyes. I loved how I could do model-like makeup to accent my basic jeans-and-a-tee outfit. Thanks to your blog and my love of fashion magazines, I learned the fine art of blending and contouring. Now my love of colorful eye makeup looks more haute couture than Drew Carey show Mimi.

  4. Alison M says:

    My dad shaving his beard in the bathroom was fascinating to me – even more than my mom putting on mascara and blush. I’ve always had an obsession with the ways faces can change and colors interact. Makeup is an easy way to express that since it can be washed off ๐Ÿ™‚
    Alison M recently posted … Peachy Pink Blush Favorites

  5. Shrutilaya says:

    It took me a while! Honestly, I think I was 18 when I finally startes using makeup.. but it always fascinated me. I’ve painted and drawn all my life, so using an eyeliner brush or blending eyeshadow just seemed to natural and easy…

  6. Krista says:

    I got interested in makeup my sophomore year of high school. A lot of the girls at my school were already so good at it, made them look like they were naturally that pretty. So I started experimenting with foundation, but that washed me out, so then I learned about contouring and started wearing lipstick and mascara. Now I love the process of putting on makeup, it’s so therapeutic painting your face and knowing what all the powders and creams and stuff are for. It’s fun to learn, fun to collect, and fun to talk to other people about because it’s such a universal hobby.

  7. Vineetha says:

    The colors. And I was not really into makeup until after 18! I loved how colors could transform, the various finishes, the sheer options and then there was no looking back. My mom never used makeup and my sister barely does even today! And me I am obsessed
    PS: I loved the first photo of yours!!!!
    Vineetha recently posted … MAC Moody Blooms Collection Worldly Wealth Blush Review, Swatches

  8. Agata says:

    I don’t think there was any particular reason why I got interested in makeup. My mom always put on makeup so I always knew that one day when I am older I will start putting on makeup as well. I was first allowed to wear makeup in first year of high school- I could only wear mascara, then next year I was allowed to add a brown eyeshadow and some blush. But it wasn’t until 5-6 years ago that I started exploring makeup more, learning about different application techniques and so on and that’s how my true love for makeup was born.
    Agata recently posted … The Makeup Timer Test Tag

  9. Ashleigh says:

    I remember first being interested in makeup when I was a kid- I had “play makeup” that mainly consisted of an old blue eyeshadow covergirl single that my mom gave me, a covergirl blush, and some lip smackers. Apparently I used to paint my face blue with that eyeshadow, like a lot of kids do hehe ๐Ÿ™‚ Then middle school came around and being a fan of sparkles got hooked into all the early 2000s rage of glittery makeup. I actually stopped wearing most makeup in my college years (except mascara/powder foundation) but returned to it afterwards, and here I am today hooked on all things makeup! :3

  10. Eve Clarke says:

    Your photos are adorable!! For me, it probably started with wanting to emulate Cyndi Lauper and Madonna back when I was around 9 or 10. I’d do my hair, clothes and make up like them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Awww, look at you, how cute ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I first got interested in make-up because I wanted to be different from everybody else. It was a way to express myself and to find my own identity.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Revlon Rio Rush 16 Hour ColorStay Eyeshadow Quad & Super Lustrous Lipstick

  12. rachelle says:

    Wow, I was interested in make-up as far back as I can remember. I remember at maybe 4 years old being over at my grandmas’s house and her Avon lady would come over. She used to order me these tinted lip balms from Avon that I LOVED! It was just the biggest thing to me. I also remember going to the grocery store with my mom and there was a small make -up aisle that has brands like cover girl and maybelline and I would just stare at the different eye shadow palettes and blushes and wish I could buy them. This was back in the mid to late 70’s by the way, lol. A big break through for me is when I moved to NYC from Michigan in 1996 and in about 1998 I discovered Sephora stores and online shopping for makeup!!! Wow did that ever change my life….lol!!!!!

  13. Divya says:

    How CUTE is that! “Not much has changed really” ha ha! ๐Ÿ˜€ I got into the whole makeup shebang only about two years back.. thanks to a cousin all obsessed with makeup and having bought new MAC stuff for her wedding! Thats when I went.. “Ooh so this is MAC?!”
    Divya recently posted … The “No Foundation” Foundation | Guerlain Lingerie de Peau & Bourjois Happy Light

  14. Majick says:

    I think I first got interested in make-up when I was 4 or 5. I found my Mom’s Avon lipstick sample in Crystal Rose and thought it should be for me since it was so tiny. LMAO! I actually tried to use that logic on my Mom when I asked her if I could have it and she flatly refused. She told me my lips were fuller than hers so she needed it more – REALLY MOM? REALLY? She’s probalby laughing in heaven as I write this story again. That was my first foray into make-up land.

    Then, my sister used to work for Love’s cosmetics and would bring home little eyeshadows in cases that looked like eye balls – OMG were they fun.

    We also were privy to all the Avon stuff but once I got out of the house and working on my own (age 17) I basically switched to ALoette, Clinique, and Max Factor. I always had a stash but now my stash is like my own Sephora. LMAO!

  15. Rachel P. says:

    I think the interest first took root at a young age, probably 5 or 6. My mom was always (and still is!) made up and wearing perfume and I thought it was fabulous. She had NARS and Bobbi Brown and lots of Mary Kay. Back then, I didn’t know the difference between an eyelash curler or nail clippers. Then I didn’t give two craps about it until middle school. My parents have always been supportive of self-expression/didn’t mind what I did or wore, but I had noooo confidence when it came to my appearance. I would sometimes wear a little eyeliner, and then later some foundation/concealer when the acne kicked in, but always felt very self-conscious. High school was similar. Then came college, where I threw all caution to the wind and taught myself a little more, invested a little more. Now, post-grad, I am at full junkie status and consult (unofficially) to my friends and family ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I was never the “girly” girl growing up. The most I did was a little lip gloss and I started getting my nails done (acrylics) when I was 28. Well, after my mother passed in ’09, I was depressed and wanted to change things up a bit.

    The first thing I did was to stop relaxing my hair, because I was learning about healthy, long natural hair from YouTube. I’d also been watching several makeup hauls and demonstrations. I decided that I was worth the price necessary to make me feel good about myself. I knew it was what my mother had tried to instill in me all my adult life. So I went for it. I wore my first full face of makeup to Watch Night service, December ’09 and I haven’t looked back. While most of my collection is either low- to mid-range drugstore makeup, I love my collection and look forward to continuing to build it. Right now, it’s stored in 2 10-drawer storage cabinets, but I’m hoping to add a third to it soon.
    Stephanie Carter recently posted … Sponsored Review: Studio Gear Hydrating Color Correcting Cream

  17. Dominique says:

    In 2 words lol : narcissism and hardships ( and because it oh-so-trendy and I cannot resist, but it belongs to narcissism too )

  18. Bhevarri says:

    I had a vague interest as a preteen/teenager because of all the Goth stuff I was (and still am) into, but I never really knew much about how to do it well, so it was pretty much smeared eyeliner and white face powder until after high school ๐Ÿ˜›
    Then I found Doe Deere (though I am not a fan of hers anymore..) and got kinda inspired! I found lots of cool youtube makeup gurus and such, and started really learning about how to do makeup well. Eyeshadow primer was easily the MOST important product I ever learned about! Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

  19. Carla N. says:

    I guess I first got interested in makeup when I was 12 or 13, and started reading teenage magazines, which of course were full of makeup “tips” guaranteed to banish all of your nasty “flaws.”
    At the time, I considered my own face not much more than just a collection of flaws; I was convinced that every single feature I possessed desperately needed “correction.” I clearly remember going to the drug store and buying some stuff that promised to “conceal acne blemishes completely.”
    Naive and rather desperate creature that I was, I believed the claims, and was rather crushed when the stuff turned out to be *orange.* Not only did it not conceal my pimples, it pointed them out!
    Not long after that, I bought my first foundation (Maybelline, of course), and while it didn’t “hide” my blemishes completely, it looked much better than the random orange dots.
    After that came blush (Coty’s “Nature’s Blush;” that stuff that was supposed to adjust to your natural coloring, and give you “the perfect blush”).
    Then it was beige or brown eyeshadow, and repeated unsuccessful attempts to make my “too full” lips look thinner. “Using a brown lip pencil, line just inside the natural lip line, and fill in with a matte lipstick in a soft, muted color.”
    Didn’t work, needless to say. Today, at 50, I love my full lips, and play them up with bright lipstick and gloss.
    In fact, my entire approach to makeup has done a complete 180 since my younger days. Makeup has now become an optional and fun way of completing a look and highlighting my features, as opposed to a means of concealing “imperfections.”
    It’s SO much more rewarding these days!

  20. Lacey F says:

    My Mum, fo sho. She inherited selling Avon from her mother, so there was always eye shadows, lipsticks, bottles of skincare all over the house. If she had extra samples of lipstick (usually in the weird colors no one wanted! lol) she’d give them to me. Of course they would look horrible, but I loved playing with the colors and trying out whatever new stuff came in her latest order.

  21. Vanessa says:

    @Dominique love your honesty

    I always liked art supplies, pencils, pens, pigments.

    Then one day in high school, I realized that I could have even more pigments, they were just “makeup.” My brother even remembers the transition haha

  22. Neapolitanmimi says:

    What a question. My mother was always anti-feminine in a way that she just didn’t care about how she was perceived. I think early in my parents marriage, my father made fun of her for wearing makeup (I think because he was insecure) so she stopped. She worked in a factory, smoked two packs a day, cussed like a sailor and had a permed mullet throughout my childhood. I was sent to Catholic school and there were 8 girls in my class and we were all very close. There were girly girls and their girly moms and that’s how I wanted to look with my mother. Of course, it never happened.

    We weren’t allowed to wear any makeup until 7th grade and then it was only a light foundation. By that time I was overweight and my hair had been cut in a boy-style bowl cut for a few years. I was desperate to be feminine. I knew it was possible but had no idea how.

    I used my money to buy Cover Girl makeup at KMart or WalMart and most of the time it was awful! Also, my school had no air conditioning so I pretty much gave up every day makeup until college.

    When I went to college, I pretty much started over and had to learn the smallest things over again. And because I wasn’t used to seeing my face with makeup on it, I had a hard time continuing to forge a look for myself. It’s took years, but I finally got it!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. fancie says:

    I was quite the late bloomer when it came to wearing makeup. I didn’t get into it until I was almost 22 lol. I always spent a lot of time on my laptop so it was only natural that I’d stumble across YouTube tutorials. Shortly after I became obsessed lol. I couldn’t wait to learn how to apply my makeup!
    fancie recently posted … NYX Sweet Tart Butter Lipstick Review

  24. Amruta says:

    My never ending battle with acne and red cheeks. I have had an acne prone skin from a very long time. To deal with the redness on my skin, I resorted to concealing my skin using makeup. I was about 18 when I got my first foundation. Before that I was this lip balm and eyeliner kind of a girl.

  25. breyerchic04 says:

    My mom has photos of me at 2 with slightly excessive blush on (it was 1988 so it’s only slightly excessive even if it covers entire sides of your face, right?)
    And then I remember being at my godparents house while their teenage daughter was getting ready for a date when I was 3 or four, and she put makeup on me too. She had a dressing table with a lighted mirror, I remember greatlash mascara and pink olay face lotion (my mom only used white, so I was jealous).

    For normal wear covergirl lipslicks came into my life for school concerts and things around age 10. And then I was allowed to wear pressed powder foundation and eyeshadow to school when I started high school. My mom didn’t let me wear mascara until all of my gym credits were fulfilled just so I didn’t have black running down my cheeks half the day.

    It never seemed forbidden but it was also something that grownups did and I had to achieve certain levels of grownupness to be allowed the next product. I didn’t get into high end stuff until prepping for a friend’s wedding and trying to find the perfect things to make me look god all day.

  26. Laure says:

    I only got into make-up in my second year of college (which is just a few years ago).

    Growing up, none of the women (or men) around me really used make-up. On extremely rare occasions, like weddings, my mother would whip out some lipstick and put on a lick of mascara, but this was so rare that it basically went by unnoticed.
    My sister has a similar disinterest for make-up and being Belgian (where the beauty industry isn’t that big and most women don’t wear make-up on a daily basis), it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I was confronted with make-up beyond lipstick and mascara.

    There were 2 (two!) girls in my class that wore make-up and being in a school with almost only girls, that says something… Still, my interest wasn’t peaked (they did a pretty shoddy make-up job, so I wasn’t sold on the idea).

    It was only when I left for college and started studying in a male-dominated field (video games and animation films) that I started to appreciate ‘feminine’ activities. So when one of my study friends kept going on about nail polishes and dragged us (the 6 girls of our year) to a store to buy polishes, this was the first time I really got up close to make-up. I quickly fell in love with nail polishes. Beauty products in general followed and that was the start of my obsession.

  27. Kwmechelle says:

    I love these fun questions & your cute pics. I’ve been into makeup for as long as I can remember. My mom’s dresser was covered with eyeshadow quads, perfume, & lipstick. To this day, I still think she can rock the socks off a red lippie.

    I couldn’t wear makeup in high school but my mom did buy me a makeup kit from Fashion Fair to play around with (not bad for play makeup, right?). Once I hit my senior year, it was mascara, lipstick, black lipliner (circa the 90’s), & unarched eyebrows (yikes!). In college, I made a friend in my dorm who introduced me to a beautiful, nude, eyeshadow quad from Covergirl. She showed me how to apply it. I’ve never looked back & my love affair (and my skills!) have continued to flourish ever since โ˜บ๏ธ

  28. Maria says:

    My cousin Bobby’s then girlfriend, Anna. I used to watch her put on her makeup when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I think she was about 16 or 17. It was while we vacationed in cape cod and my cousins and their friends used to have parties with their friends. I watched her do her hair, makeup and dress up for the parties. She used an eyelash curler which I had never seen before. I learned a lot from her.

  29. Chelsea says:

    You were so cute Karen! (still are!)

    I wore makeup on and off through high school… when I initially used makeup in middle school, it was because “everyone else was doing it.” I really didn’t get into makeup until I was 17 and did a pageant – a Mary Kay person worked with us, and I loved the makeup she chose for me – kind of bronzey eyelids and a semi-metallic red lip (called Copper Mine). I wore an emerald green dress, and it just WORKED.

    I’d love to get back into doing makeup. Having a day job is lame sometimes!

  30. Darbie says:

    I was about 8 when I got made fun of for a birthmark and my mom put dermablend on me to cover it up. Cover up was like my long braided hair, part of the scenery. When I was thirteen and people started to get into makeup was when my mom took me to the Clinique counter. I came away with a sampler of lipstick with the regulation foundation, powder, and coverup. It was my first exposure to color and that is when I became HOOKED!

  31. Abby says:

    This is such a cool and interesting post! When I was very little I had plastic princess lipsticks, then I fell into the Lipsmackers stage and always would sneak a peak in my mom’s makeup bag!Then I got to where I would wear makeup for fun… infact one time my mom didn’t notice and I went to Kindergarten with bright purple play makeup all over my lips! Lets just say it has always been a part of me!

  32. Erin says:

    I watched Dynasty as a kid. I think that says it all.
    Erin recently posted … Anthropologieโ€™s Summer Tag Sale

  33. Stephanie says:

    I can’t remember ever not like makeup. When I was little my mom sold Avon. I too remember those little sample lipsticks. My mom had palettes of eyeshadows and I was fascinated with them. My older brother used to say it was like painting by number.

    In junior high I wore Dial-a-lash, anyone remember that stuff? I wore it on #10. I remember blue eye shadow and super pink blush. I’ve always worn makeup, I went through a few lazy phases where I only wore the bare minimum.

    I just turned 45 and I realized I may not be able to pull off sparkles and shimmer for much longer so I’m going for it. I’m a full blown makeup hoarder now!

    PS I wore Madonna bracelets and double belts.

  34. Cheryl says:

    How adorable, Karen!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember I would always sneak in my mom’s dresser and open every single makeup item she had. Oooh, those gold cases/packaging of lipsticks, eyeshadows & blushes. Then I’d smell all her perfume till I get dizzy. Hahaha! And when my sister started working, she’d leave her makeup bag in her dresser and I’d also open every compact and every lipstick. Glad I didn’t break any of them. ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. Efrain says:

    I think the main reason I started using makeup was because of acne at 14 years however it was/is a pain to find a match in drugstores so until 17 years I bought my first MAC concealer; also I remember playing with mom makeup it looked really interesting even though she doesn’t really use anything but lipstick.
    Efrain recently posted … Los imprescindibles en belleza cuando falta tiempo

  36. Alison says:

    I know this sounds crazy, but I think it’s because of the “thing” I’ve always had for stationery. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve swooned at the sight of pretty pens and pencils and collected beautiful stationery, and now that I have eyeliner pencils and pigments and pretty things like that… Ugh, it’s just the same level of divine, really.

    • Karen says:

      I have that same obsession too, Alison! Have you ever had personalized stationary? I have cards and envelopes from minted.com and they are some of my favorite things in the whole wide world. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Iris says:

    I first got interested in makeup at a young age when I watched my mother apply her makeup. I wasn’t allowed to touch any of the makeup, especially after I ruined a brand new Estee Lauder lipstick by twisting it up. When I was in my tweens, I started on drugstore makeup. After uni when I started working, I had my own pennies to spend on a variety of makeup, everything from drugstore to indie to high end.

  38. Erin says:

    It’s so sweet to read through all of these comments. For me, I think it was messaging about what it means to look presentable. My grandmother was big into skincare and keeping up with her nails, and my mom told me all women could use a little mascara. She encouraged me to always wear some mascara, even if I didn’t have anything else on.

    It seems a little messed to me when I think back on it, but that’s the truth. Later on I became big on experimenting with different products because it felt like finding good ones that were affordable was really difficult, and I just wanted to feel like I knew what I was doing. I was sick of repurchasing go-to products that I didn’t like all that much anyways (ahem … Maybelline Great Lash).
    Erin recently posted … L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara and Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Liner

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