We all began somewhere. How old were you when you first started wearing makeup?
I know this is going to make me sound like a little old lady, but it weirds me out when I see young kids these days wearing makeup. I don’t mean that it is strange to see them wearing makeup because I played with makeup from as early as I can remember. What seems odd about the way kids today start out wearing makeup is that they’re all so good at it! Where the rest of us had to learn from our moms or Teen magazine and go through years of awkward, terrible makeup before we figured out what we were doing, kids today can just go to YouTube and find step-by-step lessons from the guru of their choice.
When I was small, I was obsessed with makeup, even when I wasn’t allowed to wear it. I was given several Hello Kitty makeup kits for small children, and to this day, I am enraged by the utter bullshit that is a child’s makeup kit. They came with “real lipstick,” which was a tiny pink tube that gave the impression of being a pink lipstick but was completely sheer like Chap-Stick when you applied it. I don’t know who they were trying to fool. I could look in the mirror and clearly see that I was not actually wearing lipstick. I was pissed. (I’m still kind of pissed. I suspect disappointment over that Hello Kitty set is the root of my adult obsession with red lipstick.)
I started wearing actual makeup pretty early. In 7th grade, or when I was 12, as far as my parents were concerned, I could basically wear what I wanted. That might have been a bit early, especially since my school did not allow people to wear makeup, and I got in trouble for it on a few occasions. (I figured “natural” makeup would go unnoticed, and it might have if I had not thought hot pink lipstick looked natural.) I would go to the drug store on weekends and buy things like espresso lip liner and eye shadow palettes with three shades of blue. It was a disaster, but boy, was it fun.
By the time I was 14, I could handle myself pretty well, comparatively. Sure, I just ringed my eyes in black liner and wore red lipstick and powder foundation two shades lighter than my skin, but I went to a pretty conservative school, and most of my friends still weren’t even allowed to wear makeup, whereas my parents were actively encouraging me to do so.
Of course, that early passion for face painting wore off quickly. By the time I was 16, I was completely out of fucks and just went without makeup except for special occasions, and that’s basically the way I roll now.
When did you start wearing makeup, and do you think it was too early, too late, or just right?
Makeup Expert & Manicurists, Contributing Editor
Jessica is a writer who feels it is a job requirement to own every shade of nail polish. She thinks any bad day can be improved by a trip to Sephora–provided there aren’t 10 people giving themselves makeovers, in front of the new lipsticks.