Then and Now: My Love Affair with Makeup

A Love Affair with Makeup
Every Collection Has a Story!

Welcome to my first blog post!  The makeup collection– always a fave topic of mine. Don’t care how big or small – whether just a Chapstick or a grandstand. I find all types of collections fun and interesting. If I can talk about makeup with you on any level, I’m thrilled and you have a friend in me!

I know I’m not alone in this (or maybe I am?), but I tend to get a little deep, sometimes proud, sometimes confused- looking at the stacks of makeup containers on my dresser and repurposed jars filled with brushes. How did this happen and when did it all start?!  Perhaps my back story will encourage you to stop and look at where you are with your makeup. And why do that?! Because it’s fun! And it’s history! And we’re just that into ourselves ::inserts oversmiling excitable emoji::. Now let’s board the time machine….

Some Makeup History of Yours Truly

Back in the 80s when I was about 4 or 5, I remember that my mom had this Avon makeup kit that I really wanted to use. It was very interesting indeed, sophisticated, and folded out into all of these compartments. She said I could use it when I was 16, which seemed way too far away. So instead I resorted to all of the Sweet 16 play makeup (anyone else out there remember that?!) which I would hunt for at KMart. In grade school I didn’t really think about it at all except for during dance recitals, which my mom usually did. Imagine blue eyeshadow, huge circles of blush and generic pinky-red lipstick.  Gotta love the 80s!

For our 8th grade graduation dance, my friend and I went to Woolworth’s to purchase our first makeup products. It was modest compared to what’s out there now: some mascara (and I think I owned some CLEAR mascara- that was really cool!), a foundation sample I only put on my nose to cover a blemish (?), and some light pink, sheer “lip blush” product by Cover Girl which I thought made me look really mature.

In high school, I wore face powder and brownish-red lipstick on special occasions, then later got into eyeliner that a drama teacher recommended I wear to “bring out my eyes” while I was on stage (Ooooo! Game-changer!).

Cut ahead past some “learn and grow” moments (i.e. waaay too dark brow pencil, mismatched foundation…) to college- I did a lot of experimenting, played with different looks, discovered smokey eyes, better foundations, while growing my collection along the way. Even though what I had pretty much fit into a small makeup bag and a pencil case.

After college I worked at a drugstore, so you can imagine how that fed into my makeup frenzy! Also playing a part was a growing interest in Sephora, Ulta, and a need to see what other looks I could try. I loved applying it, seeing transformation, and found it so, so fun. I could sense, however, that I took it little more seriously than most people I knew but couldn’t find too many people around me who were as into it or almost obsessive about it as I was except for on the internet. My collection continued to get bigger as I started going online more and finding more people to connect with regarding my passion. I started joining forums, boards, watching YouTube, all that good stuff.

Eyeshadow train case
Eyeshadows still going strong!

Present Day

I spent most of my twenties building up a collection that has since seen many revisions. I’m at a place now where if I buy something, it’s usually a few things at a time or here and there, like if I run out of an everyday product, am inspired to try something new, or if there are new products that pique my interest. YouTube and blogs definitely help all of that right along!

Though slower to buy as often these days, I will say I have gotten more into beauty tools over the past few years like makeup brushes and sponges. My collection of those have grown a lot more recently. I’m actually in a very slow process of “hitting pan” as they say, or just being happy using what I have.

I’m pretty good at keeping makeup around much longer than is approved by any of those “toss-out-by-__ months” guidelines. Not recommending that to anyone, but unless it smells funny, is breaking me out in some strange rash (which thankfully hasn’t happened), isn’t as effective, or isn’t doing me any favors, I say why the heck not?!  Or sometimes the fact that something is THAT old will be enough for me to get rid of it. I like getting rid of stuff to make room for newer, better stuff!

Collection Size

Compared to people I know and interact with in “real life”, I’d say my collection is big. Not a brag, just to give you an idea: I have a train case and two Sterilite drawers filled with shadow, lots of blush in different finishes and shades which I’m not even going to count right now, lipsticks and glosses stored in two shoe boxes (not glamorous storage by any means, but it works!)- and this is after being downsized through the years. Over time I have figured out more of what works for me and tend to stick to those types of products, but even with that being said, it’s still a lot. I didn’t even get into highlighters, bronzers, etc. etc. but yes, I have more than one of those too lol.

Now, compared to many on YouTube and other bloggers, and maybe even to yourself, mine could be considered a small fraction. Some people have makeup rooms. Or some might think mine is over the top and out of control. There is no right or wrong, just whatever works for you. I do like options and playing with different products, colors, and brands, but I’m also looking to keep what I have to a certain minimum. If I start to feel overwhelmed, I try my best to get rid of products that no longer serve me.


There is definitely a range when it comes to brands I have. I have drugstore brands that I really like, like NYX, Wet ‘n Wild, L’Oreal, and Maybelline to name a few,  and some mid/higher-end products as well like MAC, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, NARS, Becca, and Dior.

So that is my little makeup history! I always say every makeup collection has a story- and a direction!

So how did you get into makeup? What direction are headed with your collection right now? 

<3, Jen

4 thoughts on “Then and Now: My Love Affair with Makeup”

  1. This is such an interesting post and I actually loved reading about your beauty evolution! It made me refer back fondly to my own and how far I’ve come myself. I’m getting to the point where I know my collection is growing out of hand (it’s growing off of my vanity and out of the storage I’ve bought for it already), but I realize that some people spend their money on cars, toys, collectibles, and comic books and I spend mine on makeup 🙂 this inspired me to do a post of my own on my own beauty evolution! Also I still remember the ‘Avon Lady’ myself when I was over at my grandmother’s house :”D

    xx Heather

    1. You should definitely do a post on it! I’m always interested in reading how others get into what they love, especially makeup of course ?. You’re right- people spend money on hobbies they love and this just happens to be one of ours. And I’d have it no other way! Thanks for the love!

  2. Hi, love your first make up blog post! You certainly love your make up. I am probably the other extreme and only use ever use, cc cream, mascara, eye liner, bronzer, lipstick and lipgloss and sometimes eyeshadow on an eve out! I don’t like to use make up that makes me feel like my skin can’t breathe or that I have make up on so I use Arbonne which is also a treatment for the skin and is pure, safe and beneficial. If you would like to have a look then please visit my website
    I would love to know your thoughts??

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my post! I try to get rid of products I know I won’t use or feel are just taking up space, but I enjoy options as well. It’s a tricky balance sometimes. I have heard of Arbonne and will check it out. Thanks!

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