It's no secret that we as beauty editors love scouring through all the latest and greatest beauty products and giving them a whirl. Despite our current favorites and go-tos, we often think back to that time when we bought our very first beauty products. There was a definite sense of rebellion in getting to physically purchase and wear the kinds of products we snuck into the bathroom and sampled from our moms' makeup collections. While our beauty products may not have been as "adult" as our mothers' high-end goodies, they still did the trick at the time. Take a trip down memory lane with us and see our first-ever beauty purchases.
I definitely had my fill of the usual '00s-era tween beauty staples—Vanilla Frosting Lip Smackers, Art Stuff Roll-On Glitter, etc.—but my first "grown-up" beauty purchase was when I splurged for Ralph Lauren's Hot Perfume when I was 14. It was a day of firsts—my first big beauty purchase made with my own money, my first time in Sephora, my first time spending more than, like, $30 on one single thing. I could only afford the tiniest size, but I thought it smelled SO sexy, and I definitely drenched myself in it for the big eighth-grade dance. I've held onto that little purple bottle, and I take a whiff whenever I want to remember that sweet, slightly cloying smell of teenage desperation.
My first beauty purchase was the epitome of the '90s: a clear, mango-scented rollerball Lip Smacker lip gloss from Bonne Bell. I can still picture the green-and-orange packaging so clearly. Did I enjoy the feeling of the sticky, oily film across my lips? No, not really. But did I love seeing it in the front pocket of my backpack, an emblem of my maturity and affinity for nice things? Yes, I did indeed. Thanks to this product, I had perpetually glossy (aka shiny) lips for the better half of my early teenage years, and the sweet, artificial fruit aftertaste still lingers on my lips. RIP.
Editor's note: This mango-scented rollerball lip gloss is so nostalgic that it's virtually unsearchable on the Internet! For a similar product, you can check out the company's Mango Lip Balm instead (see below).
This is a tough one for me because I've been surrounded by beauty products for as long as I can remember. I want to say I had one of those giant palettes (you know, the ones that open up to reveal 50 eye shadows) at a very young age—maybe 6 or 7 years old—I remember begging my mother for it. Consequently, I have plenty of photos that prove first-graders have no business playing with blue eye shadow. My first purchase was probably a taupe eye shadow from Club Monaco. I bought it (and three other individual shadows in various earthy tones) during a family trip to Canada around age 10. Oh, how my eye makeup taste has matured over the years. It's the perfect crease color to add a bit of definition, and it makes a perfect ash-blond brow powder for my light eyebrows. I'm using present tense here because I still use it today. I tossed the other three shades I purchased on that trip years ago—I swear this is the only extremely expired product I own. I'm always on the lookout for something similar to replace my 15-year-old brow powder soul mate, but who knows if I will ever part with it. Laura Geller's Brow Sculpting Palette in Taupe comes pretty close.
My mom wouldn't let me wear makeup when I was in middle school, except for a little of her foundation to cover my breakouts (middle school is tough, man). Of course, the devious child that I was felt that I needed some eye makeup to balance out the foundation, so I took a walk up to the local drugstore and bought the most basic black tube of Covergirl mascara I could find. I swiped a layer or two on my lashes and walked into the living room like nothing was different and waited to see if my mom would. Eventually, she did, but she saw that it wasn't too over-the-top, and let me wear it from there on out. What a little mischievous kid I was!
The one that stands out is Udderly Smooth Udder Cream. I read in some fashion magazine as a teen that it was Gwyneth Paltrow's go-to allover moisturizer. I was (er… am) completely obsessed with all things Paltrow, so I tried it out. I have to say that and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick ($3) remain two of my all-time favorite drugstore beauty products. They are all natural and incredibly hydrating to the skin without any addictive chemicals. The Udder Cream makes legs glow without the slick feeling you get from an oil. It's great for daytime and is wicked cheap.