I grew up reading magazines and my family was never rich so I basically started working as a way to be able to buy myself the stuff I read about. My friend beauty purchase was a Lancome Juicy Tube which cost something like $14.50, which I thought was a lot of money at the time. I put it on religiously at my locker between classes while wearing hot pink Steve Madden tennis shoes, flared grey sweatpants similar to ones Britney Spears wore, and a hooded Abercrombie sweatshirt. I felt very adult.
I’m a drugstore junkie when it comes to beauty products for the most part. However, I once received this really badass gift bag after a fancy benefit I was invited to and it included some really nice products. Most notably, I quickly became addicted to this un-wrinkle night cream by Peter Thomas Roth. I was convinced that it was changing my entire face, so when it ran out, I obviously had to replenish my stock. I knew it was a super nice cream, but I was shocked to learn that it cost north of a hundred bucks. I mean, whaaaaat? Still, I was convinced I ~needed~ it, so I splurged. I bought it a few more times before realizing it was a totally unreasonable expenditure given my budget.
The first luxury brand item I ever bought was a Lancome Lip Pencil in Rose. I remember falling in love with how creamy it was compared to my $4 Annabelle Kohl Liner. It stayed on so much longer, and it was the perfect shade of pink for my lips. When I wore it, not only did I feel like it flattered my makeup and my features, but it also helped me to feel confident in myself because wearing lipstick always makes me feel empowered. When they discontinued it I cried a little, and I still haven’t found something that compares to it.
My first ever luxury beauty item was Estee Lauder’s Daywear Face Cream, which I discovered at age 18. Basically my mom got one of those ‘free gift bag’ promotions and one of the things inside was a tiny face cream sample and I was obsessed. It smelled so good that I basically just opened up the sample and sniffed it on the reg, so my mom got me a full-sized version for Christmas. And, even better, it was the version with SPF 15 included because I am a wee little Irish betch and the sun is the monster!!! Thank you mom. I still use this face cream.
I am honestly not a makeup person, mostly because I spend a lot of my time at the beach/in the sun, so it all wipes off anyways! BUT one of the ‘higher end’ brands I’ve received as a gift was the Rodan + Fields eye cream and face moisturizer. I tend to wake up crazy early in the morning to write (and sometimes don’t go to bed as early as originally planned) so I get those super cute puffy bags under my eyes. I love the eye cream because it helps to rejuvenate my skin and make me look way less dead. The moisturizer is also great because when you spend all day in the sun, you get dried out, and I like something that’s less heavy (which this is!) so it doesn’t make my skin feel greasy/oily.
The Clarisonic! Just because everyone was raving about and all these models and celebs kept saying how it cleared their face and made it look soft, smooth and shiny. So I invested in one but honestly I didn’t see that much of a difference. A nice facial cleanser and a good moisturizer will give you the same result for half of the price!
I usually don’t splurge too much on beauty items but my first real splurge was recent – a “gift” collection variety set of Buxom Full-On Lip Polish. I gifted it to myself, pretty much! When I saw the pretty box at Sephora, I knew I had to have it. I rarely wear lip gloss but I got hooked on trying the various colors. They really make your lips stand out and add that extra shine for that special occasion! I also loved purchasing the Kat Von D “precision” ink eyeliner along with it. I adored how easy it was to use to create that perfect cat eye look.
I have incredibly oily eyelids (sry) and also an affinity for wearing dark eyeliner. When I was a freshman in high school, I would always buy some cheap kohl liner from the drugstore that would, within a matter of hours, transfer to my brow bone and it was just…not a good luck and also messed with my badass/biker chick vibe I was trying to go for. Eventually, I was able to purchase a retractable liner for, like, $14.40 from Clinique that did not budge and it was my first introduction to the expensive makeup world. I remember feeling so fancy walking out of the department store. Today I still won’t buy cheap ass eyeliner but have strayed from Ashlee Simpson circa early 2000’s smokey liner look and do a cat eye almost every time I do wear makeup.
My mom was a total Department Store Babe so it’s no surprise that my first beauty purchase came straight from the Clinique counter. I had pretty bad skin during my teens and so the Clinique Three-Step Skincare Line was an obvious choice for something I needed given what I was working with. After getting that line I got it in my head that I needed good foundation lest I ruin the base my fancy, department store counter skincare was creating, so I naturally got the Clinique foundation to go with it. Even though I’ve since opted for other products for my actual skincare ~regime~ and foundation, Clinique still holds a special place in my heart. I even still use their ‘Take The Day Off’ every single time I wear makeup.
My mom was very against me wearing makeup as a teen. Other girls I went to school with started wearing eyeliner and mascara in the 7th grade, and she thought that was absolutely ridiculous. I remember my one friend and I would rummage through her makeup bag (she had no idea) and would give each other makeovers with all of her beauty essentials, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, blush. We’d immediately wipe it off once we were done with makeup remover, little devils. She had this Clinique mascara, it’s in a long white tube and has a very simple lengthening brush, and I remember loving the way it made my eyelashes look super long. When I was old enough (and allowed) to buy makeup on my own, I bought that Clinique mascara. She still uses that mascara today, yes, I still rummage through my mother’s makeup bag to see if she has anything good.
I usually stick to cheap, drugstore makeup, but I recently bought Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and it was the best decision for my ‘night out’ looks. I always thought I sucked at creating cat eyes, but it’s so much easier when you have a product that works well. Even though it’s more expensive than what I usually buy, the outcome is well worth the price.
I didn’t really wear makeup or anything fancy till college (I was annoyingly self-righteous about it), and even then I mostly used drugstore brands and free samples. But then one day my friend took me to Sephora and introduced me to Smashbox’s BB cream and I was forever sold.