10 years ago, magazines were predominantly what we used as teenagers to hear about new products, and see reviews for products, as the internet wasn’t even a glimmer of what it is now. Professionals used to be quoted in these articles, and writers would do a journalism degree to be qualified for their jobs. I knew I wanted to be a beauty writer in high school, but I didn’t feel confident becoming a journalist. At school that they had told us that the journalism world was changing drastically, and we probably wouldn’t even have magazines and newspapers in 10 years (spoiler, we do, but far less!). It was difficult to tell whether a beauty writer was telling the truth when they reviewed a product, or whether it was a paid advertorial or not.
Around 2011, blogs and YouTube exploded the internet and suddenly we had honest, everyday people sharing their opinions on products. These days, blogging is the way of finding out about new releases and reviews as a standard, and many bloggers make a full time living from their content! It’s a far cry from the qualified writers of yesteryear. Blogging has had to grow quickly with the rise of the internet for these purposes, as regulatory bodies have had to come into place to ensure consumers know when content is paid for or gifted, versus completely genuine.
My first memories of makeup are those of using children’s play makeup at age eight, playing with friends and using those massive eyeshadow palettes with a range of shades – where we’d mostly end up using the shade blue! My next memory is around 15 in 2007 when my friends and I would play around with similar eyeshadow shades (blue, blue and bluer) but from smaller palettes from Maybelline and Revlon that our parents didn’t want anymore (geez, I wonder why!).
Around 16 was when I started learning a little bit more about makeup. One of my friends in high school wore makeup often when she was allowed and offered to play around with doing my face one day, just for fun with foundation, a tiny bit of mascara and a tiny bit of eyeshadow, lipstick and blush. When I got home, my mum was quite impressed with how not made-up I looked for 16 and was happy for me to buy these items from the drugstore/supermarket for special occasion usage. At that point, I was still only allowed to wear tinted moisturiser and a little bit of mascara. My school had a strict no makeup, no special hair colours, no nail polish rule and girls who turned up at school with it on would frequently be taken to the bathroom to wash off.
I used this makeup for my year 10 formal (special occasion, am I right?) and loved my look at the time, even though looking back it was so greasy and not suited to my skin!
In year 11 aged 17, mum decided I wasn’t to use drugstore items anymore and took me to spend my pocket money at the Estee Lauder stand at Myer when they had a gift with purchase offer on. I got Double Wear foundation, an eyeliner and a few other items before receiving the GWP bag that had an eyeshadow quad and mascaras etc. This was my first taste of higher end makeup, and I loved that my makeup matched the shade of my face for once.
Once I graduated school I started wearing basic makeup every day I went to university, shopping or clubbing and slowly improved. I switched to MAC bases sometime in university as I was starting to find my skin changed from oily to dry/combination once I went on the pill, previously I had been a teenage oil slick!!
I started learning about eyebrows, blush and bronzer at some point mid-degree and started trying out brands like Benefit, just from what I had read from magazines. The internet, blogs and YouTube were starting to take off right when I was in university and I remember the first time I googled how to do something like braid my hair and being amazed that someone could teach me online via video tutorial!
That brings me to today, where 2015 to 2018 have somewhat merged makeup wise, where I have explored things like full eyeshadow palettes, from quads, trying a variety of foundations, concealers and powders, amassing a collection of blush, bronzers and highlighters I never thought I would need – and finally, becoming cruelty-free.
The stage in my life where I would buy every new release I wanted and struggle to pay rent and bills feels like it was so long, but it was realistically only about 18 months. I would literally leave myself no money, but have 8 eyeshadow palettes and 30+ lipsticks!
Mid 2016, I decided I was never going to be satisfied if I continued to be “all about the products” instead of about the finished look or the technique. I decided to look into ways to improve my relationship with beauty, and I found places like Reddit’s “Makeup Rehab”, “Muacjdiscussion” to be the best places to talk about makeup as a whole, not just “buy buy buy”. I started trying to use everything in my collection to decide if I actually enjoyed it, or just bought it because it was new.
Further discovery of the Konmari method and minimalism, in general, brought me to 2017, where I was constantly asking myself “Does this bring me joy? Do I really enjoy this more than another item?” until I had my collection smaller. I never wanted to have a collection that filled the Ikea Alex Drawers as I find that overwhelming. I watch loads of makeup collection videos with Alex Drawers, and I love the look – but for me, it’s not necessary.
Mid 2017, I started transitioning to a cruelty-free beauty lifestyle. This cut my collection down further as many of my most used brands were not cruelty-free. I started trying out brands I had not used much of before because they were cruelty-free, and being pleasantly surprised!
In 2018, I hope to refine my collection a little bit more, wear more of what I have, work out where I don’t wear a category often (e.g. lipsticks) and destash some more of this.
What’s your beauty journey?