A lot of people are surprised to learn that my makeup collection is comprised of mainly drugstore products. And to be honest, it surprises me sometimes too. Over the past 13 years of writing about and reviewing makeup and skincare, I've tested a lot of products across various price points but what I use every day falls toward the lower end of luxury.
In my teens and twenties, I lived for a department store makeup counter. As a 90's teen, Clinique was certainly the entry point: the sketchy 3-step skincare regimen, Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, and an iconic green-swirled powder compact were IT for me. By college, Clinique was shoved in the back of my makeup drawer in favor of Bobbi Brown, Benefit and Origins. I worked at the mall throughout college and spent all of my breaks and most of my paycheck from Lane Bryant at those counters.
It will probably come as no surprise to anyone with a few years and a 401K under their belts that as a 20-something woman working an entry-level job, I couldn't actually afford the $25 Bobbi Brown bronzer or $30 Origins body lotion. Every time I swiped my credit card to make one of those purchases, the pit in my stomach grew along with the outstanding balance and I would defiantly vow to myself that, "Once I'm a real grown up, I'll only buy high end." Don't worry - the stupidity of all that is not lost on me.
I am now a real grown up and guess what? I don't want to regularly spend my money on $49 eyeshadow palettes and $35 highlighters. I want to spend it on lots of things: books, and my home, squeaky toys my dog will play with once and then ignore, dinners out with friends, trips with my husband, and new plants to fill that bare spot in my garden.
Even more so, I no longer reach for my credit card to buy self-esteem. Because that's absolutely what I was doing as a younger woman. I wanted to fit in with the other girls in the locker room during high school, and brandishing a Clinique compact was one way to do that. I felt insignificant at my first job out of college, where I pulled paper off a fax machine and delivered it to someone who literally sat less than one foot from the damn machine, so I'd drive over to the mall during lunch and buy a new lipstick or eyeshadow or literally anything that would give me enough of a lift to face an afternoon of faxes back at the office.
I appreciate the democratization of makeup, these days. There's something for everyone, at almost every price point and in a variety of store types. If high-end makeup is something that you love, you have a lot of wonderful products to get excited about. I love that for you. I'm able to look the way I want to with products from the drugstore, and I love that for me.
Note: Yes, that is my actual makeup collection pictured above.
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This is a place to celebrate all the parts of yourself that come with age and experience. I'm here to share with you what I know and to explore with you the many (many) things I don't.