Stealing from Mom


I’ve always loved makeup. Sit on that and imagine me as a child. I have caboodles upon caboodles of kid-friendly makeup. It starts with clear glosses from Claire’s that I spot next to the earrings that make your ears turn green. I graduate to tinted moisturizer (Benefit’s You Rebel), then mascara, and then blush. It is never enough. My mom, who can take credit for ensuring her teenage daughter never looks like a child of Jezebel, will learn about my planetary appetite for makeup the hard way.

I’m not sure where it starts, but mom definitely has some fancy mascara. It makes her lashes look like one of the dolls in my closet. The creepy porcelain ones that are too pretty to throw away after 15 minutes of glorification, so they’re tossed in the back next to Halloween costumes and Beanie Babies that I thought would make me rich.

Anyway, the mascara is called Volume Effet Faux Cils by Yves Saint Laurent and I’ll use it on and off for the next decade. On, being when I can justify a $30 purchase that should theoretically be dumped after 3 months. Off, when I’ve blown my beauty budget on another gold nugget of makeup that I absolutely need (and if you’re wondering, right now I’m on).

Did I mention my mom also has a nifty gold pen that illuminates complexions? It too, is by Yves Saint Laurent and it’s called Touche Éclat. I’ll be sure to leave enough formula so mom can use it a few more times because sharing is caring. The best part is that now (like 2014, now) Touche Éclat is offered in more colors to better match skin tones. Score.

Watching my mother prepare for work some mornings, I observe she smudges a gooey white paste on her eyelids, followed by eye shadow. My mom tells me it’s so the eye shadow won’t wear off over the course of the day. Kewl. Now my eye shadow can stay put at school as I work my Beyoncé phase. I look more like Rudy Huxtable, actually, which is okay because Beyoncé would have been too much for these suckas in AP Chem anyway. Oh, and I’ll still use that gooey white paste on my eyelids in my 20s. It will be by Blinc and will keep my eye shadow in place during the most disrespectful D.C. summers.

Mom’s signature piece is her Clinique blush in Dusty Rose (this is a similar 2014 version). As a teenager, I like this blush a lot. Not because it’s the only blush I’ve ever tried, but because it’s the best, mmm K? I siphon a cheek’s worth almost daily. Mom will never notice. Many years later, the stars will align in her favor, and I’ll share some of my Clinique Cheek Pop blushes, like Plum Pop for a bright flush, and Ginger Pop for a warm glow. But not too much, don’t want mom to take all of my makeup; that would be rude!

Back to mom and dad’s house, where mom comes home with some fancy conditioner and oil. When I read the labels, Kérastase Nutritive Masquintense and Sérum Oléo Relax, I start to wonder if I should have studied French over Spanish. Or at the very least Latin, so I can boost my PSAT verbal score. Anyway, they smell like perfume. I’m 15 and my only frame of reference for fragrance is Ralph and Bath and Body Works’ Cucumber Melon. It smells better than both. The mask softens my hair like no conditioner before. This is helpful because I won’t discover natural hair care sites for another 5 years. Not much changed in the following decade, although I use Kérastase’s Masque Elixir Ultime and Elixir Ultime Crème Fine now.

So that was me growing up in the shadow of my mom’s incredible beauty stash. I came, I saw, I conquered, and as always, I owe mom a thank you and an apology, all wrapped in one. Happy Mother’s Day!

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6 comments on “Stealing from Mom

  1. Erin Ashley says:

    Love this post!

  2. Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady. Thanks for a great read. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

  3. I love this, so warm and personal.