These Women Shared Their Most Intimate Makeup Stories And They're Inspiring

It’s easy to get lost in Reddit’s MAUCJDISCUSSION threads - the page is literally an endless scroll of questions, answers, stories, tips, and tricks from professional makeup artists, amateur cosmetologists, and makeup newbies alike. 

The anonymity of the internet, and Reddit in particular, means that women really open and tell their stories. The comments on the “What is your makeup story?” and “When did you first start wearing makeup?” threads are honest, vulnerable, and 100% inspiring. People share when they first started wearing makeup, their inspirational makeup stories, and how the coming-of-age nature of discovering makeup has influenced who they are today.

Here are the most heartwarming, tear-jerking, and I-can-totally-relate makeup stories from Reddit.

  • It's Never Too Late To Get In The Makeup Game

    From whenthereisfire:

    "In middle school I wore thick black eyeliner all over my eyelids and about an inch below them as well with nothing else, not even mascara. In high school, I would either wear no makeup or black eyeliner in my entire waterline and maaaaaybe some mascara, but nothing else. Then I stopped wearing makeup completely for like five years except for 'special occasions' when I would wear the black eyeliner/mascara combo.

    "A little over a year ago I got one of those Ulta deals where if you spend $20 on Ulta brand products, you get a makeup bag full of stuff. I got one of their palettes, which I've since given away, and used the makeup that came in the GWP bag for a little bit. I got roped into buying this Mary Kay starter kit which was a terrible decision, but I ended up using their powder foundation which actually isn't that bad. That was the first foundation I ever wore since the couple times I had tried liquid foundation I thought it felt weird on my skin.

    "That was my routine for about nine months until I found this subreddit, and subsequently the YouTube makeup community, and decided I wanted to start learning more about makeup. I really started getting into it in February of this year and even though it hasn't been that long, I think I've come really far. I've spent way too much money trying out tons of products and spent a lot of nights practicing makeup, wiping it off, and then practicing again. I've completely immersed myself in learning about makeup and it's given me so much more confidence. I've always been self conscious about my appearance but it's better now than it ever has been. People in my life are surprised that I've suddenly become so into something I had never shown interest in, and at times criticized, but I've received a ton of positive feedback and compliments on my makeup since I've started getting better. Obviously there's still a ton of stuff I can learn, but I feel like practicing as much as I have has made me pretty skilled in a relatively short period of time."

  • Over-The-Top Recital Makeup

    From NickohlRose:

    "The first time that I ever used makeup I was about 10 or 12. I had just joined a dance group and for the concerts we needed to wear colorful lipstick. I remember mum taking out her 'beauty box' and applying makeup on my face. I clearly remember thinking that I looked atrocious (I really did) because mum had decided to do 'Stage Makeup'. It wasn't actually stage makeup - mum was just bad at doing makeup on others." 

  • A Late Bloomer

    From marchengineer:

    "[I started wearing makeup] ha, in the past month. Literally the first week of September. So [the first time using makeup was at the] age of 23, a few months after graduating. My mother never wore it, I have no sisters, my fiance's mom doesn't wear it, and my fiance only has brothers. I went to a college where the ratio of guys to girls was 2:1, so not much help there either.

    "I got makeup done at a MAC counter because I was trying to decide if I even wanted to wear it for my wedding. The guy was very nice; he was quite amused by my reactions to stuff, especially anything that touched my eyes, and he helped put me at ease. He suggested I get my eyebrows threaded. I didn't know eyebrow shaping was even a thing. I was pretty surprised and originally weirded out, but it turned out I liked the result so... I kept going. That, and the lipsticks. I really liked the one lipstick he got me, so I wanted more.

    "So uh, you're not the only one who was pretty late to the game. I'm still very definitely a beginner. I kind of wish I had friends who were into makeup as well, so I can ask them about it, but until then I'll continue to mostly-lurk in this sub."

  • Talk About Under-Eye Circles

    From MIZSD:

    "I got my first makeup in junior high. Just some black eyeliner on the waterline and a compact foundation from Covergirl. Got into mascara in high school. But up to this point, I would only wear makeup occasionally. I loved sleeping in too much to bother. (Still do).

    "I stole a bronzer from my roommate my 3rd year of college (sorry, Laura). But had no idea what it was for. I hated how bright my under-eyes were. They seemed to not match the rest of my face, so I would put bronzer under my eyes. YES. I'M SERIOUS.

    "4th year of college I got some Bare Minerals foundation. Still focusing it on my under-eyes of course. Started watching YouTube videos my Super-senior year of college and got obsessed with finding the perfect red lipstick. It all spiraled from there."

  • It's An Artist's Palette

    From alk3killjoy:

    "I'm a future grad student (took a year off to save/get in), but I grew up with divorced parents. One set was well-off, the other is technically at the poverty level. A very weird dichotomy.

    "My mother has always sold Mary Kay (She does not use it for profit, instead she uses the 50% discount to get cheaper prices for her coworkers and friends), so I grew up knowing how to apply makeup. I have always been a multi-brand user and started wearing makeup way too young, when I was in 6th grade. It became a problem as I grew obsessed with lip gloss and fashion/beauty mags.

    "In school I floated through many groups. Wannabe Goth who got along with lots of people.

    "'Emo' phase with stupid hair and too much smudgy eyeliner.

    "My mother encouraged it, my dad and stepmom HATED my obsession with makeup.

    "Nowadays, I have a more professional/enhancing approach so they think it's great. My mom is actually less knowledgeable than me now!

    "My makeup and self-esteem relationship is great. I use my face as my artist's palette. I don't always wear it but frequently do, and it's a tool to accentuate my features or express myself. I don't really judge others on their makeup choices because I don't find the point in having that negative mindset.

    "I love makeup, but it's pretty much just a vehicle for consumerism. I'm neutral, sorry. I hate that it's expensive sometimes but I love using makeup and exploring new products. As long as I can afford it, I'll keep being a consumerist groupie."

  • From Humble Emo Beginnings To Full Out Makeup Obsession

    From xxx___xxx:

    "I started to get interested in make up after fan-girling over Pete Wentz's "guyliner" and Gerard Way's intense red eyeshadows. It was the era of the scene/emo phase and I had a LOT of black eyeliner. I would sneak into my mom's room to use her eyeliner, until she finally got me some make up of my own.

    "As I got older, I started to shift away from that and got into more neutral looks. I only wore eyeliner, some eyeshadows, and shaded my eyebrows (even though they were unshaped) in throughout high school. I couldn't go without doing my eyeliner, because I always thought my eyes looked too small without it. (I am Asian and was made fun of a lot for the shape of my eyes). I never wore foundation, blush, or anything else.

    "Now that I'm in college and can afford to buy my own make up, my love for make up has finally reached the point of obsession. I love researching products, reading reviews, and watching videos. I buy more middle/high end products now, but thankfully, my spending hasn't gone overboard. (I am a nail tech so I get a lot of pro beauty discounts that help!) I make long lists of things I need and want and usually will buy things I need (ie. if I run out of foundation, I allow myself to buy a new one or repurchase) before I buy something I want. (ie. that limited edition pink lipstick I want even though I have 20 similar shades).

    "I've definitely evolved and I now love blushes, highlighters, and brushes. Things I never thought about in high school. I'm still trying to figure out a "signature" look and process.

    "It's a hobby and I love putting make up on, but surprisingly I don't wear it every day. I used to have to depend on make up and would be 30 minutes late to everything because I wouldn't leave the house without putting anything on. Now, I usually wear a full face once a week when I go out with friends or brows/eyeliner on work/school days. I've gotten a lot lazier and more accepting of my appearance without makeup!

    "I love makeup in general. It's something that can connect people. I think it's pretty positive and brings out creativity. I would say the downsides are the aspects of consumerism that's being implemented in the younger generation by bloggers/YouTube celebs."