My High School Makeup Look

flowers yorkville

Kids have gone back to school this week and with today being Throwback Thursday, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane back to when I was in high school, and talk about the makeup I used on a daily basis. I honestly can’t believe I graduated from high school 10 years ago, as it really doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. I did some digging through Facebook for some old photos of myself, and I think it’s so crazy comparing myself at 16 and 17 compared to 16 and 17 year olds now—do teens just not go through an awkward stage anymore?

Anyways, even though I’m still pretty minimal with my makeup today, back in high school I was extremely minimal—as in my makeup bag consisted of like 5 products and that’s it. And that’s mostly because I was completely clueless with makeup and didn’t have much of an interest in exploring it. I shopped exclusively at Walmart for all of my makeup, and once I started working at 16, treating myself to more makeup or higher end products never even crossed my mind, as I really had no interest in it. Instead, my paycheques went to treating myself to new clothes from places like Hollister, Boathouse and American Eagle, as I was way more into having new clothes than new makeup.

But this post isn’t about my high school fashion sense—though I could totally do a separate post on that. Instead, let’s look back at my high school makeup, specifically grade 11 and 12, as I can barely remember grade 9 and 10, which were really awkward years for me, and they were also before Facebook. So, without further ado, here’s my face at 16 and 17!

high school collage
My makeup pretty much always looked the same, with varying amounts of eyeliner.


I think I was around 16 when the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation came out, and I was sucked right into it like most teens then. I had never seen a foundation with a mousse-like texture, and as an acne-prone teen, the idea of having airbrushed, flawless skin sounded too good to be true. I haven’t used this since high school, so I honestly can’t even remember if it was good or not, but I do remember being so mesmerized with how it made my skin look. I also remember the shade match being terrible.

Another makeup release I remember needing to try was the Covergirl Outlast All-Day Ultimate Finish 3-in-1 Foundation, as it was both a cream foundation and concealer that dried to a powder aka one less step in my already incredibly short makeup routine. This stuff was greasy, didn’t sit right on my face and broke me out. Honestly, I have no idea how this product is still around, as Covergirl should have discontinued it years ago.

covergirl makeup throwback
I actually found a photo of me on Facebook holding the compact! Probably struggling to close it, as it never closed properly either.

A powder I did fall in love with towards the end of grade 12—that sadly was discontinued—was the Maybelline Mineral Power Finishing Veil Pressed Powder. I remember using this and thinking, “Yes. This is how face powder should look on the skin.” It had great coverage, helped with shine and didn’t break me out.

foundation throwback
My top contenders.


Even though my high school makeup look was by no means terrible, the worst part of my look was definitely my eyebrows. That’s because I felt the need to over pluck them, despite the fact they were already thin and sparse to begin with. I also had no idea filling in your eyebrows was something you could do—I thought you either filled them in like the goth kids, or not at all. When it came to eye makeup though, I only needed two things—black eyeliner and black mascara. I’m pretty sure the eyeliner I used in high school was the Maybelline Line Express Eyeliner, as it had a smudger on the one end, so I could soften the look if I wanted to. For mascara, I pretty much only used the L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara, which is still an amazing mascara for length and volume.

eye makeup throwback
All I need in this life of sin.


Along with being self-conscious about my skin breaking out, I was also self-conscious about having chapped lips, so I was constantly applying lip balm. I almost always had my Blistex Medicated Berry Lip Balm in my school bag, but I also loved my Lip Smackers because they smelt great and tasted pretty great too. I also started using Smith’s Rosebud Salve in grade 12 because it gave my lips a glossy look and the tin looked so much cooler than a tub of Vaseline.

lip product throwback
I haven’t used Blistex in years, but I still use Rosebud Salve, and I’ll always love Lip Smacker.

And that was literally it for my high school makeup look. I didn’t fuss with things like bronzer or blush—my cheeks already had a permanent flush to them, as I was always either anxious or intoxicated. And even though I had a couple of eye shadows (aka Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadows and Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips), they were foreign territory to me. So, all that was left was to straighten my hair into oblivion with my Chi Straightener and douse myself in ‘Love Spell’ by Victoria’s Secret, which I picked up on my yearly shopping trip to Buffalo, NY.

What did your high school makeup look like? Did you also use any of these products?


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