Makeup Memories

Makeup Memories

My interest in makeup is flagging now, but I think I've always held an interest for it.  Several of my most vivid memories have some connection to makeup, with a few related to my mother.

My mother was a teacher in South Korea and the most beautiful and accomplished woman.  She graduated from Seoul National University and while even today, that would be a huge accomplishment, she did it in an age when women truly were not expected to attend such a school.  I recall her leaving to go outside in smart tailored suits and a bright lipstick and smelling of that "cosmetic" scent.  You know this scent, it's what a Coty Airspun powder smells like and then some violet-type scent that you can feel nostalgic over when you get a sniff of Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose or Chanel's Misia.  

 From a 70's Korea exhibit at the Sejong Art Museum in Seoul, Korea

From a 70's Korea exhibit at the Sejong Art Museum in Seoul, Korea

Rummaging through her drawer and coming upon her coral lipstick in a gold case was thrilling (even more thrilling than the check out button on a website!).  Dear mom, I apologize for squishing the lipstick bullet with the top.  I never confessed but perhaps she always knew it was me.

I immigrated to the US when I was seven years-old.  My father was a doctoral student at NYU my parents expected for him to complete his degree and for us to go back to Korea for him to take on a professor post at some university.  We never went back.  I may have mentioned growing up poor and it was definitely the case.  My dad was a full time student and my mother was a secretary in a church.  I mentioned spending $3,000 since November in this post, and back then I'm pretty sure my parent's yearly income was around $12,000.  We qualified for free lunch in school.  I went to a parochial school where we wore uniforms.  I used to get in trouble from the teacher for rolling up the sleeves of my shirt but I did it because they were short on me as I grew bigger and we could afford more than a 1x a year trip to the store to get uniform clothing.

Even in this context, one year, my mother got one of those HUGE Estée Lauder eye shadow palettes.  (Maybe it was a gift from a friend?)  It must have easily have had 50 shades in them.  It was a veritable smorgasbord of 80's colors in all sorts of hideous frosty finishes.  I loved playing with this.

Being the model minority that I was, I spent a lot of free time at the library.  The local public library was about a mile away, which is pretty far on kid legs.  But I'd go at least a few times a week to satiate my voracious reading habits.  During the summer time, the air conditioning was such a relief.  I didn't have a fan in my apartment.  My sister and I would walk another half mile over to the drugstore and spend a good hour walking through everything in the cosmetics aisles.  My older sister had a subscription to Seventeen magazine and would read up on must have this or that.  99% sure that even back in the day, Maybelline Great Lash was supposed to be the best mascara EVER.  She and I scraped up enough money to buy and tube and wonder why it smeared all over the place and did nothing for our short and straight Asian lashes.  Even back then marketing hype was disappointing!

Perhaps I've always had a taste for luxurious overspending with associated regretfulness.  One year my mom had crimped for a long time to purchase a Burberry trench.  It had leather buckles and leather covered buttons.  She had taken it to a local cleaners and they ruined the leather on the coat.  My mother was so mad and so upset that she cried.  This is a memory that makes me feel terrible for her.  I understand this because I can relate having something expensive and precious ruined.  Maybe there is also some guilt related to a exorbitant purchase for oneself (and she was always focused on everyone else and never her own self usually).


I was thinking about how I can use this blog for purposes other than the normal share photos and swatches kind of blog.  There are so many blogs and YouTube channels that do that.  (As an aside, please check out my YT channel.  I am mainly exercising my video editing muscle.  Trust that I am no YT guru.  LOL)  These days, it's nearly impossible to be in a forum that requires such an investment in time and money (to buy ALLLL the shades in a range of something!).  I'd still like to share products from time to time, but I'd like to shift the focus a bit along the lines of what you read in this post.  Maybe future posts will have zero related to makeup altogether.

Thank you for taking time to read me!

Pat McGrath Labs - MTHRSHP Subliminal Platinum Bronze Palette

Pat McGrath Labs - MTHRSHP Subliminal Platinum Bronze Palette

Nature of Spending