My first foray into the world of makeup was when I was a pre-teen shopping at CVS with my grandmother. Self-conscious about my acne, I convinced her to buy me some foundation. I left the drugstore excited, expecting a brand-new, flawless face. Instead, I was disappointed to end up with my usual pimply skin, but with an additional cakey, orange layer. It was extremely demoralizing. I didn’t try makeup again for the rest of middle and high school.
Fast-forward many years later, and I’m a beauty writer. Funny how these things happen. I’ve tried a lot of products since I first started writing about makeup, and at a certain point it’s easy to think you’ve seen it all. But, recently, I discovered something that I had missed out on during my no-makeup youth: gimmicky makeup. Even though I’m out of my teen years, I’m not ashamed of having completely embraced it. It’s fun and surprising, and the focus isn’t always on how to look as pretty as possible.
Now, I basically want all of my makeup to be magic (or, at least, technology that I mistake for magic). Maybe it’s left over from my Harry Potter obsession, maybe it’s my way of quietly rebelling against the beauty industry’s focus on fixing “flaws,” or maybe I just like the novelty. Whatever it is, I will almost certainly one day be an 80-year-old woman pushing all the tweens out of the way for the latest color-changing nail polish — and proud of it.
Read on to learn which gimmicky goodies are actually pretty amazing.