What was the first perfume you wore? The first makeup product? The first skin care product you bought? Buckle your seat belts and be prepared for a walk down memory lane as I admit to some of my firsts!
I was a tomboy growing up and not much into the fussiness of being a girl. I hated wearing dresses, having my hair done, putting on makeup and adorning myself with jewelry. I’ve sure come a long way!
Despite being anti anything remotely girlish, I still didn’t escape attention from boys. In first grade, one boy who was sweet on me gifted me with a simple gold ring with a small round diamond-like stone in it. Being in first grade, I believed it was a diamond and I was very concerned that he had swiped this precious piece from a jewelry box belonging to his mother or someone else close to him.
I distinctly recall bringing it to my mom who informed me that it was an Avon ring and “not worth much” so I had nothing to fear. The ring was way too big for my teeny fingers, so I promptly placed it in my jewelry box where it lived for decades. I never wore it, but I’ve also never forgotten it. It has been a constant source of anxiety for me because I never attempted to return it to the boy or whomever it rightfully belonged to. I’ve always feared that the ring’s owner frantically looked for the ring and wondered what had happened to it. If the ring was yours, I’m the hussy your son gave it to and I’m sorry I didn’t return it – for what little that is worth. I’d return it now except that it was stolen when my apartment was broken into nearly 20 years ago. I was completely brokenhearted about losing that piece (among several other sentimental jewelry pieces). I hope it brings you some comfort that it was treasured!
Sometime during my stinky preteen years, my mom gave me Avon’s Sweet Honesty Cologne which was the only scent I used until halfway through high school when it became the in thing for girls to wear scents that were geared towards boys (e.g., Brut, Polo, etc.) so we could smell like the boys we liked. Interestingly, this is still one of my favorite things to do: wear a masculine scent and “pretty it up” by layering other, more feminine, scents on top of it. While my mom certainly got the vanilla note right in my fragrance preferences, she missed the boat with the heavy floral notes which are my least favorite. I wasn’t fussy (or sophisticated) in my scent preferences back then, so Sweet Honesty was a staple for many years.
I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I turned 16 but, prior to that, I had begged relentlessly and was finally allowed to wear a light peach Maybelline blush and a tinted Avon lip balm (their now discontinued Slick Tints in a wine color). Once I started wearing makeup in earnest, the light peach Maybelline and wine colored Slick Tint remained in rotation for many years. The majority of the cosmetics in my first true makeup bag were Maybelline, Cover Girl or Wet n Wild.
Skin care wasn’t really a thing as I primarily just washed my face with Ivory Bar Soap, but I did occasionally use Clearasil Acne Treatment Pads which I’m positively horrified to admit that I also used to remove makeup with.
When did the caliber of product start to rise? When I met my ex-husband. His mom was a Beauty for All Seasons consultant who did a full color consult on me and gifted me many products that were much nicer than what I’d been using. Following that, I became friends with a couple of girls whose mom sold Mary Kay and I got hooked on the sensitive skin care line, which I used until it was discontinued years later – to be honest, I still haven’t forgiven them for discontinuing that line.
Avon worked its way back into my heart and life when a friend of mine started selling it shortly after high school. The prices and quality were terrific, so I started replacing non-Avon products with Avon branded ones over time. At 24, when I moved to Oregon with my ex-husband and two small children, I decided to become an Avon rep so I could get all of my products at a discount, which was a huge help to the small family budget!
I’ve since tried many other makeup and skin care brands. Occasionally a product will woo me away from its Avon equivalent (and usually because Avon lacks an equivalent) but, inevitably, I always end up coming back. I keep coming full circle. Like a ring.