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They say you never forget your first love. Similarly, some never forget the first time they applied a lipstick or spritzed some perfume behind their ears. Today, Mintel Beauty analysts share their first beauty memory – the moment they realised they were madly, deeply and hopelessly in love with the beauty world.

Alex Fisher, Global Skincare Analyst (based in the UK)

My first foray into beauty was at the age of 7, flicking through the 1995/96 Argos catalogue to choose what I wanted for Christmas. On my way to the toy section, I paused on a page full of makeup palettes. I’d seen my mum and older sister using makeup before, and this colourful page full of eyeshadows, blushers, nail polishes and lip glosses really drew me in – I couldn’t wait to get involved in this world of high glamour! Obviously, my mum said I was too young, but two years later I got a gorgeous heart-shaped palette for my birthday. I. Was. Hooked.

However, my earliest memory of beauty was the Oil of Ulay Beauty Fluid bottle on my mum’s dressing room table. This was before the global alignment of Olay in the late 90s/early 00s, and to me this bottle is absolutely iconic. My mum is a beauty brand’s dream – once she finds something that works, she is fiercely loyal, and she used Beauty Fluid every morning and night without fail. These days she regularly gets mistaken as 10 years younger than she actually is, and always credits Olay. Maybe that’s why I’ve ended up being so obsessed with skincare!

Graciana Mendez, Senior Regional Insights Analyst – Latin America (based in Brazil)

When I saw Lush’s campaign “We The Bathers”, that explores the fascinating relationship we have with bathing and water across the world, it really connected with me.

One of my most pleasant childhood memories is my grandmother preparing what seemed to me the most luxurious bath you could think of. She had a huge bathtub and the most amazing bath products. I was 9 years old and I was learning all about the power of bathing and what having ‘me time’ means. I especially remember a big bottle with bubble liquid that was really precious to her and lasted many years. She only used just a tiny bit each time because it was really powerful. She had bought in Miami in the eighties. It had a heavenly scent and a creamy/milky texture that left the skin super smooth. I still remember the clouds of fluffy lather floating along the surface!

Many years later, I was a new mom who had baby twins and, of course I was sleepless, exhausted and overwhelmed, when I remembered that bath ritual my grandmother had passed on to me. So I decided to honor that tradition and took it up. This time I was living in Mexico and had no bathtub, but every day at around 6 pm, I would take a hot shower to experience the wonderful feeling of water massaging my back while releasing all that stress and weariness. That’s when I fully understood what Lush’s campaign is all about: “Water is life.”

Lauren Goodsitt, Global Beauty Analyst (based in the US)

For some, a love of beauty develops overtime; for me, the passion has long run through my veins. As a little girl, I admired shiny magenta manicures and perfect berry pouts. I constantly begged my mom to allow me to fulfill my destiny of becoming glamorous. On route to maturing into the glitzy woman I dreamed to be, I developed an undeniable adoration of glitter. My sparkling days began around age ten with ‘Art Stuff roll-on glitter’ from Bath and Body Works. Each morning, I carefully selected pink, green or blue glitter to match my outfits and then proceeded to cover myself head-to-toe in glitter. Next, I moved into phase two – Covergirl Eye Slicks in Snow Princess, a white shimmering eye crayon that I would use to carefully line my upper lids. Phase two lasted for longer than I care to admit. To this day, my love of glitter and glamour persists: the pull for all that glistens and gleams is forever instilled in my being!

Sharon Kwek, Associate Director – Southeast Asia, Beauty & Personal Care (based in Singapore)

One of my fondest beauty memories goes back more than two decades, when Hazeline Snow (what we call today a multi-functional or one-size-fits-all beauty product) was like the SKII of today. Not in terms of price point, obviously, but in terms of reputation and how it was similarly a star item said to work wonders for the skin. I remember my mum and grandma both swearing by this lovely cream that is simple and classic. Hazeline Snow was a soft cream containing 50% of Hazeline (witch hazel extract). It was largely used as a moisturiser and primer before makeup application. This is the packaging I grew up with. The aluminium lid was signature and it was needed to reduce the possibility of corrosion from the oil-in-water emulsion:

… But it had a revised look and a bit of product extension over the years:

I rarely see it these days. Skincare products used to be so much simpler and easy to understand compared to now. Today, people from early generations, like my mum, struggle a little to keep up with beauty innovations and to fully grasp the difference in functionalities between products like essence, serum, lotion and cream.

Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Innovation and Insight, Beauty & Personal Care (based in the UK)

I immediately think of my grandmother when I look back to my first experience of beauty products. I used to spend a lot of time with her and one of my abiding memories of Grandma is of her smoothing Oil of Ulay all over her face and hands (just like Alex’s mum!). I can still see the pale pink fluid and smell the light fragrance. In those days, it came in a glass bottle, which I thought was the height of sophistication. I think of my other grandmother in terms of brands like Fidji and Bronnley, as I would save my pocket money and buy her their gift boxes for Christmas/Chanukah. Many years later, I went to the Museum of Brands in London to interview the owner and found that I was almost in tears as I walked past the many packaging incarnations of various iconic beauty products, as they reminded me of so many happy memories.

My second beauty memory goes back to my hopeless experiments with make-up. When I was about 15, my parents gave me a No7 make-up set in the shape of an artist’s palette. It must have held about 16 different eyeshadow colours, and I tried to be suitably artistic by using as many shades as possible on my eyelids. Blues, pinks, greens, browns… I used them all, ineptly but enthusiastically. Sadly, I don’t think my skills have progressed since those days.

Rosalia Di Gesu, Senior Innovation Analyst (based in the UK)

For me, my first beauty memory has got to be putting on lipstick – must have been red – as a teenager, or probably much younger! You can’t beat that sense of how makeup can make you feel more grown up or beautiful. Nail varnish was another beauty must-have as a teen. I remember experimenting a lot with different colours and having tons or products, much to the chagrin of my father, who I remember complaining about the potent smell of my polishes way back when!