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A Beauty Chat with My Mom, Rose

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I sat down with my beauty idol to learn more about her best secrets, the discontinued products that she wishes would be reissued, and the one tried-and-true product that she’s been using since high school. (Try this Q&A with your mom on Sunday—you’ll learn so much!)

What was your earliest beauty memory?
“I used to really love flipping through Cosmopolitan magazine—that’s where I first discovered vanity. My favorite model was Cristina Ferrare. I also loved Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren. I even used to fake Marilyn’s beauty mark with a pencil!”

So funny! Who taught you how to put on makeup?
“I think I taught myself really, but I also got some tips from your Auntie Esther [her sister-in-law]. I first started experimenting with mascara because I was so amazed by how long it made my eyelashes look.”

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What Do Girl Scouts and Hipsters Have In Common?

Photo: Yahoo & WWD

As a Brooklynite, I’ve seen many a hipster girl wearing an ironic Girl Scout vest. Call me crazy, but I’ve always seen parallels between the two groups: the same love of camping, hawking baked goods, and donning outlandish costumes when it’s not Halloween. Now the thrift store crew and our favorite door-to-door cookie sellers have even more in common: what they’re wearing on their lips.

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At What Age Is It Appropriate To Start Wearing Makeup?

Suri Cruise tests lip colors at a makeup counter inside Canadian department store Holt Renfrew. Photo: dailymail.co.uk

A couple weeks ago, Suri Cruise was out on a shopping expedition with her super-stylish mom at Holt Renfrew and swung by a makeup counter. The celebutot turns five in April, so I was a little surprised to see her test-driving products already.

Then again, it would seem that girls these days are using makeup at a much earlier age than my friends or I did. In a recent WSJ article about Wal-Mart’s new tween makeup line, geo-Girl, the marketing director at Aspire Brands Inc. (which is the marketer of Bonne Bell and Lip Smackers) says, “Girls start cosmetics usage really as young as six,” and goes on to explain that their first foray into makeup is usually a clear lip gloss or nail polish. Funny enough, I distinctly remember owning a ton of Lip Smackers lip glosses and would say that those as well as Hard Candy nail polishes were definitively my first makeup products. But that was in eighth grade. Maybe I was a late bloomer? To investigate this phenomenon, I asked a couple of co-workers when they started using beauty products and if the remembered what they were. Not surprisingly, they all have affectionate memories of their ‘firsts.’ Continue reading for their fun flashbacks. But their testimonials still don’t answer the larger question: At what age is it OK for girls to start experimenting with makeup? What do you think?

—Meredith

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