3 Childhood Beauty Products You Can Use as an Adult

What products do you wish could make a comeback -- or want stay in the past FOREVER?
Publish date:
January 2, 2015

Like many of you, I’m home for the holidays. Though most of my family has dispersed and now lives in different states, my dad is still in the Chicagoland area. And my bedroom in his house -- which I decorated with hot pink paint and "Fight Club" posters as a teenager -- remains pretty much intact. (I think he’s having a hard time letting go.)

Between bouts of binge-watching every reality show on Bravo and stuffing myself with junk food he's stockpiled for my homecoming, I notice myself mysteriously regress when I’m here.

See: Feeling an overwhelming compulsion to smoke weed from a makeshift apple bong out of my bedroom window (sorry, Pops), poring over my old, melodramatic diaries to see if there’s anything interesting to extract for a story (there’s not), and texting the guy I dated when I was 15 to ask if he wants to meet up in the field behind my house to walk to the corner store.

Thrilling, I know.

It’s been over seven years since I lived with my parents. Other than when I’m here, I never think about my life prior to adulthood.

My memory is a bit shot, anyway. (Marijuana?)

There are, however, a few products I use habitually now that always induce acid-like flashbacks to my years as a wee one:


I swapped out my old dry shampoo for Batiste’s spray after hearing Mary Lambert’s makeup artist rave about it. It’s available at most drugstores, is inexpensive, and never leaves a chalky residue or makes my hair sticky. It also smells like a My Little Pony from the ’90s.

I’ve referenced this scent repeatedly, and it’s usually met with an uneasy laugh. If you had a bunch of these weirdo figurines stashed in a Rubbermaid, as yours truly did, you MUST remember it: It’s a bit fruity, with a faint, plastic smell.

This might sound rancid, but the pungency of the dry shampoo wears off soon after you spray it on, I swear.

Smell and memory are closely linked (or, olfactory memory). The olfactory bulb, responsible for our sense of smell, is located in the brain’s limbic system, an area that’s associated with memories and emotions. That’s why anything Cucumber Melon from Bath & Body Works most likely stirs up repressed memories of your best friend soaking herself in the spray when she got back from smoking cigarettes in the soccer fields in high school. Mmm-mm.


R.I.P., Limited Too. Also, BYE, and thanks for not lasting that long, Club Libby Lu. Sure, your tubs of “fairy dust” (or, glitter) were rad. Other than that, your makeovers marketed specifically to pre-teens totally freaked me out.

I used to think glitter was only appropriate for 12-year-olds and gay pride parades. Then I started watching "Nashville," which is full of big hair, drama, and sparkly things, so I decided to give the shimmery stuff another go.

Urban Decay's black-and-silver glitter eyeliner from the "Pulp Fiction" collection starts off subtle with the first application. You can build up how sparkly you want your makeup to be -- a nice option for those currently afraid of pre-teen girls' stores and 17-year-olds at the mall trying to cover them in fairy dust. I like to layer it over my regular black liquid eyeliner, for a look that says, "I party! And am kind of a priss."


Unlike the last two picks, I’ve been using this product for over 10 years. These eye drops should be available at most drugstores. However, they tend to be either sold out or locked up, as any good pothead knows they are THE BEST at getting rid of red eyes -- and they’re a little pricier than other brands. (And thus, get thieved by those damn youths!)

Whether you’ve had a late night, having been sobbing your face off, or, whatever, are smoking a spliff, Rohto’s are amazing at getting rid of redness, quickly. A forewarning that most people think they sting. A few drops feel like a menthol-blast to your glazzies. But keep in mind, you will survive, with white, clear eyes.

Your turn! What products do you use now that bring you back to your awkward youth years? Or what beauty wares did you use that you wish would make a comeback -- or that you want to stay in the past FOREVER?

Mine would be butterfly clips. The idea of bugs in my hair makes me want to vomit.

Frosted lipstick, though: Yes, always. I would’ve been all over Buxom’s Lip Full-on Lip Cream in White Russian ($19) if I were a cool teen and not the editor in chief of the literary magazine.

Also pale yellow eye shadow. I miss being 13 and not knowing any better (sort of).

Talk to me on Twitter: @caitlinthornton