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Grateful for makeup memories

November is a time when families come together to celebrate being grateful and thankful for their families and each other. It’s a time when traditions are on display. 

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with makeup? I don’t remember the day I decided to become a makeup artist, but I do remember the person who inspired me to love makeup. Most mornings I spent with my grandmother growing up. She was frankly the best at everything. Everyone knows her because of the creative array of flavors she put into her food. While her cooking inspired me, it was her daily routine that would teach me to become the woman I am today. 

Each morning, she would wake up, take her bath, do her hair and apply her makeup. So many mornings, I would peek in to watch her apply her cosmetics. She never left the house without a full face of makeup. I remember those white jars of moisturizer, containers of loose powders and tubes of lipstick in many shades of red and berry. She even did her brows long before I knew that would become a staple of my own routine. I still can remember the smell of the moisturizer; it was a creamy, clean scent. 

Although it took me years to realize the importance of looking put together when leaving the house, my Grandma Jenny always set the example — even in a time where the beauty industry wasn’t as inclusive to women of color. Little black and silver tubes filled her drawer, and when she kissed you, it left red smudges on your face that I eagerly wiped off. She had jet black curls unwinding from her rollers, which she brushed with her comb. 

I grew into a teenager and used my grandma’s eyeliner and brow pencils. I even tried to use her powder on my face, although she was much fairer than I was. 

My grandma later would buy me one of my first real lipsticks (Girl About Town), and I even got her to wear Rebel by MAC for a short while. I attribute my love of makeup largely to her, just like so many of the other things I love. 

I am grateful for the time I spent with her and the lessons of love and womanhood she taught me. Makeup has become a mainstay in my life, one I never saw coming. It is the reason I can live the life I do feeling confident and “put together.” 



Take a page out of your grandmother’s book and try these modern makeup classics: 

Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Crème, $95 

Yves Saint Laurent Slim Sheer Matte Lipstick, $23.40 

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush, $45 

MAC Veluxe Brow Liner, $23 

Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder, $52


Written by Brittney Johnson

Brittney M. Johnson is an independent makeup artist based on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Reach her at

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