9 High School Beauty Products You Probably Carried Around In Your Backpack
When I was a teenager, getting ready for school in the morning also meant carefully packing my backpack with all the beauty products I might need use of during the day. And the market for teenage beauty products was just as specialized back in my day as I'm sure it is now.
I was pretty perfectionistic about it — packing my bag, I mean. I liked to feel prepared for any occasion that could crop up. And in the height of that awkward teenage stage of life, wasn't there always something embarrassing bound to happen? That was probably because I was still sensitive to what would make me blush — a bit of a hairstyle mishap isn't likely to cause me public shame these days — but in high school? Well, everything had to be perfect.
I don't think I was like that until I moved to a school where it seemed all the prettiest and most popular girls were complete slaves to their beauty routines. It definitely rubbed off on me, and I succumbed to making sure I always had what I needed if anything were to go awry. I also remember one of my friends having an intense need to wash her face and reapply her makeup at least three times during the school to always remain fresh-faced. Sighs. The one of the many toils of being a teenage girl.
Though I may not have had that type of compulsion, there were a few things that were always tucked away in my school bag, and I'm betting you probably had a few of these products in yours, too.
1. Lip Smackers
It was always fun getting these in the multi-packs, too, so I'd usually have at least four or five different flavors hanging out in the bottom of my bag. I feel like most of my friends and I weren't quite into lipstick yet, but lip gloss and lip balm were our go-to treatments, especially in fun and sometimes silly flavors. I'm pretty sure I secretly thought my Smackers would make the boys want to kiss me.
These amazing little sheets came out while I was in tenth grade, I believe, and pretty much every girl I knew rejoiced and bought some for her school bag. I remember being absolutely fascinated by how you could get rid of the oil that creeps up on your skin during the day but not wipe off your makeup. It was always really gross — but oddly satisfying — to check out the sheet after using it. And hey, don't judge, because you probably did it, too. But I remember actually comparing oil spots with my friends and laughing at each other's greasy faces.
Whether you called them scrunchies, hair ties, hair bows, or elastic bands, every girl I knew had plenty of them to spare. Although I never really had much need for them (because who actually had time to change up their hairstyle in between classes?) I always kept one on my person regardless. It was fun to be the one that everyone could count on when their's had broken. Or when we were able to get away with doing each other's hair in class.
4. Noxema Pads
These little guys were perfect for after gym class. I remember girls who, even when they had P.E. first thing in the morning, still came to second period perfectly made up, only to redo their makeup afterward. While I wasn't that intent on wearing makeup all the time, I did like to freshen up before applying anything after gym class, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoyed that tingly feeling Noxema products always provided.
Still a popular mall stop, Bath & Body Works had a monopoly on lotions and body sprays in my teen years. And with the company re-releasing some of our favorite fragrances from the '90s, there's much to celebrate in terms of high school nostalgia.
Whether it was the Neutrogena brand or another kind, I always had spot treatment for fear of a random zit popping up in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, I was also "covering it up" (did I really think it would be unnoticeable with a blob of extra makeup sitting on it?) with some concealer, too, which only made it worse.
7. Hair Gel
For the days when I attempted to "scrunch" my hair, I had to have a huge bottle of this stuff in my bag for touch ups. I didn't even have curly hair, but you know, somewhere along the way I thought I could pretend I did by adding tons of this gel to my damp hair and then using the blow dryer in a upward motion to create a semi-curly look. Looking back, it just made my hair brittle and smell a little weird.
I guess I was drawn to this deodorant simply because it had the word "teen" in it. But I always had to have a stick of this stuff nearby, because I was super conscious of the "emotional" sweating that I still have to this day. Plus, it always reminded me of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which is obviously the coolest.
Exclamation Perfume by Coty, $8, AmazonIt thrills me that this fragrance is still available online, because I haven't seen it in stores since high school! This was definitely my favorite perfume: I loved how fresh it made me feel and smell. If you didn't own this one, though, it was probably Clinique's "Happy" stored away in your school bag. But either way, your favorite perfume was bound to be in there for those moments when you needed a quick smell check as your crush walked by.
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