Like many before her, some of Joanna’s first beauty buys included a healthy mix of trendy products and some downright must haves. “Among my first-ever makeup purchases: green eyeshadow (I somehow thought that matching my eye color would make them pop), a brownish-pink ‘raisin’ lipstick, and the holy grail: Great Lash.” she said. “Let’s just say the latter is the only one still in regular use.”
Not everyone is born with the innate love for all things beauty, but Joanna was. “That toddler clawing through her mom’s purse for lipstick? That was me. But it wasn’t till middle school that I started wearing makeup for real,” she said. “On weekends my friends and I would pour over product recommendations and ads in YM and Sassy magazine (RIP!), memorizing pages, ripping things out. Then we’d gather our babysitting money and head to the drugstore.”
The year was 1992: everyone wanted to be a vampire-slaying teenager and date someone with frosted tips. Makeup was officially headed in a new direction, which traded the neon shadows and draped blush for moody color palettes and skinny brows. Lash trends, specifically, went the way of sexy and cool versus punk-rock and bold. Thanks to the decade’s it girls, teens like Joanna were revising their looks again and again because, let’s face it, ’90s makeup served.
“The iconic pink and green tube transports me to a very specific time and place: the locker room after field hockey practice where the air was heavy with baby powder-scented deodorant, arms were decorated with scrunchies, and wands of Great Lash peeked out of every makeup bag.” she said. “It was a status symbol!”
Like any teen, Joanna was interested in experimenting with her look – and often. Still, no matter how many times she overhauled her routine, Great Lash remained. “Over the years I changed my makeup look and routine a lot, from a grunge look to punky hair colors to minimal to bubble gum pop to a more glam going-out look to no-makeup makeup.
But the mascara often found its way to my lashes in Blackest Black, brown, waterproof, and clear formulas (never forget the OG brow groomer!),” she said. “I think it’s so versatile – it doesn’t clump or flake, adds volume and length, it’s easy to layer, and the inky-wet formula seems to get even better over time.”
Eventually, Joanna’s love for beauty translated into a career in the industry, where she quickly learned products like Great Lash were, in fact, status symbols and, better still, absolute necessities for editors and makeup artists. In rediscovering her childhood staple, Joanna learned that this mascara lived in many other places besides her makeup bag at home, like magazine beauty closets and makeshift vanities backstage at fashion week.
“Perhaps it’s no shock I became a beauty editor myself for over a decade, where I eventually learned how Maybelline put mascara on the map (shout out to Mabel!),” she said. “Through the years I’ve easily tried hundreds of mascara formulas and wands, but the sight of that pink and green tube still makes me smile.”