Benefit Eyeshadow in ShimmyShimmy was a peachy bronze shimmer - an easy neutral for a new makeup user. The color really accentuated my green eyes and I ended up using every last bit of this shadow. This product has since been discontinued, but Benefit and many other companies make warm neutral shimmers that could be dupes.
Benefit Face Powder in DandelionBlush for dummies: This sheer pink powder was pretty much impossible to over-do, and I liked the way it brightened my complexion. I still have a box of it in my makeup bag!
Benefit The Gloss in Kiss MeKiss Me was a clear fuchsia gloss that smelled like strawberries and gave lips a light but noticeable tint. This cult favorite was re-released several times, and is now available in the form of Benefit's Ultra Shine lip gloss in Kiss You. From what I've heard Kiss You is slightly more pigmented that Kiss Me and contains a bit of shimmer. A mini size of Kiss You is available in Benefit's LE Ticket to Glossytown lip gloss set (6 glosses for $24) for those interested :)
Benefit Plush Mascara in EggplantThe eggplant color of this mascara made my green eyes pop an the formula was great. I used this stuff for years before it was discontinued. Benefit now carries another purple mascara, BADgal Plum Mascara, which I find to be redder and brighter than the Plush Mascara in Eggplant. The BADgal mascara brush is also much larger, which some people may prefer. Personally I find the large brush to be a bit unwieldy, but maybe that's because I'm clumsy and accident-prone :P
So those are the origins of my makeup story! Do you have a story about your early makeup years you'd like to share? Are there any products from the early days that you still use, or were discontinued and you miss?