You may have seen this ad in a woman’s magazine of late. I am going to go against popular vote here and say in my opinion every single model in the photo looks better before the makeup.They could all look better with a little makeup, sure and I know I’m probably in a very small minority here, but I feel a lot of women who wear makeup every day wear too much. Sure makeup can make you have perfectly contoured cheekbones, you can have a smoldering smoky eye, flawless looking skin, and a poppin glossed mouth. And wearing those looks you’re sure to hear compliments on your makeup. Everyday faces should take less than five minutes. The perfect amount of makeup should cause you to hear compliments such as you’ve got great skin, you’re eyes a such a pretty color etc. Less is always more, ladies we hear it all the time. Most women wouldn’t be caught dead with too many accessories yet many will turn around and use 10 to twenty beauty products before heading out the door in the a.m. Why? Because we buy into the beauty magazine hype. Cleanse,exfoliate, moisturize, tone, prime, concealer, foundation, powder, shadow, liner, mascara, brow color, blush, highlighter, lip liner, lipstick lipgloss. Let’s not even get started on hair and body. I’ve already done a post on how I streamlined skin care, I also think women should streamline cosmetics. Especially us seasoned ladies( I am40). Too much makeup ages anyone, for those of us who are actually a little aged this is a complete no-no.
I understand many women freak out at the though of facing the world without makeup and I get it. In fact I love makeup. It’s fun to buy and apply. It does make us look better and feel better. This is how I’ll put it.A glass of wine feels good and tastes good. But just because a glass of wine makes you feel good, three is not going to make you feel great. It’s going to to dry you out and you’ll look like shit the next morning. Kind of like makeup does. We all have that friend or family member that shocked the shit out of us when we saw her with no makeup. I NEVER want to be that woman. For everyday makeup I’d rather go bare than wear too much. To cut your morning time and look prettier, it’s easy, wear less makeup.
At LEAST 50% of your beauty routine should be good skin care. At least. If your skin is looking it’s best half the battle is won. Spend your money and time here. That’s not to say you have quality skin care products have to be expensive, there are great drugstore brands. What I am saying is don’t scrimp here. Bare minimum you have to cleanse exfoliate and moisturize, you need as thorough a cleanser as your skin can handle.On the other side of this you want the most gentle cleanser you can get away with. If you wear a lot or waterpoof eye makeup you may need an extra remover. Avon sells a fabulous remover for about $4. I have used it since I was a teenager. You need exfoliation whether that be physical (washcloth,or an abrasive scrub) or chemical(aha and products with acids like lactic or glycolic). Your goal is to remove the top layer of skin, encouraging new skin cell turnover. You may also wish to use a toner, if they work for you. Some effective low cost options are witch hazel for normal or oily skin, to make a great toner for dry skin mix equal parts of glycerin with rosewater both can be found at health stores and some drugstores. Smells good too.
Next you need moisture. I know some gals who have oily skin think this is not needed but I disagree. A product that holds in moisture(water is moisture, not oil) and protects is needed for all skin. You just need to find the right product gels are great even if it’s just aloe vera.If you have more mature skin, you need a heavier cream at night. If you need blemish treatment this should be applied at night as well.I know a great home made blemish mask recipe. You can use it as a spot treatment or all over your face for clean bright skin.
The formula is simple and basic. You crush an aspirin and mix with a tsp of lemon juice. So if you are doing your whold face start with 2 aspirin and 2 tsp of juice. You can apply just like that or add in products to make it spread easier. Aloe vera gel, honey,egg, yogurt, your favorite moisturizer are all good options. This mixture is basically making saliycic acid which is the active ingredient in over the counter products.
Okay, I almost forgot this post was about makeup not skin care but seriously I cant stress enough how important good skin is to your look. So for face makeup you basically want to use as little as you can get away with. Until recently I had been able to get away with only doing spot coverage when and where needed. Since turning 40 I need a little extra coverage. I still don’t do the entire face, mostly just around the nose and under the eyes. Find as perfect a color match as possible and find the best formula for you.Apply as sparingly as you can. In order of importance and budget this area comes in right behind skin care. Don’t scrimp here. If you’ve been doing a whole face, try cutting back to spot coverage. Or try only powdering the t-zone. Whatever it is try a little less. We want clean natural looking skin. We only want to cover imperfections not create a blank canvas. BTW Freckles are not imperfections!
Next area of importance is brows. A clean, defined brow is the like the frame to a print. Whether you tweeze, thread, wax whatever, you need a good shape. If needed pay a professional and tweeze strays in between visits. Fill in bare spots or help define an arch with a powder or pencil. Find a perfect color match if in doubt go lighter in shade not darker. Blondes usually look best with taupe wetnwild and nyc both have great taupe pencils for .99 cents, brunettes need to figure if they need a warm or cool brown . Redheads always need a warm tone whether its light or dark. There are very few people who can get away with a black eyebrow. Even if you are ravenhaired try dark brown. You may wish to use wax to hold them in place. Hair pomade works fine.
Eyeshadow is usually next for most women. Do you really need it? Try just patting a touch of concealer is you have visible veins. This trick works even better if the concealer is a bit darker than your skin tone. Use the rest of your summer tone concealer or get some use out of one that didn’t quite match. If you still feel too bare, what about a quick swipe of an all over color or bronzer applied with a brush blush?
Next is eyeliner. Can you live without it? If you’re doing a strong lip, btw super glossy is a strong look, think about balance. Just like clothes, you balance a billowy top with a skinny bottom and vice versa, I think you should apply the same concept to your makeup. A smoky or heavy cat eye and a strong lip is best left to Robert Palmer videos, the fashion runways and the 80’s. This fall is all about a red or plum lip. Yay for us vintage loving gals, we’ve never let it go. With that lip though you need to skip eyeliner during the day. If eyeliner is your thing, you need a nude lip. I love this 60’s Brigitte Bardot look, just a bit lighter. A swipe of eyeliner on top lids and a pink/beige lip slightly shiny lip. Sexy without trying too hard.
Curl your lashes. Decide if you really need mascara.Sometimes curling them brightens up the eyes enough It is for me. . I curl again midday to freshen up. Okay so I know mascara is the one product most women wear and won’t give up. How about curling lashes and applying one coat to the ends of lashes only. You may find that’s enough, Or use a bit of wax(pomade) like I do. I use Murray’s Beeswax pomade. It has three ingredients. Petroleum, Beeswax and fragrance. Whatever fragrance they do use is barely noticeable and I believe its just bergamot oil. In any case I use it on my hair, eyebrows and lashes. It rocks and for $3 it’s a steal. You can find it, in the ethnic section of your grocery store, drugstore, Wal-mart and Target. This is and was the BEST pomade for vintage styles. Murray’s Pomades have been around since the 1920’s and for good reason, they work and they’re cheap. I prefer the beeswax formula as I have heavy hair and need a good hold. If you can’t find them locally they sell them online link after this awesome vintage ad.
Okay if you’re still with me, onto the cheeks. Do you really need the blush? Again strong lip, bare face or Strong eye, nude lip. If doing neither a strong lip nor eye, try an all over color instead be a bit more liberal with your coloror a sunkissed look, dust lids, temples, apples of cheeks, tip of nose. Great look with a neutral gloss.
Highlighter if you choose. Use an all over powder or cream highlighter or a light colored eyeshadow, even a very light lip gloss if you like more sheen. Dot on cheekbones, tip of nose, brow bone, even on temples and above top lip. Just use a very light touch and blend well.
Last but certainly not least are the lips. Sticks,stain,glosses, liners. This is my desert island cosmetic. And no matter how many times I hear it when I hear someone say I am not a lipstick person I am shocked. Not for the non cosmetic types of women like my hippieish cousin. I mean women who color their hair and style their hair, and like makeup. How can you like makeup and not LOVE lipstick. No other cosmetic can even come close to accomplishing what lipstick does. A face can go from plain to fierce with a few swipes of the perfect shade red lipstick. A good pink can brighten your complexion instantly. A glossy mouth adds instant sensuality. I am going to do a whole post on doing a good lip when I have time to take pictures but this is the short story. Layering is the trick to great lips for many reasons. It can perfect the tone, the shape, the sheen level. Whether you’re doing a matte, creamy,shimmery lip they all need a good base. Here’s a tip don’t use foundation as you may have read. Lips are a bit different than skin. If wearing a stain or gloss apply straight from the package.If doing traditional lipstick fo try using a very light swipe of a long wearing nude lipstick it makes your lip last longer. Then line your lips side to side on bottom then your cupid’s bow going out to the sides from the middle. Corner’s usually are where you need the most definition. Now apply your color.I always do better with two colors, never throw away a lipstick, just fix what you don’t like. A shade that’s too light may be just the right shade needed to tone down a bright color. Beige is perfect for this. This may seem strange but the tiniest touch of black lipstick toughens up too sugary sweet shades for me. I’m sure right now you have several lipsticks you aren’t wearing, play around with them.If in doubt the most flattering natural shade for all one or two shades darker than your natural lip color. This can be warm or cool depending on skin tone. If you’re adding gloss unless you’re under 25, try to avoid frosty glosses. Apply to center of bottom lip, out. If you’re going for a just a gloss look of course apply all over your neutral base.
Okay I know this was a long ass post. Here’s the jist of it. Makeup is great. It’s fun and enhances your looks. You’re beautiful. Makeup should showcase your beauty not create it. If you wear a lot of makeup ,unless you’re in show business, I guarantee you’ll look younger and prettier with less. Everyday makeup should take no more than five minutes.
Invest your time and money in having great healthy skin and hair. If you don’t believe me that you look prettier ask your husband, your kids, your friends to compare both looks. If that’s not enough, when you have time apply your makeup outside on a sunny day. Or just study your face in the car mirror outside on a bright day after work.