Be Warned – EPICALLY VERBOSE POST
Ok, first of all, i use the term “Lady” in relation to myself very liberally – i swear like a sailor when i drink, and i haven’t read Emily Post. But, you get my meaning. I AM, however, a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn – so maybe that counts for something. ANYWAY, the main point of this series is how you can make the best of your beauty (and beauty products) when you’re no longer getting carded, partying every weekend, or constantly obsessed with boys (or girls, whichever your cup of tea is).
One of the greatest things about being my age is that i don’t give a damn about what people think about how i look – if they “find me attractive”, or if what i wear, or what i do with my hair pleases them; or anybody else, for that matter. All the things i do in terms of beauty, i do solely for my own pleasure. I have a realistic view of my looks, and i’m comfortable in my own skin in a way i never was, when i was younger. I rarely was able to see my own beauty, back then. So it’s a relief to be so confident, now that i’m older. Where i used to wish i had more conventional looks, i now revel in my uniqueness. If anything, i emphasize it these days. I am totally comfortable in jeans and motorcycle boots as in a fancy, expensive dress. And i wear whatever the Hell i want, because I like it, not because i’m concerned with what some potential mate might think how i look in it.
If someone, peer or mate, doesn’t like it and expresses a negative opinion about any of those subjects, i can now politely tell them to go to Hell, as opposed to taking it to heart or waste time being embarrassed or insulted. If some man tells me i’d look better with long hair, i laugh – i don’t spend even one second wondering if i look “too masculine”. If someone makes a crack about my being “skinny”, i shrug it off. I LIKE how i look. I used to get crap about my weight, my nose, my hair, how i dress, etc., all the time when i was younger – and i used to let it bother me. But now i embrace all of it. These are the things that make me, me. My insecurities are far and few between – and they’re not wasted on my physical appearance. I may have a few crows feet these days, but i think i have more appreciation for my looks than i ever did when i was in my 20’s and 30’s.
All of this is not to say that i don’t care for my appearance – are you kidding? I’m SUPER vain. I like to look good – not for anyone else but for myself. I LOVE playing with makeup, putting it on, wearing it – and i love it when someone tells me i look pretty. Who doesn’t? That’s only natural. I just don’t take it so seriously anymore. Well. I take skincare seriously, because i want my skin to be healthy and look nice – and i want to look the best i can for my age. It’s all about self-care and love. Something i had precious little of when i was a younger person. The irony is that – now that i don’t get carded for booze anymore – i feel prettier now than i did when i needed an ID to buy my wine. It’s too bad that so many of us don’t accept our faces and bodies until we are so much older – where was all this self-acceptance when i really needed it? It could have saved me so much grief! But, i’m so grateful for it now.
Now, i know myself (at the cost of much loss and pain over the years), and i know what looks good and what doesn’t. Beauty in your 40s (and beyond) isn’t about following every beauty and fashion fad that comes along; partly because you just don’t care as much about being trendy, and partly because some trends that come along would look ridiculous on an older woman. Whether we like it or not, our skin changes, and no matter what excellent shape our bodies might be in, a midriff-exposing miniskirt with cut outs or a frilly pink babydoll dress just looks silly on the more dignified brand of beauty a little age brings. Some kinds of makeup, and makeup trends that are out there, can actually be aging, which sort of defeats the purpose of wearing it in the first place. I have to be realistic about my skin, and how some shadows can make the eyes look crepey or tired – or how some foundation can be drying and emphasize fine lines. The following are not hard and fast rules, of course – but they are the methods and products that work for me. Nobody ever guesses that i’m closer to 50 than 40 now; and that’s because i know what sort of makeup ages me, and what brings out my looks to the best of their advantage. Read on for a breakdown of the makeup products i use (skincare will be addressed In a later post), and how i apply them for the face, cheeks, eyes, and lips: you might be surprised at how much variety there is available to you, even if you’re not as young as you used to be!
Face Makeup – Super-young skin, barring issues with acne or other conditions – is hydrated, plump, and smooth like glass, and therefore very forgiving. Matte foundations, tons of highlighter, glitter, heavy blush or bronzer; all of those things are the kinds of makeup that can look great on younger skin – but will emphasize fine lines, and dry skin on an older face. Young, healthy skin is dewy, not powdery and matte and dry-looking. That’s why i never, ever use heavy or mattifying foundations or powders. Back in my 20’s, i HAD to go for the matte foundations, and i powdered my skin countless times throughout the day; partially because that was the style back then, but also because my face was a veritable oil-slick. However, some time around my mid-forties, my skin did an about-face and became very dry and sensitive everywhere except for right around my nose (and a little bit in my T-Zone in the really hot weather). And even those areas are nowhere near as oily as they used to be.
So, i stopped using foundation pretty much altogether (unless i have some fancy occasion happening), and switched to tinted moisturizers, BB and CC creams, and cushion compacts; all of which double as both treatment and an extremely light-coverage tint, just so my skin is a little smoothed out and airbrushed, as well as moisturized and nourished with different treatments, depending on the product. I find that heavy foundation is quite aging, because all that product settles into fine lines, and makes them more apparent. Plus i just find it to be old-fashioned and unappealing when the skin doesn’t look like skin!
In the post-pic are my current favourite makeup products for the face; all of which help my skin look it’s youngest, healthiest, and best!
- Tatcha The Silk Canvas – (Reviewed here) This new product from Tatcha is a hybrid of makeup and skincare; something i try to find in my cosmetic products whenever humanly possible. The way i see it, if i’m going to put something on my face and wear it all day or night, it had better actually do something good for my skin! This primer has all sorts of good-for-your-skin stuff in it, including antioxidants and acne-fighting ingredients; plus, it protects the face from pollution as well as foundation, which can clog pores. I love the way it sort of airbrushes my skin – and it can either be worn alone, or under your makeup.
- YSL Touche Eclat Highlighting Pen – I’ve been loyal to this wonderful product for going on 15 years. There is nothing else like it for illuminating the eye area, priming the lids, and banishing dark circles. There are imitators out there, but none of them hold a candle to this stuff. And it comes in a ton of skin tones, too!
- Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe – (Reviewed here) This is my new, absolute favourite “non-foundation”. It’s like 92% treatment for the skin, and 8% colour, and it makes my skin look FLAWLESS. I don’t know how, because it’s got such a sheer coverage, but Ermagerd, it’s gorgeous! Among the many skincare benefits, this contains vitamin-C, and retinol. There is a subtle pearlescence to the fluid, which feels like a serum on my face. Since i’ve been using it, my skin’s texture has visibly improved as well. For the insane price of this stuff, it had better!
- Burberry Fresh Glow B.B. Cream – If i want i teensy bit more coverage, i reach for this stuff. It’s SO creamy on, and evens out my skin, without looking remotely like foundation. Again, since it’s a BB cream, it’s also skincare – containing rosehip, an antioxidant that also is rich in vitamin-A, and green tea, which is another powerful antioxidant. It also has lavender in it, so if you’re sensitive to essential oils, beware! Otherwise, lavender is generally soothing to irritated, sensitive skin. It’s super comfortable to wear, and my tube has been lasting months.
- Laneige BB Cushion Hydra Radiance Compact – (Reviewed here) Currently, this is my only cushion compact – and i do like it quite a bit as the coverage is light, and it’s hydrating without making me look TOO dewy (there’s a fine line between “dewy” and “gross silicone slick” for my skin, dry as it is). It has skin-brighteners as well as moisturizer, and feels basically like nothing on my skin. I do want to try the Sulwhasoo cushion next, so i don’t know it this will be a repurchase – but i love the convenience of this for quick touch-ups.
- Chanel Le Blanc Light Creator Illuminating Makeup Base (Mimosa) – Now THIS stuff seriously brightens up my skin! It’s not a foundation, but rather a “base”, sort of like a hybrid between primer and colour corrector. It comes in two shades – a rose, and a light yellow-gold, depending on what your skin needs. The last thing i need is a “rosy glow”, with my propensity towards redness – so i use the Mimosa, which is the yellow shade. This stuff is especially great for days when my skin is looking really dull and tired. It makes me look bright, smooth, and radiant. I will always have a tube of this on hand, it’s just that good. I wear it alone, or just under my powder:
- Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour (pressed powder) – Finally, there’s powder; it’s super important to find the right powder for mature, dry skin. You don’t want anything too heavy, or it will emphasize dryness and uneven texture – so going for sheer, hydrating powders (yes, they exist) with a hint colour is the way to go. I find it’s best to avoid white or translucent powders, which tend to be too chalky looking on my dry skin. My favourite powder right now is this one from the Les Beiges line; it gives just a teensy hint of “sunwashed” colour; light and sheer enough that it’s NOT a bronzer (i don’t like bronzer on my super-pale skin), but just gives me a glow. It makes dull skin come to life, and finishes your foundation or tinted moisturizer or whatever beautifully. It looks so natural, not like i’m wearing powder at all! It just takes away shine and leaves the skin looking even and pretty.
Keeping your skin looking younger, hydrated and glowing is a LOT easier with the proper products – and these are my go-to’s for pretty, fresh looking skin that actually looks like skin!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment in this series! Stay tuned for eye-makeup, coming up next. And as always, stay ravishing, my Kumquats!
XO – Monday