You need to have a look at this art video. It’s an artist applying a year’s worth of makeup to a model. The outcome is predictably distressing – she looks covered in mud. It would be equally unseemly to view a year’s worth of hair gel, deodorant or sunscreen, of course. A year’s worth of cookies . . . let me think.
The video got me contemplating makeup as a general concept, and in particular for us over-50 women. Like most women, I’ve gone through countless stages of experimentation, from that first off-white frosted Yardley lipstick to the present.
Like most very young women, I used to think the Next Best Thing would transform me into the heart-stopping model I saw in Seventeen Magazine. Big eyelashes from a tube! Sculpted cheekbones! Velvety smooth skin! All these were available via cosmetics, in my young mind.
In my corporate years, the 1970’s and 80’s, I followed the then-current makeup trends but with a generally clumsy hand. Yes, I did blue eyeshadow and bold brows. Big old circles of bright blush. Young faces can get away with a lot. I’ve never been a maestro with the makeup wand, though, and being oily-skinned, I usually looked faded by day’s end.
But I still like makeup. I am much less gullible – yet another upside to aging – and the ads don’t seduce me any more. I read reputable blogs to find out what’s new in the cosmetics world, I read the reviews at Makeup Alley and Amazon, then I plunge in.
Here’s what I’d like my makeup collection to look like. Fresh and minimalist and inviting:
These days I strive for a natural, neutral palette. Nothing very bright, no sparkly things. For going-out (remember that?), I will apply:
A stroke of dark eyeliner – brown or near-black. I might use an eyeshadow and small brush for this.
Mascara. My current favorite is Maybelline Full N Soft. It absolutely does not irritate my sensitive eyes.
Concealer for my face’s reddest areas. The best ever concealer – it covers everything – is L’Oréal Infallible Full Wear.
Pinky blush, powder or cream, and, of course:
Lips – my weakness when it comes to color. I feel naked without lipstick. I rotate through three or four. A current favorite is MAC lipstick cream in Spirit.
For most days mascara, concealer, and lips are plenty.
“Whether I’m wearing lots of makeup or no makeup, I’m always the same person inside.”-Lady Gaga
If you do wear makeup, what are your essentials? If you prefer to go makeup free, is it a new or lifelong habit?
Stay safe, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: