Makeup For Grownups

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.

All the 1960’s pinks! And the 60’s prices. Source.

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:

Photo by Hannah at Unsplash.

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.

A smudge of eyeshadow sometimes.

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:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I may benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header photo by fotostrobi from Pixabay

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  1. My makeup routine has been pared way down since the pandemic. Why wear foundation and blush if I have a mask covering half my face? Moisturizing sunscreen and lip balm + lipstick every day, add brows, eyeliner and mascara if I’m going out to face the world.

    • Way to go, Rebecca – a pared down routine sounds brilliant. I do like a mask as part of my sun protection! Thanks for coming by and stay well, xx.

  2. I’ve tried so many concealers but nothing conceals except Origin’s Peeper Pleaser, which is actually an eye shadow. Went looking for it just now; it has been discontinued! That happens so often: favorite products are discontinued! I’ll try your recommendation; always hoping for the best. I’m allergic to many products so that is a complicating factor.

    • Oh I know, Carol, so many great products get discontinued. To make way for the “newer, better” I suppose, but sometimes the original was best. Thanks so much for coming by, have a great weekend, xx.

  3. Thank you for sharing your tips. I will definitely try the concealer you mentioned and I love the lipstick that you have on in the photo. Is it the Spirit shade by MAC that you mentioned?

    • Hi Janet and thanks for coming by! I think I’m wearing Maybelline Color Sensational “On Fire Red”. Sounds exciting, yeah? : > Stay safe and well, xx.

      • Thank you! Yes, it sounds very exciting. I can certainly use some excitement!

  4. Thanks for sharing your makeup beauty tips the L’ORÉAL concealer looks and sounds great now on my list as concealer is my most used product next to smoky gray eye shadow ,lots of Averno moisturizer and natural lip gloss. I find natural makeup and tinted designer glasses enable me to look my best .However if I had your beautiful eyes Patti I would always wear contacts not glasses.

    • Aww thanks Joan, you are too kind. I think lots of gentle moisturizer (and staying out of the sun) are basic things we can all be doing to keep healthy skin. Smoky gray eyeshadow sounds fab, too! Stay well and safe, xx.

  5. right now I am wearing very little makeup as I am having eye procedures. just touching up my thinning eyebrows and some lipstick. It’s funny, I used to feel naked without my arsenal but finding I am comfortable with less. maybe will add back my cc cream to cover uneven skin and a bit of blush.

    • Hello Darby! Good thoughts to you for your eye procedures. Sounds like you have a simple, organized routine. Stay safe, and well, xx.

  6. Hi Patti! I went makeup free about 10 years ago. I love mascara but it doesn’t love me as I have sensitive eyes too. If I do a random photo shoot for my blog, I will wear false eyelashes. I moisturize daily and will wear lipstick for Zoom meetings *grins*

    • Ah, think of all the time and money you’ve saved, Tami! And you look terrific. Stay well and safe, xx.

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