Hair and makeup
Not me, the makeup! Sheesh.
Who doesn’t love to play with makeup? OK, lots of us. But if you like to get glammed up with color and glitter and eyelashes–but without spending a ton of money or time on it–this post is for you!
I am a Pussyfooter, which means I get dolled up like a showgirl on lots of occasions–sometimes at 8 or 9 in the morning! And my makeup needs to last for hours, while dancing in the rain, sweating in the hot sun, on a stage, in a crowd, and down the streets of New Orleans for 7 or more miles. And I’ll tell ya, this particular combination works. Even after hours of sweating and being rained on, I still look pretty darn good at parade’s end.
Now, I am not a makeup artist, nor do I receive any kickbacks from any of the products I’ll mention below. This is all stuff I bought myself for my own use. I’ve studied lots of YouTube videos for eye makeup application, and I’m a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race–plus I did a little bit of theater when I was a young’un, so that’s where I got these tips. Once I did this process a few times, I got quick–I’d say it takes maybe 15 minutes to put on my face, including fake lashes. (I’ll do a separate post about those!)
But enough chatter, let’s put on some makeup!
First, start with a clean, washed face. Don’t put anything on it, though–no lotion or sunscreen. Not yet. We’re going to start with the eyes, and if powder or glitter falls on your face, it’ll be easier to clean it up (without messing up the rest of your makeup) if your skin is clean.
Apply eyeshadow primer all over your eyelid, up to the brow and around the inner corner of your eye, blending it lightly with your fingertip.
Using a soft eyeshadow brush, put on a pale shade all over your lid, up to your browbone. Next, apply a pearly white eyeshadow to just the inner corners, all around the tear duct and in the hollow on the side of your nose. This is going to help open up your eyes. Blend it a bit.
Now grab an angled crease brush and a straight edge, like a credit card or playing card. Angle the card to form a line from the outer corner of your eye to the outer corner of your eyebrow. This will give your eye makeup a clean edge.
Using your brush and a dark contour color, make a sideways-V shape, following the edge of the card up to slightly above your crease, then sweeping in your crease toward the inside of your eye. Go back and forth a couple times to get it good and dark.
If you want to keep a natural-toned eye, stop there. But if you want to add a bright color, do the same thing, going right over the brown tone with a bright. You can also skip the brown and use just the bright color. If I’m wearing pink, I do it over the brown for extra definition. If I’m wearing orange, I do the orange by itself. Either way, if you wet the brush before dipping into the shadow, your color will go on darker.
Let it dry a bit, then use your fluffy eyeshadow brush to blend lightly. I like the defined crease look, so I don’t blend much.
Use a white eyeliner pencil to line your inner lower rims (waterlines). This really opens your eyes! Extend the white line past the outer corner of your eye, following the line of your card/eyeshadow, for about a quarter-inch.
Now line the top lid with black liquid liner or a marker. I pull my eyelid taut, start from almost the middle, and line in one solid motion to the outer edge. A single line means a smoother line, but it’s not easy! Then I go back to the middle and do a lighter line toward my nose, then get out the card and draw a cat-eye flick above the white line extending about a half inch. Go back and fill in as necessary. Q-Tips make a pointed cotton swab that is very helpful for erasing mistakes–dip the end in water or a water-based makeup remover, because oil-based will make everything slide around!
Time to fill in your brows. I use brow powder and wax every day, so I just use a lot more when I’m getting fancy. Set that powder with lots of wax for staying power. Or use pencils, which are already waxy.
Curl your lashes and apply waterproof mascara. If you’re doing false lashes, a single coat is plenty; if not, layer it up!
Do you want to sparkle? You know you do. Glitter glue keeps glitter in place, and it works GREAT. Squeeze a bit on the back of your hand, dip a flat brush into the glue, and dab it onto your eyelid. Hold a tissue under your eye to catch any glitter fallout, then dip that brush in loose glitter designed for wearing on the face/near eyes and dab on over the glue. Pretty!
Wipe up any glitter or powder that fell below your eyes with a damp washcloth. You’re ready to put on the rest of your face.
Spread a thin coat of face primer all over your face, including under your eyes. Mine needs to set for two minutes, so I brush teeth and floss or go put on Spanx while I wait.
Back to the mirror. Apply your usual undereye concealer. I love, love, love Lancome Effacernes Waterproof in light buff. It is light, creamy, does not settle into lines, and is waterproof! It’s also expensive. But I use it every day.
Now we can finish the eyes. Using a tiny eyeliner brush, which has been dabbed in water, and a very dark eyeshadow, trace under your lower lashes, starting from the outside corner moving toward the inside corner. Extend that outer corner mirroring the upper black cat-eye flick, but stay along the bottom of the white line and extend only a quarter inch.
Touch up the white line in the middle of the two darker flicks if need be. Apply your waterproof mascara to lower lashes.
If you’ll be outside, now is a good time to apply sunscreen. Then apply your usual foundation or BB Cream. Apply blemish concealer. Around my nose, I add Benefit’s Pore-fessional, which erases large pores without caking up like a powder.
Grab your bright blush and go to town on your cheeks, focusing on the apples and swooping up toward the temples. A good thing about being over 40 is that our bone structure becomes more prominent: play up those cheekbones! And if you’ll be wearing a colored wig, put on more blush than you think you need.
To further accentuate bone structure, use a cream or powder highlighter (even a pearly eyeshadow will work) and dot & blend along the tops of cheekbones, on the browbone, along the bridge of the nose, and on the Cupid’s Bow above your lip. Now you glow!
For lipstick, my hands-down favorite has been L’Oreal’s Infallible Le Rouge in Fearless Fuschia. It lasts for hours (sometimes even after washing my face), does not feel dry or sticky, and doesn’t move (or give creepy lip-outlines). Ah. Maze. Ing.
I top it with Hard Candy’s Walk the Line liquid eyeliner in glittery fuschia–I hate this stuff as an eyeliner, but it is awesome as a lip glitter.
You look fabulous, darling! One more thing: apply those falsies. Lashes. I mean lashes. I’ll do a separate post about applying false eyelashes, but I will say that getting a good quality lash (avoid the cheap multi-packs) makes a world of difference in comfort, and I only use Duo Eyelash Adhesive in clear-white (drugstores carry it). My lashes stay on until I want them off.
There! You are all glammed up and ready to face the world. And no matter what the world has in store for you, you will look gorgeous through it all.
Now you tell me, what are your favorite glamorous and/or long-lasting makeup tricks? Any products you love or hate? Dish!
I am on a mission: to find the perfect BB cream for my complexion. I’m intrigued by the promises the BB creams offer: they are tinted moisturizer, primer, corrector, sunscreen, and powder in one product. Yes, please!
But…I haven’t found my perfect potion yet. I don’t want a lot of coverage–I prefer a natural look–but I have oily skin, big pores, and run around outside a lot, where it’s usually humid and often hot. The problems I seem to encounter are that the creams I’ve tried don’t give me as matte a look as I’d like.
Here’s a rundown of a few that I’ve tried.
Clinique BB Cream: I’ve been using this for several months, and at first I liked it a lot. But I feel like it doesn’t cover my pores or keep me from getting shiny. It’s also hard to smooth on at first–it dries really fast–without getting streaks. It goes on much better over sunscreen or moisturizer, but then I’m back to using multiple products and looking greasy. Thus my quest continues. This comes in three shades, all quite pale–the middle one works best for me, but anyone with dark skin would be out of luck.
L’Oreal Magic BB Cream: I’ve tried this in magazine samples, so I’m not sure how accurate that is. I like how it feels going on, but the Light definitely turns me orangey. There’s a shade paler that might work for me. It’s also weird that it goes on completely sheer and then changes color–makes it hard to know where I need to blend more. And it does not have any sunscreen. So, overall, eh.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer: This isn’t exactly a BB Cream, but it has many of the elements I’m looking for: a light tint, a bit of moisture, and sunscreen. The Light shade works well on me and the price is right, but it left me feeling too shiny–it actually has little glimmery particles in it to give a bit of shimmer. Very subtle, but on me just looks sweaty.
Dr. Jart+Premium Beauty Balm: My sis-in-law looks amazing in this stuff, and she generously let me borrow her bottle for a couple days so I could try this stuff out. It does feel amazing on, and has a high SPF with physical blockers, which I think last longer than chemical blockers. Though it did smooth my complexion, I still felt too greasy with it on; the “dewy” look just does not work for me. She said they do have an oily-skin version, so maybe I’ll check that out at Sephora or someplace I can return it if I don’t like it. A downside: it comes in only one shade, which works for my pale skin, but would probably not work if you had tan, olive, or dark skin.
Now, I’d prefer to spend less on my products, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes the good stuff is expensive for a reason: it just works better. I’ve been curious about the new BB Creams from Maybelline and Garnier, but have checked out reviews of them, and they don’t seem to please most women who’ve tried them.
Update: Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream: A friend let me borrow hers, and it really has nice coverage without looking makeup-y. She has sensitive “problem” skin and said that she likes this with Bare Minerals powder over it. And she looks good! I tried it and still felt oily/greasy, even right after application, though the color was nice. Maybe it’s just too moisturizing for me? Also, it has such a low SPF (15). The quest continues!
So, I’m open to suggestions. Do you have a BB Cream or other light foundation that you love and would recommend? Or is my quest for a single product to rule them all doomed to fail?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have found, in recent years, myself becoming, shall we say, more hirsute than I used to be.
Ok, not quite that.
But definitely more than I was 5 or 10 years ago. Is it from hormones? Post-pregnancy related? Aging? Seems bizarre.
Now, I’m perfectly fine with having body hair; I am an adult woman and it comes with the territory. And I have no problem with going au naturel–in the cooler months, I do so myself. But when it gets hot outside, I find I just feel cooler when I’m a little barer. Less sticky. So I do the shaving ritual for my legs & underarms & bikini area, whenever I have a few extra moments in the shower. I like the smoothness. (Veering toward TMI…)
My face, however, is where the extra fuzz bothers me the most. The peach fuzz seems thicker around my mouth and jawline, softening an already-softened area, adding to a jowliness I am not comfortable with.
So every other week or so, I lather up a tablespoon of Magic.
This stuff is AWESOME. It is super cheap (like, $2) and seems to be in most drugstores and grocery stores. It’s designed for men who have coarse facial hair to prevent irritation, but it works great for the ladies, with a few modifications.
Here’s what I do. I use a little plastic bowl and plastic spoon to scoop out a spoonful (it’s a white powder–careful not to inhale it). Then add a spoonful of cool water and stir until it’s a thin paste. Then apply with the spoon to an unwashed face (I found I get less irritation this way). I let it sit for 2-3 minutes (the can suggests 5-7, but that’s much too long for me), then scrape it off my face with the side of the spoon. Then I rinse with cool water–no soap, too irritating.
I end up with smooth cheeks and lips that last about two weeks. There are a few tougher hairs on me that don’t respond well, so I just pluck them rather than let the product sit too long and make me red and sore. This also works well between the brows, but be careful not to let it drip into your eyes or to take off too much of your brows!
I’ve also tried this around the bikini area with so-so results–it doesn’t get all the hairs before irritation starts.
So if you’d like to try a cheap depilatory, grab some Magic. There are a couple formulas; the green one (skin conditioning) is the one I’ve used with good results.
Let me know if you try it! And ladies who like to get a little hairless, do you have any tricks to share?
Everywhere I look, ladies are painting their nails in gorgeous colors and designs. My cousin has always painted her own beautiful designs (stars & stripes for Fourth of July!) and my mom gets delicate flowers painted on her toes by an amazing artist at her local Walmart. Walmart!!
I’ve been inspired by ideas over at The Beauty Department and in InStyle and Glamour magazines to do something myself. Of course, I don’t have a lot of time (or patience) to do anything intricate, so I tried “colorblocking.” These bold colors combined in a new way have me smiling at my own toes.
I picked up some cute nail stickers a few months ago…maybe I’ll add a little something after another glass of wine…
Can you get away with mismatched colors or designs on your nails? Do you even want to?
It’s spring! (No matter what the weather is doing…) Here in New Orleans, the azaleas have finished blooming, but for a few weeks every spring, their riot of colors takes over landscapes all over the city.
What better way to celebrate spring than with fresh new lipstick?
OK, yeah, I can think of a ton of better ways to celebrate spring, too. But it’s sort of fun to emulate the feel of the season by wearing its colors one way or another, n’est-ce pas? (more…)