Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Changing Makeup With Age

It seems that the theme so far this week has had to do with age and aging. I suppose that's not surprising with my birthday coming up in a few days. There are certain times in the year that sometimes have one reflecting on the past and the future. For some, it's the New Year, for me, it's often around my birthday.

I was thinking about some of the comments made to me and by me about makeup here in my blog, and it really got me thinking about how much I've had to adapt my makeup style in the past decade or so. I've touched on this a bit in the past, but I was thinking about it a lot today.

In my 20s, I was a cosmetician, and in that capacity, I had access to all of the cosmetics I could ever want to try.  I was unafraid of trying new styles or colours. While there's no doubt that at times, I overdid it (does anyone remember the strong, unnatural slashes of blush of the early '80s?), I always had fun with it.

In my 30s, I wore makeup in the same style and applied it the same way, just with a lighter touch as was more suitable to my life as well as the fashion of the times. I know that I wore more makeup than many women. I always wore a full foundation makeup if I wore any makeup at all, but I did have acne scars, and they were easily covered with foundation.

Everything changed shortly after I hit 40. Foundation no longer blended into my skin and seemed to disappear, leaving a flawless finish. It somehow laid on top of my skin and seemed to show off my enlarged pores and scars rather than cover them as it used to. I even would buy my favourite top brand, but to no avail. This was really a problem, because while I no longer felt the need for every day makeup, it is nice to be able to go out to dinner or out for the evening and feel one's best. How was I going to feel my best with all of those red acne scars or rosacea showing?

At about the same time, I noticed that applying my eye makeup as I had previously done made me look hard and older rather than setting my eyes off nicely and making them appear larger as it had done in the past. The contours of my eyelids were changing and I didn't know how to adapt. My lids weren't and still aren't crepey, and even now I don't have any deep wrinkles, but the skin is sagging, changing the contours of my face completely from what I had known during the first 25 years or so of applying makeup.

I was no longer a cosmetician, so not in the loop of knowledge anymore, and at that time, makeup tutorials on the Internet were as yet non-existent.  If they did exist, they were not easy to find. I was really at a loss as to what to do, so I really had to put on my thinking cap. My artistry with contouring my lids had to change, I had to rethink my eyeliner, and I really had to figure out how to make my skin look good without relying on foundation makeup.

I tried some of the new powdered makeup that came with a sponge that was popular early in the 2000s, and that was not for me. I also tried the silky creme makeups that were applied with a sponge as well.  No dice.

Finishing off with  dusting of face powder was not working the way it used to either. That just seemed to create lines that weren't even really there.

So I ended up learning how to just use concealer where needed.  I have since discovered mineral makeup, which I love. I use Bare Escentuals, and after quickly finding my perfect shade, I found that it was wonderful to use only where needed and when blended really well, it gives the polished skin look that I had lost, without having to be fully covered with foundation.

As for my eye makeup, I realized that putting a dark shade of contour in the crease no longer worked, because now the crease is completely hidden unless I close my eyes. So I began using contour eye makeup with my eyes held open, and applying it to the skin just above the crease, and then blend, blend, blend.

I've always had a passion for eyeliner, but I've had to tone that down. Under my bottom lashes, I use just the tiniest amount, and only about halfway from the outer eye toward the inner eye.

I still have to get better at the upper eyeliner. I know it can make middle-aged women look hard, and I'm no exception, but I'm not at the point where I am ready to give up on my liner on the top lid as yet. I need to work on toning it down still, but with my thin, light, and short lashes, I do need some definition.  Perhaps just not as much as I'm doing right now.

Likely, a photo of myself with too-heavy top eyeliner will one day give me the wake-up call I need on that issue. Photos can have an excellent way of doing that.

As for lipstick, I can't and never could wear anything with even a hint of orange.  I can only wear cool colours, and I have found that a lot of the lighter, more neutral shades are just a touch on the coral side and end up looking orangey on me. I used to like deep rose shades with a hint of mauve, but that no longer suits. I do have a nice soft pink shade that is more natural looking than most pink shades from my past. I love that colour, but I just know that it will likely be discontinued by the next time I try to buy it. I will also say that on occasion, if I keep my eye makeup toned down, I do like a nice cool red lipstick. I likely won't be able to wear red lipstick at all in another 10 years, so I may as well enjoy it now from time to time.

All in all, it's been quite an experience trying to piece together my new look.

Now, I need to figure out the clothing thing.  Honestly, I am so clueless when it comes to clothes with my large tummy.  I look at how other women  who have a little extra weight dress, but most of them seem to have their weight distributed differently than mine, so it's of no help. I'll be needing some solid advice on that count. Of course getting the weight off would be even better. I still have to figure out just how I'm going to do that.

Anyway, that's about all the blathering I have for today.

Love to all, my friends.  'Til tomorrow.


  1. I found myself saying "me too" and again, "me too," throughout this post. I mostly do use the concealer and when I do end up applying a foundation, I found that I also like the mineral makeup. I often consider false eyelashes because I just want to look like I have eyes again. They used to be my best feature and now I don't have any good features! LOL I am actually considering getting my makeup done (just for fun) for a wedding we have to attend in a month. Maybe it will make me feel pretty for once.

  2. I pretty much quit make up several years ago. Mostly because of allergies and the fact that it seemed to make wrinkles show up even more. I'm glad that you're working out a new look for yourself. What is sad is a woman in her 40's or 50's who is still wearing make up the way she did in her 20's. It just doesn't look the same.


I love hearing from you.