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The Horror of My First Wrinkles: A Sad Skin Care Story, Told in GIFs

Hilarious!!

StyleCaster

There are countless things I love about working in the beauty industry—always having the inside track on the hottest new products, the life-long friendships I’ve cultivated, an endless supply of lipsticks—and I wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world. But when I signed up for this, no one told me that I’d also be putting my own looks under a microscope, day after day, just as a natural side-effect of the job.

While it may seem kind of vain, I’ve become downright obsessive—and more than a little critical—of my skin. That’s hard to admit, especially since the beauty industry is about helping people look and feel their best. And yet it’s hard not to be your own worst critic. Some of the people I work with day to day have literally flawless skin, and it’s difficult not to compare yourself to perfection. As I sit through endless conferences on new dermatological breakthroughs, the…

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On Blending and Contouring… A Real World Makeup Adventure on an OLDER Face

Me, after the contouring/spackle business, with hair in pincurls.

Me, after the contouring/spackle business, with hair in pincurls.

Blending and contouring have been big, big things since… forever.

Kim Kardashian has been blowing up the blending/contouring makeup world with numerous videos.

If you search on youtube, a zillion tutorials will pop up:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kardashian+contouring+tutorial

This post was inspired by a recent blog done by Elizabeth over at ElizabethandLipstick.com– it’s a great makeup blog and she’s lovely, check it out.  That is how it is supposed to look on dewy, fresh young faces.

How would the SAME technique work on an older person?  Let’s find out:

Before I had a baby and before my botox melted, this would have been a do-able ‘going out’ look.

As most women will find, a lighter hand is needed the older and more wrinkly one gets.

The brush that once would have made for a flawless complexion is replaced by the beauty blending spongy thing.

Care must be taken to keep the crap from settling in the teeny lines- which it WILL DO- or to keep it from smearing like that old lady in that 1993 Little Caesar’s pizza commercial:

Ivory_7affb2fb-09d7-4fee-b524-8310022db168

this is my holy grail of under eye concealers- covers beautifully and doesn’t crease/budge.

Since I NOW have an ‘au naturel’ 46 yr old face- thanks to a 10 month old with separation anxiety and inability to be put down long enough so I can PEE- full on MAKEUP TIME is merely a special occasion endeavor.

Other things to remember when laying down that spackle, older ladies:

1. Your face is either going to be too dry or too oily, or both.  Switch up your products.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Amazing Concealer by Amazing Cosmetics.  It barely budges or creases, no matter how humid the weather.  It doesn’t make you look like a decrepit, decaying wax doll, either.

2. Go EASY on that setting powder, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF BOTOX.  Nothing shows fine lines like a dusting of powder around the eyes.  Yeah, I know we may need it, but damn. It’s not fun to look at one’s face too closely. Sometimes I am glad that our up close eye sight is failing.

3. Use a wet beauty blender sponge- it gives a more sheer coverage- and you can use your fingers to layer more on and blend, blend, blend- BLEND- and blend some more. Remember back in the day when your mom or grandma used Pan-Cake makeup and the wet sponge?  Same damned thing, different name and shape.

these egg shaped sponges are the BOMBDIGGITY, girls.

these egg shaped Beauty Blender sponges are the BOMBDIGGITY, girls.

4. Invest in a good MAGNIFYING MIRROR, the higher the magnification, the better.  Get big ones, small ones, purse sized ones. They are SO worth it.  Nothing worse than blindly trying to glue some false eyelashes on and having the strip somehow adhere to your makeup smeared reading glasses… sad, but true.  (Yes, younger women reading this- you will someday experience these things as well- prepare for the inevitable NOW.)

5. Is your face starting to lose that luster, that sparkle it once had?  Are you getting that peri-menopausal powdery older lady skin?  Chemical peels/dermabrasion/laser treatments help with that.  A good highlighter cream or powder (that sparkly stuff) also works wonders.  LORAC used to make an excellent one. Lately, I’ve been loving Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands.  It’s a dupe for Benefit’s WATT’S UP! at a fraction of the price.  It’s sheer and it’s wearable with or without foundation.  Excellent product.

6. Don’t be lazy like I am.  Use a makeup primer and eye makeup primer.  Those things rock. They even out skin imperfections and disguise pores, some lines, and help the makeup STAY ON YOUR FACE. There’s a crotch itch/thigh rubbing cream sold in the lady bits section of stores that has the exact SAME INGREDIENTS as one of the most popular primers, but the name escapes me. I *do* know that it costs about $4 vs $30 for the primo stuff.

Now for the contouring/highlighting parts:

I actually used this tutorial from GlamBoothTv’s youtube site- it’s great and you can blow it up nice and full screen while you slap that makeup on your face:

Here is a list of the makeup used for the contouring:

Primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Priming Potion on eye lids
Concealer: Amazing Concealer in I can’t read the freaking small print on this tube
Foundation: Revlon Colorstay 24 Hours Whipped Creme Makeup in 220 Nude
Contouring (dark color): Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup in Shade 44; some matte brown eyeshadow for the nose
Highlighter(s): Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands
Powder: Revlon Age Defying Powder with DNA Advantage in Medium; also used Coty Airspun Face Powder in Light/Medium Neutral Tone

Up close around the nose and eyes.  Yeah, someone needs to give me a tutorial on how to get those modern 'square front' brows!

Up close around the nose and eyes. Yeah, someone needs to give me a tutorial on how to get those modern ‘square front’ brows!

I did exactly (well, almost… as much as possible) as the video instructed.  I seriously need a tutorial on the mod new brow thing all you gals are doing.  I am BEGGING you.  Step by step… please.

The look was a bit disconcertingly heavy after the last 2 yrs of minimal makeup.  My undereye area is in need of some filler in the tear trough region.  I knew that the foundation would settle as I did my hair, which it did.  All in all, I was pleased with the results, but it isn’t a do-able look for me for everyday.  My skin has learned to BREATHE in the interim and no longer will stand for thick makeup daily.

all the contours and highlights, ducklips and all- on my vintage head.

all the contours and highlights, ducklips and all- on my vintage head.

One thing I dared NOT do once this concoction was applied to my face was:  KISS, TALK MUCH, SMILE, let anyone touch my head.  I had to put a plastic grocery bag (yeah, bad for the environment, yadda…) over my head and had to let someone help pull the clothes on.

All this “Kardashian-ness” is hard work.  I was worried about the makeup staining the neckline of my outfit.

I have to admit, all the contouring and highlighting (or ‘strobing’, as I’ve seen the kids call it now) is way too 1990s flashback for me.  I felt less like Kim and more like Kris Jenner mated with the newly minted Caitlyn by the end of this.  Eat your hearts out, fellow momagers…

photo 4

the end result wasn’t terribly bad, once I put the lippie on and did something to the hair.  I still kinda scream “MOMAGER”, though.

photo 5

this is a look that, on an older woman like myself, says “I survived the 1980s and 1990s and I have the hair to prove it” #bighairdontcare

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“OMG, You Don’t Look Your Age…” Let Me Tell You Why

A photo of my entire face with the glossy balm on the lips.

A photo of my entire face with the glossy balm on the lips.

A lot of older mothers I know (mostly through Facebook, on the older mums groups) complain that they’ve been asked if their children were their grandkids.  Thankfully, I haven’t had that problem.  I have the exact OPPOSITE issue.

I am 46 and a HALF this month, by the way…

During pregnancy it was almost comical to see the doctors and nurses do a double take or assume that there was a mistake regarding my actual birth date.  Though my face didn’t show my age, I still have a ton of issues that plague middle-aged people (high blood pressure, genetic autoimmune disorders, bad back and arthritis, etc.).

I try to control my health issues by eating right (half the time, some of the time) and exercise (again, sporadic), plus loads of supplements.

My face- well, that one is easy.  I will share with all of you outright what I do.

When you see women in Hollywood who are over 40 and look a-mazing, you’ll also hear their denials about having any work done.  That’s bullsh*t.  99.9 percent of these women HAVE and DO get things done to make themselves look younger.  They have access to products that most normal people haven’t even heard of.  Their JOB is to look good.

Genetics also plays a HUGE roll in how we look, but taking care of ourselves yields even greater rewards, in my opinion.

People say, “Oh, it’s not NATURAL”- or, “It’s too much work”.  Well, you get out of it what you put into it, just like anything else.  If it’s not your cup of tea, terrific.  If it is, good for you!

I have no idea why people are ashamed to admit to a beauty regimen or a little work.

While I have never had any surgical procedures done on my face, I HAVE done the following:
(Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional and what works for me may not work for you- consult your doctor)

  • Botox, love it.  This is the botulism you’ve been waiting for. I’ve been getting it off and on since I was about 30 yrs. old.  It prevents wrinkles from forming- and, unlike what some people say, it doesn’t erase all your facial expressions if you get it from a good doctor.  It lasts about 4-6 months at a time.  I sometimes go a year between sessions, but generally get it done every so often.  I liken it to touching up the grays in my hair (yes, I have those, too).  Botox can erase 5-10 yrs off a person’s face in a matter of days.  If you’re in SW Michigan, Bellissima Medical Spa and Dr. Cheryl MacDonald are AMAZING.  Those ladies look great and do fantastic work.
  • Chemical Peels  These remove the damaged layers of skin and can erase years, acne scars, you name it.  Depending on the type of peel you get, you may have some down time and may also look like a peeling zombie for a while.  I’ve done Jessner’s Peels and some lighter ones.  You don’t want to do this at home.  If your skin is a good candidate, it can yield terrific results.
  • Dermabrasion I haven’t done this in a few years, but I always love the results.  It’s kind of like sandblasting the layers of skin on your face.  They now make decent at home treatments- not as good as what one could get from a pro.  It’s a sort of super-exfoliation. Not much down time, if any at all.
  • Dermarollers They work, but not a great fan of them.  Basically, it’s a little roller thingie with teeny needles in it.  You roll it over your face and it stimulates collagen growth.  I’ve seen it work on deep acne scars and my uncle’s forehead wrinkles.  I personally can’t be bothered with it.  Amazon sells them.
  • Facercise THIS WORKS!  I’ve been doing facial exercises (not all the time, sporadically, like everything else) since my early 30s and it really DOES tone the muscles and skin on the face.  I like it, but I generally forget to do them or get bored with it.  People that stick with it really get firmer, more youthful faces.
  • Artefill  I’ve done this once, for the hollows under my tear troughs.  It’s a type of filler that is permanent and supposedly boosts collagen production in your skin.  I don’t know if it has improved anything, as I only did a conservative amount 2 yrs ago.  I should ask my doctor to see my before pics.  I’d do this again.  It looked incredible after I did it the first time, but still not sure whether the stuff has lasted.
  • Vitamin C Serum Just discovered this stuff recently, while shopping on Amazon.  Vitamin C exfoliates the skin, for a more luminous complexion.  If you have acne scars or lots of sun damage- you NEED THIS!!  My pores are smaller, lines are diminishing, and my face looks firmer- after only 2 weeks of use!  I use the Coui Vitamin C Serum and am hooked!  Click the link and read the reviews.
  • Latisse I have skimpy, Asian type eyelashes and brows, thanks to my mother.  This stuff is pricey and requires a doctor’s prescription, but it WORKS.  After 4 months of use, my lashes went from nothing to WOW.  I stopped using it during pregnancy, but started back on recently.  I use a teeny eyeliner brush and ONE drop of the stuff on both eyes and both brows.  Doing it that way yields the same results and you can stretch a bottle out for 2-3 months.  Also, I’ve seen generic foreign versions (Bimatoprost and Careprost) sold online for a fraction of the US cost, with good reviews.
  • Makeup  I don’t wear as much makeup as I did before the baby was born- actually, I rarely wear it because I really don’t have a lot of time most days.  Good makeup can make anyone look great.  Even if you just do a swipe of mascara and a bit of concealer under the eyes and some lipgloss, it perks up a face.  Too much makeup can be aging, so as you get older, your makeup should change as well.  We often lose the ‘glow’ our skin once had as we get older, too.  A good highlighter works wonders.
  • Hair Color As I grow older, my hair has been getting grayer.  I color my hair.  I find that the darker colors I once loved are aging and harsh, so I’ve been gradually been going blonder.  I love it.
  • Weird Korean Snail Cream My friend posted an article about Mizon Snail Cream on FB and I tried it and love it.  It’s now my go-to night cream.  I have no problems with snail snot on my face- it looks like any other lotion and makes the skin SO soft.
  • STAY OUT OF THE SUN!  DON’T TAN- OR AT LEAST, DON’T TAN YOUR FACE!!!!!! This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS.  It KILLS me to watch women continue to fake and bake in the tanning beds or in the sun.  If you love laying out, wear a hat.  So many of my friends have been treated for skin cancers, it’s just scary.  I grew up on a beach, but never was one to just lay there and tan.  Turns out now I am not even supposed to go in the sun without sunscreen because of my lupus (it triggers flares).  Get a spray tan (I hate spray tans, too.  They smell too much like cat pee to me).  Don’t cook yourself.
  • DRINK A TON OF WATER!  I try to get 2-3 liters minimum per day.  A hydrated body means hydrated skin.  I am not always successful, but I try to keep track of my water intake.

                    Supplements I take WITHOUT FAIL:

  • Vitamin D3, I take about 10k-20k ius a day.  Helps keep depression at bay and keeps lupus from acting up.  I never get colds anymore, either.  Wonderful stuff.  I get my Vitamin D levels checked often and they are NEVER too high, even with the dosage I consume.
  • Ubiquinol from Naturewise yeah, this is the stuff that got me pregnant and studies show that it greatly improves cardiovascular health and prevents free-radical cell damage.  Also gives me a nice boost of energy that I need in order to care for my baby.
  • Lugol’s Iodine  I live in a place that has a problem with iodine deficiency.  Lugols iodine is the ONLY type of iodine that can be consumed.  Here is a link to the health benefits of iodine.