Many of you have written to ask for tips on makeup and hairstyles that respect our changing faces. I am sharing my step by step routine with you here.
Permanent makeup, fillers, and plastic surgery are not options I am considering. I don’t mind the character and expression lines that my face has developed over the years. I firmly believe that healthy eating, lots of water and regular exercise are the best beauty routines one can follow.
I stopped coloring my hair after my fiftieth birthday and found a great stylist who gives me a softly layered bob that frames and slims my roundish face. Ask your stylist for a cut that works with the natural tendency of your hair and one that complements the shape of your face. A good stylist will also consider if your style is complementary to the size and shape of your body. For example, a petite woman peering out from a huge bush of long hair is not in balance with her proportions.
As for styling products, I don’t use anything but a gentle sulfate-free shampoo about three times a week. I sometimes rinse my hair in the shower and then reshape it for the day, but skip the products entirely on most days. My thinning hair and dry scalp do not respond well to most products. A build-up of styling products adds too much weight making my hair flat. It also gets trimmed about every two months. I don’t allow my hair to get too long or get it cut too short. Both extremes add years to my face.
Warm water and a gentle skin cleanser remove makeup in the evening. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser in the pump bottle is my choice for a cleanser. I splash some warm water on my face to rinse it and then pat dry. I find that eye creams add puffiness and night time moisturizers cause me to break out, so I skip those. One of my all time favorite moisturizers for my face, body, hair, and nails is Coconut Oil.
I’ve also streamlined my makeup routine. In winter, I use a moisturizer, but in summer, I use only a tinted moisturizer with a high SPF.
I use makeup brushes rather than sponge applicators. They allow for better blending and less tugging on the skin. I use a liquid eyeliner applied into and under the base of my upper eyelashes (on the waterline). I don’t apply liner or mascara to my lower lashes because this looks very harsh on me. My eyeshadow is always the same in varying degrees of depth of color for the day versus evening and includes a very pale gray, a darker gray and a rosy brown that complements my cool skin tone. I start with the darkest gray in my lash line and just above it.
For more definition and drama, I add a smoky gray color at the outside corner of my eye. I use a gray pencil or powder from Merle Norman to fill in my thin brows, but I’m careful to blend and brush that out as well. I use black mascara, and that’s it for eyes.
I brush on a bit of blush in a rose-tone high on the cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and under my chin. If your skin is very dry cream blush might be best for you. Once again blend, blend, blend!
I apply a lip liner over my whole lip and then a very similar color of lipstick. My lip colors are never harsh or dark. During the evening, I may wear brighter lip color, but I apply and blot it several times while I am applying my make up so that it stains my lips rather than sliding around on top. I will use a similar color lip balm to touch up during the evening.
I almost always wear sunglasses when I’m outdoors, and if I am in the sun for more than a few minutes, I also wear a hat. Skin cancer is no fun, and I hope never to have it again.