Less Makeup Part II

Thank you for the tremendous responses on the last post about wearing less makeup. There were so many questions in the comments both here and on Facebook and many, many emailed questions that I decided to post a part two about my makeup choices. I never say that this is what you should do; I am just allowing you to be part of the decision-making process about what is best for me.

As an artist, I have enjoyed wearing makeup all of my life, but let’s face it, my canvas has changed, so my technique will also need to change. The main reason I have decided to stop wearing or cut way back on the makeup I wear during the day is simple. Other people see it better than I do, and it was not a pretty picture after a few hours and in different light situations. For example, if I do not match the color perfectly, the stopping and starting points show vividly in natural light. After a few hours, the foundation settled into the little lines and creases, making them more visible no matter how well I applied it. My skin starts on the dry side, and then in a couple of hours, the natural oils return, which moves everything into the creases.

We went away for the weekend to celebrate Mr. Mickey’s birthday. That’s me with Thia, the lodge cat at the place we stayed. I am wearing almost no makeup. I have to say it felt great!

As someone mentioned in the comments section, what I eat and drink plays a huge part in my skin quality. Clean food and water give me a clean complexion, while eating processed food and drinking too much wine gives me a red, puffy, broken out face with visible broken capillaries.

Now on to the products I use and why.

I had skin cancer once, so I never want to go through that again. I wear a hat and sunglasses when I will be out in the sun for more than a few minutes. I also wear sunscreen.

I fill in my brows with small upward strokes and a very light hand. I use the pen above by Kat Von D in the lightest color they have, which is Blonde.

The next step is a minimal amount of eyeshadow applied to make my hooded eyes appear less so. I use neutral colors, and I always try to pick up the colors in my skin, hair, and eyes. I never match my clothing. Never! I blend the color toward the center of my eyelid only. I never swoop it out toward my hairline. The lightest color always goes in the corners near my nose and then gets darker as I approach my eyelid’s outer part. I no longer put any highlight color on the brow bone above the crease.

I apply eyeliner into only the top lash line and slightly above and under the waterline’s lashes. I do not apply anything to the lower lash line because that can look very harsh. I use a liner pencil by Beautycounter. A few strokes of mascara and the eyes are done. My mascara is also by Beautycounter. Other products have made my eyes water and itch, so I do not stray from these trusted products.

On the rare evenings when I now wear foundation, I start with a little primer around my nose where the pores are large. I blend out away from my nose. I add a pea-size portion of liquid foundation to my palm and then use the foundation brush to apply only at the center of my face and blend outward. A small sponge may be used around my nose and mouth to remove and blend more around my nose and mouth.

To finish up, I add a little (Aplum) blush from Lancome on the top of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and a tiny bit on the chin. My lip color is often Americana from Merle Norman.

I think most about enhancing the features I like, rather than trying to cover up what I don’t like about my face.

On the last day of our weekend away, we stopped at the highest point of The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina for a photo. I wore a white tank top, white jeans, and a black mesh trimmed jacket, all old from Chico’s. The sandals were from DSW last year. The sunglasses are from last year by DG (Dolce & Gabbana).

  1. I agree that as we age less sometimes needs to be more. I also have problems with foundation sinking into the little lines and creases. I have been using Ulta MD tinted sunscreen for about three years. It adds just enough color to smooth things out, has 41 SPF, and is not greasy at all. I purchase it at my dermatologist’s office, but have also seen it at clinics that do cosmetic facial procedures. Ulta MD has a full line of sunscreens that I like very much.

    1. I think you mean EltaMD? The one you are referring to is called UV Physical. I’ve just started using it and love it. It’s the only facial sunscreen I can use (other than straight zinc – yuck!) without horribly flaring up my rosacea, because it contains no chemical sunscreens, just physical sunscreen components. Like you, I love the tint and can go without foundation when I use this sunscreen. Highly recommended!

      Do you find that the other Elta sunscreens are better than the typical?

  2. Thank you for the follow-up. I liked the apt comment that your face is a canvas that has changed. I enjoy the “canvas” I have now. It’s way calmer than my teenaged skin. Therefore I use different products and techniques.

  3. I find that lipstick is the one essential makeup item I can’t go without. A nice bright shade of lipstick wakes up my face and gives me a more polished look even when I don’t have any other makeup on. Without lipstick I look pale, tired and my skin looks a tad gray. My biggest problem is keeping lipstick on and remembering to reapply during the day.

  4. If wearing make-up, Less is definitely more and blend, blend, blend and check it in natural light before leaving the house. I was at a daytime event recently and the gal sitting beside me, probably in her mid 50’s had used contouring and highlighting. Seriously?!! All I focused on when I looked at her was dark brown lines on her jawline. She probably would have looked fine for a candle lit dinner, but not in harsh daylight.

  5. Susan, are there certain bras/panties that you wear with white pants/tanks? Thank you for all your great advice.

  6. I love the idea of less makeup. I am trying to accomplish that at the moment and you give me great inspiration.

  7. You look awesome and always together, thanks for all the info. …1 question is your hair national color it is beautiful

  8. Hi Susan,
    Wow, that’s a lot of steps and a lot of product for “less makeup”. For me, it’s just a tinted moisturizer (with sunscreen) and a quick swipe of mascara on my top lashes and out the door. To each her own, you are beautiful.

  9. Unfortunately, my skin reacts to that particular sunblock. I must use mineral sunblock. And that becomes a problem, because it settles in the creases of my neck. I use tinted mineral products, but it’s still visible. Thus, i am very fond of lightweight, washable summer scarves with a pattern!

  10. You pushed me to do the less make up routine. I do like it. Makes life a lot simpler and feels good. I too have gotten several ” You look pretty today”! Love that. Thanks, keep up the good looks!

  11. Susan,

    Loving these posts. And totally agree about makeup. The only time I pile it on is when I’m doing a video interview, (if I don’t I simply disappear) and then rush to remove 80% of it when the interview is over. I want to get one of the French Kande necklaces soon. They’re lovely.

    My husband and I will be in Boone for three weeks in August, but our workshops there are every weekend – Friday-Sunday, and one Monday. I know you and Mr. Mickey only travel on the weekends, so I imagine we won’t be able to connect up with you.

    Loving your posts.

    Andrea Pflaumer

  12. Gorgeous! I turned 60, too, and am re-evaluating my makeup. Just noticed this morning that my foundation is sinking into lines, so this post is timely. I’m also growing out my dyed brown hair, letting my silvers shine! So liberating! I love your hair like this and I think (hope) this will be my hairstyle when it’s all grown out. Is the hair routing you posted on the other blog still the same? A really flattering style.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this information, Susan. As always, you look beautiful, but you truly are beautiful inside and out, sharing these tips with us!

  14. Your photo with very little makeup is beautiful. You are correct in that what we put on our skin should be as natural as possible. What is the point of eating good if we cover our face in chemicals.
    And I think it is up to us mature ladies to show the younger girls the importance of natural beauty and to embrace all life gives us.

  15. Another great post! Thank you as always for sharing the products you’ve found to be awesome. Whether purchased from your site or online, each of your recommendations I’ve purchased have exceeded my expectations.

  16. Thanks for the tips! Have you ever tried Boom by Cindy Joseph? I’m curious about your opinion of those products. Her philosophy is “pro-age”, being genuine in your beauty with an honest and realistic approach.

  17. Your face in the picture with you holding the cat is amazing. You look like you are glowing (in an awesome way too). Less definitely looks good on you – not that when you wore more it was bad just saying that that picture is great. You look so happy, young and refreshed.

  18. Thank you for the product details,especially the brow pencil. Like the less make up look & your outfit. Sweet cat photo; your skin looks truly luminous! Have a great week.

  19. Thanks for another great post. I like the information for brow pencils some of the ones I’ve tried just disappear especially at the gym. I use Ulta MD sport sunscreen . Is the black jacket a current item from Chicos? Your outfit is beautiful as usual.

  20. You look fabulous and I agree with your makeup ideas completely. Have followed the same ideas for the last 6 months just with different products! Thank you.

  21. You look fabulous! Thank you for the honest and real post on makeup!

    Not only have I found that less more, that the landscape of my own face has changed (58) but add to that being in a out of a vehicle (outside sales) all day in hot, humid FL and frankly when I tried keeping up with a made up look all day the results were horrid!

    I have embraced a similar routine to look nice and more importantly confident in my own skin. You have given validity to my thoughts!

    Last but not least, I totally love your style. I have a wishlist for items from your site. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful things with us!

  22. Im guessing I am not the only one with less make up on this last weekend! You go girl!-laurel

  23. I love your sunglasses collection. Do you wear contacts? I never see you in glasses. Are you blessed with good vision?

    I watched your makeup YouTube a year or so ago and adopted some of your techniques then. Surprisingly, I switched to a less-is-more look 3 months ago. I use a primer and very light weight foundation on my nose to take away the red, then dust on a translucent powder to take away some of the shine.

    Thanks for always sharing so much with us.

  24. Susan, thank you for reminding me that life changes all of us. Our response to change is up to us. Changes can be wonderful if we keep our hearts and minds open and adjust with them. I began your regimen this last weekend and actually had compliments on my eyes! And I hadn’t changed that! I’ve been using Merle Norman eye shadow primer and applying the shadow in the same way you do for years. Obviously, the foundation was distracting from a feature I like! Thanks for the nudge to give less a try. My face feels much better. At nearly 68, foundation, highlighter and concealer have all turned on me. Actually, after this experience, I realized it was past time to embrace the skin I have, adjust for the changes and be grateful daily. Yours is the only blog I now follow. Again, thank you for sharing your journey with us with honesty and grace.

  25. Whew!!I thought you said never any makeup at all. I am happy to hear you use a little to enhance your features .I agree with this approach .I use IT CC tinted cream with 50spf.My eyes are my best feature and I line upper lid only with a navy liner.
    Shadow is neutral colors only ,my brows have faded and thinned out so a brow pencil is a must.Lips are wrinkled,thin and crooked so only a pale skin toned color.
    I so agree with you how change is necessary as we age or we start looking clownish.
    I want to go grey but the grow out process is daunting.
    Happy to hear you and Mr Mickey had a good birthday celebration.

  26. Your makeup looks very fresh and your skin just glows!! I was wondering if you use black or brown eyeliner? I have always used black since my lashes and brows are very dark. But now that I am older not sure if I should be using dark brown instead?

  27. I would like to know what lipstick products women have had luck with. I have issues with my lipstick migrating into my lip lines. I have used a wax pencil to line,but have not found a great lipstick brand.

  28. You have such beautiful skin! And always look so pretty and classy. I do agree that less is better as you age. My grandmother was such a beautiful lady and never wore much makeup. She always stressed to me the importance of taking good care of your skin and eating a healthy diet. People always commented on her beautiful complexion.
    I always remember her telling me the same thing you said, use makeup to enhance your best features and, even then, make it look as natural as possible. She was beautiful inside and out, much like you, Susan. Thank you for your wonderful tips and fashion advice for us as we age. You are helping us all do so more gracefully and stylishly!!

  29. Dear Susan
    A quick comment. I attended your
    Lunch/learn this Spring in Johnson City
    You have been in the Spot Light so
    Long and you alone know what is best for you.
    You have a beautiful natural
    Complexion and really do not need much
    I am 75 and am going through the same
    Problems just now.

    I agree with your current make up
    Routine and ideas. Keep looking

    Jean Holmes

  30. I had an aggressive cancer on my lower eyelid-probably from years of wearing eyeliner and sunglasses that did not prevent the sun from hitting the corners of my eye. I live in Florida, where skin cancer is very common-also, had it on my arm. I stopped wearing eye makeup, and now use only very light makeup in other places-it actually takes years off to wear less! I am loving your posts, because I am a 62 year old Susan from Alabama-wearing reasonable shoes now too!

  31. Do you use foundation and primer over the sunscreen? Do you use moisturizer with the foundation, or is the sunscreen your moisturizer? I use concealer for eyeshadow. It brightens up my eyes.

    1. I don’t use any concealer, but I used to use a primer for eyeshadow. It was by Lancome. Sunscreen always goes on first. (Never wear sunscreen on the day of a photo shoot. It causes white blots when the flash reflects off of it.) I now wear foundation only at night, so I don’t use sunscreen with it.

  32. Susan, this was an awesome post. I, too, have started wearing less makeup. I have not used liquid eyeliner and will give that a try as pencil is getting harder to draw on. I love that you also mentioned the good advice on what you put in your body as being essential to looking good. When I do clean eating I find I feel better. Eating processed food is noticed in my joints!

  33. Excellent info regarding products; THANK YOU! I have problems w/my eyelids and reactions to liner and mascara. Please explain what you mean by: “I apply eyeliner into only the top lash line and SLIGHTLY ABOVE AND UNDER THE LASHES ON THE WATERLINE.”

    Thank you!

    1. I don’t just draw a tiny line on my lid above my eyelashes. I use a lighted magnified mirror to put the liner over, between and under the thinning lashes on the water line close to my eye but not all the way to it. It requires a steady hand.

  34. Can you share what products you use to remove makeup and cleanse your face…morning and night routine? My face is easily aggravated with makeup removal…would love to know an effective but gentle foundation remover. Sadly, I am allergic to coconut oil.

  35. So, when you say you aren’t “wearing makeup” what you really mean is that you aren’t wearing foundation, but still wearing eye, lip, and cheek color as outlined in this post? I use the term “makeup” to refer to all of the things I put on my face (mascara. liner, etc), and so I was assuming that you were putting NOTHING (except moisturizer etc) on your face! This makes much more sense. At 56, I have stopped wearing foundation for the same reasons you mention. I do still need a bit of concealer below my eyes –
    very thin skin there which looks dark. On the rest of my fact, though, I only use just my moisturizer and a bit of blush. But, I still must do something to my eyes or I feel like a fade away too much. Thanks for clarifying your routine – it makes more sense now!!!

  36. I really appreciate your suggestions on the make-up choices. There is so many products it becomes stressful to choose! Also love your classic and clean style, Thank you! I am a petite 5ft. ,65yr.
    Old and like to be current in style, makes me feel better about myself.

  37. Hi! I have just discovered your blog and love it! Love the guidance about makeup but I was wondering what your thoughts are about concealer (under eyes or..anywhere?)

    1. I don’t use concealer because it just looks like a bunch of gook on my skin. I think we have to look carefully at our makeup in different lighting to see how it really looks.

      1. Thank you for that. I felt that way too but wasn’t sure if I was just doing it wrong. You have given me the confidence to get rid of that awful stuff (-: !

  38. I wonder if you have heard of BOOM by Cindy Joseph?
    Her products are wonderful and so natural looking.

  39. Love reading about everything you do ! I’m over 60 and it’s great hearing about things for our age group!

  40. Thanks for tips on make up. I’m in the same boat, and in need if some new products and ideas on makeup mine is not working for me . So thanks for products names I’m going to try. Also just saying I love your style so easy for me.

  41. I love your comments on makeup as it certainly holds true for the majority of us at a certain age (less is more). Many thanks for taking the time and sharing these “tid bits” with us as we can learn a great deal from you.
    I also like your comments on clothes and buying quality rather than fads or inappropriate trends. I personally have learned some key ideas from you and they are most appreciated. My being in my mid 70’s doesn’t exclude my age group from trying to stay in style but in a more refined/classic way than keeping up on the present fashion styles too young for us..
    Many thanks again and hope you continue sharing your advice for many years.
    Clara Bulens

  42. I have just recently found you and am enjoying your thoughts on dress and makeup. I have age spots on my forehead and checks. What should I use to minimize and even my skin tone? I am 72 and like you do not wear much makeup but have been using a foundation from Maybelline called Dream Satin Liquid. I have been applying it with a sponge to my forehead, nose, and cheeks leaving my chin natural.
    I use to have oily skin as a teen but over the years my skin has dried out some. I am open to your suggestions …

    Thank you,

    1. I have been able to reduce the visibility of my age spots with the Overnight Resurfacing Peel here. Pat it on your face, neck, and bodice a few nights a week. I hope it helps you too.

  43. Sounds wonderful for you. However, I have too many brown spots on my face from too much sun when younger, but do try to use less. (I am 82, by the way.) Do so enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.