I recently went through a midlife skin crisis. It all started on April 26, 2010. The Saturday prior, my husband and I went to a wonderful wedding, filled with great friends and on Monday (April 26) the photos from the event started to circulate. As I looked at each one, I realized that my face was wrinkly, that my skin tone was uneven, and that my face was filled with redness. I started to panic–how long had I looked like this? Why didn’t I realize it before? The panic increased when Chelsea and I attended an event a week later and received complimentary mini-facials. The woman looked at me and let out a, “OOOOHHHHHH.” “What? What is it?!” I panicked. “Your skin is severely dehydrated. And, you don’t wear any sunscreen, do you?” I was in shock–how could my skin be parched? I hydrate and moisturize every morning and night. And sunscreen? I religiously apply it. I guess my lifetime in the sun was just showing up as I edge over from my mid-thirties to being closer to 40. Deep sigh.
So, it pays to have friends in high places–Kelly, one of Breezy Mama‘s beauty editors, is one of my best friends. I shot off a panicked email saying I needed her help, and fast. We needed to go makeup shopping–I had to cover my redness and fine lines and look like a dewy woman in her 20’s. Luckily, she took on the job and we met a few weeks later. The following is what I bought, and which stopped the midlife skin crisis on the spot.
Kelly and I met and ate dinner first—we decided this is what I had to have in my arsenal:
- I need concealer and a good tinted moisturizer. At the time, I didn’t wear any. I would use some loose powder and call it a day. This is why I was showing up so red and uneven in the photos.
- I needed some new makeup. The last time Kelly took me shopping was ten years prior—when she did my makeup for my wedding day. It was obviously time to throw out the old and bring in the new.
- I needed a look for summer and another for fall (because who knew if we would have the time to do this again in a few short months).
Armed with this information, we hit Nordstrom’s and the Bobbi Brown counter where we met Savanna,
a most helpful and knowledgeable sales woman. She instantly told me that I would need some concealer (or Corrector as Bobbi calls it) in light to medium bisque, which she applied under, and in the corner of my eyes. Savannah then reached for some tinted moisturizer in “medium tint” and applied that all over my face, except for under my eyes where the corrector already was. Understanding that I am incapable of much more in the makeup arena, she left it at that and let me look in the mirror. I gasped. I was even, I was dewy, I was in shock. Why didn’t I do this before?
For blush, Savannah and Kelly decided that a Nars “Orgasm” shade would do the job for day and night, summer and fall, so I purchased some of that and we were on our way.
Since those three products rang up at approximately $100.00, we decided to do the rest of my makeup shopping at Target. First, we went for eyeliner. Kelly said that navy blue was the new thing, and thought it would go well with my blue eyes. Since I had the last purchase (or rather the COST of the last purchase) fresh in my mind, I steered to a cheap pencil that I found for a dollar.
Kelly told me no, we needed to go with something that cost a bit more, and picked out a Revlon ColorStay eyeliner in Navy. Not convinced that it was better, I tested them both out. Ummm, mine turned out to be electric blue and smudgy. I guess this is why I enlisted an expert.
Next, it was the mascaras. Kelly’s newest obsession is Maybelline’s the Colossal Volum’ Express. Mascara is the one thing that I do buy (and don’t worry about price) so I threw it in the basket without thinking twice.
Now, for the hard part—the eyeshadow. For my summer look, Kelly was picturing something neutral and
shimmery in the brown range. She picked out a Maybelline eyeshadow quad in “Sunlit Bronze.” For winter, she picked out a gray palette, also by Maybelline. This trio is called “Almond Truffles.” And, because I’m usually a soft eyeshadow wearer by day, we got Maybelline’s “Champagne Fizz” to wear solo by day and under either color combo by night. When I want to jazz things up, I can wear the navy eyeliner. For those of you who are like me and not makeup smart, these quads are very user friendly. Each color is labeled to where you put it (lid, crease, etc.) with a detailed instructional how-to on the back. I was in business.
So, my final look (step by step):
- Moisturize (with a high SPF—I’m currently using Josie Maran’s SPF 40+ Daily Sun Protection and love it).
- Apply concealer to under eyes.
- Apply tinted moisturizer.
- Marvel on how much better my skin looks (seriously, two months later I’m still amazed).
- Apply eyeshadow.
- Apply eyeliner. Can wear either navy or brown eyeliner depending on occasion.
- Apply Nars blush no matter the occasion.
Wah-lah! Am done. Yes, this new routine may take a bit longer than my old, “wash face and go” but my self-esteem has gone up a notch so I’ve decided that it’s worth it. And, what’s an extra five minutes with a kid pulling on your leg, right?
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