The one thing that I want you to learn about make-up is to be open to change. We all knew those women when we were growing up who looked like relics of the sixties and seventies because they were afraid to try something new and go for a more modern look. We don’t want to be the New Century equivalent of the lady who wears a permy mullet, blue mascara and super dark “contouring” blush (you probably don’t remember people trying to create cheekbones where they didn’t have any. It was horrid.) Now that I’ve said that let’s move along to actual make-up.
Anything you read having to do with makeup usually starts with the skin which is the foundation of your face. I prefer a different approach; namely, I want to start with the things I think are most important and noticeable and work back from there. So we should be hitting eyelash curlers sometime in August. What’s first on our makeup agenda?
It talks. It smiles. It yells. It cries. It has a lot of work to do. And it has to look good while doing it.
It is the crown jewel of your face.
Your lip color should not be an afterthought. Don’t think you can put on some Chapstick and call it good. Maybe if you’re sixteen. But once you hit your late twenties your face needs a boost. Here’s the story: lipstick is not just about your lips. Color on your lips enhances your skin. It makes it look rosier and brighter. It makes your eyes look shinier and your hair look prettier. I’m not kidding. If you aren’t the lipcolor-wearing person, just try it. You will feel odd at the beginning. You will feel like your lips look like a neon sign. But something strange will happen: people will ask you if you did something different with your hair. They will tell you that you look nice today or that a shirt you’ve worn a million times looks good on you. Nobody will realize that it’s all just because of lipstick.
OK, OK, I hear you whining, “but I haaaate lipstick”. I know. You wear it and it comes off on everything and it needs to be reapplied all the time. Yuck! But there is something different. It’s called long-wearing lipstick and it’s been around for a few years. It’s fantastic, fabulous stuff. I mean really, really fantastic. It actually does last all day. I have no idea why anybody would wear regular lipstick anymore. When I do my makeup I want it to stay done for a good long time so I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.
Long-wearing lipstick is pretty much only found in cheapo places. So you’ll be going to Walgreens or Target or The Store That Must Not Be Named (ahem, Walmart). Apparently rich folks don’t mind getting lipstick all over the place and reapplying it willy-nilly, but I have better things to do with my time and money than that, thankyouverymuch.
Not all brands are created equal. My favorites these days are Maybelline and Revlon. You want to look for lipcolors that say things like “18 hour color”. They won’t actually last that long. You will get maybe 8-10 hours of wear, which is still a pretty long time. Ignore anything that says it lasts for less than 12 hours; it’s worthless.
I don’t have to tell you that the scariest thing about lipstick, though, is finding the right color. The good news is that lipstick colors are more flattering and attractive than they’ve ever been. Most everyone looks good in a nice brownish pink. Look at the color of your tongue sometime. That’s the color we’re aiming for. No oranges or mauves. There can be a place for those, but not if you are easing back into the makeup scene. Luckily for you I’ve picked out a few neutral colors that I think will look good on most everyone. Keep in mind that all skin is different, so I can’t say for sure that you will look fab automatically, but these are as close as you’re going to get without me coming along to the store with you.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about long-wearing lipstick: it is made up of two parts, the color and the topcoat. The way it stays on is by applying the color (very liquidy) and letting it dry thoroughly (it takes a couple of minutes. I put it on and then finish my eyes and hair. By then it’s time for the topcoat). Once it’s dry, you can apply the topcoat/gloss/balm. Apply the gloss throughout the day as needed to keep your lips looking and feeling luscious. Secondly, keep a tissue handy to blot your lips immediately after applying, especially if you’re not much of a lipstick wearer. The first few times you apply it you might want to blot off quite a bit of the color until you get used to the way you look. If you totally screw things up the only way to get long-wearing lipstick off is with eye-makeup remover (or scrubbing your lips with a toothbrush. Ow!)
Now let’s move on to the fun part:
This is a lovely rosy shade called Chestnut (790) by Maybelline Superstay. It’s a natural browny pink that is really luscious and fresh without being too bright. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for this time of year. A great color for Spring and Summer and lasts for-evah once it’s on.
My favorite is called Faithful Fawn by Revlon Colorstay Overtime. It’s a gorgeous tawny rose that looks good on just about any sort of coloring. It lasts for about 8 hours. Instead of having a lipstick-type balm topcoat, it has a liquidy gloss that goes on with a cute little brush. It is so outrageously shiny and fab. It’s a tiny bit sticky, as lip glosses tend to be, but I barely notice it. My sister, however, hates lip gloss. Be forewarned (BTW, this is not a picture of the actual color. It’s not bright red. Don’t have a heart attack.)
If you are fair and just freaking out about the idea of wearing any color on your lips, try Plumlite Sheer by Revlon (Colorstay Overtime). My 14 year old wears this and it looks very pretty. It’s a sweet shiny pink (not bubblegum, though. Just a nice, mellow color). A titch too pale for me, but if you wear minimal makeup this might be just your speed.
Have fun with this! Finding your perfect color can be a little frustrating, but it is so very rewarding once you do. Make sure you check your makeup outside (that’s the real reason for your car’s rear-view mirror in case you didn’t know) before you pass a final judgement. My makeup looks very different in my bathroom lighting than it does outdoors. Let me know how it goes!