Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I Just Woke Up Looking Like This

Friday, March 20th, was officially the first day of spring, although you couldn’t prove it by me.  When I looked out my window that day I did NOT see “the flowers that bloom in the spring Tra La.”  I saw snow – about eight inches of it before the day was over. 

Spring is finally here, and I know it not just because March snows have turned to April showers,

But because my In Box is full of e-mails from make-up and skin care companies touting “The New Look” for spring and how to achieve it with their products. 

And The New Look for spring is…..drum roll, please……No Makeup Makeup.  I guess to the cosmetic world Fifty Shades of Grey means Fifty Shades of Neutral. 

Of course, pulling off the perfect No Makeup Look doesn’t mean running around with no makeup.  Oh, non, non, non – jamais de la vie!! You still need about the same amount of makeup as before, if not more, but in different colors.  How clever of you, Cosmetics Companies.  You almost had us fooled. 

Look closely at the picture of these two young models.   The neutral makeup here depends on three important elements for impact:  contouring, highlighting and emphasizing one strong feature, in this case, the eyebrows.  With a strong eyebrow, you can use less eye makeup and still draw attention to your eyes.  (M-T Tip:  A quick and easy way to turn daytime eye makeup into evening eye makeup without globbing on the mascara is simply by creating a more dramatic eyebrow.)  


Here, Laura Mercier, herself, shows us how to use her new Contouring Makeup Palette to create that perfectly made up No Makeup Look. 

A note of caution, Ladies, contouring can be a bit tricky for those of us with fair skin.  It has to be applied very carefully and very lightly or it just looks like smudges.  Every summer I see young girls with slashes of bronzer all over their faces in the mistaken belief that it gives them that natural, healthy, sun-kissed glow.  No, it doesn’t!  Their faces just look dirty. 

The No Makeup Look, when done well, is a fresh and beautiful look, but it’s not easy to get right, especially for those of us d’un certain âge – too much and it defeats the purpose; too little and we look washed out. 

Here are some tips that will make this look work for you. 


Pick one feature to highlight.  I always opt for the lips.  A bright lip color is an older woman’s best friend.  It quite simply lights up your face.  Notice that I said “bright” not “dark.”  Dark lipstick on a neutral face at our age can be quite deadly.   

Add some subtle color to your cheeks.  While still staying in the neutral palette, try warming them up with a color a shade or two darker than your foundation, tinted moisturizer or face powder.  Don’t go too dark or the subtle effect will be lost and your cheeks will look muddy.  

Stick to highlighting for daytime.  A wash of highlighter across the cheekbones, on the brow bones and down the center of your nose will have a subtle, brightening effect.  Save the darker contouring for evening when the lighting is more diffuse and forgiving. 

So, go ahead and give the No Makeup Makeup Look a try this spring.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll think you just woke up looking like this. 
Speaking of spring, I’ll be taking off for my Spring Break this week.  Why should college students have all the fun?  And, where does this femme d’un certain âge go for Spring Break?   Paris, of course.   A bientôt!



  1. Liked the video. The only problem with the palette is that you would waste a lot of product if you only needed one of the highlighter colours. Wonder if she does them in individual compacts. Enjoy Paris. One day we must meet there it is only a Eurostar away for me.

    1. The video is excellent. I like her style and approach; however, you are correct about the palette. In fact, most palettes have the same problem, which is why I create my own palette with her customizable tray. It's coming with me to Paris. Unlike many cosmetics companies who create colors just for their palettes, Laura Mercier often offers them separately. Worth checking out.

      BTW, Josephine, I'd love to meet you in Paris one day. We'll make sure it happens, if not this time, then the next, n'est-ce pas?

      Cheers, M-T

  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    It will be hard to achieve that 'editorial' look by ourselves... Professional makeup artists can do that on young models but you already did mention that for us, d’un certain âge, it can be tricky. Overall, I do love the natural look and that's what I always aim for.
    Sending you hugs,

    1. The natural look is always best, no matter your age. Less is more.

      Big bisous, M-T

  3. The no makeup look always requires more makeup for me!! Funny how that happens. For me, I go for a smoky eye and leave my thinning lips to play second fiddle. Contouring is a tricky thing to get just right without seeming to have mud on my face!! Practice practice practice. Have a marvelous trip. I'm so envious. Can't wait to hear all about it.

    1. The smoky eye is always great, particularly with your beautiful eyes. You have such a fabulous smile that will always light up your face better than any lipstick color. That said, however..........I would love to find you the perfect lip color. We'll work on that.

      I'll be in touch when I get back from La Belle France.

      xoxo, M-T

  4. I've always felt that bright color is best for me, but it seems that ALL lip colors develop a blue cast when I wear them. So, I'm always looking for a good orange, and a bright pink. So far I've found Gabriel Cosmetics "Salmon" works well, the orange turns into a nice coral on me. The bright pink is more elusive.

    1. I am extremely fair with warm (i.e., yellow) undertones to my skin, which, like you, means a bright coral works best for me. I had found the perfect shade in Laura Mercier's "Tangerine," but "hélas" they have discontinued that shade (don't you just hate when they do that???), so I am hanging onto my last tube until I can find something similar. I will check out Gabriel Cosmetics "Salmon" lipstick. Thanks so much for sharing that great tip w/us.

      Always a delight to hear form you, Rita

      Cheers, M-T

  5. I'm so glad you differentiated between bright and dark lipstick. I feel I need something more than the nude/pale pink I use, but didn't want to go "dark". I will try experimenting with some bright. And I have noticed since I've been letting my eyebrows grow out a little that maybe I can get away with less eye makeup.
    Have a wonderful time in Paris -- I'm so jealous!!

    1. Indeed, there is a huge difference between dark and bright lipstick. You may just need a brighter pink or, perhaps, a bright rose.

      Eyebrows are so important and often overlooked. We forget that they frame the eyes. You wouldn't put a dime-store, Plexiglas frame around a Rembrandt. Your eyes deserve to be beautifully framed.

      I'm already lining up dinner invitations from Parisian friends. I hope I remember to take pictures. Sometimes I'm having so much fun that I forget the pix. No family left in Paris; they've all passed on. One Aunt and lots of cousins left scattered throughout the Normandie, Vendée and Charente Maritime region, not to mention friends all over the "Hexagone.".

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, Deborah.

      Cheers, M-T


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