Friday, March 10, 2017

Beauty Rules – Things Change

It’s time to take on some beauty rules, and may the best (wo)man win. 


Beauty Rules from Good Housekeeping Magazine 1958


Let’s start by talking about foundations.  Sounds pretty straightforward, but the subject is actually a bit controversial for those of us of a certain age.  

Many makeup artists advise against it, warning that it will settle into the lines of your face and make you look older.  Opt instead, they say, for tinted moisturizers and BB creams or nothing at all.  Nothing at all?  Years ago, in the pre-tinted moisturizer/BB cream days, a woman dermatologist told me that a good quality foundation was actually the best protection a woman’s face had against pollution and the elements. 

We all know that the right shade of foundation applied with a light hand evens out your skin tone and can minimize imperfections.  So, are we to give it up altogether just for a few little lines?  Some women have little or no lines well into their eighties and nineties.  Others are not so lucky.  When Mme Mère died at 97, she didn’t have a line on her face.  Her cousin Dottie, on the other hand, was a cautionary tale. 

Dottie’s hobby was moving.  I can’t imagine a worse hobby, but there it was.  She never stayed anywhere longer than a year.  I don’t recall visiting her and cousin John in the same place twice.  Finally, when John retired, they moved to Florida.  Two years later we saw them on a visit back east and Dottie’s face looked like an old leather handbag that had seen hard times. 

“You see that,” Mme Mère whispered to me.  “That’s what the sun will do to your face if you’re not careful.”  From that day on I decided to be very careful. 

Model Cindy Joseph, creator of Boom Skin Care and Cosmetics, and a woman in her mid-sixties who recently married the love of her life, doesn’t think that women need to give up wearing foundation after a certain age.  Here is her advice: 

“If you’re going to use a foundation to even out skin tone, find one that gives coverage but doesn’t add texture. Be willing to spend money on a foundation and take your time to experiment and find the exact right shade. Matching your skin tone exactly is critical.”

The word that caught my eye in Cindy’s quote is “experiment.”  I love to experiment, particularly in the kitchen and in front of the mirror (Admit it, you thought I was going to say ‘in the bedroom,’ didn’t you?). 

I have always been a believer in “a little of this, a little of that and why not add a little of that to this?”  A while ago I noticed that my skin needed a little warming up.  Nothing major, just a touch of something. 

As most of you know, I have been wearing Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in “Porcelain” for years and years, which I set with her Translucent Setting Powder.  The porcelain shade matches my skin tone exactly; however, suddenly it just made me look a little too cool and pale.  So, I decided to add a bit of warmth.  I mixed two little drops of Porcelain with one little drop of Nude (the next shade up) on the back of my hand and voilà!!  Just that little touch of warmth made all the difference.  The experiment was a success. 

It’s not uncommon for a woman to find that her perfect color match is actually between two shades, so mixing them together might just create the perfect custom blend for you. 

I wear tinted moisturizer and setting powder on a daily basis.  Since tinted moisturizers do not have the same staying power as foundations, on those days when I need to go from morning, through afternoon and into the evening with no time for touchups,   


I mix a drop of Make Up Forever Ultra HD foundation into my tinted moisturizer for more staying power.  It works like a charm.  One of the best things about this foundation, other than the light texture, is the amazing array of shades it comes in from light to dark.  They make a shade for every skin tone.  Available at Sephora. 

Last time in Going Gray the Right Way, I talked about the three most important elements of great hair:  a great cut, a great color and a healthy shine. 

When it comes to our faces, as the natural glow of youth fades, we can add a bit of that youthful shine back with strategically placed highlighters and cream blushers, the older woman’s best friend.  But what about our eyes? 


Can we still wear eye shadow?  What about shimmery eye shadow?  Again, makeup artists disagree.  Here is Cindy Joseph’s advice: 

“This is a hard one, but do not wear any eye shadow at all (and especially no contour eye shadow in the crease because it gives the appearance of deepening the crease). A little bit of mascara is OK.”

Oh no! Say it ain’t so, Cindy.  I disagree.  Depending on the condition of your eyelids, I see no reason not to wear eye shadow at our age. 

The skin on your eyelids is some of the thinnest skin on your face and thins out even more as we age, sometimes leading to discoloration.  A little eye shadow in the right shade can help to minimize discoloration and smooth things out.  I don’t generally wear eye shadow for daytime, but I always brush a little face powder over the entire eyelid area to even things out before I apply my mascara. 

As to avoiding shimmery eye shadow?  No way.  I love a bit of shimmer for evening.  My trick is to add a shimmery eye shadow to the lid and then go over it lightly with a matte shadow in a similar or contrasting color to tone it down just a bit. 

Remember, ladies, beauty rules, like most other rules in life, need to be bent or broken from time to time.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and make your own. 



  1. Perricone No Foundation Foundation Serum doesn't add texture, and works for me better than anything else I've found. It evens out the skin and doesn't look makeup-y. Their No Eyeshadow does the same thing for lids.

    1. Great tip, Jane. I will definitely be checking out the Perricone products you recommend. As I said in my post, I love to experiment.

      Thanks so much, Jane.

      Cheers, M-T

  2. Hello M-T,
    Yes, I agree, the sun damages the skin like no other!
    Ironically I too wear Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer in nude and have for awhile, before that I used Smashbox BB cream. I stopped wearing foundation about 10 years ago from Chanel's Lumiere (that seemed like a cherry) because I wanted a more natural look. When I am at home I wear only a tad of concealer here and there because my mother advised me to let my skin breathe. I stick with matte shadows but recently discovered Mac's Honesty that has a shimmer and it's light taupe color looks good with a red lip. The last 2 days have been warm and I expect my new purchase to carry me through the spring, and will substitute the red for a watermelon lip. So there you have it...rules that were meant to be broken as every woman will gravitate toward whatever she likes and what works for her.

    1. Hi Linda,

      We are definitely on the same "less is more" page and don't we love our red lipstick!!

      I have tried Smashbox products and really wanted to like them, but haven't found one I like so far. I tried their foundation primer and found it too heavy and greasy feeling, so I went back to my Laura Mercier primer, which I only use on my forehead to smooth out those little frown lines. It's still the best primer out there for my money.

      The Mac Honesty sounds perfect. I'll be taking a look at that very soon.

      Thanks for sharing your great tips with my readers and me. Much appreciated, dear friend.

      Cheers, M-T

  3. My make-up routine is very similar to yours. Tinted moisturiser (with SPF50) every day and foundation if I am going out and especially for photos. I also wear blusher and eyeshadow most days. I have to wait till I go to France for the Make-up for ever range and we do not have a Sephora in the UK.

    1. I'm really surprised there are no Sephoras in the UK. Guess you'll need to hop over the pond to try Make Up Forever products. We both know that it's crucial to try the colors to make sure you find the right one for your skin tone. Once you know what works and, of course, if you like it, you can always order on line or pick up some the next time you are in France.

      Thanks for stopping by, Josephine.

      Cheers, M-T

  4. Like Linda, I've been using Smashbox BB. Been trying to keep to a light application of anything on my skin. Good advice you give here, and I'm willing to try the Laura Mercier. Eyeshadow is something I love, but I've scaled back how much I apply, not covering the whole eyelid area, but just close to the lash line. Trying to keep my brows and lashes healthy, and spend more time with that, so eye shadow isn't as important to me.

    1. Sounds as if you are doing everything right, Cynthia. If I might make one little suggestion about eye shadow, you could try a bit of highlighter under the brow bone to open up the eye area even if you don't wear any other shadow on your eyes. It's a little thing, but it can make a big difference. Give it a try.

      Cheers, M-T

  5. The following comment was sent to me by my dear friend Anna and published with her permission:

    "Loved the blog and love makeup. Have been using Lancôme foundation forever and not about to give it up. I think I need the coverage for occasional imperfections. Tried tinted moisturizers but prefer foundation. I may tone down the use of eye shadow although definitely will not give that up either. I think wearing glasses I probably get away with more.

    As you know I do not much care about what I should not be wearing after a certain age."

    1. Dear Anna, your point about eye makeup and eye glasses is an excellent one. Contrary to what one might think, you should actually wear more eye makeup rather than less when you wear eyeglasses so your eyes become the focus and not your eyeglasses.

      And, yes, my dear, I do know that you don't care about what you should or should not be wearing at our age, and I love you for it. You are an inspiration.

      Cheers, M-T

  6. Hi Marie-Thérèse,

    Makeup is one of my favorite topics! I have never gotten into the habit of wearing foundation. Nowadays they are sheer, but when I started wearing makeup I couldn't tolerate the feel of having a "mask" on my face. I always wore a moisturizer (Olay with sun protection), and in recent years started wearing L'oreal's Miracle Blur. Although it is untinted, it sort of acts as a foundation, smoothing out my complexion. It has sun protection too. On the other hand, I would never leave the house without under eye concealer -- and have worn that since I was a teenager.

    As I am now older, I wear more eyeshadow than when I was younger. Don't get me wrong, I have always experimented and played with makeup, but didn't wear eyeshadow most days. Only on special nights out. In the daytime, I didn't have to worry about smudges, nor having to touch up. However, I still lined my eyes with a soft eye crayon, another essential! You have inspired me to kick it up a bit!

    1. Hi Debra, lovely to hear from you, as always.

      Sounds as if everything you are doing makeup-wise is working well for you. I've heard good things about Miracle Blur. Will check it out.

      It's so much fun to experiment with makeup at any age.

      If you do decide to "kick it up a bit," let me know how that works out. I love getting that kind of feedback from my blogger friends.

      Cheers, M-T

      P.S.: Hope Stella didn't hit you too hard. We got only a few inches of snow, but it's been incredibly cold for days now.

  7. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Well, I'm just like you and use makeup wisely and I've never ever used foundation, for the same reason as Debra Turner mentioned.
    After my problem with Dermatomyositis on and around my eyes, I've been very reluctant to using eye shadow again but lately have done a bit and it does make all the difference!
    Sure, eating healthy and sleeping well does the main job but we do need a little touch up.
    Right now I'm indulging in a sample from Darphin Stimulskin Plus Divine Multi-Corrective Cream - Normal to Dry Skin and I LOVE it...
    Sending you hugs,


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