By Suzy Gibson
I am addicted to beauty products; there I said it, now you all know. My love for make-up and products started when my mother finally conceded and said I could wear lip gloss and eye-shadow. I found an ad in the back of my Tiger Beat for a sampler of make-up for $12.99. I saved my babysitting money, asked my mom to write a check, and in six weeks (because mail took that long then), I received a package about the size of a checkbook box crammed sideways in the mailbox. I don’t remember any of the products except for a waxy, chubby pencil that was silver. For my entire 7th grade year it was me, the silver eye-shadow, and Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. Thus my love for product was born.
When I decided to write about products, I wanted to make sure to encompass everyone including those who invest in product, those who prefer natural products, and those who find everything at the local drug store.
This is my theory: I could spend a lot of money at the mall, go less expensive at the drug store, or make my own with natural products. For me, the outcome is the same. I believe what my momma blessed me with works in my favor, regardless what I put on my face. But that is just me; everyone is different with different skin types and preferences in make-up. Hopefully some of my tips and tricks will work for you.
Eye-shadow: I have tried all sorts of eye-shadows, and none of them hold a candle to MAC. The pigment is perfect, and it is long-lasting. My go-to’s are Yogurt, Quarry and Pink Venus, a neutral palette. And YES Marcella Sue, you can wear eye-shadow, just don’t go crazy with bright colors and frosts (How about don’t wear frost period).
Liner: I wear two kinds of MAC liner, Eye Kohl and Pro Longwear,and they work in two totally different ways. Eye Kohl is softer and easy to smudge; I wear it on my waterline. I wear the Pro Longwear under my eyes, this stuff does not smudge and stays put; no raccoon eyes at the end of the day.
Blush: Okay ladies, if you like that J-Lo Glow, you HAVE to get this blush, MAC Petal Power. I can’t tell you how much I love this stuff. It provides a subtle shimmer, but not sparkly. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT wear sparkles. I am talking to you, mature mamacita! You do not want little pieces of sparkle to settle into fine lines. You end up magnifying, not minimizing.
Mascara: My son’s girlfriend has the most amazing blue eyes and her eyelashes are a fringe like Mr. Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street. I will never have those lashes unless I glue on Falsies (which I love). She recommended Too Faced Better than Sex, I swear that is the name of it and I’m hooked. Not sure what I like better, the cool pink tube, or the formula but it made the cut into my investment group.
Lipsense: I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. I have no problem dropping a sizable investment for this stuff. It works that well. But you have to commit to this product if you are going to use it. It takes about two weeks to get used to it, and then you will not be able to wear anything else, I promise. You can order this online, but you will get a random distributor. I love my LipSense distributor, she will hook you up!
Drug Store Finds
I gravitate towards these products for a variety of reasons: My mother, my senses and how it feels.
Let me break it down for you:
Ponds: This is what my mother started me on when I was old enough to need a skin regimen, and I haven’t found anything that works any better. Thanks to years of sun worshipping (Crisco on silver mats, does that ring a bell anyone?) my skin is horribly dry and sensitive. I never had ONE zit, (Okay maybe one MONSTER zit on my chin), in high school, now I get them all the time, NO FAIR! I use Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser to take off make-up and soothe my skin when it feels extra dry. It’s awesome; I can sit in front of the TV, catch up on the Bold and the Beautiful, and take off my make-up all at once, multi-tasking GIRLS! I use the Ponds Dry Skin Cream for a layer of extra moisture, especially when I sleep.
Noxzema: If you grew up in the 80s, this was the stuff! Who didn’t want to be a Noxzema Girl??? This is the product that I buy because of my senses. There is something about that cool tingle feeling that I love. I’ll put it on and just let it soak in for about ten minutes, totally refreshed. I use the Classic Clean Moisturizing Cleansing Cream.
Sea Breeze: Same exact reason as the Noxzema, my senses. I have a small spray bottle I put it in. I spritz it after I put on my make-up, I spritz it in the middle of the day when I need a pick me up, and it is great when you are traveling and breathe in all that airplane air. After I moisturize and before I apply my make-up, I use this to take of any extra moisturizer so my make-up doesn’t slide off my face. I keep it simple with the original formula, oh yeah, kickin’ it old school!
Clay Mask: I do this every Saturday morning. It tightens my skin and I can see a difference in my laugh/frown lines after I apply this stuff, it really does minimize, especially the line “triangle” between my eyes. However, I am a realist; this helps temporarily, hence the every Saturday morning ritual.
Neutrogena Wipes: This is why I love these wipes – they are convenient. Perfect for travel, and when I am seriously lazy, these do the trick when removing make-up. I use the hydrating line, they are so full of moisturizers after I use these I do not have I put any other moisturizer on, even with my dry skin.
Panda Cooling Eye Pads: These little pads live in my fridge, and I usually use them after a night of over indulgence of wine. It happens occasionally (Seriously ladies, I know I’m not the only one) and they just make me feel good. I can’t tell the difference in the puffiness or circles, but they feel damn good, and that will work for me.
I discovered natural products when I stumbled across a blog by Jenni Rain Cloud. She is the reason I cannot live without coconut oil. I used to order it from Amazon, but seriously, you can get organic coconut oil just about anywhere these days. It is good for everything: eye make-up removal, a scrub, a moisturizer, even a mouth rinse called pulling (ask Mara, she swears by this).
Sugar Scrub: Combine sugar (just the plain white stuff, organic sugar dissolves) and coconut oil. My girlfriend Kris gave us a scrub in a cute glass container with ribbon and twine, it lives in my shower. You can add essential oils for fragrance, but I find it keeps the coconut oil more liquid than solid, so I opt for no essential oils.
Essential Oils: Newsflash!!!!! CVS carries a line of essential oils! I use geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and sweet almond oil. I save old containers and use those to mix coconut oil moisturizer using a couple of drops of lavender and geranium oil. I put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in my Sea Breeze to ramp up the cooling effect.
Eye Make-up Remover: Okay ladies, this stuff is seriously awesome! Mix castor oil (you heard me) with vitamin E and sweet almond oil. It promotes the growth of your lashes, and I swear by it, it really, really works. I found this dandy on Jenni Rain Cloud but she recommended buying a mascara tube and using it before bedtime each night. Well….. I know me, and it would be highly unlikely that I would remember to do that, so I use it as an eye makeup remover. BEAUTY!
Brushes: I have a variety of brushes, some MAC, some my mom gave me, and some e.l.f. brushes. Have you heard about e.l.f.? If not, let me tell you. These brushes are awesome! The one in the photo is called a Kabuki Brush. I use it when I have all of my make-up on; it is just an overall blending tool. Here’s the kicker, they have the full line at Target!
Paper Masks: I purchased a variety of these paper masks with the goal of trying them all out; I will let you know the verdict.
Tips and Tricks
Sponges: I’ve done some research, and I am still not quite sure why I hate those round sponges. They do not blend, and seem to remove all the make-up I put on. They feel very rubbery and I thought it was latex vs non-latex, but apparently, that is not the case. Check out this link to make a decision about what works best for you.
Brushes: No matter how good your brushes are, they still shed on your face and it looks like you are growing a long black whisker out of your chin. Use a stiff bristle paint brush to “flick” it off your face. This keeps you from ruining your make-up trying to pinch or wipe brush hairs off.
Foundation: As you age, those pesky little lines are hard to hide, and many foundations can enhance lines as it settles. I have tried expensive and inexpensive foundation, and finally came up with a combo that works for me.
Step ONE: Your face is your canvas, prepare it before you paint it, HEY… I just coined a phrase!
Step TWO: I use Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs and e.l.f. Brightening Lavender Face Primer as my base coat, then apply L’Oréal BB cream. The Airbrush Legs is waterproof and mixed with the e.l.f. provides a great “canvas” for the BB Cream. The BB Cream is AMAZE-BALLS! It goes on white, but then turns the color of your skin. If you put your foundation on and it looks like you just rubbed dirt on it, it is too dark. You cannot look sun-kissed with a darker foundation, you just look uneven.
Step THREE: I use MAC Mineral Powder to finish off the look.
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
A Little Background Music
“It don’t matter what you wear, it don’t matter what you do, cause everything looks good on you!”